Thursday, September 18, 2014

The First Rule Of GOP Club

Last week, Jeff Simpson reported about the anti-gay slurs tweeted by Jacob Dorsey, a Republican candidate for the State Assembly.

It turns out that this jerk wasn't just homophobic, but a full-fledged racist as well.


The only thing that surprises is that no one found him making misogynistic and sexist remarks as well.

Anyway, it got to be too much for WISGOP leaders and they forced him out of the race, even though that it will lock the seat for Deb Kolste, the Democratic incumbent:
The Republican candidate who apologized last week for a “hurtful" Twitter comment about gays admitted Tuesday he had posted other derogatory comments and dropped out of the 44th Assembly District race.

When asked Tuesday about newly discovered comments on social media, Jacob Dorsey told The Gazette he was ending his campaign against Rep. Deb Kolste, D-Janesville.

Dorsey's name, however, will remain on the ballot for the Nov. 4 election.

Last week, the 19-year-old Dorsey apologized for a comment about gays he admitted was “hurtful" and had posted in December on Twitter.

Tuesday, he acknowledged other inappropriate posts to social media sites.

In comments made on various YouTube videos, Dorsey used derogatory terms in reference to blacks and homosexuals.

He also used a vulgarity as a verb ahead of Abraham Lincoln, the nation's first Republican president.

His YouTube comments were made between a year and two years ago, well before he entered the Assembly race in May.

Dorsey said Tuesday he regrets the comments made by a child he no longer considers himself to be.

“I have decided to withdraw from the race due to insensitive remarks that have surfaced from years past,” Dorsey said in a statement to The Gazette. “This race has been extremely hard on my family and myself.”
Keep in mind that the Teapublicans weren't upset by what Dorsey said. They are just upset that he got caught saying it.

It's much like the way they were OK with Bill Kramer sexually assaulting and harassing women until it became public knowledge.

How can I say that the Teapublicans weren't upset by Dorsey or Kramer?  Easy. Just look at their own behaviors.

The fact that the Teapublicans look at the LGBT community as second class citizens is evident by the way they are fighting tooth and nail to keep their ban on same-sex marriages.  Trying to deny a whole group of people the same rights that you enjoy is just plain hateful.

Racism is prevalent in Fitzwalkerstan, as shown by the Jim Crow Laws, the plantation economic policies and the racist comments that keep coming from that group, ranging from Jason Thompson, son of TOMMY!! to Scott Walker's campaign to the race baiting from squawk radio.

Likewise, these teahadists also show their sexism and misogyny with their perpetuation of the rape culture, sexist comments and laws weakening women's rights and equal pay.

So Dorsey's crime obviously wasn't being a homophobic, racist jerk.  That's just par for the course for the WISGOP.

Dorsey's crime was violating the first rule of the GOP Club - he openly spoke about his racism and bigotry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sanctity Of Live Vs Quality Of Life

Death is never an easy topic for people to discuss, but it is a necessary discussion to have for one's own peace of mind and for the sake of the loved ones one will leave behind.  Having had to make the decisions regarding funerals for loved ones, it was a lot easier to do knowing what they wanted.

Even has difficult as funeral arrangements are for people to discuss, the manner of one's death is
exponentially more difficult.

Fifteen years ago, when my mother was dying from cancer, my father and I had to demand that the doctor give my mother something to spare her from the immense pain she was suffering.  The doctor said that he could order a morphine drip, but was reluctant because it would shorten her life by a few days.  My dad said that she wasn't living anymore but was just existing in a state of misery.  Fortunately, the doctor relented and let her life end in comfort.

Six years later, when my grandfather was nearing the end, I had to fight the hospital social worker to have him placed in hospice so that he could be free from pain and allowed to go with dignity.  It was the hardest thing that I ever did - fighting for a man I loved so dearly to be allowed to die with dignity.  Although I still feel self doubt and guilt, I know I would do it again if I had to.

I have often written about my belief that quality of life trumps any argument about the sanctity of life, especially when it's not a question of whether one was going to die, but how they were going to die.

The Institute of Medicine has just issued a report that confirms that I am not alone in feeling this way:
Though people repeatedly stress a desire to die at home, free from pain, the opposite often happens, the Institute of Medicine found in its "Dying in America" report. Most people do not document their wishes on end-of-life care and even those who do face a medical system poorly suited to give them the death they want, the authors found.

The result is breathing and feeding tubes, powerful drugs and other treatment that often fails to extend life and can make the final days more unpleasant. The report blamed a fee-for-service medical system in which "perverse incentives" exist for doctors and hospitals to choose the most aggressive care; inadequate training for those caring for the dying and physicians who default to lifesaving treatment because they worry about liability.

"It's not an intentional thing. It's a systemic problem," said David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general, who co-chaired the committee that issued the report.
This should really be a nonpartisan issue.

A higher quality of life, less expense and control of one's own destiny is something that I think almost everyone would agree are worthy goals.  If we value the ability to choose how we live, we should also value the ability to choose how we die.

Sadly, there is a faction of politicians that are controlled by big money special interests who make a killing - excuse the pun - at keeping people alive, no matter how miserable they are.

It's one more battle in the ongoing war that pits people versus profits.

Freedom for Scotland

Tomorrow is a huge day for the Scottish people. They'll be going to vote on breaking away from the UK and becoming its own independent nation. They've had enough of the incredibly conservative British parliament and they want control Scotland with their own progressive ideals. If the YES side wins, it could have great implications for Northern Ireland and other nations looking for freedom.

Keep up with the news tomorrow.

Freedom of Speech - Teahadist Style

On September 11, the country went through extra precautions all over to make sure no jihadists used that date to strike at the United States again.

They forgot to watch out for the teahadists:
U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson has announced charges against a Kansas City man accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at U.S. Rep Emanuel Cleaver’s (D) congressional office.

Investigators looked over surveillance tapes to identify the suspect who tried to throw incendiary devices at Cleaver’s office  on Thursday.
28-year-old Eric King was identified from those tapes and charged with using a dangerous instrument to oppose, impede, intimidate and interfere with a federal official engaged in the performance of his official duties, according to KMBC.

The incident was captured on surveillance footage early in the morning on Sept. 11th, showing a man getting out two bottles with an ignition source, throwing a hammer at a window and lighting the devices. The suspect attempted to throw the devices but they never made it inside the building.

According to police, King was identified as the suspect after investigating a series of anti-government acts of vandalism in Kansas City.

In addition, King’s Facebook page suggested his intention to send anti-government messages..
Nothing to see here, just the right wing being their usual classy selves.

Hat tip to Anomaly 100.

Quote of the Day - Journal Sentinal Edition



From the Journal Sentinal editorial board that twice endorsed Scott Walker for Governor:

And, of course, there's Act 10. Walker will never budge from his rock-solid support for this law, but he erred by taking such a radical step when a prudent governor would have taken a reasonable step. Act 10 wasn't necessary. It was a particular brand of political overkill designed to make public employee unions less of a factor in state politics. Walker had other options; he didn't have to drop a nuclear bomb on the unions and ignite a polarizing firestorm in the state. Labor costs were a problem, as we've long acknowledged. But other states took less extreme steps and got control of their finances. That Walker chose to do what he did speaks volumes about both his politics and his policy judgment. Act 10 was a mistake.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

STOP Digging.

Quote of the Day - Republican Spokesperson

By Jeff Simpson

The four times married Rush Limbaugh, republican spokes model and staunch Scott Walker supporter has this advice for young men:



"How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?" Limbaugh asked his male listeners. "I'm probably -- let me tell you something, in this modern [world], that is simply, that's not tolerated. People aren't even going to try to understand that one."

"It used to be a cliché, it used to be part of the advice young boys were given," he added.

I wonder if Scott Walker/Rebecca Kleefisch approve of that message?  

I am not saying there is a war on women, but with Limbaugh as part of the party power core, I sure would not want to be a woman at the republican convention.  






Quote Of The Day - Republican Strategy

By Jeff Simpson

Jack Kingston (R- Georgia) lets us in on republican strategy:


“A lot of people would like to stay on the sideline and say, ‘Just bomb the place and tell us about it later.’  It’s an election year. A lot of Democrats don’t know how it would play in their party, and Republicans don’t want to change anything. We like the path we’re on now. We can denounce it if it goes bad, and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him so long.”

Dead soldiers, beheadings, terror attacks, countries in crisis, none of that matters.  What matters most to republicans is republicans winning elections.

I wonder if their "idea guy' came up with this despicable strategy. 

It really is time to vote these guys out of office

Walkergate: Abele Continues To Stonewall

For months, I have expressed my concern about the way the Walkergate documents and emails have been handled by Chris Abele.

Abele has been doing everything to stall the release of these emails and has done everything he could to prevent them from being released in their entirety - even to the point of suggesting that Scott Walker go through them first to take out what he didn't want released.

Due to the long and unnecessary delay, I asked people to help put pressure on Boss Abele to finally release the documents.

People that tried to call Abele's office, but told me that they couldn't even get anyone live to speak to and that Abele's office never returned their calls.

One persistent gentleman finally got through to a real person, only to be passed off to Corporation Counsel.  As insult to injury, they didn't even give the man the right phone number.  When the man finally got through to Abele's corp counsel, they got snippy with him and told him that the documents would be released when they would be released.

The gentleman told me that he had gotten the feeling that Abele and Walker were in cahoots about this whole thing.

Finally, after much delay, Abele hired a private law firm to go through the documents, redacting who knows what from them before releasing them.  The first batch of documents were released in August.  The second batch, which contained emails was released last week.

It just so happens that I did get a copy of the second batch of emails.

The first thing I noticed on my preliminary look through them is that this batch is nowhere near being all of the emails.  It's not even close to being most of them.  Almost none of the emails that were released during the court proceedings were present in this release.

And as I feared, some of the emails are heavily redacted, like this one:


Not very helpful, is it?

Abele said that he wanted the private law firm to go through the emails and other documents to remove any personal information, but this is ridiculous.  Furthermore, that story is bogus since there are other emails that share clients' names, diagnoses and other identifying information in violation of federal HIPAA (privacy act) laws.

Now, that's not to say that there wasn't some good things in this batch of emails, which I will be sharing as I get time.

But the unnecessary delays and redactions, not to mention the many, many missing ones makes me question even more strongly at what kind of game Abele is playing and who he is trying to protect by not being forthcoming with these documents, which are public property.

Abele, with his antics, is making the late Richard Nixon look like the king of transparency.

You can help keep the pressure on Abele to do the right thing and release the Walkergate emails and documents - all of them and intact - by calling him at 414-278-4211 or email him at countyexec@milwaukeecountywi.gov and tell him to release the documents in their entirety and to do so immediately.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pee In A Cup - Part 1!

Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker came out with his bold re-election plan recently and one of the more controversial items came out that Mr. Walker wants to drug test all people getting public assistance(well all poor and minority people anyway). 

The fact that the courts have ruled such a policy unconstitutional does not deter Scott Walker, since Mr. Walker spends money like water when it comes to legal fees.   

I am on board with this policy and since it is a few months to being enacted, I want to help Mr. Walker get a head start.   I will be running a series of people who should be first in line to pee in the cup.

I would say Scott Walker, but we know that the rules do not apply to him and that question has been asked and ignored in Florida.  


So instead of wasting our time, expecting Scott Walker to practice what he preaches, let us move on.  

My first nomination for the inaugural cup Peer is Richard Uihlein Uihlein who owns Uline corporation has received over $6,000,000 in taxpayer dollars.   The hundreds of thousands of dollars Mr. Uihlein was giving to republican politicians(which is enough to warrant the drug test), might have been depleting his coffers so he needed the taxpayers to refill them!   

Mr. Uihlein, here is your cup!  







   

PS:  Feel free to leave your nominations for people who need to pee in the cup in the comments below. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I Will Vote For Walker In November!

Angela Walker, that is.

And from my email comes this fabulous news:
ANGELA N. WALKER TAKES ON DAVID CLARKE FOR MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF

“Sheriff Clarke is an overseer for the ‘New Jim Crow.’ We’re tired of plantation politics.”

On November 4th, 2014, Angela Nicole Walker will take on Sheriff David Clarke for the seat of Milwaukee County Sheriff. Angela is running as an independent socialist and advocates addressing the root causes of crime and violence to build a sustainable strategy for keeping all of Milwaukee County’s streets safe.

Born and raised in inner-city Milwaukee, Angela has a background in transit and social justice advocacy. She says that a fresh perspective is what's needed to make our city safe. "We know that mass incarceration is the “New Jim Crow” and Sheriff Clarke’s tactics have cemented Milwaukee’s place in that system. Wisconsin is the worst place in the country to raise a black child and leads the nation in incarcerating brown and black people. I believe that it's time to rethink criminal justice. It's time we look at the impact poverty and harsh punitive measure have on crime rates, and advocate for policy changes that will increase opportunity for everyone in our community."

Angela is running on a platform of economic and social justice, sound policy advocacy, and genuine cooperation within and between the neighborhoods of Milwaukee County. As Sheriff, Angela plans to:

  • Advocate for a living wage, work with community partners to strengthen transit and job opportunities, and push for the full funding of public schools.
  • Seek to expand alternatives to incarceration, such as treatment alternatives and restorative justice measures.
  • Advocate for the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, for its benefits to our local tax base and for its impact on mass incarceration rates in Wisconsin.
  • Invoke the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Detainer Ordinance passed in 2012 that allows the Sherriff's Office to refrain from ICE sweeps that devastate neighborhoods and separate families.
  • Take an active stance against human trafficking in all forms.
  • Advocate for the restoration of voting rights for people who have been incarcerated, including those newly released from prison.
  • Work to keep people in their homes by limiting manpower to banks for foreclosures.
  • Advocate for the public ownership of vacant public buildings and for their repurposing to address the issues of homelessness and poverty in Milwaukee.

Angela Walker will hold a campaign kick-off press conference on Thursday September 18th, 2014 at 3:00 PM at the Wells Street entrance in front of the Milwaukee Court House.

Shopko Receives A WEDC Endorsement

By Jeff Simpson

Shopko has been a Wisconsin fixture since 1962:

 Shopko (formerly ShopKo until May 2007) is a chain of retail stores based in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, near Green Bay. Shopko was founded in 1962 by James Ruben, and its first store opened in Green Bay. From 1991 to 2005, the company was publicly held, with stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SKO. In December 2005, the company was acquired by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners and reverted to private ownership. In 1999, Shopko purchased Pamida, a regional discount chain that operated mainly in smaller communities of 3,000 to 8,000 people. Shopko operated Pamida as a separate division until 2007, when Pamida was separated from Shopko and reestablished as a separate company. In 2012, Shopko and Pamida merged into one company. Shortly after, most Pamida stores were rebranded as Shopko Hometown.

Shopko, has over 300 stores in 20 states and employes 17,500 people.  That is unless the Spokesperson for Scott Walker's signature jobs agency, WEDC has anything to say about it!  










WEDC even handed Shopko $2,000,000 of our tax dollars to expand their corporate headquarters.  Apparently WEDC, was just buying election good will since they obviously do not believe in Shopko as a company.   I guess in Fitzwalkersta, $2 Million taxpayer dollars is well worth it to buy a few votes.

 Also no one should be surprised that righty blogger Ed Willing jumped on the rip on Wisconsin companies bandwagon(I feel for Caledonia businesses).  

Maybe Scott Walker and his team need a lesson on what "Open for Business" really means! 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Boss Abele Declares Today Anti-Labor Day

Palermo's Pizza has repeatedly proven themselves to be a very poor corporate citizen in Milwaukee County.

In recent history, they have violated national labor laws time and time again, by threatening and retaliating against employees who were trying to unionize.

Palermo's Pizza also heavily fined by OSHA for having unsafe work conditions in which not only were workers seriously injured but Palermo's tried to cover up the injuries.

It wasn't only the workers that Palermo's endangered with their negligence but the entire community.  OSHA also cited Palermo's for unsafe storage of ammonia.  This could have led to an explosion like the one that happened at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas in 2013.  When one thinks of the fact that Palermo's is a mile away from Miller Park, an explosion could have claimed tens of thousands of lives.

On top of their anti-worker attitude and their reckless endangerment of the community, they were also ripping off taxpayers by taking WEDC money - as well as local and federal subsidies - to create jobs.  However, there is no evidence that they actually created any jobs.

Despite all of this, Milwaukee County's Boss Abele sided with the owners of Palermo's, who just happen to be his personal friends and fellow plutocrats, telling workers that they should be grateful for their underpaid jobs and unsafe work conditions because their bosses are rich like him.

Adding to his anti-labor stance, Abele has now declared today to be Anti-Labor Day, er, I mean Palermo's Pizza Day:


Not only is Abele abusing the powers of his office to schmooze up a good friend, but he is also throwing yet another tantrum after having it made explicitly clear to him that he was not going to be allowed to join President Obama at Laborfest 2014.

And just think - Abele has aspirations to run for the US Senate in 2016, despite the extremely poor showing of the Abele Party earlier this year.  I'm sure this strong anti-worker stance will help that cause a lot.

Walker Doesn't Need No Education!

By Jeff Simpson

“Education’s Purpose is to Replace an Empty Mind with an Open One." – Malcolm Forbes


This story from WKOW:

MADISON (WKOW) -- It has been well publicized that Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) never graduated from college, but 27 News has now learned three of his top executives also lack a college degree.

At least one of those appointees was recently called out by a subordinate for being unqualified.

32 year-old Ryan Murray is a former campaign and office staffer for Governor Walker, who became Chief Operating Officer at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in 2012, despite having no college degree and no real experience in economic development.

Former State Senator Cathy Stepp now serves as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.  Like Murray, she has no real background of expertise in the area of regulation her agency oversees.

The Secretary of the Department of Administration, former Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, also holds no college degree.

I know, not everyone needs a college degree.  Let's let the walker group explain it:

Regarding Ryan Murray:

 "There are many quality people that span the spectrum from folks from high school graduation to college degrees to technical degrees to post-graduate degrees.  We have people that have the whole spectrum of things," said Gov. Walker.
 See Ryan Murray needs no education, or work experience, he knows things!  Now Cathy Stepp:

 Cathy does not have a college degree," DNR Spokesperson Bill Cosh told 27 News.  "She has a tremendous amount of real world experience which includes management training with McDonald's Corporation, several management positions with various businesses including Stein Optical and Wisconsin Optical, and the experience of running her own businesses."
If management experience at Stein Optical and McDonalds isnt enough to be in charge of the Wisconsin environment, then nothing is.    Now Mike Huebsch:

"Secretary Huebsch, the leadership at DOA, and the Administration's cabinet embody the variety of education, experience and knowledge that exists across Wisconsin," wrote DOA Spokesperson Stephanie Marquis in a statement to 27 News.  "There are thousands of professionals, entrepreneurs, and farmers that may not have gone to college, but they are competent, intelligent and talented.  Our leadership is experienced and educated, whether that's through work experience, professional knowledge or a college degree."

Marquis says Secretary Huebsch left Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma just nine credits short of a degree, because he ran out of money at the time.

I would have never guessed that the guy who testified that the protestors did $7,000,000 wort hof damage to the Capitol would have money problems his whole life.



10. “Education is Simply the Soul of a Society as It Passes from One Generation to Another.” – Gilbert Chesterton


Friday, September 12, 2014

Republican Jacob Dorsey

By Jeff Simpson


You can sum up Jacob in pictures

   

Embedded image permalink



Jacob Dorsey:  Conservative Principles. Fresh Perspectives.

Looks from here that it should read, 

Jacob Dorsey: Right wing extremists principles.  Same old hate.   

I wonder if Joe Fadness, and Rebecca for Real will be calling on Scott Walker or Paul Ryan to denounce such hateful language??    

Also interesting that Mr. Conservative for assembly in WI refers to Utah as his "favorite state".     

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Palin - tology

By Jeff Simpson

A stroll down memory lane here, back a few years,  when the Wisconsin right wing cabal just took over the state. 











Sarah was so popular that Scott Walker was drueling all over her:

  Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is among the Republicans lining up for an endorsement from Sarah Palin, the 2008 vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor.
Walker sought help in his run for governor Friday in a half-hour meeting with Palin after her invitation-only Wisconsin Right to Life event.
Time magazine's Web site first reported on the meeting Wednesday, and Walker spokeswoman Jill Bader confirmed it was accurate.
"Sarah Palin is one of many national political figures we're reaching out to help on the campaign trail to be part of Scott's effort," Bader said.
 What was the appeal of the Sarah Palin to the Wisconsin republicans, specifically Scott Walker?  

We found out this past weekend

 A nice, mellow party, until the Palin’s show up. There’s beer, of course, and maybe other things. Which is all fine, but just about the time when some people might have had one too many, a Track Palin stumbles out of a stretch Hummer, and immediately spots an ex-boyfriend of Willow’s. Track isn’t happy with this guy, the story goes. There’s words, and more. The owner of the house gets involved, and he probably wished he hadn’t. At this point, he’s up against nearly the whole Palin tribe: Palin women screaming. Palin men thumping their chests. Word is that Bristol has a particularly strong right hook, which she employed repeatedly, and it’s something to hear when Sarah screams, “Don’t you know who I am!” And it was particularly wonderful when someone in the crowd screamed back, “This isn’t some damned Hillbilly reality show!” No, it’s what happens when the former First Family of Alaska comes knocking. As people were leaving in a cab, Track was seen on the street, shirtless, flipping people off, with Sarah right behind him, and Todd somewhere in the foreground, tending to his bloody nose.”

Walkergate: Dark Money's Deep Desperation

By now, the gentle reader has probably seen, or at least heard of, the tale told by Stuart Taylor, Jr. regarding the John Doe investigation into Scott Walker's corruption.  The article appeared on Legal Newsline, a propaganda group sponsored by the right wing cabal known as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Taylor's fallacious smear job alleges that the Walkergate investigation and subsequent charges and convictions stem from Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's desire to avenge his wife, a school teacher and union steward, for the emotional strife caused by Walker's Act 10.

For a multitude of reasons, these allegations should be treated with a high level of skepticism, if not outright derision.

The presentation of Taylor's story should cause suspicion even before one gets into the meat of it.

In a highly suspect bit of coincidence, Taylor's story just happens to come out on the same day that the appeal of a ruling by Judge Randolph Randa, ordering the investigation to be stopped, was to be heard. It's almost as if the Dark Money groups behind the lawsuit read their tea bag leaves and saw that the appellate judges weren't going to be very favorable to their stunt and wanted to get out in front of the bad news.

Adding further doubt to Taylor's tale is the fact that his only source is an unnamed, faceless former prosecutor that had supposedly worked for Milwaukee County.  It is curious that this unknown source claims that he is no longer working for Chisholm, yet is still afraid to be identified.  It is also curious that this individual was apparently close enough to Chisholm that he had overheard Chisholm's declaration of revenge but yet obscure enough that no one can figure out who he is.

Even if the gentle reader can give the benefit of the doubt to these curiosities, it is quickly discovered that there are other anomalies that are even harder to explain away.

Taylor correctly states that Walker's former Chief of Staff, the late Tom Nardelli, went to Chisholm's office in 2009 to complain of some missing money from a "county charity."  The charity in question was Operation Freedom, a thinly veiled campaign stunt for Walker, which he was told to take out of his office and handled independently.  As we already know, Walker instead put the money in the hands of his long time friend, Tim Russell, who also was stealing from the fund to pay for lavish vacations and Walker's campaign websites.

But this is where Taylor's story really starts to unravel.

Taylor mewls that the investigation should have stopped when they found the thief, but that Chisholm continued to investigate Walker and his staff.  Taylor accurately relates that Nardelli grilled Chisholm about the continuing investigation, alluding that Walker and company were unaware of the continuing investigation until May 2010.

However, that is a false statement.  The reason for the John Doe was because the investigators found other irregularities stemming from the original complaint.  When they tried to look into these irregularities, Walker started to stonewall them.  And that is what prompted the actual Walkergate investigations to start:
The document appears to cast doubt on some of Walker's claims about his role in launching and cooperating with the investigation.

On May 5, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed a petition with court officials asking if his office could initiate a secret investigation into what happened with $11,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans.

By making it a secret John Doe investigation, Landgraf wrote that prosecutors might get better cooperation from Walker's office, which had been "unwilling or unable" to turn over records and information needed in the investigation. He said he would need to subpoena county records and officials.

"It may be the County Executive's Office is reluctant to provide information to investigators due to a fear of political embarrassment," Landgraf wrote, noting that Walker was then running for governor.
John Chisholm
I would remind the gentle reader that the DA's office did a raid of Walker's county executive office on November 1, 2010 - the day before Walker was elected governor.

I would also remind the gentle reader that Taylor accused Chisholm of conducting the John Doe as revenge for Act 10, which wasn't even introduced until 2011 and allowed to enacted until 2012.

Obviously, whether one wants to say that 2009 or 2010 was the starting date of Walkergate, either is well before Act 10.  Unless Taylor and his mystery former prosecutor are willing to say that Chisholm is a Time Lord and hopped in the Milwaukee County TARDIS to travel two years into the future and saw his wife's anguish and figured out that it was from Act 10, their accusations fall flat.

Come to think about it, that addition would be no harder to believe than the rest of their tale.

But wait! There's more.  There is always more.

Taylor and his unknown source claim that the DA's office was reminiscent of a union hall, festooned with blue fist posters:
The culture in the Milwaukee district attorney’s office was stoutly Democratic, the former prosecutor said, and become more so during Gov. Walker’s battle with the unions. Chisholm “had almost like an anti-Walker cabal of people in his office who were just fanatical about union activities and unionizing. And a lot of them went up and protested. They hung those blue fists on their office walls [to show solidarity with union protestors] … At the same time, if you had some opposing viewpoints that you wished to express, it was absolutely not allowed.”
Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looked into this aspect of the story and found that it had no substance:
Also Wednesday, an attorney with Democratic ties who defended clients caught up in the Doe probe said he saw no evidence of political bias or union support in their dealings with Chisholm and his office.

He said he didn't observe signs with a blue fist, a pro-union symbol that Legal Newswire said was displayed by some workers in the office.

Legal Newsline quoted the former Chisholm subordinate as saying that the district attorney "had almost like an anti-Walker cabal of people in his office who...hung those blue fists on their office walls (to show solidarity with union protesters)."

Leib, Chisholm's attorney, did not respond to a question about the signs.

Defense attorney Mike Maistelman said he never observed any union insignia in visits to the DA's offices, though he cautioned that he might have missed them.

Maistelman, a Democrat, represented a former deputy chief of staff to Walker as Milwaukee County executive during the first John Doe probe.

"I never saw any blue fists but I saw a lot of red faces," said Maistelman, referring to his back and forth with prosecutors.
Given the all of the story's inconsistencies, conjectures and fallacies, it's hard to give it any credence.

It smacks more of an act of political desperation.  Considering that Walker is trailing in just about every poll, is receiving bad economic and/or job creation news on what seems like a daily basis and could very well face the continuation of the Walkergate investigation, it is very believable that Walker and his supporters are scared to death.

This story appears to have all the reliability of Kyle Wood's accusations against US Representative Mark Pocan's partner.

And just as in the Wood's allegations, it's particularly disgusting that they have to drag Chisholm's wife into it.   Then again, if they had any sort of decency, there wouldn't have even been a need for the investigation in the first place.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Deficits and Accountability, My Morning With Scott Walker

Yesterday morning I was invited by our School Board President to attend a meeting of Southeastern Wisconsin School Alliance.  This was a session she encouraged me to attend as part of my role as our board's legislative liaison.  In that capacity, I work with government officials across the ideological spectrum in order to advocate for the preservation of our public schools through proper funding.  As such, I spearheaded the drafting of a resolution against the voucher program that was passed by our board and sent to our state legislators prior to the passage of the 2013-15 budget.  In the final passage of that bill, the voucher program expansion capped at 500 students statewide.  Though we did not want to see the program expanded, I believe this is much better than what some members of the Committee on Education and on the Joint Finance Committee wanted.  There were other aspects to what was finally passed that were troubling, but I will discuss that later in another article.

Another area where damage was mitigated was the increase in per pupil adjustment/spending.  If you will recall, the original proposal in the state budget put forward by Governor Walker was ZERO.  As in zip, zilch, nada... Democrats in the Legislature and Senate stood strong on this issue and proposed an increase of $250 per pupil.  This amount was in line with what that average increase was in years prior to 2011 and was relative to CPI.  In 2011, Walker's first budget,  that amount per pupil was actually cut by -$528.81 per pupil,  followed by an anemic $50 increase in 2012.   This was just one level of the cuts levied by Walker's first budget, which was the largest reduction to public education in our state's history and the largest in the nation at the time.   So basically he made a huge draconian cut one year which was followed by an minor increase the next and everyone should now be grateful because it wasn't zero or even negative!  Oh thank you Mayor Quimby.  The  $250 level proposed by the Democrats would not have gotten our public education funding back to where it was over the last decade, but would have been a reasonable start to put the system back on sound footing.  In the end, after much negotiation and pressure from education groups across the state, the Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee, led by Jon Richards, were able to get $75 adjustment for 2013-14 and $150 each year thereafter.  This increase helped to offset property tax increases that had occurred across the state in recent years.  In Greenfield we were able to reduce property taxes by an average of 7.39%.  Remember to thank Rep. Richards for this the next time you see him.

This all leads me to yesterday's meeting and why I was eager to attend.  The program led off with a presentation by representatives from the Department of Public Instruction on a variety of subject including overviews of General Equalization Aid, Categorical Aid, and issues related to the way the state performs student counts.  All in all it was a very informative program that was well received by the 40 or so public school administrators and board members in the room.  

The second part of the program, the reason our Board President thought to invite me, was a Q&A session with Governor Scott Walker.  I know what you're thinking, you really wanted to attend such a session? Just let me state, I was willing to do this so you don't have to.  Also, I found it an intriguing opportunity most voters wouldn't get to partake in.  This wasn't a campaign event or a speech, this was a very select group of public officials on their ground, not his.  

The session began with some comments by the Governor about his connection to public education.  He retold the story about his own children and looking at Marquette University High School and Wauwatosa East and deciding Tosa East was the best option for them.  He emphasized this story by stating, "Our choice is public schools."  Let that bit of irony sink in.  If that were truly the case, why has he pushed so hard throughout his career in Madison to build up private schools by allowing them to receive public funds at the expense of public schools?  He again stated, "My goal is not one system or the other, my choice is public schools."  Why has he not acted forcefully to ensure accountability in the voucher program if that is the case?  He responded by stating "I absolutely believe in accountability, not only for tax payers and the public but for parents."  and that he will be supporting, "a school accountability measure next year to make schools receiving public funds accountable for how they use those funds."  When asked about his proposal to further expand the voucher system, he again stated, "there must be accountability."  and added that, "measurements must add value, not just paperwork."  and that, "Accountability shouldn't be measured by a focus on testing."  Think about that for a moment.  Now I am certainly not a testing advocate by any means, but testing does provide data points where certain achievements and comprehension can be measured and compared.  If public schools have mandates for testing and those tests are used to formulate the success or failure of those schools based on the state report cards each district receives, why would accountability mean voucher schools are exempt from that?  As for the rest, based on his past lack of support, I will file his responses in the "I'll believe it when I see it" file.

The discussion then turned to school funding and legislative policies.  When asked, "What is your position regarding a sustainable model for funding public education in Wisconsin?"  He responded by stating that he, "would like to change the aid formula to address the ways in which aid is affected by capital improvements and referenda."  Finally something I would like to see.  Currently, if you make large capital expenditures from Fund 10 (General Fund/Fund Balance), it negatively affects your state aid the following year.  There are ways to reduce the hit in state aid, such as what we passed in our district to expand our technology capabilities.  We set aside $3.5 Million in Fund 10 to be used over the course of 4 years.  This will help us absorb the negative impact.  I always found it odd that districts that underspend their budget were rewarded with more aid the following year, but then take a hit when they spend the money they saved.  Vigilance on behalf of the tax payers in this case ends up harming them with increased property taxes later.  It is my belief that a smart school board should be saving money over time to offset the need to go to referendum for major upgrades in their district.  Tweaking the way that formula works needs to be done and should be managed in a way that provides balance so districts have ways to provide the next level of education in a responsible manner.  I would be surprised if the Governor actually proposes something regarding this, but if he does and does it in a reasonable fashion, it would be the first initiative he has pushed that I would support.

Next the Governor was asked to explain his vision for public education in Wisconsin.  He first went to the standard, "We have to make education relevant." and discussed the need for, "an aggressive push to change the perception of tech and career colleges."  Which tied into a statement about the need to, "target aid to areas of need."  OK, I don't disagree.  He then brought up Act 10 stating that, "Act 10 provides more control at the local level but he would like to see even more flexibility."  If instability among staff equates to more control, that's a new one on me.  We continue to see districts across the state that are dealing with teacher resignations that are becoming harder to fill because of less people seeking education degrees.  Districts are beginning to engage in bidding wars for teachers with specialty degrees.  He further stated that Act 10, "allowed districts to focus on curriculum instead of grievances."  Interesting.  I don't know what the central office in his district looked like when he was going to school, but we have a Director of Human Resources and two Directors of Curriculum and Instruction.  One deals with grievances, the other handles curriculum.  It's pretty clear and basic.  If that is his reason for stripping away workers rights, I'd suggest he think of a better excuse than that.  He did let slip his contempt for unions with the statement, "unions didn't care about newer membership."  when discussing eliminating tenure.  Hmmm...not any union I ever experienced.  

Finally it came time for my question.  First I need to explain that I am a firm believer in the income tax over the property tax.  I believe the property tax to be regressive and disproportionately affects lower income home owners.  At the same time, the current state of our income tax in Wisconsin is also regressive in that higher incomes are taxed too low while middle and low incomes are taxed too high.  Because of loop holes in the tax code many high income individuals pay very little in taxes when compared to middle and low income individuals.  My other objection comes from the fact that at one time the state provided 2/3 of the funding to local districts.  That has not been the case for many years and as a result property taxes sky rocketed over the last decade and a half.  So I began by stating my concern on the impact of reduced aid to districts as it has a negative effect on the property tax levy.  I asked, "In light of the recent report from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau of a projected $1.8 billion structural deficit in the next budget cycle, what is your plan to maintain school aid from the state and protect property tax payers?"  It might have been too much to ask for a real answer on this question as well.  He began by expounding on the great work that the LFB does.  He then went on to criticize their numbers, stating that the LFB do not project revenue growth in their assessment and that his office projects a balanced budget.  Of course, the budget has to be balance by law.  The question was, in not so many words, how do you intend to get there?  He continued by saying that he believes revenues will increase.  OK?  So you're wishing for a good quarter to fix the problem?  Or perhaps some fairy dust?  He then went on to state that he wishes to see changes to how school aid is calculated.  Once again sir, not the question.  Unfortunately the way the program was set up, there were no follow up questions and his denial of the numbers in the Bureau's report was left hanging in the air.  The woman sitting next to me leaned over and said, "What does he mean they don't project revenues?  That's exactly what they do."  I found out she was a former IRS employee and really followed the budget numbers.  

In conclusion, our union men and women best be ready for the next attack, it's coming, and it will be swift.  He is evading answering questions honestly even when there are no cameras and many in the audience were probably friendly to his philosophy.  Most importantly, if you care about having leadership in this state that really understands the needs of providing the best education for our children so that they have every opportunity to succeed, get out there and knock on doors, make calls, and vote for Mary Burke.



Scott Walker Continues To Flout the Law

From Mark Pocan:


Madison, WI — On Friday, the Pocan campaign for Congress put a request into the Wisconsin Department of Administration for Governor Scott Walker’s air travel from June 4 to September 5, following a previous request for the balance of his time as Governor.  Campaign staff personally delivered the request at approximately 10 a.m. Friday, September 5 and confirmation email was sent at 10:36 a.m. CST from the Walker administration.
At 1:33 p.m. EST/12:33 p.m. CST that same day, an allegedly independent, disreputable right-wing organization, Media Trackers, sent Representative Mark Pocan’s official office in Washington a request for his official travel schedule, through September 1.  That request came just hours after the Pocan campaign made the request of Governor Walker’s office.
“You’d think that a Governor who’s flirting with his second John Doe investigation for his direct complicity with outside groups in an illegal scheme to circumvent campaign finance laws would be a bit less tone deaf to continuing to flirt with outside groups so flagrantly,” said Pocan. “I guess Governor Walker thinks his quest for the Presidency holds no bounds, and that’s pretty much what we’ve seen as we go through his travel records.”
Representative Pocan’s Congressional office immediately complied with the request, compared to Scott Walker’s seventy-day lag on the first open records request.
“Politicians like Scott Walker will do anything and say anything to get ahead, even to the degree of trashing our campaign finance laws and even common sense,” Pocan said. “It’s just too bad for the people of Wisconsin that Scott Walker appears to simply be using us on his real quest, for the White House.”
The Pocan campaign will be wrapping up its investigation of the travel records from Scott Walker in the next few weeks. There is considerable new information about Governor Walker’s limitless quest for the White House and travel that will come out from the new information.

Wow Scott Walker sends Mediatrackers to do his dirty work, who knew? 

The Rovian Gambit

By Jeff Simpson

We all remember that during one of the many #walkerdoc drops, we saw an email where Scott Walker was kissing up to Karl Rove.  

We know through the eight years of Karl Rove, being on the center stage as one of the power structure of the Bush administration, would pull out any and all stops to win! 

When The Bush team was trying to sell us that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction,  Ambassador Joe Wilson, who was sent on a mission to see if they actually did have WMD's(they didn't), came out publicly telling America that Bush was lying.    Instead of making their case against Ambassador Wilson, Karl Rove engineered an attack against Wilson's wife - Valerie PlamePlame was an undercover CIA agent at the time, but that did not stop Rove and crew from attacking her



Fast forward to Wisconsin 2014, Scott Walker is dropping in the polls like the temperature in November.  The Scott Walker for Governor campaign did a statewide survey of women head of households, on Monday night.

They obviously did not like the results, because the next day, in a classic example of tone deaf, they used an anonymous source, quoting an anonymous source attacking DA John Chisholm's wife

Anything to win. 

Clearly Rovian, blatantly cowardly yet right in the right wing extremists(like Charely Sykes) wheelhouse of low down. dirty, disgusting tactics.  

Do not believe it, do not listen to it, do not click on their disgusting links.   Understand its pure desperation and anyone in the "media" trying to push this story is not a serious person.  


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dr. Carson's Waukesha Resume

By Jeff Simpson

 Dr. Ben Carson is the latest media darling of the right. A minority has bad things to say about the left, especially President Obama and you become an instant superstar.

How much of a superstar? Jim Wigderson actually wants him to vote! So much of a superstar that they even get invited to speak in Waukesha by the MacIver Institute. So much of a superstar that Wiggy took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to gush over him.

Probably to the disappointment for many of his new fans, there is no announcement about running for public office planned for Thursday night. "People are always going to continue to ask me if I am running for political office, and I going to continue to say that's not my intention but I'll leave that in the hands of God."

Carson will be speaking to a large and enthusiastic audience Thursday night. His messages of free market solutions to our country's problems and reducing the size of government will probably touch a chord with many in the audience. We'll see if the expected enthusiastic response speeds up God's plan for Carson.
 America loves Hero worship.  Especially when the hero is being led by God Himself.  

Who knew though that God would defend Ray Rice and ignore Godwin's Law.  

Let’s not all jump on the bandwagon of demonizing this guy. He obviously has some real problems.
  And his wife obviously knows that, because she subsequently married him. So they both need some help. And rather than jumping on a punitive bandwagon, let’s see if we can get some help for these people.

 -----------------------

In an interview with Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth today, Ben Carson said that if people want to know the truth about President Obama, they should simply “read ‘Mein Kampf’ and read the works of Vladimir Lenin.” “Mein Kampf,” of course, was written by Adolf Hitler and is filled with anti-Communist diatribes.

Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate who is obsessed with the conspiracy-theory-laden book “The Naked Communist,” strongly hinted in the interview that he believes Obama is a communist.

In an interview with Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth today, Ben Carson said that if people want to know the truth about President Obama, they should simply “read ‘Mein Kampf’ and read the works of Vladimir Lenin.” “Mein Kampf,” of course, was written by Adolf Hitler and is filled with anti-Communist diatribes.
Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate who is obsessed with the conspiracy-theory-laden book “The Naked Communist,” strongly hinted in the interview that he believes Obama is a communist.
- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ben-carson-know-obama-read-mein-kampf#sthash.ejdo0vPr.dpuf
In an interview with Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth today, Ben Carson said that if people want to know the truth about President Obama, they should simply “read ‘Mein Kampf’ and read the works of Vladimir Lenin.” “Mein Kampf,” of course, was written by Adolf Hitler and is filled with anti-Communist diatribes.
Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate who is obsessed with the conspiracy-theory-laden book “The Naked Communist,” strongly hinted in the interview that he believes Obama is a communist.
- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ben-carson-know-obama-read-mein-kampf#sthash.ejdo0vPr.dpuf
In an interview with Newsmax host J.D. Hayworth today, Ben Carson said that if people want to know the truth about President Obama, they should simply “read ‘Mein Kampf’ and read the works of Vladimir Lenin.” “Mein Kampf,” of course, was written by Adolf Hitler and is filled with anti-Communist diatribes.
Carson, a likely Republican presidential candidate who is obsessed with the conspiracy-theory-laden book “The Naked Communist,” strongly hinted in the interview that he believes Obama is a communist.
- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ben-carson-know-obama-read-mein-kampf#sthash.ejdo0vPr.dpuf
 Let's see, hatred of President Obama, likes Hitler references, defends people who beat women, definitely republican presidential contender.  All he needs to do now, is come out strong against gay marriage and Waukesha will give him the keys to the city!