There is little doubt that someone had ordered the video to be taken of Ellis to take him out of politics, although the who and why behind the move is up for speculation. Some have said it was Scott Jensen because Ellis was against the expansion of school privatization. Some have thought the order came from Reince Priebus, who is the head of the national GOP but is still very much involved in Wisconsin politics, because Ellis wasn't enough of a team player and to help take some attention off of Bill Kramer's sexual assault charges and how the entire WISGOP knew about it but elected him as a party leader anyway.
Regardless of who ordered the attack on Ellis or why they did so, the one thing for sure is that they got way more than they bargained for.
One of the many cringe-worthy moments from the video included this line from Ellis:
“I am putting together my own super PAC,” Ellis says in the video. “I don’t want to attack (Bernard Schaber), I want Judi (Rhodes Engels), somebody else to attack.” Rhodes Engels is a fundraiser for Senate Republicans.Not only did Ellis talk about doing something illegal, which is the essence of the Sons of Doe investigation, but he dared to name one the Republicans' most valued operatives, Judith Rhodes Engels.
Now, if that name sounds familiar to you, there is a good reason for it.
Rhodes Engels was tied up in the original caucus scandal (scroll down to page 16) from a dozen years ago. It was during the scandal that Rhodes Engels shown herself to be worth much more than the $6,300 in legal defense. During the caucus scandal hearings, Rhodes Engels showed that she not only knew her job, but knew to keep her mouth shut.
Thus it's no surprise that Rhodes Engels worked her way up through the ranks and became rather conspicuous even as she tried to keep a low profile. Over the last couple of years, we've learned that Rhodes Engels is a valuable asset to the Republican Party. Among her accomplishments:
- Got herself in some key positions with Senator Scott Fitzgerald, including his number one fundraiser;
- As Fitzgerald's top fundraiser, was able to share his list of big donors with the Scott Walker/Brett Davis campaigns;
- Helped Scott Walker with his campaign Harley rides around the state;
- Was deeply involved with the illegal and immoral gerrymandering - her involvement in which was also illegal since she was a political operative and not a state employee.
The fact that Ellis mentioned her in connection to creating a Super PAC to take out his opponent is very damaging to Rhodes Engels and to the Republican Party as a whole. So much so that Rhodes Engels, who does her best work behind closed doors and behind the scenes, had to come out into the daylight and speak to the media:
Rhodes said in a statement that “I have never set up any ‘Super PAC’ nor have I had any intention of doing so nor have I ever had any conversation with Senator Ellis about it.
“I will not work for any committee that would imply that I would improperly do so. I have terminated my contract with the Ellis to Madison Committee.”
She resigned Wednesday.
In their zeal to take out Ellis, whoever was behind ordering the video to be taken and released might have blown up their own party by handing themselves over to John Doe and his Sons.
Which goes to show that even the most cantankerous, angry, misogynistic Teapublican can still do good - even if it's by accident.