The Decker-Chvala connection | WisCommunity

The Decker-Chvala connection

Another theory about State Sen. Russ Decker's that killed state employee contracts, reported by

“My only comment is that Russ Decker is a whore,” says Marty Beil, the union’s executive director.

He questions Decker’s reasoning, “My hunch is that he (Decker) wanted to give Chuck Chvala (pictured) a pardon and Governor Doyle wouldn’t give it to him and he’s continuing that saga.”

It's been an open secret in Madison that Chvala, the former State Senate majority leader who lost his job and was sentenced to nine months of jail time and two years of probation after being convicted of two felony misconduct charges in 2005 as part of a Capitol scandal centering on using taxpayer-paid staff for campaign work. Chvala also pleaded guilty to illegally controlling an "independent" group helping Democratic State Senate candidates.

He has since worked in real estate and has had his law license reinstated.  But he can't leave Capitol politics alone.

Decker is said to have relied heavily on advice from Chvala, whose wife is Decker's chief of staff, and to have encouraged lobbyists and others to donate to an independent issue advocacy group run by Chvala.  People and groups pushing for passage of bills have been referred to Chvala as the way to get Decker on board.

Republican State Sen. Mike Ellis and in public Thursday:

"You have a governor and a majority leader that hate each other. You've got a former majority leader running the show from the back room, and all these things came together in one big deal...

The suggestion by Beil that Decker may have wanted a pardon for Chvala may be far-fetched, but not out of the realm of possibility. Chvala and Doyle have long been at odds, while Decker and Chvala are joined at the hip.

Capitol watchers are curious to see whether Chvala's influence in the Senate Democratic caucus ends with the departure of Decker, who lost his seat to a Republican and was deposed as majority leader this week.


December 17, 2010 - 10:12am