Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Ellis Incident Revisited

On April 9, 2014, soon to be former State Senator Mike Ellis was in a bar, full of liquid courage, and was shown making  some rather bold statements.  One of Ellis' statements included pointing out the truism that Scott Walker worked only for Scott Walker.

Little did Ellis know at the time of his spouting off that he was being secretly videotaped.

By far, the most renowned of Ellis' comments that fateful night involved illegal activities, if they were true:
Mike Ellis
"I am putting together my own super PAC. I have a $400,000 committee and Judi Rhodes will, I am raising the money, she will manufacture the crap," said Ellis in the video.

Ellis was talking about forming a Super PAC to attack his Democratic opponent in the 19th Senate District, Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton).

It is against the law in Wisconsin for a candidate to coordinate with a PAC or any outside groups.
The woman that Ellis says "will manufacture the crap" is Judith Rhodes Engels, who has a long history as a WISGOP fundraiser and operative dating all the way back to the original caucus scandal and has been named more than once in the Walkergate investigation.

Given her background, Rhodes Engels would be well aware that any such activity as Ellis was describing would be highly illegal.  Rhodes Engels was quick to try to distance herself from Ellis after the video went public:
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.
The Ellis Incident raised many questions, the largest of which is could it be true that Rhodes Engels was again breaking the law by setting up these super PACs for Wisconsin Republicans.

Ellis made two statements the night he was unknowingly videotaped that could help us find an answer to that question.

First, he said that he had donors that would give money to the super PAC, specifically naming Stuart Mills of  Mills Fleet Farm as one of those donors.  Secondly, as mentioned above, he named Rhodes Engels as the go to person to get the dirty work done.

As to the first statement, Ellis' campaign finance report (pdf form available here) shows that on March 3, 2014, Mills gave $1,000 to Ellis' campaign, the maximum amount allowed by law for a State Senate campaign. Furthermore, Mills is not the only one that gave the maximum to Ellis.  These types of donors are golden to politicians and these types of relationships are not taken lightly.

It also shows that these donors have the potential to be exactly the types of donors Ellis spoke about as giving to his super PAC.

(It should be noted that it appears that the last serious fundraising happened on April 7, two days before the video.

As for the comments regarding Rhodes Engels, Ellis' campaign finance report shows that he made five payments to Cross Rhodes, the agency that Rhodes Engels had set up.

Ellis paid Cross Rhodes $500 each time on January 17, February 12 and March 14, 2014.  Each payment was marked as solicitation expense, meaning that he was paying her for her fundraising acumen.

On April 18, nine days after the video came out, Ellis paid Cross Rhodes another $322.35 for mailing expenses.

So far, nothing too exceptional.  Ah, but there is more.  There is always more.

Judith Rhodes Engels with another favored
client, State Senator Scott Fitzgerald
On May 2, 2014, nearly a full month after the video came out and Rhodes Engels quit working for Ellis, he paid her a whopping $8,509.10 for "consulting fees."

Holy broken gavels, Batman!

Now, that payment could cover a lot of things, but it stands out by the sheer size of it, especially when compared to the $500 monthly payments leading up to that point.  The amount of that pay out makes it appear that Rhodes Engels was doing a helluva lot more than just fundraising and sending out mailers for Ellis.

Could it be that Ellis was telling the truth about Rhodes Engels setting up super PACs?  His campaign finance report doesn't prove that but it sure doesn't eliminate that possibility.

Wouldn't it be interesting to see who else is paying Cross Rhodes and exactly what they are paying for?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Only In Wisconsin



BY Jeff Simpson


ONLY in Wisconsin could the #morefreedom #moreliberty #lessgovernment Republican party of Wisconsin, advocate for people to be able to bring cameras into polling places and video people as they vote. 


Wisconsin's election board rejected the request of Republican lawmakers on Monday and decided to keep in place a ban on using cameras at polling stations after the NAACP and others raised concerns about voter intimidation.
The Government Accountability Board, on a 4-2 vote, went along with other changes affecting election observers — including requiring them to show photo identification at the polls — and sent the proposed rule to the Legislature.
Republicans in control could choose to rewrite the rule, including allowing cameras, but it won't be done in time for the Aug. 12 primary or the Nov. 4 general election barring a special legislative session.
Republican co-chairs of the state Senate and Assembly elections committees had requested the changes, including allowing cameras. Messages left with those lawmakers — Sen. Mary Lazich of New Berlin, and Rep. Kathy Bernier of Lake Hallie — were not immediately returned.
At least cooler heads prevailed for the moment.  It is a sign of things to come though if we do not turn out and vote in November!   

Joe Leibham

By Jeff Simpson

From Joe Leibhams twitter @joeliebham

Will you stand with me in my fight to restore common sense & fiscal responsibility in Washington?

From Joe Leibhams mouth:


State Sen. Joe Leibham (R) said that if Obama lied about how much he knew about the IRS scandal, that would be “grounds for impeachment.”

“His presidency is a scandal,” Leibham said. “He has destroyed America from the great capitalistic country it used to be.

 I have not even had my coffee yet and Obama destroyed America?  Who knew?  And Liebham is supposed to be the voice of reason?   I wonder if Joe Fadness and Reince Preibus feel the same? 

Walkergate: Hey Doe, Whaddya Know?

As much as Scott Walker would wish that John Doe would just dry up and blow away, the news keeps popping every few days, making sure it stays fresh in everyone's memory as we inch closer to November.  Without further delay, lets look at the happenings of recent days.

Helluva Lotta Cooperation!

The most recent story, and one of the bigger ones, is that Walker's recently released campaign finance another $320,000 for legal defense cooperation:
reports show that he paid out
Gov. Scott Walker funneled more than $320,000 from his campaign account to defense attorneys over the last six months as he and his allies fought a secret probe into fundraising and spending during the 2012 recall election.

[...]

Walker's report showed his political committee sent nearly $213,000 to Sidley Austin, a large Chicago law firm where defense attorney John Gallo is a partner; more than $83,000 to the Mequon-based Biskupic & Jacobs law firm; and $25,000 to Milwaukee defense lawyer Michael Steinle.

All the expenses were labeled "legal fees — compliance/administrative."

They come after Walker's campaign paid Biskupic & Jacobs $86,000 in the second half of 2013. The firm is run by former U.S. Attorneys Steven Biskupic and Michelle Jacobs.

The latest legal expenses come on top of almost $650,000 that Walker's campaign paid to attorneys during an earlier John Doe investigation into his aides and associates during his time as Milwaukee County executive. That brings the total the governor has had to spend on John Doe investigations to nearly $1 million.
That puts Walker well over the $1 million mark in legal cooperation.  That's a lot of money for someone that keeps claiming he has done nothing wrong.  One would think that his campaign would be squeaky clean by now with all that cooperation and compliance.  Apparently, that's not the case, since Walker has been so reluctant to talk about any of this.

I just wonder what Biskupic is going to call his new yacht...the Georgia Thompson?

Delaying The Inevitable Even More

In another front of the John Doe saga, two unnamed intervenors have been trying to do whatever they can to delay the release of more documents stemming from the investigation and the myriad of lawsuits.

Federal Judge Rudolph Randa has granted their request, giving them three more weeks to try to block the release of what could be up to 3,000 pages.

I also note that the propagandists like Charlie Sykes have stopped gloating about the federal lawsuit.  I guess they are finally figuring out that they're not so smart after all now that they are in danger of exposing themselves.

Here Comes the GAB

In news related to the federal lawsuit that the unnamed intervenors are trying to delay, the Wisconsin Club for Growth has asked the political activist Randa to add the Government Accountability Board to their lawsuit.

Like the prosecutors have done, GAB has taken the bull by the horns and have filed a petition with the federal appellate court asking to be added to the proceedings there.  Their reasoning is that they should be allowed to explain that they agree with the prosecutors on what is illegal campaigning.

It should be noted that despite the right's false cries that this is a partisan witch hunt, all of the GAB members are Republicans.

Original Doe Records

Another thing that is making Walker reach for the Maalox is that the first batch of documents from the original Walkergate investigation is due to be released in August.  The release comes after repeated resistance by Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele to do his job in getting the documents.

The amount of material is not nearly as much as Abele led us to believe.  What is disconcerting is that Abele is paying $85,000 to a private law firm to go through the papers and redact information.  Based on previous statements by Abele - including his desire for Walker to go through the documents to approve what is released - there should be concern that the documents being released are all there are and whether Abele is holding some important information back in an effort to conceal something that he or his allies might not want to be public knowledge.

But If It Wasn't Illegal...

Walker and his apologists have all but admitted that his campaign was working hand in hand with these dark money special interest groups.  Their argument has boiled down to the fact that they don't believe that what they were doing (and continue to do today) was illegal.  However, they were fully aware of what the state rules said and what the GAB considered to be the law for years.

If Walker and his cohorts in crime felt that the law was wrong or the interpretation was wrong, they could have easily filed a lawsuit challenging them.  Not only did they not challenge them in a court of law, they also took the exceptional and egregious steps of trying to change the law so that they could legally do what they had been doing all along.

In other words, they were trying to close the legislative barn door after the horses had run out.

While Walker's high priced attorneys might be able to keep him out of jail for now due to technicalities that doesn't mean that the people are going to buy his cockamamie obfuscations.

It's time for Walker to come clean and give the people some straight forward and honest answers.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wild Bill's Wild Bills

As the gentle reader would recall, Waukesha County and Teapublican poster boy, Bill Kramer, finally had his wild ways catch up to him when he was charged with sexually harassing and groping a woman.

There was so much backlash about this that the Teapublicans tried to shove him back under the rock that he had crawled out from.  He was laying so low that my Brother in Blogging, Jeff Simpson, was  looking high and low for him.

Well, Kramer has finally been found!  He was busy cutting checks.  No, not to his fellow Teapublicans, but to his defense attorney.

One problem though...he was paying his attorney with his campaign fund:
The campaign of embattled state Rep. Bill Kramer has paid $10,000 to defend him against sexual assault charges, raising questions about whether the payments violate state campaign law.

[...]


State law allows politicians to use campaign funds for their legal defense, but only against allegations that they had broken election or campaign finance laws.

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said that sexual assault charges have nothing to do with election law violations.

"How can Kramer use his campaign account to pay legal bills related to the sexual assault charges against him?" Ross asked.

Reid Magney, a spokesman for the state Government Accountability Board, declined comment on the spending by Kramer's campaign. The board enforces state campaign finance laws and never comments on potential violations.
It sure seems that Teapublicans have a problem understanding the rules around legal defense funds.

Wisconsin Supreme Court (In)Justice David "Chokehold" Prosser also thought he could set up an illegal legal defense fund for his assault on Justice Ann Walsh Bradley.

I blame the whole thing on Scott Walker, who blurred the lines by calling his legal defense fund a legal cooperation fund.  He should know that his fellow Teapublicans get easily confused.

The Revictimization Of Milwaukee County Children And What You Can Do About It

Long time readers might recall that I used to work for the Milwaukee County Child Welfare System (the foster care system) in the late 1990's.  It was one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs I've ever had.  Sadly, in 1998, then Governor Tommy Thompson and his fellow Republicans took over Milwaukee County's system, insisting that they weren't really under-funding the system (even though independent studies found that they were) and could do it better by privatizing it.

The county was able to stay in the system, winning many of the contracts the state was giving out.  By 2001, the state had completely cut the county out of any aspect of caring for its own foster children.

Since that time, the state's Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare has been plagued with problems stemming from extremely high staff turnover to continued abuse of foster children to children being killed.  The problems were traced back to the affects of austerity, including a severe staffing shortage and insufficient training.

Ironically, the state has been pumping tens of millions of dollars into the system since the takeover.  But when that money goes to constantly training new workers - not to mention lining the pockets of the administrators even more deeply - there is little to give to the workers and even less to pay for the much needed services.

The state has only made things worse by deciding that intake workers - the people on the front line who do the investigations into possible abuse and/or neglect - didn't even need to have the necessary education or experience to work in the field.

That is how little they think of our children.

Now they think of them even less, judging from this letter from State Representatives LaTonya Johnson and Chris Taylor to Eloise Anderson, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families:



It's outrageous that nearly 3,000 children who might be in peril have to wait months to have a worker get to them.  The "stick it to them" approach that the Teapublicans and Republicrats have had toward Milwaukee are well known, but to revictimize innocent children is simply unacceptable.

Because of the legislative attention this untenable situation has received, it will be brought up at the Partnership Council, this coming Friday, July 25.  The meeting is from 12 - 2 pm at 635 N. 26th Street in Milwaukee.  If you are able, please attend and demand answers as to why Madison is allowing our children to linger in possible peril for months at a time.

Nearly 2 Million Wisconsinites Will Get To Vote On BadgerCare Referendums

This must be sending Scott Walker and Chris Abele into a tizzy:
One Third of Wisconsinites Will Have BadgerCare Referendums on the November Ballot
Eight counties advance advisory referendum on accepting the federal funds for BadgerCare, covering 1.97 million Wisconsin residents.

Statewide: One out of every three Wisconsin residents will see a referendum in November on accepting federal funds for BadgerCare, based on the actions of Dane and La Crosse counties late last week. Over 1.97 million Wisconsin residents will have a question on their ballot on whether the State of Wisconsin should accept enhanced federal funds for BadgerCare rejected by Walker and conservatives in the Legislature.

Eight counties have officially approved this referendum so far, Lincoln, La Crosse, Clark, Dane, Dunn, Outagamie, Milwaukee and Eau Claire, with more following soon. The support in red, purple and blue counties demonstrates how this issue transcends partisanship and is important to rural and urban Wisconsin.

The negative impact of rejecting these federal funds is particularly devastating at the local level. With fewer people guaranteed access to health coverage they can truly afford, uncompensated care costs will remain high in local hospitals and county-supported clinics, forcing cost-shifting to county-budgets, consumers and local businesses.

If Wisconsin accepted enhanced federal Medicaid funds for BadgerCare, 84,700 Wisconsin residents would gain access to BadgerCare. Rejecting federal money is costing more, while covering fewer lives. Wisconsin is losing up to $1 million a day in federal funds for BadgerCare. See the county by county breakdown here.

These referendum are especially important with the announcement that 38,000 Wisconsin residents forced off BadgerCare by Governor Walker were unable to sign up for private coverage. Because Wisconsin did not accept federal funds for BadgerCare, these residents have fallen into a coverage gap, unable to access affordable health coverage for all of 2014.

"In November voters in counties throughout Wisconsin will have the opportunity to send a clear message to the Governor and Legislature about the importance of guaranteeing affordable access to health care for everyone in Wisconsin," said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
Combine this with the work that Move to Amend has done with getting the Citizens United decision overturned and there's a helluva lot of democracy going on!

It's a damn good thing to see.

The Tools Are Working In Waupaca

As the gentle reader is well aware, Scott Walker's agenda included more than trying to bust the unions and giving away taxpayer dollars to dark money special interests.   It also included destroying the public school system in order to pave the way for privatization of the education system.

It's not only Milwaukee Public Schools getting hit, but also the rural school systems like the one in Waupaca, as reported by Robert Cloud of the Waupaca County Post:
Estimates released this month by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction indicate state
aid to Waupaca schools may be cut by as much as $500,000 in 2014-15.

Not including this most recent cut, the Waupaca School District has seen its state aid decrease by a total of $3.4 million over the past five years, according to District Administrator Dave Poeschl.

Under state law, when a school district loses state aid, it can recoup that money by increasing property taxes.

“Over that same five-year period, we’ve only recouped $1.9 million through increased property taxes,” Poeschl said. “We’ve been fully aware of the effect that the decrease in state aids has on taxpayers. We’ve been doing the best we can to mitigate that effect.”

As a result of not raising property taxes to cover lost state aid, the Waupaca School District’s budget is about $2.7 million below the state-mandated revenue cap.

“We can’t continue to do that and at the same time provide the quality education our community is expecting,” Poeschl said.
The gentle reader should also note that even though it was Walker who cut the education budget by nearly a billion dollars, it is the local school board and administrators that have to try to make it work. Sadly, Walker has sabotaged the education system so much that they can't do that without making up Walker's shortfall by raising taxes, risking the ire of the voters.

In other words, they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Either way, Walker, if given the chance after November, and his fellow corporately-owned Teapublicans will sweep in, declare public schools are failures (even though he was the one that made sure they failed) and say the only way to save the schools are to privatize them.

That was Walker's modus operandi in Milwaukee County and it still is as governor.

No More Cuts - Stop Bleeding City Workers

The City of Milwaukee is looking to follow Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin in traipsing down the austerity trail despite the fact that this has proven to be more damaging and more costly than the savings they pretend it would save.

To see how draconian this would be, AFSCME District Council put together this video with real people explaining how damaging this would be to them and their families:



Or if you're more of a numbers type of person, here is the bloodletting in chart form from the city's website:


If you are available, please join us for a rally on Monday, July 21, at 5 pm at Red Arrow Park:

The Teapublicans and Republicrats will continue to take until we stop them and take back what is ours.  It is time and beyond to stand up for ourselves!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Scott Who?

By Jeff Simpson

From Mary Spicuzza 


In both states Walker fared the worst against Clinton among those six Republicans. Clinton was favored against Walker 50-37 in Iowa and 48-39 in New Hampshire.

Of the six Republicans, Walker had the highest percentage of registered voters who said they had never heard of him, at 24 percent in New Hampshire and 27 percent in Iowa.

Nuff said!  

 


Thiesfeldt V Ryan


 

By Jeff Simpson

Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-ALEC) has taken time away from reading Alec emails that are sent to his personal email to write a blistering criticism of the George Bush written and Paul Ryan(R-Ayn Rand) supported No Child Left Behind republican education policy!

The near-unanimous adoption of CCS came from recession cash-strapped states eager for bothfederal stimulus funds, and a waiver from the heavy hand of No Child Left Behind.

Of Course Paul Ryan (R-Standardized tests) was a big supporter of No Child Left Behind and the heavy hand of the Federal Government!    Apparently the "tea party" that keeps having Paul Ryan speak at their events are not that opposed to the heavy hand of the government if its done by republicans! 

In the interest of limited government and freedom, Jeremy Thiesfeldt supports Rob Zerban and you should too!  








   


Paul Ryan on Education
Rep. Ryan went along with the Bush Administration in supporting more federal involvement in education. This is contrary to the traditional Republican position, which included support for abolition of the Department of Education and decreasing federal involvement in education.
-Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/08/paul-ryan-not-opponent-big-government-left-and-right-make-him-out-be#sthash.ycclu7wo.dpuf


Paul Ryan on Education
Rep. Ryan went along with the Bush Administration in supporting more federal involvement in education. This is contrary to the traditional Republican position, which included support for abolition of the Department of Education and decreasing federal involvement in education.
-Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/08/paul-ryan-not-opponent-big-government-left-and-right-make-him-out-be#sthash.ycclu7wo.dpuf
Paul Ryan on Education
Rep. Ryan went along with the Bush Administration in supporting more federal involvement in education. This is contrary to the traditional Republican position, which included support for abolition of the Department of Education and decreasing federal involvement in education.
-Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/08/paul-ryan-not-opponent-big-government-left-and-right-make-him-out-be#sthash.ycclu7wo.dpuf
Paul Ryan on Education
Rep. Ryan went along with the Bush Administration in supporting more federal involvement in education. This is contrary to the traditional Republican position, which included support for abolition of the Department of Education and decreasing federal involvement in education.
-Voted YES on No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
- See more at: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/08/paul-ryan-not-opponent-big-government-left-and-right-make-him-out-be#sthash.ycclu7wo.dpuf

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Common Core Continued

By Jeff Simpson

I wrote about Scott Walker wanting to overturn Common Core State Standards this morning.

It turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg, as Andy @Wisoapbox explores this issue in depth and puts all other bloggers and media in WI to shame.

 I recommend reading the WHOLE piece but I will share a couple highlights here!    

The first that stood out to me was Captain Voucher, Jeremy Thiesfeldt's attempt to rebrand Common Core STATE Standards to just Common Core Standards to fit better into his narrative.   WISB outted him.


“I was pleased to hear that Gov. Walker called on the legislature to pass a bill in January repealing the Common Core Standards (CCS). I look forward to promptly tackling this issue as our first priority in response to the governor’s appeal.  
Notice how he doesn't say "state" standards. That's a VERY specific and important change conservatives are trying to do in "un-localizing" the Common Core STATE Standards.
Wisconsin’s educational standards need to be improved, but Wisconsin students are best served by standards created within our own state. 

Unfortunately, the Democratic party has decided not to run anyone against Thiesfeldt so all we can do is look at his blatant dishonesty in awe.  

Secondly WISB has a major coup.  It turns out Scott Walker was for CCSS before he was against them:


Also, Walker's statement calling for dumping Common Core comes after he has worked with the state DPI for the past several years on education reform issues that all hinge on successful implementation of the standards. 
But, but what?! Oh, so Gov. Walker was for it before he was against it? (Oh 2004 Kerry campaign.) Seriously, if anyone wanted to know why he wasn't saying much about Common Core before now, this is why - He actually worked with them and utilized them in a lot of what he did with respect to school accountability.
In his 2011-'13 budget veto message to the Assembly, Walker wrote that his budget supported greater accountability and performance in K-12 education by "investing $15 million in the development of a statewide student information system and requiring the Department of Public Instruction to implement new pupil assessment based on mastery of Common Core Standards by 2014-15."

D'OH.  As I always say, whats a few million taxpayer dollars if it will help further Scotty's career?

Using our children as political props and catering the anti intellectuals in the tea party is a sure fire loser in November, let's make sure this backfires on them big time!



http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-c1AseS2nh8g/UkUEX1m5cGI/AAAAAAAABlU/3V3jZe-BbE0/s1600/Walker+&+Theisfeld.jpg

Scott Walker's China Problem


 

By Jeff Simpson

Despite the fact that Mary Burke was long gone before any outsourcing happened at Trek, Scott Walker is sticking to his pants on fire guns.  He posted this on facebook this afternoon. 

Still undisputed: Mary Burke profited from company that took taxpayer $ & sent jobs to places like China where avg rate is less than $2/hr

Apparently he either never knew or must have forgotten about the millions of dollars in taxpayer money WEDC gave to firms that then shipped jobs overseas.    He has also forgotten that his good buddy Paul Ryan ran on a presidential ticket where they bragged about the wonderful working conditions of China:


Scott Walker has also been to China a few times (on our dime) yet I can not find a single news paper article or story on where he complained about the labor while he was there.   As a matter of fact here he is in a meeting with Chinese Consul General Zhao Weiping, probably discussing how he can enact similar wages in WI:



While I do think we have a problem with the amount of outsourced jobs in this country, I do not think Scott Walker is the person to be complaining about it, especially from his glass high rise!   







The Core Of The Problem is Common Extremism

By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker, in the midst of a tough re-election fight, where his chances keep getting downgraded, is getting desperate.   Scott Walker has already played some of his trump cards from massive fundraising leads to pushing the limits of coordinating all of the dark money groups to his advantage.   Thinking these two trump cards were all he needed to win the hand, has proven to be a very drastic mistake of his campaigns, at best, he is now is tied with his opponent, political newcomer Mary Burke.  

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We see how desperate the Governor is with his ridiculous attack ad on his opponent and now he has doubled down on desperation.  Scott Walker now says he wants to eliminate Common Core State Standards and he wants it done in January.    Why now and why in January?  Let's take a look.

With the campaign reeling and support fading, Scott Walker know he needs to shore up his base.   If you recall, in November, a handful of anti-government, anti-intellectual zealots got together and all signed a letter(still not sure who in the group could actually write it) telling Scott Walker to repeal common core.   Scott Walker did his best double speak around the issue at the time and hoped the issue would disappear.

It hasn't.  

Now Mary Burke has actually started to campaign effectively and that left Scott Walker anguished that his career plans of more power might be derailed.  Walker, if he knows one thing, it is elections and the importance of his base.   He knows that all of the "independent" talk amongst the "tea party" is just that and in the end they are just the crazy wing of the republican party.  Scott Walker wants to make sure that every last one of them, and their sons and son - in - laws, all vote for him.

So when they say jump Scott Walker wants to let them know he is listening.   The next question is why January?  This is important issue so you would think he could call them in now, its between hunting seasons so Joel Kleefisch might actually be available.  

If it is in January, he sends a message saying make sure you vote for me as often as possible to make sure I can do this for you to his base!   That and he knows it is a political loser to be put out there on display right before the election.   Not only is it a bad thing its very costly as it would cost the state millions. 

Unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin, millions of taxpayer dollars mean nothing to Scott Walker:
Walker said Friday that he doesn’t know how much it would cost to come up with new standards but he doesn’t think it would be significant.
Whats a few millions dollars of taxpayer money if it will help me get elected?    Luther Olsen said it best(who would have ever thought I would write those words)!  
 “It’s all political and the sad thing is at the end of the day it doesn’t show true leadership,” said Luther Olsen.

In that one sentence Luther Olsen summed up Scott Walker's political career.




PS:  read about Common Core State Standards here.  

Mr. Schneider the Maligner

By Jeff Simpson

One of my sons favorite children's fiction authors is Dan Gutman, who is known for his catchy titles. Let me offer a suggestion for his new book, about someone who writes fiction almost daily. 

The thing about Christian Schneider is, since he is paid well by the Bradley Foundation, they delpoy him whenever a republican is in trouble.   This time the person he was told to try and save is Van Wanggaard.   The further that the employees are in trouble, the further Mr. Schneider has to stretch the truth.   If this column is any indication triple dipping Wanggaard is in major trouble.

But even more so, Wanggaard was worried for his family. Not only had the Capitol building been overtaken by protesters for the previous few weeks, but Wanggaard himself had been subjected to personal death threats. Protesters had shown up at his home to demonstrate. While he was away in Madison and his wife was home alone, Wangaard said the phone would ring in the middle of the night with a heavy breathing voice on the other end of the line threatening his life. His daughter, who has a different last name, received a call from an individual threatening to kill her Dalmatian.

Eight minutes after GOP senators took the floor, and with Democrats absent while protesting the vote in Illinois, the vote was done and the Senate adjourned. Wanggaard voted for the bill, knowing the effect it would have on the state and the nation, but also knowing what it would do for his political career.

On the night of June 5, 2012, as Republicans around the state celebrated Walker's recall win, Wanggaard was recalled from office by a slim 819 votes. "I lost my job because I did my job," he said.

 Two things here,

1. When I wrote the oped everything had to be airtight.  I call BS on the "death threats", unless it was the imaginary friend who used to hang out with my daughter when she was younger.  Her name was Sparkle. 

The protests in the Capitol were very peaceful, so peaceful in fact, that any time some crazy person even gave the remote hint of a threat the republicans took it roadrunner fast to the police AND the media.  They ran up every instance they could possibly find up a flag pole to let us all know what victims they were.  

I wonder if Schneider has police reports to back up what he wrote?  

2.   When you vote against something and you "know"  it will cost you your job, maybe you are not quite getting the concept of representative democracy. 

Seriously VOTE Randy Bryce!

Friday, July 18, 2014

"I would be embarrassed"

By Jeff  Simpson

Capper told us all about the latest ridiculous attack ad that Scott Walker is currently running, using children as props, and desperately trying to scare WI into voting for him again.  

Here it is -


 In other words, career politician Scott Walker(whose name is never mentioned) and who self declared Wisconsin "open for business" has a problem with people who have made a career and  money working for the family company(unless you pay WMC dues).   By strictly attacking Mary Burke, Scott Walker is telling you to be very afraid and that he is the lesser of two evils.  

As for attacking Trek, probably not the best idea he has ever had. This ad has even drawn the ire of Trek President John Burke(Mary's brother):


"When people make blatantly false accusations about a company you've spent your lifetime building and you have 1,800 employees who are proud about what they do every day, that just isn't right," John Burke said.
Trek was founded in Waterloo in the 1970s by John and Mary Burke's father and is now the second-largest bike manufacturer worldwide. Mary Burke worked as an executive at Trek twice, leaving the company in 2004.
John Burke said all decisions about where to locate jobs were his and not his sister's. Mary Burke worked for Trek as the head of its European division from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1995 until 2004, with her most recent job being director of planning and strategic planning.
John Burke said Trek does not employ children at its overseas plants. He said Trek has manufacturing plants in China, Germany and Holland and they all strictly follow local labor laws.
"We produce product in a lot of places and there are different wages for different jobs," he said when asked whether workers at the China plant earned $2 an hour. "We always pay in accordance to labor guidelines and rules and what's the standard wage for the area. We're very concerned for workers' rights and the workers' environment."

But John Burke said if he were governor, he would take the ad down.
"It's embarrassing," he said. "I would be embarrassed."
Scott Walker's stance on being called out for an blatantly untrue attack ad? Exactly what you would expect it to be:

Walker's campaign stood by the ad running statewide and said it won't be taken down

Scott Walker, willing to lie and attack good Wisconsin companies to reach his goal.   Is that the kind of person we want representing us to the rest of the world?