Who Set Up Mike Ellis?

Apr. 9, 2014
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State Senate President Mike Ellis is probably regretting having a few drinks with a pal recently at Inn on the Park—the friend had a hidden camera that was recording every boast Ellis made.

“I don’t need to kiss anybody’s ass,” Ellis says on the tape.

On the video, made by James O’Keefe and Project Veritas, Ellis brags about forming a Super PAC to go after his Democratic opponent, Penny Bernard Shaber. He wants Judi Rhodes—fundraiser for prominent Republicans like Scott Fitzgerald—to work for the PAC, which Ellis calls “The Friends of Free Life.”

“She will manufacture the crap,” Ellis says. “She’s good at what she does, I told her Judi if I raise $500,000 then you attack her.”

And he wants some high-rollers—apparently Mills Fleet Farms’ Stewart and Henry Mills, Bob Keller, Jim Keller, "Mrs. Ailworth"—to bankroll it with $50,000 each.

He disparages Walker, too, saying, “I think Walker is working for Walker.” He agrees with his pal that the John Doe is a “blessing in disguise” for the governor.

The whole video is cringe-worthy.

Ellis shouldn’t be setting up a PAC to go after his opponent, for one.

He told the Journal Sentinel that he realized that his idea was illegal and didn't pursue it.

But why, exactly, did O’Keefe, a conservative activist, go after Ellis? Who sent him? It’s got to be a fellow Republican, one who wants to knock out or kneecap Ellis, who’s stood in the way of a bunch of crazy proposals from the Assembly and from Walker, like vouchers, the proposed Kenosha casino, and tax cuts. Who set up Mike Ellis?



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