I am not a Crook times three

What do the three GOP leaders have in common?

GWbridgetrio
The trio above is composed of New Jersey Governor – Chris Cristie, Wisconsin Governor – Scott Walker, and former President Richard Nixon. What they have in common is the metaphorical crossing of a bridge to far. The George Washington Bridge closing is just too pregnant with symbolism to pass up – it just begs for a parable. The controversy facing Governor Cristie is not new. It echos back to the classic temptation that has visited the wealthy and powerful throughout human time, the temptation to use power to manipulate circumstances for personal gain, or worse yet, retribution against opponents.

In recent times any political scandal visited on person of power that is met with denial on the part of the accused inherits the suffix “gate”. Of course, this is because of the Grandaddy of all coverups Watergate. If you are now about 50 or older, you will remember the two year long continuous denial of Richard Nixon in a personal way; his stubborn claim that he knew nothing of the break-in at the Watergate office complex in D. C. right up until the day when he was finally threatened with certain impeachment. He was forced to resign his office in shame on August 9 of 1974. This is why the denial of wrong doing on the part of Chris Cristie has already been coined as “Bridgegate”. It is why the on going investigation of Scott Walker in Wisconsin is known as “Walkergate”.

Nixon found himself hopelesslynixon point stuck in a mud of denial of the break-in and yet, he spun his wheels for two years to create a rut so deep and so intractable that any other politician so accused is doomed to follow his Watergate track. Cristie and Walker are doomed to drive down the same road, unable to turn their wheels out of the Watergate rut, until they drive off the eventual cliff of embarrassment, denial, and final resignation. Watergate has become the thousand piece jig-saw puzzle with the final picture clearly displayed on the cover of the box. Just like a sequel movie or TV show the “Othergates” of Christie and Walker are solved by the picture on the puzzle box long before the hours of putting all the pieces together proves the fact. But, oh what fun all the endless mystery and intrigue provide for media pundits, and political junkies! “I found a piece!”

All of a piece

The politicians who find themselves trapped behind some “Gate” or other share some common foibles so that the piecing together of the puzzle becomes traceable and predictable. It might be argued that every politician has a big ego, but the “Gate” politicians have ego’s on steroids – like Chris Cristie and Scott Walker. They need to “be someone” far out weighs their need to serve someone.

This obsessive need could not have been made more clear on the part of Cristie than in his two hour news conference when all of his apologies and administrative actions where deeply based in his personal foible: “It’s all about me.” My staff lied to ME. They blindsided ME. Me. I. Me. I. This is the way “Gate” politicians see the world. Scott Walker’s “Gate” has yet to break loose in the national media, but it appears inevitable that he is the next “Gate” on the horizon. Mark my words. Walkergate is a bridge just waiting to be crossed.

Bring on Walkergate

Cristie’s Bridgegate finally broke months after the bridge closure on the first day of school. It first hit the national press as a weird political anomaly on the Rachel Maddow show. She is the first to admit and credit the bloggers and journalists and specifically Bergen Record reporter Shawn Boburg, who continued to delve into all the tedious research making phone calls, and pouring over documents until the balance finally shifted into one of the major stories effecting national politics of the year.

The same tedious research is Ifgovprestracing through the counties of Wisconsin as the two year long John Doe Investigation continues. The same reference as to the atmosphere necessary for a Watergate, Bridgegate, and Walkergate has been defined in Wisconsin. Yes, the culture of seediness and lawbreaking that pervaded the Walker administration at the time he was campaigning for governor, makes Nixon and Cristie look like naughty children when compared to the vile acts that were documented within Walker’s Milwaukee culture.

Not only did Walker’s Chief of Staff, Timothy Russell, set up a secret email network for Walker’s campaign for governor, but he was convicted of stealing money from a veterans group whose mission was to help families of fallen veterans. Where is the national press?

Finally a Special Prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, has been appointed to investigate the criminal activity surrounding Scott Walker.

For two years Walker has said he didn’t know about the secret email network located within 30 feet of this County Executive Office. He has dodged, ducked and dismissed any knowledge or connection with any criminal activities that were all orchestrated to put him in office and keep him in office.

Even if Cristie did not know about the bridge closure, he is being held to the fire by the press for creating a culture of retribution. Even if he did not know, he is responsible for surrounding himself with staff who would orchestrate such and act of retribution on his behalf.

In Watergate the idea that Nixon could be absolved by “not knowing” was addressed by the Arlo Guthrie song “The Presidential Rag”:

Presidential Rag
Arlo Guthrie – Presidential Rag Lyrics | MetroLyrics
You said you didn’t know
That the cats with the bugs were there
And you never go along
With that kind of stuff no where

Scott Walker’s name is being dropped even more often as a GOP Presidential candidate in the wake of Cristie’s Bridgegate. As he is being paraded out on the Sunday shows, why is he being absolved from the culture of crime he created in Wisconsin’s Walkergate?

Just asking.

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

John Doe STILL OPEN

MADISON, Wis. (AP) –
Walker said on Tuesday that he hoped the so-called “John Doe” investigation would end as early as this week. But retired Waukesha County Judge Neal Nettesheim told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his home Wednesday “that would be pure conjecture.

The judge overseeing the investigation into former aides of Gov. Scott Walker says the probe remains open.
News 8000

Not Complete – Who is left?

Judge Nettesheim says, “The John Doe is not completed. It is still open.News 8000

Russell is the fourth Walker aide or associate convicted of misconduct in office as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation.

Walker’s former Deputy Chief of Staff Kelly Rindfleisch (far right) was sentenced in November to six months in jail and probation for doing political fundraising while at her county job.

Kevin Kavanaugh (second from left) was sentenced in December to two years in prison
after stealing more than $50,000 from Operation Freedom and other funds intended to benefit veterans and their families. Walker had appointed Kavanaugh to the county Veterans Service Commission.

Additionally, Walker’s constituent services director, Darlene Wink (second from right), was sentenced in January to one year’s probation for doing campaign fundraising in 2009 while working in her taxpayer-funded county job.

Other indictments surrounding Walker campaign:

In April 2011 William Gardner (third from left), president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co., agreed to plea guilty to two felony counts

Brian Pierick,(third from right) was Tim Russell’s roommate and partner. He was charged ( with child enticement and exposing himself to a 17 year-old boy.

walker PATH

John Doe Investigation Continues bouncing from associate to associate

If we are defined by the company we choose, than the sooner Governor Walker is unseated as Governor of the State the better. Unfortunately he is too big to jail. If any business leader, educator, or board member were to be so deeply associated with the likes of those pictured above, they would be dismissed. Why is it that a governor is held to a different set of rules?

Walker is an emperor without clothes. The evidence presented in the course of the John Doe investigation has diminished any attraction to this man as a leader. Everyone knows that his County Executive office was just yards away from the secret email network that was used, on the tax payers dime, as a tool as he campaigned for governor. So we wait and wonder when the axe will fall.

John Doe "OPEN FOR BUSINESS" "IT IS WORKING"

Judge Nettesheim “IT IS WORKING”

“The John Doe is still open and I have received no indication from the prosecutors that they are going to ask me to close it down as of yet,”

-Neal Nettesheim, a retired state appeals court judgeJS Online

Karma – Yin-Yang – Walker’s slogans arise to form his epitaph

Today. Thursday November 29th, this afternoon. Tim Russell appears in court to unveil the next piece in the puzzle of the 2 and a half year investigation into malfeasance (remember that word from the GOP speeches defending Walker in the Recall Election?) and an assemblage of despicable deeds that a murder of crows would not care to lite upon.

Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.
Al Capone

For most of the people, those that Walker refers to when he says, “most people, like I, would be happy and hopeful that it might be done this week.”, the investigation is about the headline story: the secret email network operated on the taxpayers dime.

Of course, that one allegation is a felony; a criminal offense that has put Kelly Rendfliesh behind bars. But the underbelly of dastardly deeds associated with the cadre of criminals that found their way into into the positions of Walker’s highest regard and confidence have been buried in the understory, partly because the story has wound on, but more so because the crimes of Tim Russell, Brian Pietrich and Kevin Kavanaugh are so seedy and “R” rated that, well, reporters just don’t want to talk about them.

Walker for President

I hope Walker enters the primary election process for president and opens his past to the vetting process of the media so his true nature is spread, in no uncertain terms, across the county.

Child Enticement Associations

Scott Walker placed his full trust and offered the highest responsibility to men who are accused partners in child enticement. The former Chief of Staff for hopeful presidential candidate, Scott Walker, were playing cyber sex with an underage boy who was looking for a sexual adventure. The following day these men were in the office working for the current governor of Wisconsin. And Republicans are questioning the integrity of Pamela Rice for reading an official statement on Sunday morning talk radio shows?

Stealing From Families of Fallen Veterans

Russell is accused of one of the smelliest, low down, inhuman embezzlement schemes in the annals Wisconsin dirty deeds. It is one thing to steal money by cooking the books, it is another when you are taking that money from moms and dads who lost children in war. What could be more heartless or more disingenuous to all that we call America?

My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.
Al Capone

Since the power point presentation during the trial of Rindfleisch, even the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel is slowly backing away from its documented “Stand With Walker” voice.It has gone from:

“We recommend Walker; his removal isn’t justified”

before the Recall Election to,

“We have no idea if there is more here than meets the eye. But what’s clear from the emails is that Walker’s campaign staff was helping to manage county government for the benefit of only one citizen — Scott Walker. How is that acceptable conduct?”

No, the John Doe Investigation is not over, and will not be over by the end of the week. Walker’s – “It’s all about me” – approach to governance has reached new heights with the revelation of his total lack of comprehension that his hopes for national candidacy would die in its tracks and only be written with his own slogans forming the epitaph of his political career.

The man who failed to realize that the John Doe investigation “Is Working” and the long line of proof leading to his downfall is “Open for Business”.

Wreck of the Walker Fitzgerald

“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” is a song written, composed and performed by Canadian Gordon Lightfoot to commemorate the sinking of the bulk carrier SS Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. It was inspired by the Newsweek article on the event, “The Cruelest Month”, which appeared in the issue of November 24, 1975.[1] Lightfoot considers this song to be his finest work.Wiki

The captain wired in he had water comin’ in

and the good ship and crew was in peril.

And later that night when ‘is lights went outta sight

came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was a tragedy. The wreck of the Walker Fitzgerald is the opposite.

More water comin in the ship of state in Wisconsin

Judge strikes down law giving Walker new powers in setting DPI rules
By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel
Oct. 30, 2012

It was last November 16th, just as the wave of protest was waning in reaction to the Act 10 or the curtailing of collective bargaining, that Walker dropped another power grabbing volley in the form of the first awakenings of what would become Act 21.

The evolution of Act 21

The blatant threat to democracy was born with the passage AB 8 providing that rules regulating your vote, your safety, and your freedom could be changed, altered, and discarded with the stroke of Walker’s pen.

The authority of a state agency to promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of a statute enforced or administered by the agency and to implement or enforce any standard, requirement, or threshold as a term or condition of a license issued by the state agency; gubernatorial approval of proposed administrative rules; economic impact analyses of proposed rules and emergency rules; and venue in a declaratory judgment action seeking judicial review of the validity of an administrative rule and in an action in which the sole defendant is the state.

But that was not quite strong enough for Governor Walker. He issued an executive order to further clarify that he makes the rules.

November 2, 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact: Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

The new procedure will ensure that rules are able to be reviewed by the public, the Executive Branch, and the legislature.

Madison –Today Governor Walker signed Executive Order #50 to bring stability and accountability to Wisconsin’s regulatory process.The Governor’s Executive Order creates the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Compliance to help assure timely and proficient review of administrative rules. Under the regulatory procedure agencies must provide a scope statement with a detailed description of a proposed rule and the statutory authority for the rule. They must also detail all of the entities that may be affected by the rule.

So it was that Assembly Bill 8 which began it’s life in a 2011 January Special Session was signed into Act 21 by Walker in May.

Effects and Reaction

This was little more than legislative language giving the Governor full power to change the rules of the legislature, agencies, and well, just about anyone else, and he took full advantage of his power to skirt democracy and issue his kingly orders.

The self-imposed control of rules became the subject of the lawsuit of WEAC filed in June when they sought relief the from the law giving Walker power over DPI rules. WEAC Suite

This self-imposed control of the rules resulted in a sudden change in the language of the legislation know as the “concealed carry law”. After hearings and hours of debate it was decided to impose a four hour training course to carry a concealed weapon. With the stroke of Walker’s pen, it was negated and struck from the law.

The Government Accountability Board issued a rule deciding that a sticker applied to a Student ID would be adequate to use as a valid voter ID. With a stroke of Walker’s pen, it was negated and struck from the law.

As of Oct. 30 the portion of a law giving Gov. Scott Walker veto powers over rules written by the state schools superintendent was struck down by a Dane County Circuit Judge Amy Smith.

The sinking of the Walker Fitzgerald in the sea of justice

The overreach of the Wisconsin GOP Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald and Governor Scott Walker is being bashed by the waves of the justice and the courts and it is listing badly.

The Walker Fitzgerald began to take on water Sept. 14, when Judge Colas ruled that parts of Act 10, the law curtailing collective bargaining rights, were unconstitutional infringements on municipal and school district workers’ right of free speech, freedom of association and equal protection. Attorney General Van Hollen sought a stay to keep the provisions of the law active through an appeals process. The judge said, “No.” On Monday October 22 Judge Colas ruled that he won’t delay enforcement of his September ruling while the state appeals it.Judge declines to stay ruling

Now, the engine room of the ship is threatened with flooding with the Oct. 30 ruling that Act 21 violated the state constitution by giving Walker the power over the state Department of Public Instruction, which is headed by state schools Superintendent Tony Evers. Judge strikes down law

Rough seas ahead for Captain Walker

August 1st

The Reindfeisch trial was scheduled and Walker ducked out of delivering court ordered testimony when a plea bargain was struck.

Kelly Rindfleisch Trial Oct. 15 Countdown

The focus of Walker’s undoing has fallen under the radar in the midst of the Nov. 6 elections. Yet, he faces being called as a witness in future trials to begin two weeks after the presidential election.

Wink’s sentencing was moved to Nov. 21 by Judge Daniel Konkol at the request of Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf. Wink’s cooperation is needed in the case of Timothy Russell, another former county official, and also in a Waukesha County case, Landgraf said

Wolff said Wink was eager to complete her case. She has continued working with the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, Wolff said.

Darlene Wink Trial Nov. 21 Countdown
Timothy Russell Trial Dec. 3 Countdown

Time waits…


…for no man.

WALKER "not with a bang, but a whimper"

The Hollow Men – T. S. Elliot

Between the idea
And the reality
Falls the Shadow

-T. S. Elliot

Between the desire of the most ineffectual leader in Wisconsin’s history and the spasm of his grasp of power – Falls the Shadow.

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.” Martin Luther King

Oh, the arc of morality is bending – not as the eye can see and not within the hot forge of protest, a recall election, or the John Doe investigation. Not as our eye can see, or our hopes and needs may have projected, but in and along the unpredictable divining of conscience.

The “divide and conquer” idea was to “drop the bomb” on Wisconsin and end collective bargaining rights for most public workers. The reality became the disruption of all paths to communication, compromise, or civil discussion within the halls of government for over a year. And the shadow fell.

A maligned sort of psychology was at play in the state and the country, that most certainly had its predecessors, the McCarthy era, the anti-war movement, and then there is the evil prince of such a psychological stew – the rise of Hitler. Of course, it is wrong to make a cookie cutter comparison of any of these lost souls to Walker or one another, but all we have to negotiate the present is the atmosphere of the past, and wise men look at the similarity of conditions and atmosphere that are present from one storm to another.

Struck Down…Falls the Shadow

MADISON, Wis. September 14 — A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.Huffington Post

Walker’s legal eagle, Attorney General Van Hollen, was unleashed to save the crown jewel of Walker’s crowning political action that raised him to the status of a rock star in the eyes of wealthy neocons who poured millions into his recall campaign. Van Holen asked for a stay of the action while the ruling proceeded through the courts.

Stay Struck Down…Falls the Shadow

By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel
Oct. 22, 2012
Van Hollen appealed the decision and asked Colas to stay his decision until a higher court could rule on it. On Monday, Colas declined to stay his decision, which means local governments cannot follow the portions of the law that have been found unconstitutional. Judge Maintains Ruling

Loss of Rock Star Status…Falls the Shadow

Now, that Walker could not deliver his crown jewel of union busting coupled with facing possible involvement in the John Doe Investigation, it appears he has lost his rock star status and has become a liability. He was slated to help raise funds in Missouri, but suddenly he was told “no thanks”.

Walker had been scheduled to headline a pair of fundraisers Monday in Kansas City and St. Louis for gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence. Walker also was to have participated in a rally Monday afternoon with Spence in Jefferson City.

Spence’s campaign manager, Jared Craighead, said all of the events will proceed without Walker. He says Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt will take over the speaking duties for Walker. Walker Cancels Campaign Trip

The clock is ticking…Falls the Shadow

August 1st

The Reindfeisch trial was scheduled and Walker ducked out of delivering court ordered testimony when a plea bargain was struck.

Kelly Rindfleisch Trial Oct. 15 Countdown

The focus of Walker’s undoing has fallen under the radar in the midst of the Nov. 6 elections. Yet, he faces being called as a witness in future trials to begin two weeks after the presidential election.

Wink’s sentencing was moved to Nov. 21 by Judge Daniel Konkol at the request of Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf. Wink’s cooperation is needed in the case of Timothy Russell, another former county official, and also in a Waukesha County case, Landgraf said

Wolff said Wink was eager to complete her case. She has continued working with the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, Wolff said.

Darlene Wink Trial Nov. 21 Countdown
Timothy Russell Trial Dec. 3 Countdown

Time waits…


…for no man.