Friday, September 23, 2016
Gov. Scott Walker was asked at an event in Beloit on Thursday whether he expects to hear more from the John Doe investigation after the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether or not to hear the case.
"I would think most people in the state would think after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on this that there’s certainly not a lack of work to be done in Milwaukee County on issues related to crime and on other issues," Walker said. "We hear, not only in that county, but in other counties, about the need for additional district attorneys and additional resources. I think a lot of people wonder, if they continue to spend time after the U.S. Supreme Court were to rule on this, if that’s really necessary, if they have time to spend on this even after the courts have shut it down."
As most people have learned from Scott Walker, divide and conquer is a retaliatory strategy that pits constituents, state employees and teachers, generally anyone he perceives as his adversary, against each other over funding in order to break down their will.
In this case, Walker boldly sends a veiled threat to defund or deny DOJ requests for additional staffing by implying DA's must obviously have too much time on their hands now IF they continue to build a case into his campaign activity including possible state ethics violations.
Of course Walker is hoping his defunding message is received by DA offices around the state in hopes they apply pressure on the John Doe prosecutors to silence them into submission.
Scott Walker appears so incorrigibly corrupt that he can't even stop himself from publicly offering state funds (or withholding them) to state district attorneys in exchange for personal benefit.
Meanwhile, the Walker administration spin Walker's statement into a simple suggestion that county offices might not be properly allocating existing resources.
Rep. Mark Pocan - After Gov. Walker Threatens District Attorney Offices, Rep. Pocan Calls on DOJ to Ensure Retaliation Not Occur, May Need to Intervene
ICYMI - Explore the full cache of The Guardian's John Doe documents on DocumentCloud.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 2:17 PM
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Political Environment Excerpt:
Within that file are less than fifty words which sum up what the entire Walker experience has done to our state - - and, again - - don't miss the why, because it screams the same kind of sweetheart pay-to-play undercurrent which has roiled public WEDC 'job development' financing to DNR land and permit decisions:
From the John Doe files:
Washington Post Excerpt:
“Take Koch’s [sic] money,” Kate Doner, Walker’s fundraising consultant, urged him in September 2011. “Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson. Ask for $1m now. Corporations. Go heavy after them to give . . . Create a list of legislation that passed and benefits whom.”
In other words, Doner directed Scott Walker to get on a plane and tell his wealthy supporters and corporations about the "gold" he can offer them in exchange for large donations ...and make a check list to keep track.
Huff Post Excerpt:
Walker traveled the country, asking wealthy donors to give to Wisconsin Club for Growth. Of course, he would remind them that corporate contributions were accepted and their identity would remain hidden.
He flew to New York City and met with Donald Trump, who gave him $15,000 (and later lied about how much he donated). He solicited money from Adelson, the Koch brothers, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, coal baron Joseph Craft, former Ambassador Mel Sembler, Morgan Stanley’s John Mack, Steve Forbes, hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon, Stanley Herzog, Harlan Crow and countless other executives and corporations or corporate lobbying groups.
Of course it wouldn't be fair to leave out the huge donations from Wisconsin billionaires John Menard Jr. and Diane Hendricks. Since then, Menard has been awarded $1.8 million in state tax credits and may have benefited from an overall reduction in environmental enforcement actions. Hendricks eventually got her "red state" and anti-union right-to-work request passed.
We also recently discovered after the billionaire owner of a lead producer contributed $750,000 to a political group that provided crucial support to Walker and Republicans in recall elections, they approved a measure aimed at retroactively shielding paint makers from liability.
All in all, Scott Walker and his fund-raising team sold an estimated $30.5 million worth of legislation to fend off the recalls.
The Guardian - Because Scott Walker Asked
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The story itself appears to be a well-overplayed diversion by the newspaper to keep Janesville taxpayers eyes off of the soon to be reckoned with $1M deficit. At the same time, an early review of the city manager as proposed by several council members seems more an effort by them to change expectations and soften the manager's divisive point-and-blame approach during those budget deliberations.
You might recall the city's manager, Mark Freitag, made a big splash during his state-of-the-city speech earlier in the year when he announced the city will begin the next budget with a $800,000 deficit and then soon laid blame for the shortage on union negotiated 1% percent raises for city employees over the next few years. Keep in mind that the manager, his administration and the city's farcically assumed "progressive" city council are in complete lockstep with Forward Janesville's long-term wealth transfer agenda benefiting local elitists and city hall insiders.
Forward Janesville's city agenda, an "economic development" program based on a right-wing mutation of heavy government dependency and trickle-down economics (they are a self-described conservative group), is engineered on the widespread use of shifting localized TIF surplus dollars away from the city's operational public obligations to instead fund selective private improvements for FJ's membership under an illusion of "forgivable" loans and promise of property tax payments.
The city manager, administration and council also recently quarantined, as per Forward Janesville, future growth in assessed values of the city's entire downtown in a TIF District for the next 27 years. As you probably know, those future property taxes skimmed off the top (estimated at $30M over the next 27 years) cannot be used for general fund obligations. Instead, the money will be used to fund FJ's downtown trickle-down ARISE gimmick.
Adding to the specter and enormity of the city's $1M deficit, several council members accused the manager of ignoring their agenda item to increase pay slightly for poll workers. The poll worker proposal, expected to add $6K to the deficit, was later oddly opposed by administration employees many of whom receiving raises themselves the manager previously blamed for the deficit. You can see how all of this is getting out of control. This should not surprise anyone.
Over that same period of time, a city employee survey with an anonymous feedback section included heavy personal criticism of Freitag and the city's leaders in general. Among the criticism were accusations that he is a bully, counterproductive, does not accept criticism and does not communicate well. To be fair to Freitag, more than 90% of the feedback was either neutral or far less critical.
Soon after, several council members including the council president proposed holding an early review of the city manager mediated by a facilitator, but quickly caught flak from the Janesville Gazette and their political drive-by support base for their proposal.
The Gazette in a bizarre editorial accused the council president of playing politics and sidestepping his job by requesting an independent mediator for the review. When in truth, NOT having a qualified mediator or "facilitator" instills the notion that the council president is indeed playing politics and engaging in a witch hunt. It appears as if the Gazette is trying to bait him precisely into that.
Although the council's formal review of the city manager has been recently canceled (they will attempt to hold a "discussion" on the matter), under this seemingly highly charged atmosphere of personal attacks, power playing, misunderstanding and miscommunication - a mediator should be demanded, not discouraged, for the manager's NEXT formal review.
Unfortunately again, Janesville does not have a mayor subject to review by voters. The city manager is a hired hand appointed by a top heavy Forward Janesville committee and approved by the council.
And, that is where this mess stands for now.
RNR - Janesville Appoints Army Colonel For City Manager
RNR - Major City Hall Stories Are Swept Under The Rug
Posted by Lou Kaye at 2:06 PM
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:02 AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Funny how these John Doe emails were leaked to The Guardian and not a Wisconsin newspaper. Apparently, the leakers wanted the documents published.
The Guardian Excerpt:
Gentlemen,” she began. “Here are my quick thoughts on raising money for Walker’s possible recall efforts.”
Her advice was bold and to the point. “Corporations,” she said. “Go heavy after them to give.” She continued: “Take Koch’s money. Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson. Ask for $1m now.”
Her advice must have hit a sweet spot, because money was soon pouring in from big corporations and mega-wealthy individuals from across the nation. A few months after the memo, Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate who Forbes estimates has a personal fortune of $26bn, was to wire a donation of $200,000 for the cause.
[ ... ]
One of the checks made out to the group, for $10,000, came from a financier called G Frederick Kasten Jr. In the subject line of the check, Kasten had written in his own hand: “Because Scott Walker asked”.
full story and you'll see more evidence of Gov. Scott Walker coordination efforts with special interest "dark money" groups to defeat the recall.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:08 PM
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Friday, September 09, 2016
An editorial recently published by the Janesville Gazette “Editorial Staff” should help open up some eyes of those who still think the Gazette is some sort of a moderate or politically balanced newspaper.
The editorial is largely self explained by the title, Act 10’s Big Winner: Taxpayers. But apparently the Gazette editorial staff has been drinking the koolaid concocted by the MacIver Institute when they attempt to claim that Act 10 has somehow “saved” Wisconsin taxpayers billions of dollars.
Of course when government cuts public employee pay or benefits it will “save” itself something. That’s only logical, but the claim is largely political propaganda based on hypotheticals with a total disregard in intrinsic value and real dollar costs to Wisconsin communities and families.
It also fails to take a global view of the state budget in the fact that while Act 10 tethered municipal budgets to assessed growth, Walker's budgets operate outside of those same growth restrictions and have grown dramatically every year since Act 10 was rammed through. As you know, the money for the increase in state spending came from somebody's pockets.
Sadly, the Gazette staff also paints the victims of Gov. Scott Walker’s bomb dropping attack as rabid and their protests "divisive."
But what’s past is past and we can only hope that a more progressive platform with a vision of optimism, collaboration and mutual benefit eventually gains traction in our state. However, don’t count on the Gazette to be part of that anytime soon because their editorial also suggests what Gov. Scott Walker and the state's GOP-majority legislature should do next.
If Walker made a misstep with Act 10, he arguably wasn’t aggressive enough, which is strange to say given the rabid protests against it. The groups’ study notes municipality savings could have been even greater if Act 10 did not exempt police officers and firefighters, who make up about one-third of local government personnel.
At some point, the Republican-controlled Legislature should revisit extending Act 10 to all public sector unions to prevent disparities in pay among government workers and boost savings to taxpayers.
Hey firefighters and police officers - if it's up to the Gazette, you're next to be clawed down. But don't worry, Act 10 allowed you to save enough to keep buying those Gazette annual subscriptions.
Upon endorsing Walker the third time for governor, that is what the Gazette meant when they asked voters to re-elect him to finish the job.
Just more divide and conquer. Watch it:
On a separate note but related directly to the Gazette's support for cutting local fire and police compensation, the newspaper knows the city of Janesville gave away most of its future growth in assessed tax value to wealthy developers and city hall insiders for the next 20 to 25 years. They know the only political fix to flat-line the city budget for the short-term is by depressing public employee wages and benefits at every turn.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:34 PM