By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jun 13, 2013 at 5:31 AM Photography:

When I think about the governmental bodies with the least amount of statesmanship there are so many candidates you could go crazy trying to make a decision.

Clearly all those local guys - alderman and supervisors and school board members and regulatory boards - are in the running. But for sheer greed combined with the courage of a newborn kitten being chased by a Doberman, our state legislature stands out way above the crowd.

Here’s the latest example of how shameless and self-protective they are and how lacking in courage, all wrapped up in a single piece of legislation.

Originally this bill started out as the Voter ID bill. But everybody except a few knuckle-dragging Neanderthals were squeamish about it. So it got rewritten and rewritten some more and then, surprise, rewritten again.

Representative Jeff Stone made a short-lived effort to return to Plantation days by introducing a measure that would allow people to opt out of the Voter ID law if they swore they were poor. I don’t know if there is any truth to the rumor that Stone wanted to be the judge of whether the poor people were telling the truth. Some say he wanted to wear a big black hat and carry a bullwhip.

So instead of going after poor people, these enlightened men and women passed a bill that doubled the amount of money that people can donate to political campaign, such as the campaigns of themselves. They also made sure corporations could still make contributions and created a longer window for lobbyists to shake down their clients to try and buy a little influence.

Feathering your own nest takes on a whole new meaning when our lawmakers get their grubby little hands on a bill with all kinds of room for amending.

So here they are with an election reform bill with nothing good in it except, of course, their own. So somebody had an idea to move our state into a pioneer role in the world of online voting. But some of the guys, unsure that this World Wide Web thing is really here to stay, would only agree to a piddling, incredibly limited online voter registration test. It’s going to be run by the Government Accountability Board, almost guaranteeing unbridled chaos.

So here our leaders were with opportunity knocking and they end up lining their own pockets with more cash and wimp out on a slim chance to move Wisconsin into a leading technology position.

You gotta love these guys.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.