Criminal Background Doesn’t Stop Wisconsin Lobbyist Gary Goyke

Twice so far this year the state Assembly has adjourned in his honor. For Gary Goyke, his criminal background doesn’t seem to pose much of an obstacle to his professional life. An influence peddler and lobbyist, Goyke is still writing checks to the campaign coffers of elected officials and walking the halls of the state Capitol representing the interests of various clients and pressuring legislators to do what he wants them to do.

Criminal charges were filed against Goyke in 1988 for purchasing meals, drinks and gifts for a female Democratic state senator. In 1990, Goyke again ran afoul of the law pleading guilty to four felony counts of illegal campaign contributions after he reimbursed some of his employees for donating to preferred political candidates.

Goyke has had over 22 tax warrants, and 15 workman’s compensation or unemployment insurance warrants filed against him by the state. He appears to have eventually paid the state the money he owed.

State Rep. Evan Goyke, a freshman Democrat elected in 2012, is his son. The younger Goyke is the one who twice requested the Republican-controlled Assembly to adjourn in honor of his disgraced father. Adjournment requests are generally honored without discussion regardless of which party controls the chamber and which lawmaker made the motion. The first adjournment made in the felon Goyke’s honor took place on March 7, and the second adjournment in his honor took place on May 8.

During the campaign, the younger Goyke received a $400 donation from his lobbyist father. Goyke also received the endorsement of Clean Wisconsin Action Fund, the political arm of the left-wing environmental lobby group Clean Wisconsin. His dad sat on the board of Clean Wisconsin at the time.

Since 2004, Gary Goyke has contributed nearly $41,000 to political campaigns at the state level. This year Goyke gave the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee $500, and the State Senate Democratic Committee $250. All of his $3,025 in 2012 campaign contributions went to Democrat or liberal non-partisan candidates.

According to the Government Accountability Board, Goyke has 14 special interest groups and organizations that have hired him to represent their interests in Madison. For all of his illegal antics and his criminal past, business is still good for him, and thanks to his son in the state legislature, he can even have the honor of the state Assembly adjourning twice in his name this year.