Spencer (Coggs) For Hire, 'I'm a labor guy.'

Of all the 14 Wisconsin “fleebaggers” at large in the People’s Republic of Illinois, 30 year legislative hack Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) may be the most elusive.  Although Northern Illinois Tea Party members like my friend Lori White have sighted a number of the runaway Senators, Coggs has thus far evaded detection.  The long time puppet for organized labor is rumored to be safe and sound deep in the pockets of his public sector union benefactors.


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that since January 2007, Senator Coggs has received roughly 2/3 of his campaign contributions from public sector unions and their members.  When reached for comment, the Democrat Senator said “What do you expect?” defiantly adding “I’m a labor guy.”


Before being elected to the Legislature nearly three decades ago, Coggs was a city inspector and the treasurer of his AFSCME local.  He remains a member of the union because he is technically on leave from his municipal job, and he is active with two other unions.


When not subverting the free democratic process, the Milwaukee Senator kicks back in his dark blue district blissfully unconcerned with re-election, rampant crime or skyrocketing unemployment among his constituents.


As for the impact the bill would have on union-giving to Democrats, Coggs said he would survive just fine without his support from these groups.


“I know how to raise money,” said Coggs, one of the few Senate Democrats not currently the subject of a recall effort.


Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald isn’t surprised that his wayward Democrat colleagues are so heavily reliant on campaign contributions from public sector unions


Even more important than the money unions give directly to candidates, the Senate leader said, is the cash the unions spend on their own buying TV and radio ads in support of Democrats.  By his count, Fitzgerald said the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state teachers union, dropped nearly $1.6 million in independent spending in four Senate races last fall.  Democrats won only one of those races.


In addition, two national unions - AFSCME and the Service Employees International Union - gave more than $1.3 million since 2008 to the Greater Wisconsin Committee, a liberal group that advocates on behalf of Democratic candidates.


With so much union campaign money at stake, Democrats in less secure districts than Spencer Coggs are not likely to return home to meet their obligations any time soon.  However as recall petitions circulate and the mood among the hard working taxpayers abandoned by their Democrat Senators continues to sour, it may already be too late for the “fleebaggers.”


March 2, 2011



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