Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be causally related.
Just such a meaningful sync of time and place arrived last week to paint Scott Walker in yet another paradox of his true identity, when new documents from the John Doe investigation were made public, even as he was portraying himself as the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
July 30, 2013
Comparing himself to FDR, Walker rationalizes curtailing collective bargaining
Walker likened his public union philosophy to that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt July 29, 2012.
Walker states position at Governmental Research Association conference at UWM
“The position I pushed is not unlike the principle that Franklin Delano Roosevelt — not exactly a conservative — pushed as well when it came to public sector collective bargaining,” Walker remarked at the annual Governmental Research Association policy conference. “He felt that there wasn’t a need in the public sector to have collective bargaining because the government is the people. We are the people. And so what we’ve done is to be able to empower our great employees, to affirm them.”By Steve Schultze Journal Sentinel
Speaking from the ornate Governor’s Conference Room, Walker calmly laid out his position for state employees to pay a higher share of their fringe benefits, and his more controversial proposal to eliminate most of their bargaining rights.
Walker invoked FDR’s name frequently during the 2011 protests, even going so far as to host a fireside chat. Feb. 22, 2011
Walker said state employees were the state’s partners in economic development.
He dubbed his speech a “fireside chat,” calling to mind Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous radio broadcasts to a Depression-ravaged nation. By Patrick Marley and Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel
…or John Doe?
Prior to assuming the governor’s office in 2011, Walker spent eight years sparring with union leadership in Milwaukee County as the county executive, an experience he said readied him to take on public sector unions statewide and to “make some tough, but I would say looking back now, prudent decisions.”
Most of the emails and documents related to the John Doe investigation centering around Walker’s friends and appointiees would be kept secret because nature of the proceeding, yet one element of scrutiny involved the accidental death of a teenager who was on his way to Summerfest in 2010. Jared Kellner of Greenfield, died at the s/cene June 24 after being struck by a 27,000 pound slab of concrete fell from the structure, which is located along Lincoln Memorial Drive immediately west of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Since the case of his accidental death is coming to trial and portions of the evidence are contained within the John Doe materials, some have been released. Below is a video account of the tragedy produced shortly after the incident:
Harkening back to the famous come back from the vice presidential debate of 1988 when Senator Lloyd Bentson laced Dan Quayle with the remark, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy”:
Oh, Scott, you are no FDR
July 30, 2013
By Daniel Bice, Dave Umhoefer and Steve Schultze of the Journal Sentinel
Gov. Scott Walker worked simultaneously with his campaign staff and county aides in coordinating responses to media inquiries, open records requests and news stories about the 2010 O’Donnell Park tragedy, according to newly released emails.
The records show that Walker was integrally involved in the efforts to challenge any negative publicity after a concrete panel fell from the Milwaukee County-owned O’Donnell parking structure, killing a 15-year-old boy on June 24, 2010, on his way to Summerfest. The incident occurred in the middle of the 2010 gubernatorial campaign
The jewel of synchronicity that speaks to Walker’s self comparison to FDR is contained in his accusation of his critics at the time of the tragedy:
“It is despicable that anyone would use this tragedy for political purposes.Biz Times
It is always everyone else who is wrong, including the people whose names appear on the communications recently made public like:
Kevin Kavanaugh – convicted of stealing more than $50,000 from Operation Freedom and other veterans funds and sentenced in December to two years in prison.
Kelly Rindfleisch – who worked for Walker in the county executive’s office in 2010, was sentenced Nov. 19 to six months in jail for campaign fundraising at the courthouse using a secret email system installed there.
Darlene Wink – Walker’s constituent services coordinator at the county, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for doing campaign work while on the county clock.
Walker, our new FDR, knew nothing of these despicable acts, and anyone who would use the tragedy of the demise of these people for political purposes has no right to be compared to FDR.
The released communications read like the notes of a Walker speech writer
You can find the 300 plus pages of released documents at Wisconsin Politics LINK Email Search Set “Donnel” Wisconsin Politics
Along with the news of the tragedy came a fact: the County Executive had cut the budget for for scheduled maintenance of the structure and the funds were transferred to a general fund that would reflect well on Walker’s budget slicing prowess. All this while he was in the midst of his campaign for Governor. Remind you of anything?
And the scramble was on for damage control, a hunt for “good ink”, and spin, spin, spin.
Fran McLaughlin, director of communications for Walker’s office,
issued the following response:
“Public safety was the sole concern for acting quickly and that is precisely why the Chairman of the County Board announced the inspection team plan with the County Executive in a joint statement on June 30. The County Board was given a written report on the
process proposed by structural engineers at the county. The lead firm on the inspections was NOT involved with the construction of the parking structure at O’Donnell Park. This is one of the many inaccurate statements in the release.” JS Online
Posted: June 25, 2010 10:26 a.m
County Executive Scott Walker said Thursday he’d seen no evidence that deferred
maintenance played any role in the accident and he criticized County Board Chairman Lee
Holloway for calling for a safety review of all county buildings
Holloway, apparently grasping at straws, also told Mester to give media a copy of a 2006 report the Parks Department on Deferred Maintenance through out the Parks System that had been requested by the County Board. 17 items of deferred maintenance were identified at the O’Donnell Parking Structure. None of those items dealt with façades, which is what I told Diamant!
The I-Team dug, too, and found a long list of deferred maintenance onthe parking garage.” After going through the list again, finally Diamint said in the voice-over, “On Friday, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker reported that the parks department, which runs the garage, had recently made the repairs and is convinced that none of them caused the
collapse.” Diamint asked Walker, “How can you be so sure that none of these
deferred maintenance items on that list didn’t play a role in it?”
“Right. Because the bottom line is that none of them have anything to do with the façade,” said Walker.
Then you can find this little tidbit of warning going to Walker’s threat to women’s health.
Green Bay Press Gazette
July 4, 2010
Neumann, Walker wrong choice for women’s health
GREEN BAY — The upcoming election for governor could spell disaster for women’s health. Republican candidates Mark Neumann and Scott Walker believe that politicians and the government, not women and families, should make personal, private health-care decisions about birth control and abortion. Don’t believe me? Just last week, Neumann and Walker
sought and accepted the endorsement of Pro-Life Wisconsin, an extreme organization that works to make birth control and abortion illegal. Neumann even highlights this endorsement on his website.
Meanwhile Walker and his staff discuss how to handle the freedom of information act requests that were pouring in. Ignore them? Slow them? Shuffle them like cards?
To: Kelly Rindfleisch(now indicted)
open records requests
Thursday, July 08, 2010 8:46:01 AM
I just sent an email to the breakfast group. Based on what Keith is telling me about the Mayor’s Office we may want to slow our process down. I know it seems like we are taking our time, but in comparison to the Mayor’s Office we are operating a lightening speed.
I am only talking about the ones related to SKW (Scott Walker), not O’Donnell park. My sense from Keith is that we should be operating one step above ignoring them….
Only in Walker’s Wisconsin will we find a scandal laced with scandal, when in the midst of spin and cover up questions arise around awarding inspection contracts to campaign donors. Remind you of anything?
We are also concerned that Graef-USA Inc, a firm that has contributed to County Executive Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign, was awarded a no bid contract. Even though a lot of the work is being subcontracted, the fact remains that County dollars are being funneled through Graef, which was one of the contractors involved in building the O’Donnell Parking garage in the first place. How can we expect them to provide unbiased reports in light of that fact? Biz Times
Walker kept saying he spent $730 million on maintenance and replacement of county properties. He kept saying it much like he keeps saying he just balanced the state budget, like he says he is just like FDR.
p. 232 doc of document linked above
Fran McLaughlin, director of communications for Walker’s office, issued the following response:
“Public safety was the sole concern for acting quickly and that is precisely why the Chairman of the County Board announced the inspection team plan with the County Executive in a joint statemention June 30. The County Board was given a written report on the
process proposed by structural engineers at the county. The leadb firm on the inspections was NOT involved with the construction of the parking structure at O’Donnell Park. This is one of the many inaccurate statements in the release.”
Larson said Walker’s move was a case of a “shift of long-term dollars for short-term gains. Obviously, that’s not a recipe for success.” Walker strongly denied the Weishan and Larson assertions, and said both critics are using a tragedy to try to score political points. “We have over the last eight years spent $730 million dollars from the
capital budget on maintenance and replacement and construction and other things,” Walker said. “These (charges) are just wild accusations with no basis.”
“The things (the investigators) are identifying in terms of pieces not being installed correctly are not things that could have been found with a normal inspection,” Walker said in an interview.
Of the $730 million that Walker said the county has spent on capital maintenance under his watch, Larson said half was for “tax-levy-neutral work” at General Mitchell International Airport, which was planned for the decade before Walker took office.
Today we now know of the word and tactics of the creator of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation but see nothing that approaches or resembles the administrative talents of FDR.
p.236 doc linked above
“I don’t know that this tragedy would have happened if part of that $113.4 million had been spent on capital maintenance,” said Weishan, a consistent Walker critic. “He chose to divert that money into that part of the budget instead of raising taxes.”
Subject: JS (Journal Sentinel)
Umhoefer and Schultze (Investigative Journalists) have been hounding skw (Scott Walker) to release o’donnell records (they have open records requests). Skw is anxious to get them what they want. We are still trying to determine what can be released. Last night, I had Fran call Schultze and walk through their requests to determine if info provided
fullfilled their request and what they still needed. Goodwill gesture so they know we aren’t holding out. Skw seemed pleased with that.
Not only did Walker veto the funding, but stood for applause. How very FDR of him!
p. 149 doc
The critical engineering position was approved by the Milwaukee County Board for the 2008
budget, but Walker vetoed the $150,000 in funding. Walker’s veto message from November 7,
2007 on the item: “I have vetoed this amendment entirely because there are sufficient resources in the Department of Public Works to continue work on this initiative. My veto of this item results in a tax levy savings of $150,000.” Walker’s veto required a two-thirds majority to override and fell one vote short and the oversight funds were cut.
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