Walker's Wisconsin – FDR or John Doe?

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 witness walkerarrived 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

FDR…

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,” FDRWalker 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:

Tim RussellJohn Doe Russela former deputy chief of staff to Walker, pleaded guilty Nov. 29.

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
From:Thomas Nardelli
To:Scott Walker

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?

From: carcher
To: Kelly Rindfleisch(now indicted)

Subject:
open records requests
Date:
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.”

p. 246
to: Keith
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.






Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!
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Walker's Wisconsin – Why not get a permit?

It all appears so simple

The Issue
At issue is whether the Solidarity Singalong needs a permit to protest in the Capitol rotunda when more than 20 members are present. The Capitol Police have already stated they would approve a permit if the singers applied for one.

Solidarity Singers say:

“It’s a public forum where people have the right to gather and petition their government,” said Bill Dunn, 63, of Middleton, who was one of those arrested.

Walker Administration says:
“The permit is free and the group could continue to say and sing the same things they are today,” said Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquissaid in a statement.
Host Madison

On the surface, it might appear the Solidarity Singers are being close minded, stubborn, attention seekers as suggested in a question from Host Madison columnist Chris Rickert to Bill Dunn (mentioned in the report above as one of those recently arrested).

Chris Rickert
10:43 AM (yesterday)
Hey Bill: I assume you’re the same Bill Dunn arrested yesterday at the sing-along.
I have a snark-free question for you if you’re willing to comment.
I’m interested in what the Solidarity Singalong’s legacy will be. In other words, at the time they are occurring, lots of protest movements are considered irritating or pointless or self-righteous, etc. They clearly go for media coverage, with cameras and dramatic arrests, to the irritation of curmudgeons like me.
But if the protesters end up being on the right side of history, all that irritating stuff looks heroic and justified in retrospect, no matter how staged or pointless it might have seemed at the time.
I know you might be biased, but what do you think?

Suddenly, it is not so simple.

The advantage of the appearance of simplicity of the rule goes to the Walker Administration, since a full answer and complete understanding requires a look back at the recent history of origin of the “simple rule” in the first place. The “simple rule” did not just crop up a few days ago as some minor constraint, it goes back to the big one, way, way back to the announcement to curtail collective bargaining rights for most public workers when the capitol was literally possessed for days by actions of protest. It was that action, a nationally focused event, that proved an embarrassment to the GOP legislature and the Walker Administration that lead to the “simple rule”. Any discussion regarding the “simple rule” taken out of the context of its evolution is just more face book, twitter, social fretwork banter.

The back story of the “simple rule”

Nass is calling on the state Department of Administration to investigate Tubbs’ actions during the protests.

It began with Chief Tubs and his handling of the collective bargaining protest.

It began with a nasty threat from Steve Nass – Whitewater (pictured below in a photo by
Carolyn Fath as he is flanked by Mike Mikalsen who is quoted as saying, “Part of the issue is we have foreign-born professors. Those professors say things.”)

Nass wants Chief Tubbs removed from his position if it’s found that he neglected his duty of keeping lawmakers safe. In Nass’ demonstration Mike Mikalson and Rep. Steve Nass by Carolyn Fath 2007of his convoluted logic, he comes up with a connection about as provable as the string theory. Nass links an incident, where beer was poured on the head of (ALEC chairman) Robin Voss, to Chief Tubbs and the manner he handled the demonstrations at the Capitol over the past months. Makes perfect sense? According to Nass, it was obviously Tubb’s fault. He said protesters have continued to get away with more and more and now, he and his fellow Republican lawmakers are “on guard” at all times in and around the Capitol. Ashamed the law is such a N’ass. Sept. 2011

Arrest Everyone

The “simple rule” grew out of legislation such as AB237 cosponsored, Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine)

AB237, which would give arrest powers to law enforcement officials over anyone “violating a law that constitutes a civil forfeiture if the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is violating or has violated the law.

Does it follow that Capital Police can “arrest anyone”, even those leaning over the gallery and merely watching other people sing?

The real and present “simple rule”

The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The right to protest is a given in the Bill of Rights. Peaceful protests and demonstrations have and will always be a part of democracy. It is through law enforcement where the rubber meets the road, or the club meets the head. Through a long history of protest in this country, we have witnessed different methods of dealing with protest.

The old way is reflected in the “simple rule”. The old way is to use authoritarian constructs, legislation, and policing by force to limit the basic right of people to assemble as expressed, not only in the Constitution, but in the Bill of Rights.

The new way was reflected in Chief Tubs handling of “the big one” when he instituted rules that provided for safety, communication, and the public expression of the peoples’ rights. The GOP Legislature and the Walker Administration issued their verdict and have chosen the “old way” of dealing with the Bill of Rights, just as they have on women’s rights and voting rights.

Tubs is to blame

Nass said that while the number of protesters at the Capitol has dwindled since the spring, the aggressive nature of the protesters has escalated.

Nass said Tubbs is the person to blame for this increase in aggression because he’s gone out of his way to go easy on protesters occupying the Capitol for weeks earlier this year.

More on “Old Method such an ‘Nass”

The OLD METHOD

The “old method” of handling the people’s exercise of 1st Amendment rights, is as familiar as it is ineffective. We have seen the “old method” decade after decade always with the same result. Death, injury, tear gas, beating and brutality. Before Tubbs, it may have appeared the only way to protect and serve. It begins subtly, often in the dark of night. It is not an action but an attitude, as demonstrated in a recent video captured at the Occupy Wall Street action. It demonstrates the tired, subtle, old attitude of some law enforcement officers when approaching a peaceful demonstration.
“My little night stick is gonna get a work out tonight”

The “Old Method” has failed for decades in hundreds of instances, resulting in the injury and death of hundreds of people.

1) No communication with city officials and protest leaders.

The people and the officials do not communicate. The hollow between an attitude of fear and an attitude of freedom is filled with an unknown, most always played out in aggression, violence, injury and death. Mayors, City Officials communicate to law enforcement that the people have no right to assemble. They are a threat to their political future.

This needless atrocity has been played out in the streets of the world, time after time, always with the same tragic and predictable result as demonstrated most recently on the streets of Oakland, California.
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Scott Olsen
His name is Scott Olsen. He is a veteran of two tours in Iraq, only to be brought down by the Oakland Police. His family live in Onalaska, Wisconsin. All so unnecessary. A direct victim of the old attitude turned into unleashed violence as is inevitable. We know this from every past instance of handling protest with the “Old methods”.

It all begins so subtly as right here in Wisconsin – Arrest Everyone

It begins with the belief in the old method, that police should be empowered as they see fit to squash the people’s 1st Amendment right. Case in point, the bill moved out of committee in the Wisconsin Assemply:

AB237, which would give arrest powers to law enforcement officials over anyone “violating a law that constitutes a civil forfeiture if the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is violating or has violated the law.

The bill was introduced to give the Wisconsin State Patrol reassurance that they are empowered to arrest person’s who are exercising their rights provided by Wisconsin statutes to film, and photograph the assembly proceedings from the public gallery. Thus far, the action of the State Patrol demonstated below is not really legal.

Notice the “my little night stick” expressions on the faces of the Wisconsin State Patrol in the short video.

An example of the “old method” occurring daily in the public gallery of the assembly house in Wisconsin. The action is so questionable the State Patrol needs reassurance for its action in the form of Bill AB237.

One of the bill’s cosponsors, Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine), did not respond to requests for comment by initial publication of the article regarding the bill. Arrest Everyone

He expresses the “old method” of handling protest so well in his own campaign add.

Van Wanggaard – Racine’s Finest from Intrepid on Vimeo.

The “simple answer” to Chris Rickert

Without going into the recent history of the “simple rule” to arrest singers who do not have a permit or if it is wise and expedient to dismiss the full history of authoritarian edicts of legislators, and the Governor in developing the old and authoritarian means of control, then there is a simple answer. I could not state it more clearly than Joseph Skulan as he offered an answer to Chris Rickert’s question:

Face Book – Joseph Skulan to Bill: could you pass this on to him from me?

Word is that you are looking for one of the Solidary Sing Along regulars to explain why they do no apply for a permit. That you are having a hard time getting anyone to respond is not surprising, as the Wisconsin press in general, and your newspaper in particular, are not take very seriously by those of us who have been observing them at close range over the past few years. For my part it is not the integrity of journalists that I doubt, but their basic intelligence.

But that is another conversation. Why don’t “we” apply for a permit? Three reasons:

1. Asking the very same government that you are protesting for permission to protest it is ipso facto absurd.

2. The Solidarity Sing Along is not an official organization, but a loose, informal and ever changing collection of individuals. There is no one who speaks for it as a group, and no mechanism either for selecting such a person or making any kind of collective decision. Under these conditions, who exactly would apply for a permit?

3. With a permit comes open ended financial liability. A permit holder agrees to pay for all costs (security, cleanup, damage repair) as assessed by the DOA after the fact. Surely even you can see the problem here. It would be foolhardy for any political opponents of Walker to put their financial well being in the hands of his Department of Administration. I would much rather accumulate $200.50 tickets week after week than open myself up to financial retaliation and ruin from a regime that has shown itself to be both vengeful and dishonest at every turn. And do you honestly believe that, given Walker’s history, fears of such retaliation are unfounded? Not applying for a permit is simple common sense.

Journalism is too steeped in the conventions of its day to be of much value to future historians as anything other than a record of prevailing prejudice.”






Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Walker's Wisconsin – Wealth Distribution

Wealth distribution is what Walker does

Recently this blog posted “Your place in Walker’s Wisconsin” and embedded the U tube video “Wealth Inequality in America” that has been viewed by 6.5 million people. This amazing presentation talks about the average person’s perception of how wealth is wealthpiccurrently distributed in America with a shocking finding: the reality of what we think the wealth distribution is in this country is not even close to what it actually is.

A friend on face book posted the following comment: “If you want wealth distribution work for it like the rest of us do. Average hourly wage as reported Friday by the department of labor is $24.01 an hour. Not a bad living. If you want more figure out a way to invest, save, spend less work more to earn more…..or you can simply stop bitching about people having too much.”

The comment captures the problem of perception so clearly underscored in the video, and points to how the hackles of people, who identify with conservatism, the GOP, Fox News, and Scott Walker, are raised at any mention of wealth inequality, or worse yet, wealth distribution.

Yet, that is precisely what Scott Walker does. It is what he is doing. It is the core of his “reforms”. What is so frustrating is that the man some people “stand with” is a wealth distributor of ungainly if not illegal proportions, but the perception is that he is crusading to cut taxes, balance the budget, and limit the regulatory obstructions of government. No. He is redistributing wealth away from the middle class and into the coffers of the stake holders, the makers, the corporate CEO’s, and developers. Not only are the Walker policies obvious proponents of wealth distribution, but they move wealth away from the middle and further to the already severely slanted end of the spectrum where the bells and whistles are already signaling too much! “tilt”.

Going to work is not enough anymore

The scale of severely unbalanced wealth distribution in America is so out of proportion in favor of the wealthiest 1% that they are now in control of the media, of forming consumer habits, wealth_alvinand of Congress. The lobbyists working long and hard for the interests of the wealthiest are so entrenched in the hearts and minds of politicians on all levels that the power of money and message will not be shifted by just going to work. If left alone to run its course, without action and awareness, the middle class will continue to be left out of the economic glory of this country and the lively pursuit of happiness that many can remember when looking at photos of our parents and grand-parents.

Only awareness of the problem of economic injustice can change the outcome

Most of the people who read this blog already have an awareness of this problem, so the question is what’s next? Not that actions have not been orchestrated as people continue to bring an awareness of perception through movements like Uncut, Occupy Wall Street, and independent films like Karin Hayes – “We’re Not Broke” featured on Directors Cut – Wisconsin Public Television.

WEDC a quasi governmental FAILURE

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is a money hole created by Walker to redistribute wealth to the tilted upper end of any graph scale and it has been and is a disaster. The department is often defined as a quasi private jobs agency without ever discussing what that means.

quasi
as if; as it were
[from Latin, literally: as if]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Quasi? How do journalists continually (sort of) type this (kind of) definition of Walker’s flagship job creation agency and just leave it at that? Would you book a flight on airplane with quasi jet engines? Would you elect to have medical procedure offered by a quasi brain surgeon? Yet if you study the history of Walker’s WEDC disaster you will find the “quasi-private jobs agency” appearing again and again without further clarification or discussion. Even though, quasi has been rolling off the tongue of the media for two years, it has not cut muster with federal funding sources like the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On April 12, 2012 HUD advised DOA that WEDC must immediately cease the award and administration of all CDBG funds until appropriate written opinion from WIsconsin Attorney General or an appropriate written agreement between the Wisconsin DOA and the WEDC is recieved by HUD. Badger Democracy HUD Letter

The letter goes on to specify 16 separate clarifications of “quasi” before federal funds would be released for the Community Development Block Grant program, “WEDC had no legal authority under the CDBG Program to award or administer CDBG funds.”

WEDC Head, Reed Hall, gets a salary boost public schools get the shaft

Hall gets REAL raise for QUASI job creation department

Hall took over the agency in between two audits — one issued in Dec 18, 2012,December 2012 and one released in May 2013 — that were critical of the WEDC’s internal financial functions and systems.

Hall was set to make $120,000 when he took the full-time position in January and in February received a $65,000 raise, according to the Wisconsin Reporter.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO Reed Hall said he did not seek a 50 percent pay raise, but said he views it as a reasonable amount for when the agency recruits for his ultimate replacement.Milwakee Biz Jornals

Funding for public schools cut

The new budget provision gives parents, regardless of income, a state income tax deduction of up to $10,000 for sending a child to private school.

Tony Evers is the Superintendent of Public Instruction spoke with dismay regarding further cutting free public school instruction in Wisconsin.
“So, it’s taking money out of the system that would normally go to public schools — and it’s the most generous in the nation. If you and I were billionaires and were sending our kids to high-tuition high schools, we would get, as billionaires, get the tax credits for that. It’s obviously not progressive and it’s going to hurt our public schools.Politifact “Mostly True” rating

Distribution of Wealth IS what Walker does

If you have or know of a child who attends public schools, raise your hand.

If you know of anyone who has gained employment through the efforts of WEDC, raise your hand.

If we count the hands we can see the downward spiral, the unnecessary pain, and the fear and concern of parents whose hope is to see their children succeed and how this one small snapshot of Walker’s wealth distribution is working – it is working to further burden the parents and children of Wisconsin with an even more treacherous and difficult climb to their pursuit of happiness. It is rewarding those who are already privileged with opportunity, inherited status, and wealth at the expense of the majority of middle class farmers, nurses, fire fighters, teachers, and well, you know them – they live next door.






Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Walker's Wisconsin "GOP Govs are coming"

Nation’s Governors to Convene for Summer Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Like thieves in the night

An interesting commentary on American walker_triangle2Politics lies in the composition of the press release for the conference. The location of the conference follows as an adendum after all of the political puffery like: “NGA promotes visionary state leadership, shares best practices among governors and speaks with a collective voice on national policy”.

The release finally lists the location of the convention at the bottom of the the article as an after thought or a note to the “press”, to underscore how the meeting is a convocation of political elites, where members of the press can expect to be severely vetted by security. As far as the public goes, “Just move on. Nothing to see here”.

PRESS RELEASE – NGA Meeting Registration Center in Wright Ballroom AB, located on the fourth floor of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center

THE EDITOR’S NOTE: Media must pre-register online at NGA’s Summer Meeting website at this link. This secure site provides all pertinent meeting information, including a draft agenda and hotel reservation form.

The deadline for advance registration is Noon (EDT), Tuesday, July 30, 2013. Reporters and producers who miss advance registration must register onsite beginning at 11 a.m. (CDT) on Thursday, August 1. However, they should be prepared for possible delays in clearing security and obtaining their NGA credentials if registering onsite. All media must pick up their individual credentials in person at the NGA Meeting Registration Center in Wright Ballroom AB, located on the fourth floor of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center beginning at 1 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, August 1.Urban Milwaukee press release

Friday, August 2 – The Summer Meeting business sessions will officially begin

Saturday, August 3 – will begin with a joint meeting of the Economic Development and Commerce Committee and the Natural Resources Committee to discuss the state of America’s infrastructure.

Sunday, August 4 – Official business will conclude on Sunday with a closing session on cybersecurity. Governors will hear from Matt Devost, president and CEO of the Terrorism Research Center.

Welcome to the Hilton Milwaukee Downtown – A Four Diamond Hotel!

In the heart of the Walker Triangle

As you look at the google map you will see the balloon at the center showing the location of the Hilton where the NGA will convene; the apex of the Walker Triangle.

If you grab and move the map to the left you will find the balloon that marks the the left point of the base of the triangle – Marquette University campus, where in the late 1980’s Scott Walker abandoned a woman and his child while a student.

Now if you grab and move to the far right, you will find the office where Walker sat when he was County Executive. Just 30 feet from his office is where the secret email network was at work during his campaign for governor which became the subject of the John Doe investigation, and resulted in the indictment of his closest aids and associates.

“The citizens of Milwaukee and Wisconsin are excited to host the nation’s governors. These meetings are an important bipartisan forum for sharing state experiences and discussing the critical issues of the day,” said Host Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a member of the NGA Executive Committee. “I look forward to showcasing Wisconsin to my colleagues.”

If you go to the link below you will find the three points of the Walker Triangle clearly spotted in larger prospective of the map.
Link to Governor’s Conference google map

One term tea shirt anyone?

You may remember that Walker met Obama on the tarmac when he visited Milwaukee back in February of 2012 when one tee shirthe handed over a Brewers jersey with the President’s name on the back and bearing the number one? During the Governor’s Convention Walker will be inviting leaders from across the country to the apex of his triangle of controversies including the abandonment of his pregnant college girl friend, and the swirl of indictments resulting from the John Doe investigation. There the presidential hopeful will stand to welcome his fellow GOP governors, far too arrogant to recognize that he has invited them into his triangle of past denial of people and policies. He will be welcoming them to his dark triangle like he offered a tee shirt to President Obama on the airport tarmac with no realization of how the joke was on him.






Please visit my “other blog” for news of my new play “House of Monkeys” – a musical romp through the love, life, and work of Moliere!

Walker's Wisconsin "6th Worst Governor"

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington names Walker the 6th worst governor in America

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) according to its website, is “dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.”
Cap Times

CREW offers a detailed report on the evaluation. The short list is itemized in the 7 points below and you can read the full report through the PDF link at the bottom.

Short list

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was elected in 2010 and won a recall election in 2012. He is running for re-election in 2014. His inclusion stems from:
(1) using his office to promote donors’interests;
(2) illegally using state troopers to track down his political opponents;
(3) an investigation into illegal activity by his aides;
(4) diverting money from a nationwide mortgage settlement;
(5) an investigation into the state economic development corporation he chairs;
(6) dismissing a political appointee for signing the recall petition against him; and
(7) advocating for new voter identification restrictions.

CREW Analysis PDF

The people of Wisconsin have suffered through all of the itemized actions of Scott Walker since 2010, but missing from the list is the most annoying and clawing of Walker’s behaviors. Some call it arrogance, some say it’s hypocrisy, still others just call him a sneak and a liar. Yet, what is baffling, and hand wringing frustrating, is that his most recent approval rating remains at 48%! The question is, how is this possible? And we run down the list of rationalizations for the rating that seems way too high. Is it because he has the money to control his message and most people do not look or research beyond the headlines? Has Wisconsin really turned that much more red, and if so, why did Obama carry the state in the last election?

I don’t have an answer, but can only continue to dramatize the hypocrisy of Scott Walker. This time with a slide show in which the images are contrasted to quotes that are lifted from CBN’s Brody File, a major conservative evangelical listening-post. Some time ago it published a series of excerpts from interviews with WI Gov. Scott Walker.

You can read the full interview at the bottom of the post.

[meteor_slideshow]
People ask all the time, to Tonette [his wife] and I, how do you get through this? It’s just really prayer. It’s the prayers that we have as a family, that we have individually, and the prayers that people tell us about

People ask all the time, to Tonette [his wife] and I, how do you get through this? It’s just really prayer. It’s the prayers that we have as a family, that we have individually, and the prayers that people tell us about. And those that we don’t even hear about, but we feel people all around our state and really all around the country, that people go out of their way to lift us up, and it’s just, it has been so amazing to us, and really as a family, I think it has made us stronger. We realize that all this is just a temporary thing and God’s got a plan for us that, who knows where it might be, beyond just serving as Governor of this state, but if we stay true to that, there’s always comfort. And God’s grace is always abundant no matter what you do, and it’s just every step of the way. In fact our Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, she asked me about this the other day, she’s just been spectacular as well. She asked me, she said, Scott, do you feel like you’re living your faith strong enough? She was asking me about this on a trip we were on. And I said yeah, the interesting thing is for me, it’s not just about going out and quoting scripture, it’s in how you live. And what I’ve tried to do over this past year is even at the moments of the peak of the attacks and the incivility and everything else, to make sure what I did was calm, it was reasoned, and that I was responding in kind. .Washington Monthly

Walker's Wisconsin Sinking, Sliding, going Down

Just a year ago Walker survived the recall election which he used as an excuse for the failing job numbers in Wisconsin.

June 6, 2012

Instead, the night provided a huge boost for Walker — as well as Republicans in Washington and state capitals who have embraced the same energetic, austere brand of fiscal conservatism as a solution for recession and debt. In a state known for a strong progressive tradition, Walker defended his policies against the full force of the labor movement and the modern left.Washington Post

May 16, 2013

New job numbers fuel debate over Gov. Walker’s economic record
By Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel
May 16, 2013

How is Walker doing compared to his campaign promise? The state is on a pace to fall far short of adding 250,000 more private-sector jobs over four years. According to the new numbers released by the Walker administration, Wisconsin added 62,072 private-sector jobs in 2011 and 2012 combined.

At this rate, Wisconsin will get about halfway toward the governor’s target by the end of his first term in December of 2014:

job chart

Today

Wisconsin quietly slides in CNBC business ranking

When CNBC came out with its “Top States for Business” rankings last year, it got loads of press coverage in Wisconsin.The reason? Wisconsin broke into the Top 20 for the first time ever, jumping eights slots to No. 17. Gov. Scott Walker — fresh off his recall victory — penned a column for the report, saying how his policies were already having an impact. But the new 2013 CNBC ranking which came out last week showing Wisconsin falling back to No. 22 was scarcely mentioned in state media. There was no press release from Walker’s office, nothing from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, although the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation did issue a statement noting the state stayed in the top 25.

CNBC Business Ranking

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia

# 25 Walker’s
Wisconsin

Wyoming
CNBC Ranking

WEDC Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation was to be the engine of job creation

WEDC was to be the blueprint for Neoconservative efficiency – the flagship of the new Walker reform of reforms to allow for the lofty goal of creating jobs, jobs, jobs. Infact, the WEDC is Walker. It exemplifies his vision, his arrogance, his philosophy of reform of government. WalkerarrestA risen County Executive was arrogant enough to decide to abandon and demolish a major department of government, the 35 year old Department of Commerce, to make way for his concept of neocon reform. So it was that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) was created in February of 2011 by the state GOP controlled Legislature and Walker. Five months later, on July 1st – the flagship of reform took over the economic development functions of the old and antiquated Department of Commerce. Since then, the timeline of crisis and confusion at WEDC reads like that of a patient in cardiac arrest. The shuffling and continuous reorganization of major players within the department occurs with such rapid frequency that it is difficult to keep track of, but to get a feeling for what failure looks like you might want to read – Wisconsin – Walker’s reform school

The WEDC is Walker

WEDC reflects all that is Walker with all the mirrors and glimmers of a man who thinks he knows better and is willing to risk his political future, his administration, and the welfare of the people of Wisconsin on his conceptual idea of government. Perhaps, that is why many people, whose principles of conservative ideals, stand with him. The only problem with this picture is that when you go for broke, you may well end up with the result you gamble with, and from all indications when looking at the WEDC’s short history, it is moving job creation, federal grant funding, and Walker over the cliff and taking all the people of Wisconsin with it.

The Undoing of Walker

As opponents of Walker’s policies protested, recalled, and looked to the John Doe investigation to bring justice to the arrogant “I know better” personality of Scott Walker, only now can they see how he was slowly building and documenting his own destruction all along and right before everyone’s eyes. For the WEDC is his baby. The baby to which he cannot deny paternity or claim he had no knowledge of. He cannot blame his WEDC for his failure of job creation since he created it. It just sits there as one of the most stunning failures in the history of Wisconsin government, and all the money in the world cannot erase the structure of failure that is falling around this would-be candidate for President of the Unite States.

Walker's Wisconsin – Eye on Rowe V Wade

Today, every woman has a right to chose an abortion under the Constitution

Yet today, Republicans across the country are ignoring that basic right..and getting away with it!

Governor Walker has sights on the 2016 Presidential Campaign, and he is following the lead of other republican candidates to secure his base on the issue of a woman’s right not to choose to have an abortion. Perhaps, this time his myopic political ambitions will finally abort his effort. In the process, if you can forgive the cliche, he and his GOP legislators, are throwing the baby our with with bathwater. The target in Wisconsin and nationwide is Planned Parenthood Health Services, and to be clear, the organization is not “Planned Parenthood Abortion Services”. Termination of pregnancy is a very small slice of the pie of the health services the organization provides for women.

Planned Parenthood Clinics Closing Statewide

The message from Planned Parenthood web site:

After years of dedicated service to the community, we are letting you know about some unfortunate changes impacting Planned Parenthood’s service in Beaver Dam, Chippewa Falls, Johnson Creek, and Shawano. Due to Governor Walker’s and the state Legislature’s elimination of state funding to Planned Parenthood to support our patient care in the last budget cycle, we will be closing four health centers in 2013.Planned Parenthood

Governor Walkerglick_Dolbeare who fathered a child while a student at Marquette University and abandoned the mother, puts his signature to the law destined to close clinics with a mission to help women in the situation he avoided.

Dr. Bernadette Gillick was the college roommate of the woman who was Scott Walker’s girl friend in the late 1980’s. She came forward with the account of Governor Scott Walker’s abandonment of his girl friend when she became pregnant with his child. (picture right is a photo from “The Hilltop year book archive” of Jennifer Lowe holding her one year old daughter while she was a student at Marquette. (Dr. Gillick used “Ruth” is a pseudo name for Scott Walker’s abandoned girl friend)

Dr.Bernadette Gillick was with Ruth in the hospital for the birth of her child later that year (and says Walker was not present), and later stood up as a bridesmaid in Ruth’s 1992 marriage to another man. She says Walker eventually had to concede that he was the father, after the birth and paternity test.
– It was a “horrible time” for her friend. “Imagine her being 18 years old and pregnant, walking around Marquette’s Jesuit Catholic campus with her boyfriend denying he was the father,”

Services Offered

Abortion
Birth Control
Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
General Health Care
HIV Testing
LGBT Services
Men’s Health Care
Pregnancy Testing & Services
STD Testing, Treatment & Vaccines
Women’s Health Care

Clinics Closed or Closing

Beaver Dam – will close on June 14, 2013

Chippewa Falls – will close on May 17, 2013

Johnson Creek – will close on July 19, 2013

Shawano – will close on April 19, 2013

The funny thing is, the four closing clinics didn’t even provide abortion services (using federal or state funds for abortions is verboten, anyway); they were just unlucky enough to lose the funds needed to provide basic women’s health care to ladies in their communities.Shuttering Clinics

Notice that the clinics closed did not even provide abortion services

Most the services provided the women of Wisconsin through Planned Parenthood – have nothing to do with abortion. Now, does the cliche “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” make more sense? The legislation to curtail funding any health services provided by Planned Parenthood is just plan cruel, ignorant, and counter productive. Look at the pie chart below which gives a visual proportional slice of all of the health services provided. Abortion is a very small slice of the whole pie (3%) and in the case of the four Wisconsin clinics closed under Walker’s signature there was no slice at all – they did not offer abortion services!

plannedpic

It is politically naive to assume that those who would make abortion illegal have much compassion for what it is like to be a pregnant woman. Scott Walker has already run away from that responsibility of readily admitting paternity when he was a student. He just “Walkered out”. Male legislators in Texas provide a more recent example of the “Walkered out” compassion for women, by pounding through legislation that leaves only two abortion providing clinics in the whole “lone clinic” state.

Clearly the mission is to repeal Roe V Wade

The new headline is: “Wisconsin Lawmakers’ bill seeks to define fetuses and zygotes as ‘people’ in the state Constitution” Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere) wants to drop the word ‘born’ from this line in the Constitution, “All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…”

Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere) wants to drop the word “born” from that part of the constitution, so it begins, “All people are equally free and independent.” He also wants to add a sentence to the constitution that says, “As applied to the right to life, the terms ‘people’ and ‘person’ shall apply to every human being at any stage of development.”

Jacque said he was trying to fix a “loophole” in the state constitution and make a pre-emptive strike against potential future court action. It is meant to preserve a decades-old statute that bans abortion.

That law has been rendered unenforceable by court rulings, but Jacque and other abortion opponents hope to see it automatically revived if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade that found women have a constitutional right to choose abortion.Lawmakers’ bill seeks to give fetuses right to life

Does this give a clue to where this is going?

Jacque’s proposal has less hope than a sperm in a fry pan of surviving to form even a zygote’s dream of hope for a future. The point is that he and his republican zealots are going there, and if it isn’t obvious from all the new anti women legislation being enacted across the country, we must understand how the strategy is to build a case to go up the ladder for the Supreme Court to review Roe V Wade.

After the recent decision on the voting rights act in a 5-4 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that “things have changed dramatically” in the South in the nearly 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965.

Rowe V Wade was decided by the Supreme Court in 1973 would the “things have changed dramatically” argument hold for the same five Justices if it were reviewed today? Now, is the time for attention and strategy.