October 23, 2014 by Barbara With
In a recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Republican candidate for Assembly District 74 Jamey Francis responded to his criminal record for identity theft of an elementary school teacher by saying, “I’ve become a better person because of it.”
Francis’ 2006 theft conviction came after he was charged with stealing the teacher’s check card in 2005 to pay a $385 electric bill and buy a $60 department store gift card, among other purchases.
Francis pled guilty and plea bargained the felony charge down to a misdemeanor. He was put on a year of probation, ordered to serve 20 hours of community service, spend two days in jail with the Department of Corrections, and pay $609 in restitution.
However, in a recent post on his Facebook page, Francis plagiarized a quasi-communist organization in an attempt to rationalize his support for Gogebic Taconite (GTAC)’s proposed open pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine in the middle of the Bad River watershed.
“His” ideas came directly off a website called “The Venus Project,” an organization operating out of a 20-acre site in Venus, Florida promoting the replacement of the monetary system with a “resource-based” economy. The quote below is from their website:
The term and meaning of a Resource Based Economy was originated by Jacque Fresco. It is a holistic socio-economic system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.
Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society.
A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all.
A recent blog post by Iron County resident Attorney Anthony Stella explains how Francis not only stole the language but apparently failed to understand what he was posting:
“Mr. Francis has used someone else’s words and ideas, and has proclaimed them as his own. What’s more, he was duped into using language put forth by a fringe element that is diametrically opposed to the capitalist views of the Republican party. No serious candidate would espouse this doctrine. He calls it his ‘platform as a candidate.’
Extended to its logical conclusion, the ideology proclaimed by Jamey Francis (as his own) would require the state to take over the GTAC mining operation ‘so that the resource could become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few.'”
To add insult to injury, Francis’ claim that he was at a “Class A trout stream” near the Gile Flowage and the old Montreal mine waste pile is also deceptive. According to the DNR website, there are no Class A trout streams, nor are there any Class 1 streams near the Gile Flowage or the stock piles in Montreal. The closest Class 1 is by Pence heading towards Iron Belt.
Francis deleted his plagiarized post and all comments around it after being called out by Stella on his blog for stealing the language from the Venus Project website.
With all the commotion over Mary Burke’s non-issue of alleged plagiarism, Francis’ recent conduct suggests he still has a problem with honesty and that he would not be a good choice for someone who creates public policy.