Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Former Tavern League Honcho Boards The Gravy Train

Gov. Jim Doyle, though in Canada on a trade mission, exercised his considerable powers and presto! - - the state's flamboyant, train-loving railroad commissioner was out of his job, and a Democratic state senator who used to run the Tavern League resigned, hopped into the chief train engineer's seat, and opened the door for the election of a new Democratic senator more to the liking of the Governor and the current senate majority leader.

The immediate effects include a hefty pay raise for the former-Senator-now-railroad commissioner that could also double his pension by 2012.

All Aboard!

The longer-term consequences: should the Democrats hold their senate majority and fill the now-vacant seat with yet another Dem, the Governor might get that statewide smoking ban and other legislative reforms he wants, but that the Senator-now-railroad commissioner had resisted.

If you like inside political baseball, here are the players, the scorecard and the pitch.

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