Fitz got lost – He got a Compas

A Cinderella Story for America

The Presidential election cycle has erupted into the perfect storm of political attacks, dueling slurs, and debates and speeches that suggest that the only means to rise up is to pull opponents down, and climb to victory on the spoils. Some of the first outbreaks of this perfect storm of attack and climb, struck the State of Wisconsin in the 2010 election that produced Scott Walker, Jeff and Scott Fitzgerald, while Ron Johnson climbed to power over the debased reputation of Russ Feingold as he was slurred beyond recognition by a litany of attack ads. When the dust had settled, Walker was Governor and the Fitzgerald Brothers held the top seats of power in the state. The first reaction of the victims of the storm was to come out from shelters, survey the damage, and admit that they had not been prepared, they had not been vigilant, they were asleep. Only in retrospect, after a year of protest and activism, did the truth arise. They had not been asleep. They had been fooled. They had been hoodwinked.

The storm was not the work of nature, but the orchestration of clouds seeded with the money of extreme right wing forces like the Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, the Bradley Foundation and a national secret consortium, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that actually wrote much of the legislation that would be rammed through the Wisconsin legislature over the next year in the form of the budget repair, voter ID, and even the boundaries that declare the districts where people vote!

At the same time, the low pressure system that moved through the Milwaukee County Executive’s Office forced the ethics of running for office off the map. After 20 months of the John Doe investigation, we learn that the closest aides and appointees of then County Executive Scott Walker, like Timothy Russel and Kelly Rindflisch, broke the law to make him Governor. They were finally indicted for steeling money from the families of fallen veterans, and running a secret email network for fund raising activities for Scott Walker, right under his nose.

The silver lining

Yes, behind every cloud there is a silver lining. Often, the best of fortunes arise out of the mystic coincidence of chance, luck, or the will of a higher angel. Just such a twist of fate appeared as a rainbow in the aftermath of political perfect storm. This stuff cannot be made up. It is not the result of an orchestrated strategy evolved from the political agenda of a think tank, or Americans for Prosperity, the McIver Institute or even the Democratic Party. The intervention of coincidence cannot be bought or sold, nor can it be predicted or devised. It just happens as it did in Wisconsin, and to add irony to coincidence, it came in the name of an instrument that offers true direction: a compass.

Lori Compas

Little did the Democratic party know that the woman who walked into the office to seek support to circulate petitions to trigger a recall election for Scott Fitzgerald. would be the very woman who would announce her candidacy for his office in just a few weeks. After all, she was just an ordinary citizen, a photographer from Fort Atkinson. Lori was told that the war chest for the recall effort was stretched thin, and that funds and manpower could only be allocated to those districts where the sitting legislator was most vulnerable, and Scott Fitzgerald was not one of them. Senator Fitzgerald was a veteran from a strong Republican district, and it was unlikely that enough signatures could be collected to trigger a recall. So, Lori Compas, like the instrument of her namesake, took a bold direction forward. Against all odds, and the advice of paid political operatives, she set up her living room as the office to recall Senator Scott Fitzgerald.

Lori Campas, chair of the Committee to Recall Scott Fitzgerald, announced Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, that petition circulators have collected enough signatures to recall the Senate majority leader.

This IS what Democracy look like

So it was. Right in the middle of the one of the most negative presidential primary seasons in history and at a time when Wisconsin is caught in one of the most divisive climates in recent times, a moment arrives to be celebrated. One woman expresses and unites the determination of many to accomplish the impossible through a good, old fashioned grass roots effort to prove all of the money, strategy, and crony confabulation is nothing. It is nothing at all compared to the voice of common, ordinary people exercising their will under the constitution.

This is one of the most important political events in recent memory and should be shouted from the mountain top to demonstrate that Democracy and politics do not need to be about money, or party, or secret email networks, or negative advertising, or any of the methods most politicians have come to expect. Lori gave us a “compass” to remind us of the true way forward. Be kind, be honest, work hard, and trust in those you love.

The announcement of Lori Compas as a candidate for Senator of 13th District

"Hi Cap" Nerison

Lee Nerison marches in step to pass the Mining Bill

Nerison, Rep. Lee (96th A.Dist.; Rep. pictured below/right)

The bill provides a clear pathway and slippery advantage for the development of a high capacity well, such the Hi Cap well proposed by Dr. Long on Copper Creek in Crawford County. Even though the bill is written in the context of the mining industry, the language regarding wet lands, and ground water pave the way to provide precedent to stack the deck in favor of Dr. Long’s plan to pump hundreds of thousands of gallons of water within a few feet of a Class A trout stream.

In fact, if Dr. Long (pictured right – lower left) were to describe his venture as a mining operation, he would hold all the cards, and any opposition from the local community, township, or county would be trumped by the long and tedious language that would the tie the hands of opposition in the shackles of regulatory language, time lines, and a regulatory soup of obstruction.

Ironically, the bill provides the model of over-regulation and obstruction toward the side of environmentalists, that the GOP is so vigilant in emphasizing when it inhibits “job creators” like Gogebic Taconite of Hurley.

Make no mistake about the bill’s implications for Hi Cap wells

The 183 page bill is filled with language that makes the building code look like a pamphlet. Below is on excerpt of the language that goes on and on. Even though the words suggest any number of procedures to challenge a “job creator”, what follows is a jig-saw puzzle of hoops to jump through in order to oppose the action. In nearly every case it disguises the forest with whole tracts of trees that can be summed up in a few words:

If the “job creators” want it, they will get it.

From LRB?3520/1 -Assembly Mining Bill approved by Nerison

The bill further provides that if the applicant
cannot meet the general requirements by implementing conservation measures,
DNR shall nevertheless issue the mining water withdrawal permit if DNR
determines that the public benefits resulting from the iron mining operation exceed
any injury to public rights in a body of water that is affected by the mining operation

Full text of Mining Bill

Nerison Elected to Assembly 2004; reelected since 2006 – Long enough.

Lee Nerison either fails to understand the implication of the mining bill or he is deaf to his constituents who cannot be heard over the threats and demands of Jeff Fitzgerald. Jeff and his brother Scott have invested there political wheel of fortune on the weighted ethics of Scott Walker, and it is turning off center with the wobble that is shaking the foundations of Democracy.

Tom Johnson is out to set things straight

Tom Johnson (D-Viroqua), 42, announced Wednesday, Sept. 7, that he was a candidate for the 96th Assembly District for the November 2012 election.

Vernon County Broadcaster

“Johnson attended college and enlisted in the Air Force, where he was injured and became a amputee – but that does not stop him. Mr. Johnson has been a small business manager and an active political volunteers for years. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Viroqua Area Rotary Club (President Elect), The Viroqua Community Theater and the Eagles Club.”

Tom Johnson
Johnson for Assembly
210 South Main Street
Viroqua, WI 54665
PHONE. (608) 606-3320

Walker GPS – Recalculating

More than a year of confusion, misinformation, flip flopping, and scooter crashing.

Now, in what promises to be the end days of the schizophrenic carnival ride on the tilt-o-walker, the people are left with more of the endless recalculation of where we are headed. Will Walker be indicted before a recall election is triggered? If he is indicted will he resign? If and when he resigns who would be governor? Welcome to the world of the most ineffective leader in the history of Wisconsin. What is most surprising and frightening is that a large percentage of folks still stand by him.

Since the very nature of a John Doe investigation is directionless and secretive, the stage is set with all the mystery, and who-done-it questions and possibilities of Agatha Cristie on steroids.

Here is a scenario if Walker is indicted and resigns

Here’s how it could play out, according to Mike Haas, staff attorney with the Government Accountability Board, which oversees election matters:

If Walker resigned within 10 days of the recall petitions being certified by the GAB, he would not be on the ballot and other Republicans would be able to vie for the nomination in a primary. Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch would become acting governor and could appoint a new lieutenant governor. Nothing, however, would stop the recall election from going forward.

The winner of the gubernatorial election would assume the office, replacing Kleefisch. Facing her own recall election, Kleefisch would return to the lieutenant governor’s post if she wins.

However, if Walker were to resign more than 10 days after the recall petitions are certified, his name would still appear on the ballot. Assuming voters would not favor an indicted, resigned governor, Republicans would likely be forced to mount some type of write-in campaign to try to prevent the Democratic nominee from being elected.

However, because the statutes are unclear, the GAB’s interpretation of the law would likely be litigated endlessly in court, with the losers crying foul, possibly until the next regularly scheduled governor’s election in 2014 If Walker Should Resign – Scenario

So, it is possible that the Walker legacy will be to leave Wisconsin right where it began when he took the oath of office – recalculating…recalculating.

It is this writer’s belief that Walker will be indicted and soon

This is from the “word on the street” and sheer speculation gathered from observation. The only connection for the undoing of Walker is that he had knowledge of the illegal campaign activities that were being orchestrated on a daily basis just 25 feet from his office door; not a very long distance from innocence to felony. If just one of those, already indicted facing years of jail time and fines, is ready to give up information of Walker’s knowledge for a reduced sentence, out come the handcuffs.

It is safe to assume that the meeting between District Attorney John Chisholm and Walker must have occurred. What might have happened at this meeting? D.A. Chisholm seems to be a fair and honest person, and as such, would take into consideration the far reaching political implications of indicting a sitting governor. It is my speculation that Chisholm may have given Walker a window of time to get his affairs in order, and allowed him to pick a time when the formal indictment would take place – like after the Winter National Governor’s Conference?

The conference ends today. We will see.

If not tomorrow….recalculating…recalculating.

Looking ahead – John Doe Sentencing

Too Connected to Fail

The John Doe Investigation has netted the first of its big fish of its haul. All of the felonious fish traveled in a school off the reef of Scott Walker’s Milwaukee County Executives office – and the net has been recast into ever deeper waters. The word on the street is that “Scooter is going down within the week”.

How will the catch be processed as it is hauled into the courts? Will the prize trophies of the day, be thrown back after experiencing the pain of oxygen deprivation during the sorting process? Will the penalties match the offense or are we to expect the kind of hand slapping that the GAB and Tim Verhoff imposed on Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus?

The Kathy Nickolaus verdict does little to offer much hope for a sentencing outcome that matches the offense. If she were a South Side Milwaukee black woman selling pot, she would have been in a correctional facility for years, instead of continuing to keep her job while continuing to count the votes in Waukesha County.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Our system of justice has a miserable lack of empathy for non-white street criminals, and the soft hand of a angelic proctologist when it comes to the white, well connected felons who steal, entice, and manipulate votes, funds and money.

Case in point. Just days ago, Republican Secretary of State in Indiana, Charlie White was finally sentenced. Did he get jail time for 6 felony counts of vote fraud. No he did not, anymore than Kathy Nickolaus, anymore than any and all of the fish in the John Doe net are likely to expect. After all, they are all white, politically elite, former officials who “lost their way”. It is easy for a judge of the bent of Prosser or Gableman to see themselves in the suits of the convicted, and will look at the indicted and convicted through the rose colored glasses issued to wealthy and powerful. They are likely to issue the same kind Charmin wrapped sentencing as Charlie White got in Indiana.

Below are two examples of sentencing, that point up the divide, or shall we say the disconnect of the reflection of the empathy of a mob to the victim of a hanging.

Big Fish

One Year Home Detention
Republican Charlie White, Secretary of State of Indiana was sentenced to one year of home detention, a $1,000 fine and 30 hours of community service for 6 felony convictions. Indiana Home Detention

Prosecutors contend that White voted in last May’s Republican primary after moving out of his ex-wife’s home in Fishers and the town council district he represented. White has previously acknowledged the voting error, chalking it up to his busy schedule and new marriage.

He is charged with theft for allegedly continuing to collect a salary from the town council after he was no longer eligible to serve on it. The financial fraud charge pertains to White’s allegedly lying under oath about his address on loan documents, Dowd said.

Dowd said the grand jury wasn’t sure where White had actually resided, “but the grand jury didn’t believe it was where he claimed.”Huffington – Charlie White

Little Fish

Indiana’s Acknowledgment

The final policy recommendation was in the area of public safety. Research showed that community-based substance use treatment programs are not available to many offenders under supervision and responses to probation violations are slow and ineffective, making re-offense more likely.
Indiana Sentencing

Word on the street "Scooter's goin' down"

Just a Rumor….BUT

The question of the week – WHO hired Kelly Rindfleish?

Walker’s words in response to this question have been dissected and analyzed like a suspect Mona Liza.

Who hired Kelly Rindfleisch to work in Scott Walker’s County Executive office?

Among the revelations that came out of the multiple felony charges filed against former Scott Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch was the assertion by Tom Nardelli, then-Milwaukee County Executive Walker’s chief of staff, that he didn’t even know Rindfleisch was hired to work in Walker’s office or for what reason she was hired until she showed up for work.

So if Tom Nardelli, who in his role as chief of staff would have been County Executive Scott Walker’s right hand man, didn’t hire Kelly Rindfleisch and wasn’t aware she was hired to work for Walker, then who the h-e-double hockeysticks hired Kelly Rindfleisch?
Blogging Blue

If Tom Nardelli didn’t hire Rindfleisch, and Tim Russell did not know she was hired. Then who hired Kelly Rindfleisch, and more important – WHY?

Walker’s response to the question brings back memories of former President Clinton’s response to Kenneth Star’s question about having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Here’s what Bill Clinton said to the grand jury about why he wasn’t lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, “there’s nothing going on between us.” How can this be? Here’s what Clinton told the grand jury…

“That depends on what “is” is.”

Walker has been using the same word game when it comes to the “Who hired Rindfleish?” question, substituting the word “we” for “I”.

When asked who originally hired Kelly Rindfleisch, one of the staffers charged last week, Walker avoided answering the question but said about her:

We would have treated that individual the same way that we asked for the resignation of Darlene Wink. Daily Kos

It is clear Walker has been skirting the issue of being the “one” responsible for adding Kelly Rindfleisch to his staff as Milwaukee County Executive. Walker had full knowledge of her past experience in the 2006 caucus scandals and, he put her in an office with a secret email network, within 25 feet of his own.

Now, the word on the street suggests “he is goin down – within the week”.

It may be a rumor, but it only has 25 feet to go to put the governor in an orange jump suite.

Another unconfirmed rumor is that Tonette was seen at Woodman’s collecting moving boxes.

Stand by Your Ad – IS Working

Tired of Attack Ad Lies?

You can stop the super pac lies

How hair-tearing, frustrating is it to watch a Walker “It is Working” ad appear on the TV in your home while knowing the information presented is barely true, half true, or an out-and-out lie. Since the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling, it seems there is nothing we can do about it.

Not so. Action can be taken to reduce the deceitful messaging of the third party attack adds.

Tell Television Stations: You Don’t Have to Air Misleading Third Party Ads

Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Launches “Stand by Your Ad” to Fight Deception in Super PAC and Other Third Party Political Advertising

TV and radio stations are required to air political ads by candidates for such federal offices as the presidency even if their content is blatantly deceptive. Not so the messages of outside groups. Instead, broadcasters have the right to bar so called “third party” ads or insist on the accuracy of those they decide to air. Ohio stations did just that when a group called “Building a Better Ohio” offered Ohio TV stations a deceptive ad last October.

When a group called “Building a Better Ohio” offered Ohio TV stations a deceptive ad last October, a number of stations exercised their prerogative to insist on the accuracy of so-called third party ads by refusing to air it.
The ad below was recalled.

Did you know this?

Kathleen Hall Jamieson was interviewed on Moyers and Company and talked about campaign misinformation. She revealed a fact that I didn’t know. Broadcast station managers are not required to air third party adds. You can scroll ahead to the 8:00 minute mark to hear the discussion about broadcast station managers editorial power.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson on Campaign Misinformation from on Vimeo.


Going “All Wisconsin” on attack ads

Progressives will not match the funds pouring into the Walker camp from the Koch Brothers – Americans for Prosperity and countless other out-of-state forces. They can be held to truthful portrayal of the facts.

David Koch

“We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years,” he says. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” Palm Beech Post – Koch
Angel List Wisconsin TV Stations

Stop the Lies

Flackcheck has made it easy.

Go to Flackcheck
You will find a page much like the one in the screen shot below.

1) Just pick your state and the city where your broadcast originates. (I picked Wisconsin and Milwaukee in the screen shot example)
2) Check the boxes of the broadcast stations you want to contact.
3) Send the email.
4) The address of the stations you pick will be in the recipient box. You will find the message referring to the Ohio ad. You can edit the message as you please to include the offending party – Americans for Prosperity,the title of the ad campaign It is Working, and an explanation of the offense – Job and budget information inaccurate
5) Then just copy all the information and paste it into your own email program and SEND.

Station Managers Will Get the Message

When station managers get enough messages reminding them of their responsibility for the accuracy of the messages they choose to broadcast, we may see a change in the deceit of the third party attack adds in Wisconsin.

Or Make Your Own Attack Ad

Casino Koch Wisconsin – Come Play!

Billing from the Palm Beech Post!

Koch acknowledges his group is hard at work in places such as Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker is facing off with public unions and grappling with a likely recall vote.

“We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years,” he says. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” Palm Beech Post – Koch

The Stakes are High

Welcome to the Koch Casino Wisconsin; an amusement owned and operated by David and Charles Koch. You will not need to travel to take your chances. You won’t need to go anywhere at all. Just turn on your radio, TV, open a newspaper, or surf the web., and you are in the game. The Koch claim is that “Everyone can be a winner“, and you are given full instruction on exactly how to beat the odds. Whenever you watch your favorite game, or show, the message will be there in a repetitive, mind altering, litany of display ads, commercials, and web sites to mesmerize the potential subject into the winning ways and rules of Casino Koch Wisconsin.

Don’t Think About It

Do not make the mistake of questioning the Casino Koch rules, but just assume the information, provided to win the Koch Casino game, is in your best interest. If you begin to fill your mind with questions and analysis of the motive or message, you can never win. Besides, Koch Casino Wisconsin will make it easy, even painless, by using all the right, feel-good, words and symbols to sugar the instructions and make your mouth water with desire to participate in the ultimate action. You will hear great , patriotic and important sounding words: America, Prosperity, Freedom, Liberty, Individual Rights, Patriots, Founding Fathers, Bill of Rights, Citizens United, Heritage, Private Sector, Ayn Rand, Trickle Down Wealth, Right to Work, It Is Working – I mean how can this message be wrong?

Get Your Free Tools

Oh, and here is yet another Casino Koch Tool; your enemies will be echoed through the message with the cadence of a dripping faucet in the dark of night: Job Destroyer, Big Unions Bosses, Big Government, Obamacare, Government Take Over, Death Panel, Public Workers, Federal Employees, Mandate, Collective Bargaining. Soon, with enough repetition, these words have all the appeal of your next root canal.

Please just listen to the message like a three-year-old viewing Sesame Street and you will know how to play to win! Once the big day comes you will be ready to drink the Koolaid. Unlike most Casino operations, the actual play of the game is a one time occurrence; when you go down to actually play the machines. On this day your local school, church, or city hall becomes the virtual casino operation for Casino Koch Wisconsin. Your ID will be checked, and you go into the booth and behind the curtain to exercise your patriotic, Constitutional, Democratic right to make a choice on an electronic machine. You will even hear electric sounds from the machine, much like in other casinos. Your secret ballot is counted electronically according to computer programs to which only private corporations have access. That’s right, not the President, Congress, Supreme Court, or any other government body has access to the programing that finally tallies your play in the Casino Koch Wisconsin operation.

Picture left – Example of popper ballot! Demand it at the polls!