January 18, 2010

Mason: Proposal removes toxins from schools; Doesn't give any company a monopoly

Mike Sheridan, Cory Mason, Brian Torner, Robert Israel,
Jane Finkenbine and Jeff Neubauer at bill's introduction Sept. 25, 2009

Rep. Cory Mason said the "green cleaning" bill he introduced is about reducing toxicity in schools, not creating a monopoly for a Racine company.

"This bill makes it less toxic for kids in schools and the people who use public buildings," Mason said Monday afternoon. "The question we should be asking is, 'Is this a good bill? Is it a good idea?' "

Instead, Mason has been fielding calls today about a Madison TV station's report that Jeff Neubauer, a former Racine legislator who is now CEO of Kranz Inc., wrote the legislation and coordinated its release. WKOW-TV reports on its website:
State records show a former lawmaker helped mold an environmental bill with potential financial benefits for his firm and industry.


The correspondence indicates Neubauer originated and reviewed portions of the bill.

"Attached please find the final language," Neubauer wrote on Sept. 22, 2009 to Mason aide Michelle Michalak and lobbyist Jason Childress.

"Announce and release the bill in the form that is attached on Friday," Neubauer wrote.

"Nothing but good publicity will come from that. It is no lose, all upside for you."
That led Racine County Republicans to pounce on Mason. Bill Folk, president of the county party, said in a press release:
This is simply unacceptable. The people of the 62nd Assembly District elected Cory Mason, not Jeff Neubauer to represent them. Mr. Neubauer's interest in this legislation, as well as his contributions to Mason, clearly show that there was a conflict that should have been clearly outlined prior to the introduction of the legislation.
Mason said he never hid the fact that he worked with Neubauer and Kranz Inc. and JohnsonDiversey. In fact, Neubauer and a representative from JohnsonDiversey each testified at a public hearing on the legislation, and responded to questions about whether the bill unfairly favored Neubauer's company.

Mason said he exchanged notes with Neubauer on the bill, but he also consulted school officials, parents, students and environmental groups. He added that a handful of states, including Illinois, have passed similar legislation.

Kranz Inc. features a line of "Kranz Green" products that may qualify under the program. But Mason said hundreds of U.S. companies offer products that would qualify for use in schools and public buildings under the bill. The legislation was actually written to encourage companies to follow the lead of Wisconsin companies like JohnsonDiversey and Wausau Papers, which are making some of the greenest, healthiest products on the market, Mason said.

"It's not factually true to say one company gets a monopoly or special treatment under the bill," Mason said.

Changes are underway to the legislation, which Mason said he hopes appeals to a bi-partisan majority. The bill is scheduled to be taken up by the Assembly next week.

"I hope the bill stands on its merits," Mason said. "It's really designed to encourage the private sector to create greener, healthier products."

Update: Jeff Neubauer donated $300 to Mason's campaign over the last three years.


  1. Why is Mason so intent on continuing to add new legislation on schools that add costs to the school districts. He also tried to sneak a new law into the last budget that would have created an unfunded school bussing requirement.

    What happened to no new state mandates without state funding to pay for it.

    News flash to Mason. We are in a really serious economic down turn. Ease up and get in touch with our reality.

  2. And what company does a major campaign contributor own?
    Next you'll say that Dickert is just a phone call away from Obama

  3. Kranz/Neubauer is always showing up at all the local public meetings when contracts for cleaning supplies are on the agenda. This is nothing more than good old fashioned conflict of interests and has been for years.

  4. Man....these are the bills your working on Mason? Wow....it really does speak to being kinda out of touch.

  5. Cory serves the special interests, NOT the taxpayers of Racine. Neubauer is a democratic party hack - and Mason let him write the bill that benefits him.

    That airplane was RIGHT! Cory the Carpetbagger is BAD for Racine!

  6. Way to try and provide cover to your favorite poster child Dustin.

    Mason should resign, he is a disgrace.

  7. Doesn't Neubauer own all those buildings the non profits are all located in on Dekoven ave? Halo, Nami, RIC, and habitat restore.

  8. Cory is Corrupt!

    He represents nobody but the special interests.

    He needs to go.

  9. d who got more money from the City? and what does this all have in common?

  10. Look! In the air! It's a bird! No, It's a plane! No, it's the new mostly-Madison but occasionally Racine superhero, "Special Interest Man" - By day, a legislator with an uncanny resemblance to a lawn gnome. By night, "Special Interest Man" saves the special interests from the mean, uncaring taxpayers!

    "Special Interest Man" Cory, micromanaging the janitors!

    "Special Interest Man" Cory, delivering the goods to big bucks contributor and former State Dem Chairman Neubauer!

    Cory Mason is BAD for Racine, and in November, he needs to be banished to the Madison burbs where he prefers to spend his time. But don't be sad - "Special Interest Man" won't hang up his cape; He'll just go back to being "Lobbyist Man"

  11. What member of the Assembly could not be bother with returning City of Racine equipment he would borrow on time? Or take care of properly? and when asked to return same get upset and threaten staff with job lost?

  12. It's kinda funny. Almost like Jeff did Cory's homework. Detention for Cory!!!

  13. I wonder if Mason had to give Jeff his lunch money.

  14. Corruption? Where was all these bloggers when our county Exec/sheriff was selling to the county. No Where. Elected him to his present job. You are forgetting Jwax and DW Davies. Other companies with Racine hires and jobs. What is wrong with keeping our kids safer?

  15. Um, hello Republican party who votes for 90% of the legislation proposed by WMC, funded by the corporations who then profit from the bills they pass. Want a new loop hole created or a new tax cut, just draft a bill and slip it into a Republican's hands and you're off to the races. At least green cleaning products make safer buildings for children, unlike a corporate tax cut that the WMC corporate shills drafted.

  16. Mason's time to cover his ass. Neubauer another socialist opportunist. This whole thing stinks - and cleaning products won't clear it up, but Neubauer would probably like to get into that action also. - Mason, count your days - you are out of there.

  17. I see Dickert's Trolls are working for Mason now.

  18. Where was all these bloggers when our county Exec/sheriff was selling to the county. No Where

    McReynolds did everything above board, filled out every disclosure, etc. While left winger made noise McReynolds was found to have done nothing unethical.

    That still does not stop you from throwing mud on someone else as an excuse to cover for your guy.

  19. Anon 9:28. Do we need to pay 50% more to replace products that are already safe, especially in the hands of trained union professionals.

    Do we really have that much $$$$$ laying around?

  20. Dustin,

    Thank you for taking the time to partially read the Racine GOP Press Release. I am the Chairman of the party not the President.

    I find it interesting that you point out that Mason "never hid the fact that he worked with…" Did you not read the Madison article?

    Mason did not "work" with Neubauer…he worked FOR Neubauer…or maybe it would be more accurate to state that Neubauer worked for Mason as a staffer since he wrote the legislation that Mason introduced.

    Lobbyists may want to write the legislation and at times they may help but the emails between Mason/Neubauer show that this was beyond helping it was directing an elected official.

    Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment: how would you write a story if Robin Vos had received an email from a donor and lobbyist that said "use this wording and present it on Friday" and then he did?!?!

    We should expect our elected officials to represent us not special interest and this clearly shows that the line was blurred way too far.

    Bill Folk
    Racine County GOP Chairman

  21. Is not anyone worried about Mason plagiarizing himself? Turning in as his work something written by a contributor who stands to make a significant financial game?

    The same contributor suggests a big PR push.

    Meanwhile lefties can not even be honest enough to admit when one of their own behaves badly.

    One day after the Post claims objectivity they run cover for their favored son.

  22. Jeff certainly knows how to line his pockets. I would have never thought to write legislation to guarantee me sales. Good for him. Wonder how he was able to get Mason to blindly go along with it. Is there a technique to that? Jeff should do workshops.

  23. You know what is even cheaper than Jeff's green products? Vinegar, water, baking soda...We can get that in bulk for the districts schools.

  24. Jeff is in Mason's pocket or vice versa! Both are liberal criminals.

  25. Anon 3:12 You beat me to it, the same things my mother used my whole life to clean the house, as green as you can get except for the green lining for certain local companies who use the backs of many many temps to produce their version of green cleaning products!

  26. Brown won tonight. Your days in office are numbered.

  27. Mason will go along with many Democrats in the country. Mass. is just the start.

  28. Mason needs to remove toxins from his head.

  29. We better keep an eye on this part of RUSD budget. If costs don't go down I say we figure out using good old fashion vinegar, baking soda etc.

  30. Most of you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Look around the country. States have either passed or are proposing similar legislation throughout the US. Green cleaning products work and DON'T cost more. Cleaning is important and doing it safely is easy. So why wouldn't we want to protect our children in schools. Stop being political idiots and actually try to understand what the legislation is trying to accomplish.

  31. Randolph said...

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    Tea, anyone?