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Friday, December 31, 2010

Is Janesville's 'Project Sober Streets' a Little Late To Be Pro-Active?

In what at first appears to be a novel way to discourage or crack down on drunken driving, the Janesville Police department will be listing the names, addresses and photos of drivers with five or more drunk driving convictions on a Web-mapping site called Project Sober Streets. With just a few clicks of the computer mouse, you can find the names of these repeating offenders. Oh goodie! But, what do we do with the information?
JG Excerpt:
Project Sober Streets, the product of a six-month initiative by the Janesville Police Department, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation...
There's good reasons why no one else has tried it, but I digress.

I'm convinced these lists and marking people do more harm than good, but wouldn't the police department be far more pro-active by mapping out the homes or establishments where the repeating offenders got bombed before they got behind the wheel? Including the times, location or intersections of their arrests? That seems more pro-active if prevention and public safety are really the priority. Yet, if attempting to shame is now considered a pro-active, problem-solving approach to these issues, then my blog should be championed across the globe as the "blog of solutions."


Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Does The Presidency Have To Do With Gasoline Prices?

The former Shell Oil president who claimed the BP oil disaster could be cleaned up by attaching a big vacuum cleaner to a supertanker is now making a new claim: he's saying that by the time the presidential election rolls around, gas will be at $5 per gallon.

What does the presidency have to do with gasoline prices? Everything. Just ask George W. Bush.

But I'll go out on the limb here to make an easy prediction. That if unemployment stays unelectably high for Obama - gasoline prices will probably stay relatively flat or low. But if unemployment starts looking like a non-issue by New Year's 2012 AND the Fed continues to flood the market with dollars - they will start racheting gasoline up to $5 or higher by August 2012, regardless of supply and demand. Corporate America is fully prepared to take it up to $7 if Obama's economy really starts booming. One way or another, they're going to do all they can to get rid of Obama - and $5+ a gallon will do it if the unemployment picture won't.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Carefully Chosen Words Describe Self-Hating Radio Bigot's Philosophy

A few passages from Bliss Com's Dan Conry Show.
Talk Show Excerpts:
"Listen, I think this guy who worships at the altar of Fighting Bob La Follette up in Madison... a lot of you people don't know the history of the La Follette's - I do, it's very frightening. I don't believe in socialism. I don't believe in single-payer health care and a government run health care...blah, blah..bla.

"You can't accuse me of being a zealot. You can't accuse me of not being able to have the conversation at least. But, there are people out there who just feel that this socialist march is the way to go, and I'm going to fight you every step of the way. When people come here into this studio and sit down and won't even admit that they are a Liberal, that they are a Democrat or they are a Socialist...that's a bad sign. That's somebody who has very ill intentions. That's somebody who's willing to mask and hide who they really are. Don't be afraid. Just let us know who you are. This way we can can vote reasonably, responsibly and rationally...

...I'm not gonna be afraid to tell you who I am. Those of you who are afraid to tell me that you are a left-wing socialist...and by the way, left-wing socialists, democrats and liberals - that's the march to communism. And the communists? Yeah, they tend to have a body count of about a hundred million people after a while because the despots kick in." -- Dan Conry
The next day...
Talk Show Excerpt:
"I grew up in a democratic household, I grew up in a very liberal city. I grew up in a very liberal background. You don't exist in the city (NY) that I lived in if you're a bigot, if you're a racist, if you're a homophobe, if you have no tolerance for anybody." -- Conry, apparently explaining why he no longer lives in New York City
Talk Show Excerpts:
"There are too many gay people-liberal-drug addict-drunks in my family who will certainly not put up with me being a guy who does hate speech radio...or banging on the table radio. It's just not going to happen. By virtue of the DNA I come from ...(giggling), I can't throw too many know what I'm saying? Everybody relax, calm down...there's no accusations...there's no labeling..."
Dan Conry said he chooses his words very, very carefully.

He's such an irresistible sweetheart. Who wouldn't want to sit down and talk with him on his radio show? Hugs.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Doyle and Democrats Put State On Strong Footing For Jobs

Before Walker takes office and faces the challenge of backing his promise that he will create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin by the end of his term, a new report shows that the state might be better off without him.

Those measuring the state's economy project that recovery policies enacted well before Walker takes office, under Gov. Jim Doyle and state democrats, and aided by federal stimulus dollars have set the state on a trajectory for as many as 288,000 new jobs - providing of course that Walker keeps his hands off.
Channel 3000 Excerpt:
One forecast shows that even if Walker does nothing the state will add 190,000 jobs over the next four years. Another forecast shows there will be nearly 290,000 new jobs.
But I'm not a selfish person. So let's compromise and project that the state will create about 240,000 over the next four years exclusive from Walker's jobs plan. So, in order to hold Walker to his campaign promise of 250,000 over four years, the state will need to have created almost 500,000 new jobs since the first 240,000 jobs belong to Doyle and the democrats. What a great legacy!

Remember, on the campaign trail Walker never said he intends on "doing nothing" to create jobs. Actually, it was quite to the contrary. Walker said he has a plan, a very detailed and specific plan (check out his 68 page jobs plan - it's a hoot!), that once implemented will create 250,000 by the end of his term in office. Unfortunately for us, Walker hasn't been able to keep his hands off as losses directly attributable to his actions (not the state) have already cost us anywhere from 7,500 to 12,000 jobs, and this is before he's taken office.

Unless Walker continues to do even more damage, Wisconsin democrats and concerned voters will need to keep 500,000 as the lowest possible magic number in order to hold him accountable for his 250,000 jobs guarantee. We must not allow Walker enablers and his media accomplices to give him credit for job creation that belongs to others.

Remember that 500,000 number in 2014. Walker will hope you won't.

Related Enabler: Walker already at 100,000 jobs

Monday, December 27, 2010

Walker Wants One Man Oversight Committee For State Regulations - Himself

"The common sense reforms contained in our proposal will take the power of regulating away from unelected bureaucrats and put it back where it belongs — in the hands of the people," Walker said in a statement.
But...but, the power of regulation is already in the hands of the people, the same article states...
Post Cresent Excerpt:
Under current law, approval of agency rules rests with a special legislative committee and ultimately the Legislature.
Despite having republicans control all three houses of state government, how much more "people" can you have than in our elected representatives in the legislature? Well, we could propose a regulations oversight committee completely independent of the governor and the legislature, but that would be "progressive." Besides, under Walker who would comprise the committee? Members of the WMC?
Post Cresent Excerpt:
The rules, which have the same power as a law, are typically put in place after the Legislature passes a new law. They can be highly technical but they can also directly affect how a new law is actually implemented.
Walker wants to take the technicalities out of the hands of the science guys, government employees (bureaucrats) who specialize in the field, and hand them over to a corporate drone (himself) who would like nothing more than to dumb down the rules far enough to render them nearly useless.
Post Cresent Excerpt:
Walker also proposed prohibiting state agencies from proposing rules that are more restrictive than what is allowed under the law and allowing for citizens to file legal challenges to rules in any county circuit court, not just Dane County, where state government is centered.
This is really at the heart of what Walker wants. He wants to forbid the science guys from PROPOSING or fortifying any rules while at the same time weakening the state's legal defenses to enforce whatever regulations remain. "Citizens" in our post-constitutional government is now synonymous with "corporations."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why Did Knilans Run For Office Outside His Home District?

In the video below, Tea Party republican candidate Joe Knilans argued that voters simply showing up to vote without proof of residency did not cut it ethically with him. However, Knilans fully intends on showing up to be sworn-in, despite making a mockery of the residency requirement for legislative office.
WKOW Excerpt:
Janesville republican Joe Knilans is poised to be sworn-in as the state assembly's representative to the 44th assembly district, with his official residence his brother's basement. State law says for someone to be sworn-in as a state representative, ten days of residence in the district are required.

Knilans' home is in the 45th assembly district.
Imagine that! Knilans should have ran for Chuck Benedict's assembly seat in the primary against fellow Republican candidates Jim Reseburg, Jeff Klett and Amy Loudenbeck.

He then takes a shot at the Janesville district he lives in by suggesting that the area's housing market is so brutal that he's stuck with a home he can't sell. Lucky us! Way to go, Joe.
Joe Knilans Web Site
(Displays Web Link to Glenn Beck)
I will focus my efforts on:
•Bringing jobs back to the area
•Lowering taxes
•Updating regulations that are hampering the local businesses
•Eliminating wasteful spending
•Family values and education
•Photo identification for voting
So the question is: Why didn't Knilans run in the district of his residence when the seat was available at the same time? Was it because of a personal animosity towards Mike Sheridan was possibly greater than his devotion to the district he will serve?

Related: Knilans Played Off Of GM Resentments

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wisconsin GOP House Delegation Turn Tail On 9/11 Responders

This is old news but back in September, Wisconsin republicans Thomas Petri, James Sensenbrenner and Paul "we can't afford it" Ryan all voted against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, the bill to compensate and pay medical benefits to thousands of first responders (egads, public service union members no less) who worked at Ground Zero.
It was called a "Christmas miracle," but a last-minute compromise by Congress will provide a smaller aid package than originally envisioned to help victims of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the responders sickened as they worked in its smoldering ruins.
This time however, not even one of Wisconsin's three GOP congressmen had the courage of their convictions to stick around for the vote.

Interestingly, other Fox News contributors like Michelle Bachmann, Eric Cantor, Steven King and Joe "you lie" Wilson were among the 59 republicans voting against the deficit neutral bill. Only one democrat, Gene Taylor from Mississippi, was crazy enough to go along with the republicans, but he's a lame-duck anyways.

John Heckenlively: Ryan, GOP vote against helping 9/11 first-responders (July 30, 2010)

GOP Calls Bill A Corporate Tax Increase

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tea Party Protests Against Deficit Boosting Tax Policy

A typical Tea Party protest near the Capitol against extending the government's deficit boosting tax policies. (Black Muslim Kenyan Marxist Occupying The White House)

A typical Tea Party protest near the Capitol against extending the government's deficit boosting tax policies. (Bush Tax Cuts)

Wisconsin's Future: Close Property Tax Loopholes

Institute For Wisconsin's Future
Press Release Excerpt:
State government gives too many property owners a pass on paying a fare share of property taxes, depriving local communities of several hundred million dollars a year in revenue.

Some properties are totally exempt from the property tax, including large nonprofit hospitals and expensive senior housing complexes. Some properties are undervalued, such as land being held for speculation that is wrongly classed as farmland and billboards assessed for the wood, steel and plastic they are made of but not the expensive message space that is rented to
advertisers. Owners of all these properties depend on the vital services that property taxes fund, but do not pay or pay less than their share for those services.

Read IWF's Full Report Here

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Obama Secures GOP Votes For Nuclear Pact

Yahoo Excerpt:
President Barack Obama locked up enough Senate Republican votes Tuesday to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia that would cap nuclear warheads for both former Cold War foes and restart on-site weapons inspections.
"We know when we've been beaten," Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah told reporters hours before the vote.

Oh God...what did Obama have to give Republicans for this one? The internet? Banish organized labor unions? Eliminate the minimum wage?

"Obama has prevailed in securing overwhelming bipartisan approval of a tax deal with Republicans..." Obama prevailed??

Monday, December 20, 2010

State Loses 4,800 Private Sector Jobs in November

The Janesville Gazette headlines the news under State Briefs as "Unemployment rate drops to 7.6%."
JS Online
Corroborating the trend, Wisconsin lost 4,800 private-sector jobs in November, according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Workforce Development.

Including jobs shed by state and federal government agencies, Wisconsin lost 5,200 nonfarm jobs last month. The agency adjusted the data to strip out seasonal fluctuations caused by weather and holidays.

At the same time, the agency reported that the state's unemployment rate dipped to 7.6% in November from 7.8% a month earlier.
Best explanation yet - "5,200 jobs lost, 2,600 manufacturing jobs gained = 2,600 jobs lost. But if we're shedding 3,400 a month from unemployment comp rolls because of expiring benefits, we have 800 fewer reported "unemployed" for .2 uptick in employment ;-) Numbers not accurate, example only."

Two Days Later: "Jobs Outlook Brightening"

Poverty Up By 10% In Most Counties, and it's only going to get worse.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More of the Same Contradictions In Media Coverage

In newspaper articles covering the report recently released on the coroner's office, county administration officials have claimed they went outside the county to find an independent person to carry out the investigation.
JG Excerpt:
The county hired Nowlan & Mouat law firm in Janesville to review allegations of election violations, misconduct in public office and a hostile work environment because it wanted an independent person outside the county to handle the investigation, said Dave O'Connell, human resources director.
Outside the county? Nevermind that the law firm of Nowlan & Mouat is less than a block away from the county building. In addition, the "independent person" chosen to investigate the coroner's office is no stranger to Janesville/Rock County politics. In fact, the county would be hard-pressed to find a more authoritarian activist to investigate the spurious complaints against a democratically elected office-holder than the one they chose, Attorney David Moore.

Here's just one reason why. In February of '09, when the Janesville city council discussed a resolution to change the city's committee appointment process, it was Moore who spoke at length during the public hearing in support of rejecting the change. He insisted that Janesville government is better off leaving approval on key appointments for various city committees in the hands of a single city employee (city manager) than to a democratically chosen citizen nomination committee. He argued that a check and balance was built into the current system since the existing ordinance stated the appointments are ”with the approval of the council.” This of course ignores the obvious, that committees should be wholly independent of council and city manager influence since they oftentimes deal with administrative decisions or oversight. However, I do concede in the fact that Janesville city government, as progressive as some folks have been led to believe it is - does not have citizen appeals or oversight committees - at all. Janesville's city committees are merely opinion panels ad hoc'ed for city projects and loaded with establishment players and council members.

Back then, Moore's arguments in my view was indicative of a personal bias against democracy so strange that it eventually prompted me to post a rebuttal here on my blog. A rebuttal of course obviously made without foresight to the investigative report he would later submit on the county coroner's office nearly two years later.

In hindsight however, he may have been the best person for the investigation. That a hard-line authoritarian such as Moore was unable to uncover any conclusive evidence of wrongdoing other than to create suppositions only by ignoring a state statute is a further testimonial to the coroner's integrity and professionalism. Coroner Keach faced an adversarial force in Moore and survived. Is she perfect? Of course not, but on the other hand - who is? But claiming Moore is a neutral or "independent" person outside the loop of county or local politics in this investigation is preposterous.

Usually our local media tries to keep their contradictions at least several paragraphs apart than in this example published by the Beloit Daily News.
BDN Excerpt:
The counsel found Keach acted inappropriately by being present at a coroner’s staff meeting in which a petition in favor of keeping the elected coroner over an appointed medical examiner was passed around. The counsel could not determine if Deputy Coroner Michelle Walworth’s allegations that Keach was present at the time were accurate, according to the documents. (contradictory statements)
Well, which is it?

On another note: It's been confirmed that the county board has once again begun the process to dismantle elective county offices. At Thursday's board meeting, Supervisor Phil Owens put forth the resolution to abolish the coroner's office. It has now moved on to the Public Safety and Justice committee. Stay informed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Deficit Deal Passes House - On Way To President Betrayedus

Tax Deal Not a Stimulus Package
...insisted that the tax-cut deal between Republicans and the White House isn't a second stimulus and that the agreement would promote growth despite adding to the deficit.
Can you guess who the above statement is attributed to?
Hint: It belongs to a congressman who also insists tax cuts grows federal revenue. Click here to find out.

Once you understand that stimulus applies only to the working poor and middle-class, it'll be easier to realize that the growth he is referring to is for the wealth of rich people. But ...if tax cuts counter-intuitively grow federal revenue, how could the deal add to the deficit?
Hypocrisy squared to the power of ten.
Politco Excerpt:
In the end, the House vote wasn't close, with 139 Democrats joining 138 Republicans to approve the bill. The Senate passed the bill comfortably as well Wednesday, 81 to 19. The bill represented a major shift for Obama, as he abandoned an oft-repeated campaign promise that he would end the policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Analysis: Law Firm Mishandled Investigation - Signs Of Conspiracy Abound

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! --Sir Walter Scott, Scottish author & novelist (1771 - 1832)
The latest episode in the ongoing smear campaign against the Rock County coroner began when an employee of the coroner’s office conveniently filed a letter of complaint against the incumbent coroner and then proceeded to feed the Beloit Daily News a story meant to publicize the unsubstantiated claims and discredit the incumbent coroner Jenifer Keach just days before the primary in September. The frivolous charges leveled in the complaint played well enough with anti-coroner operatives on the county board for the county to launch an investigation into the coroner’s office.
JG Excerpt:
The county hired Nowlan & Mouat law firm to investigate after Deputy Coroner Michelle Walworth made allegations against Keach and Smit in a Aug. 30 letter
The 127 page report, released by request to the Wisconsin State Journal and Janesville Gazette, has been guesstimated to cost county taxpayers at least $17,300.

Newspapers Regurgitate Flawed Report

Now, according to the most recent regurgitated media report, the investigating law firm has concluded that the coroner and her chief deputy may have violated a state statute meant to prohibit her from participating in or attending a meeting held by office staff and/or prohibit her deputy from handling political material regarding the county's medical examiner appointee referendum - maybe, perhaps, not sure, possibly...umm, we just don't know.
BDN Excerpt: (November 26, 2010)
A county-commissioned investigation has found Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach may have violated state law by using her position to rally support against appointing a medical examiner.
Although they wrote she "may have" violated state law throughout much of the report, the BDN painted a picture of far more certainty despite failing to prove how she "used her position" to any effect.

The focus of the investigation centered on an incident that occurred after a staff meeting, where a letter of support was alleged passed around by an unconfirmed person to the employees. The letter was meant to rally a unified group position on the referendum. Although the referendum was considered non-binding, it should be reasonable to think that because the livelihoods of all of the office employees were hanging in the balance, that a letter or position statement would seem very appropriate and expected, even in a public employee/government setting.

The question to ask is: Was this alleged activity, given all the circumstances, in violation of state statutes governing public officials? The answer you'll find below is clearly NO.

Analysis Finds Evidence Law Firm Ignored State Statutes
BDN Excerpt: (Nov. 26, 2010)
According to investigation documents acquired by the Beloit Daily News, Nowlan & Mouat, LLP, concluded Keach may have breached Wis. Stat. 19.59(1)(c)2 by “using her position as coroner to assist in the production of a substantial indirect benefit to herself” by attempting to persuade staff members to vote against the medical examiner referendum.
Again she "may have" breached....however, immediately following Wis. Stat. 19.59 (1)(c) is the next letter in the alphabet - paragraph (d), it states...
Wisconsin State Statutes Excerpt:
Paragraph (d)
...Paragraph (c) does not prohibit a local public official from taking any action concerning the lawful payment of salaries or employee benefits or reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, or prohibit a local public official from taking official action with respect to any proposal to modify a county or municipal ordinance.
Whoa!! I'd say the so-called medical examiner referendum constituted a proposal to dismantle an elective county office in its entirety and replace it with a new set of by-laws, salaries and benefits. A modification is putting it mildly.

I'm not an attorney, but I'd say paragraph (d) clearly nullifies paragraph (c) in this situation. The coroner or any other county office holder is NOT PROHIBITED from engaging in any "official" (by official I would gather they mean to use her official position to achieve a desired effect, within the law of course) activity with respect to any county board proposal to modify a county ordinance. I would also assume that whether the coroner or her office staff was in favor of the referendum or opposed it, is of no consequence to the coroner's activities.

A little off topic here, but I'd also say that it is very reasonable to interpret the referendum's results as the exact impetus the county board was looking for to justify dismantling ALL elective county offices. But with paragraph (d), there is absolutely no excuse for the rest of the county's elective office holders to remain silent or inactive while they operate under the veiled threat of lies and public humiliation from the county board, and hopelessly watch their offices and careers come crashing down. The point is, if they can't or won't speak up and defend the democratic process that put them in office - maybe they never deserved to be elected there in the first place.

This is not a fight to defend Coroner Keach, her job performance, management style or personality - she won that battle when county residents re-elected her. However, she should not be standing alone in the battle to defend elective county office. That's what this is about - it's about democracy. Where are the rest of the county office holders?

But it now becomes rather obvious that the law firm's failure to take Wis. Stat. 19.59(1)(d) into consideration in their findings was either a major gaffe OR the statute was deliberately ignored to not seek the truth, but to support the basis of a hidden directive to find "substantial evidence" for county operatives to use against the coroner. It's either one or the other. Yet, if it was an oversight, shouldn't the law firm offer an apology or a retraction?

What is equally disturbing is the fact that the Beloit Daily News article, loaded with the typical half-truths and vacant projections including the unchallenged gaffe of omission by the investigating law firm, was consistent with nearly five years of negative spin shaped into yet another hit job on the Rock County coroner by the local media. As pointed out in the posting by Richard Costerisan, the WSJ at least had the conscience to rephrase the title of their article.

County Leaks Report To Newspaper
WSJ Excerpt:
The county released the investigative report and responses by Smit and Keach's attorney Monday at the request of the Wisconsin State Journal and the Janesville Gazette.
It's interesting that the WSJ and Gazette needed to issue a formal request for the documents, when three weeks earlier somebody within the chain of the county investigation gave the Beloit Daily News the error filled $17,000 report - under the table.
BDN Excerpt: (Nov. 26, 2010)
When asked what type of punishment Keach and Smit may be subject to, County Administrator Craig Knutson said the Daily News would have to file a Freedom of Information Act request, for the documents the Daily News already possesses, in order to be given any information on the next step in the investigative process.
Punishment? Say what? How about offering an apology to Keach and Smit ... with sugar on top! When will that be forthcoming? In addition, the most damaging revelation from the passage above came when the county administrator confirmed the suspicion of a conspiracy when he acknowledged that the newspaper had information in their possession apparently acquired without a formal FOIA request - in other words - leaked information.

Is anybody at least concerned that a newspaper received a county tax-payer paid investigative report without going through the formal request channels? Shouldn't that ring alarm bells somewhere? After Knutsons' observation, did the county initiate an internal investigation to ferret out the mole or moles within their midst? Apparently not. If this is how they build public trust between the people and the government in Rock County - we're in big trouble.

Another interesting side note to this latest publishing spectacle is the Janesville Gazette's sudden but likely temporary hiatus from the massive smear campaign while the Beloit Daily News and the WSJ pick up nearly exactly where they (Gazette) left off. Up until recently, the Gazette has been the sole sponsor-of-smear against the county coroner and has taken plenty of heat for their politically motivated attacks. Is this the way friends help pull the load for friends in the newspaper industry?

The people of Rock County should be sick of the misrepresentation of facts and the hubris from the local media, particularly those who turned a blind eye all this time, in what has grown from a personally motivated political attack carried out by a handful of misguided and misinformed political pawns into a full-blown misinformation media circus conspiracy designed to defraud county voters out of their right to elect their own coroner and by extension to eventually wrest control of all county offices away from the ballot box. Am I the only independent observer of this entire fiasco who thinks there's something seriously wrong going on between our local media and government? This has been allowed to go far beyond partisan politics in my view - this is because somebody hates, and they hate real bad.
"The county has wasted a lot of time and money on these frivolous, politically motivated complaints when they should be addressing real problems, like people losing their homes because they don't have jobs." -- Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach

Related Documents:

Response: Coroner Keach's augmentation and challenges to key findings in report. (Google Docs)

Response: Deputy Coroner Louis Smit's Statement of Position regarding investigation. (Google Docs)

Additional perspective posted by the coroner's father, Richard Costerisan -- No Evidence, But it's Still a Hanging

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Janesville Gazette: Walker Already At 100,000 Jobs

JG Editorial Excerpt:
During the gubernatorial campaign, Scott Walker vowed to create 250,000 jobs during his first term. He might pull it off, considering the steps he’s already taking and the fact that the state’s work force keeps growing about 1 percent annually. At that rate, the state would add more than 100,000 jobs in four years even if Walker did nothing.

California: Thanks a billion, cheeseheads!
As train supporters pointed out to the New York Times, this is sort of like turning down a free car because you don't want to have to pay for gasoline and insurance.

This is going to hang over Scott Walker's head his entire time in office.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

County Investigation: No Evidence But Still A Hanging


By Richard Costerisan

While I realize the focus of this blog is to recognize the shortcomings of the Janesville Gazette, a number of our current political problems can be directly linked to the press as a whole. As big money buys up our government, they are also taking control of the press and airways. In many ways, the only truly free place on the planet for humanity to express our views and learn the facts is on web-based blogs such as this one. Basically, what you read in the press and see on your TV today is controlled by big business. Gone are the investigative reporters and newshounds that dug for the truth and splashed it across their newspapers and piped it across the airwaves. Now the news media at every level is simply a puppet for those who control our politicians. The control is so pervasive that it is as prevalent in Rock County as it is in Chicago. Business buys politicians and the media. The media and politicians work together to advance the rich man’s agenda. So it is, right here in Rock and Dane counties. The Janesville Gazette and The Wisconsin State Journal are pumping out misinformation to distort public opinion and gain even more control. Don’t be distracted by their lies. Be vigilant and search for the truth. You will find it here at every day.

With that said, on Friday, December 10, 2010 - Rock County released a report to the Janesville Gazette and the Wisconsin State Journal they received from attorney David Moore. Moore was retained by the county to investigate and develop the report following allegations of workplace abuse made by Rock County Deputy Coroner Michelle Walworth. It is important to note that this report found no substantiation for any of the allegations made by Ms. Walworth. The county conducted the 3-month investigation at a cost of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money. Having found no substantiation for the complaint, the report then exceeds the charge requested by the county and includes conjecture, opinion and suppositions that are no more than opinion by attorney Moore. While this type of behavior is anything but normal conduct for an attorney, the county accepted the report without redaction.

The county's behavior following receipt of the report is highly irregular and totally unprofessional. One could easily draw the conclusion that the county's failure to redact the conjecture and opinion from attorney Moore's report may be motivated by their desire to discredit the coroner in support of efforts to establish justification for instituting a medical examiner's office in Rock County.

The Wisconsin State Journal used information provided in the report to publish an online article erroneously stating the Rock County Coroner, Jenifer Keach, violated a state law related to political activities while at work. Following complaints about their libelous statements, the article that appeared in their newspaper was changed to “May”. The online version was also changed. Had attorney Moore actually done his job, comments about a possible violation would have never appeared in his report. And, if attorney Moore actually knew the law, he would have never made any reference that Jenifer may have violated it. The law states the activity attorney Moore suggested may be a violation is clearly legal. Further, attorney Moore is not a qualified medical person who can presume to know the mental state of anyone, let alone a number of people involved in his investigation for the county. Never-the-less, he presents himself in his report to the county as able to do so – highly unprofessional.

In addition to their online article, the Wisconsin State Journal provided links to the 127 page report and other supporting documents on their web site. Two things become immediately apparent to the reader who chooses to investigate the associated documents. First, the claim that Jenifer Keach violated state law is not found in the report. Instead, the report says (erroneously) that she may have violated the law. Second, large portions of the document are blacked out that pertain to anyone but Jenifer and her Chief Deputy. Since this is a public document, one has to ask, why are the names of others involved in the complaint not included? Another important observation is the absence of several documents from the released report. Why were these documents withheld? What did they say that the county didn't want released? Who are they protecting? Why hasn’t Michelle Walworth been dismissed for filing false claims creating great expense for the county to investigate? Why has Michelle Walworth been given a protected status and moved to another department where more qualified candidates for the job had applied? Why hasn't the Wisconsin State Journal asked these questions or for the missing documents? Do they have an agenda? When Jenifer asked to have the conjecture, opinion and inaccurate allegations that she violated state statutes related to the report redacted, the county informed her it was not their report and, therefore, they could not redact anything. Yet, when the report was released, large portions of the text were blacked out. Why?

As expected, the Janesville Gazette followed suit on Tuesday with another misleading headline on their front page (Title - "Report: Coroner 'may' have violated statute," Sub-Title - "Questions arise from election campaigning"). The Gazette's past behavior related to Jenifer has been anything but accurate or kind. After reading their release today, I find they are just as interested in selling misinformation and sensationalism as the WSJ. Wouldn't it be nice if we still had real newspapers with real investigative reporters that want to get the truth out to the public? Obviously our political editors are on a very short leash and clearly know what their masters expect. Please take the time to read the released public documents on the WSJ web site to learn the truth about what is happening in government right here in Rock County. The Gazette has also posted their article on and has toned it down a bit. Still it is a far cry from being an accurate accounting of anything that has happened related to this investigation. Similar to their actions for the past 5 years regarding the Rock County Coroner’s office, it has an underlying agenda to satiate the political ambitions of those who own our county and its media.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gazette Radio Bully Cheapshots City Council Candidate

JG Excerpt:
The candidate that has filed papers I pointed out Thursday, Is 25 years old, a recent college grad with no demonstrable leadership experience in business (whether starting, owning, or leading , Hell, I’ll even take having worked for a business!). That means knowing how to hire, fire, schedule, budget, inventory, and negotiate with unions & employees. There is no other obvious “real world” “real life” experience indicated either. A background in either military or civil services is something that would certainly get my interest going. There are no other displayed skills or abilities from this potential candidate that would garner any attention from me at all. -- Dan Conry
In that case, how in the world was Paul Ryan elected to office?
JG Excerpt:
The days of a 25 year old candidate who has simply worked on the campaign of an extreme left liberal politician & worked a short time for a politician out in DC, allows him or her to walk into the Janesville City Council and hold dominion over the taxpayer dollars of people who have worked and lived here a lifetime, watching their City go through one of its worst economic moments in history, I pray to God are over. A seat on the Janesville City Council is not a silly little position to start your political learning curve. -- Dan Conry
Completely uncalled for. To ridicule and mock in an effort to shut down a candidacy and draw idiotic assumptions against a person willing to step up to the plate in the thankless and non-paying Janesville city council because he wants to contribute to the community is beyond the pale.

People buying Gazette/Bliss newspaper subscriptions should think twice about the hyper-partisan hate-mongering they are supporting. Perhaps its' also time to consider boycotting local businesses who advertise during Conry's showtimes.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where Are All The Proud Self-Made Business Entrepreneurs?

Here we go again. Another local business is requesting government assistance, this time to help pay the rent ...and oh, we can't forget the 30 jobs it will create.
JG Excerpt:
With Janesville City Council approval Monday, URT would receive a $50,000 forgivable TIF loan. The company would use the loan to lease a 40,000-square-foot facility from HCP ...and create 30 jobs.
The names of the players really don't concern me (they do, but for sake of web crawlers I replaced them with initials), but what does concern me is the monotony of these requests, their automatic approval by our city council and the steady lack of journalistic curiosity from our monopolized media.

Like in any and all of these government freebie deals, whether it involves a single individual or idea, but even more so particularly a hand-out to for-profit free enterprise business, I would want to ask for documented proof of hardship. In today's Orwellian political and social environment, I know many would call me a Socialist or worse for asking such a hurtful question, but there should be no good reason for government to distribute taxpayer dollars to private-for-profit entities just for the asking without a viable system of means testing.

$50,000 might sound like a cheap good deal to create 30 jobs, but that is not the point here. The point is why an established business can't seem to expand or create jobs without some sort of a tax perk or cash hand-out. Now, some might argue that if the government assistance is available, they would be foolish not to take it. I guess. Others could say I'm targeting the wrong party here, that its' the government's fault for making the assistance available. Yeah, I suppose.

Given our completely upside-down world of growth economics, this will probably sound either a bit old-fashioned or eccentric, but where are all the proud Americans, you know, the kind of people and business folks who would find it beneath them to take a government hand-out unless only as the very last resort for survival and existence. I know they're out there, I just never hear about them. But I hear and read about the businesses that request and capture tax payer's dollars all the time as if we're supposed to be all jolly and giddy over it. They get all the exposure.

So, I'm taking a different turn on this one and request to hear from anybody who started an independent business (unaffiliated, non-franchise) or business expansion in Janesville or anywhere in Rock County (10 employees or more) AND did not apply for or receive ANY type of government assistance such as a low interest government loan, TIF District advantages or funding, federal grants, contracts, a rail spur, or any other assistance or special exemptions paid for with tax dollars - when it was available to you. You know, NO federal, state, or local government assistance whatsoever - just pulled up by your own sweat and bootstraps.

You are the people the government and everyone else needs to hear from. We need to know what drove you away from government assistance and into the arms of private venture capital, private lenders or your own pockets. We need to know from where you learned these bizarre self-respecting and patriotic free market values. What schools did you attend? How you came to possess these virtues and how these valued traits could be passed on to others. In addition, you are the local businesses area residents need to become aware of and support with their spending dollars. You are my heroes.

I can't say for certain our local media would care to publish your self-made success story framed as I'd like to tell it. But if you're out there, I'd sure be willing to post your story here - with all the bells and whistles I could offer.

Note: There seems to be a controversy brewing in the Gazette's comment section involving the company requesting the TIF funding. It appears a former employee has accused the company of unethical business practices involving the disposal of contracted goods. I'll keep note on whether the Gazette follows up on the allegations and how the Janesville City Council handles the request for tax payer dollars.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tea Party, Paul Ryan Win Big with Obama Tax Cut Deal

Right-wing hammer head, Charles Krauthammer, thinks President Obama pulled off the swindle of the year against Republicans for striking a tax cut deal that will serve as a massive stimulus that Obama would have never achieved otherwise under the new GOP house majority.
NY Times Excerpt:
It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years - which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?
Seriously, borrowing a trillion dollars from China just to tweak up economic indicators is a victory for Obama? Granted, the Republicans will now have some skin in the economy but this is clearly a messaging gamble on both sides. If the economy picks up substantially, Republicans will say trickle-down still works - if the economy remains relatively flat or nosedives - they'll say Obama's Keynesian economics is a disaster. But no matter what direction the economy takes if this tax cut package is enacted, nobody will take their eyes off off of the big elephant in the room - the exploding national debt. Krauthammer ignores that reality and even implies the Obama tax cut deal makes a mockery of the Tea party's debt-averse persona.
NY Times Excerpt:
Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their new found, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party, this-time-we're-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.
Utter nonsense. Obama's tax cut deal almost but not quite satisfies the Tea Party's "taxed enough already" mantra. They would actually want more and deeper tax cuts. Just ask them - ask Paul Ryan if he would like to see even deeper tax cuts. Remember rule number one of Tea Party economics: tax cuts don't create deficits, spending does. Obama's tax cuts will give the new House budget writing director, Rep. Paul Ryan, added impetus to serve up a platter of massive domestic spending cuts that will of course include Medicare and Social Security. This despite Ryan's counter-intuitive expectations he reasoned to support the original Bush tax cuts nearly seven years ago - his expectation that tax cuts will actually bring in more revenue. It won't apply this time.

Enjoy those tax cuts while you have them, working poor and middle-class, because you're in for a major ass-whupping later from the hands of Tea Party republicans such as Paul Ryan. Mark my words.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Walker Keeps Promise - State Loses $810 Million For Rail Link

DOT Excerpt:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that $1.195 billion in high-speed rail funds originally designated for Wisconsin and Ohio will be redirected to other states eager to develop high-speed rail corridors across the United States. Wisconsin has suspended work under its existing high-speed rail agreement and the incoming Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio have both indicated that they will not move forward to use high-speed rail money received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As a result, $1.195 billion will be redirected to high-speed rail projects already underway in other states.
Christmas Comes Early For 14 States
The $1.195 billion originally designated for those high-speed rail projects in Wisconsin and Ohio will now be used to support projects in at least 14 states. The majority of the money however will go to these states:

California: up to $624 million
Florida: up to $342.3 million
Washington State: up to $161.5 million
Illinois: up to $42.3 million

JS Online -- Feds Will Pull, Redistribute Hi-Speed Rail Money

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Sen. Sanders: Republicans Morally Bankrupt

President Obama is right about one thing -- Republicans in Congress are holding the middle class hostage.

We have a $13.8 trillion national debt, a collapsing middle class and the most unequal distribution of wealth of any major country. With all this in mind, Republicans in Congress say they will block tax cuts to the middle class and block unemployment benefits to more than two million families unless the President gives huge tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.

Their behavior is morally bankrupt. It is reprehensible.

But instead of challenging the Republicans for their absurd demands and their outrageous tactics, the President gave them virtually everything they wanted.

I cannot and will not support this deal. I will do everything I can to uphold the promise made to the American people to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Join me and my friends at Democracy for America today and sign our pledge calling on Congress to reject this deal.

One of the most underreported parts of this deal is a cut to the Social Security payroll tax. In just one year, over $120 billion of revenue will be cut from Social Security under the President's compromise plan, weakening the program and virtually guaranteeing benefit cuts in the future.

Make no mistake about it. Social Security has not added one dime to the national debt and this cut will only embolden Republican attempts to privatize the program and increase the age of retirement. Social Security is a vital safety net for all Americans and a cornerstone of our commitment to protect the middle class.

We are not alone in standing against this compromise. Republicans are holding the middle class hostage and the American people know it. I come from a small state and yesterday my office received more than 1,000 calls on this issue, with over 90% of them in opposition to this deal.

Last night, thousands of Democracy For America (DFA) members joined me on DFA Live where we had a lively discussion on this issue. One thing was clear to me during that call -- DFA members nationwide want Democrats to stop this deal and fight for the middle class, working people, senior citizens and the unemployed while making sure that millionaires and billionaires are not given massive tax breaks.

Make sure Congress gets the message -- Join the fight now and sign the petition opposing this so-called "compromise."

Thank you,
Bernie Sanders
U.S. Senator

Another item that really bothers me about this deal is how Barack Obama spoke about changing the way business is done in Washington DC. Yet this deal, which originally sprang over the fight to let the Bush tax cuts expire while keeping the same level of taxation for the middle-class, jumped from a $120 billion cost to $900 billion under his direction, and yet more Democrats and Republicans want to add even more costs to the deal. This isn't business as usual - it's worse. -- L. Kaye

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Obama Caves To Deficit Expanding Republicans

The real compromise achieved to approve of the GOP's wealth redistributive tax scheme for another two years was that all sides agreed to kick the deficit can down the road for another two years. Being sold to the public through lamestream media tools as a "bipartisan" plan to prevent a tax hike (seriously, what single party would want lone credit for deepening the debt?), Republicans have gained an unlikely partner in the "fold-up" Obama in their deliberate quest to bury the country in unconscionable debt.

Here are some of the known trade-offs in the deal, although it should be said it is all subject to change until it's ratified by Congress and signed by Obama.

1) The Bush tax cuts for everybody will get extended for two years.

2) Refundable tax credits will be extended such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

3) Unemployment insurance gets extended for 13 months: Nothing however for the 99ers.

4) A 2 percent cut in payroll taxes paid by employees.

5) Business expensing: Businesses could deduct 100 percent of the cost of new investments.

6) It also includes a change to the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The truth is, emergency spending such as extending unemployment comp should have stood alone in Congress on an up-or-down vote. It should have never been part of the political deal.

The "temporary" tax breaks will additionally end up costing the Treasury an estimated $900 billion over the next two years since no offsets were mentioned to pay for them. The total package will eventually have to be financed by more borrowing from our grandchildren's lenders, either China or Saudi Arabia or both.

Russ Feingold Gets It Right Again

Sen. Feingold gets it right yet again when he voted against extending the tax cuts only for those earning $250,000 or less. Feingold's reason for voting "no" was because he believes they all should expire. Had we had more true fiscal hawks like Feingold in congress working on deficit reduction, the only trade-off left to justify the middle-class tax cuts would have been in the form of an offset elsewhere to pay for them. Instead, we not only get a continuation of the "deficits don't matter" Bush-Cheney trickle-down status quo economics, Obama capitulated and joined in with the same old Washington D.C. mentality to double-up future accumulating deficits under the guise of bipartisanship. Only a ship-of-fools would take what should have been a two-year $60 billion middle-class commitment and turn it into a $900 billion borrowing blow-out for billionaires and claim success.

Let them all expire.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Conservative Brooks: Ryan's Mentality Poisons Discussion

As reported over the weekend, President Obama's fiscal commission failed to get enough votes for its horrific plan to cut Social Security, lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and to encourage outsourcing. The committee voted 11 to 7 in favor, but 14 votes were needed to send the plan to Congress.

Rep. Paul Ryan voted against the commission's final draft, but of course for all the wrong reasons. Simply put, Ryan thought the proposal was not extreme and "cat food" enough to his liking and used the commission's high profile and publicity as another opportunity to demonize the President when he said, "the plan accelerates and entrenches ObamaCare." Ryan's response was nearly identical to the reasoning he eventually admitted to after he voted for TARP.

Contrary to some reports, Ryan did not consider the nuts and bolts of the TARP bill, but instead "voted against his principles" out of his own hallucinatory fear that by not doing so, Obama would use the market failure as reason to sweep in a fascist liberal statist agenda that he actually channeled onto the President. As with the debt commission, Ryan once again exposes his permanently damaged mentality and pickled fixation with Obama. Others are beginning to notice.

One such other is conservative columnist David Brooks. Brooks, ever the compromising propositioner, even compromises his own perspective by admitting he has few policy fights to pick with the ideologically damaged congressman. During a debate last week at the American Enterprise Institute with Ryan, the one over-riding factor Brooks identified was Ryan's mentality to polarize the discussion as a battle between two starkly different choices, two extremes - the Republican's free market democracy against the Democrats cradle-to-grave socialist welfare state. Both obviously false narratives, Brooks concluded that it is journalistically wrong (a nice way of saying intellectually dishonest) to assume Democrats want to create a European welfare state.

Before exiting the debate, Ryan once again chose to demarcate the sides as two stark choices while touting his side as the "centrist coalition" that is forming will result in further isolation of the progressive left. With that, we can assume Ryan believes those that oppose his views are the only extremists in the debate.

Brooks observations of Ryan's "mentality" and polarizing narratives are captured in two segments in the video below.

Or watch the full debate here. (48 minutes long)
"the choice of our debt is so massive, massive...that it will bury the next generation with a crushing burden of debt"
-- Rep. Paul Ryan, Dec.2, 2010 at the American Enterprise Institute
Now kindly get out of the congressman's way while he votes to extend the deficit ballooning tax breaks for the wealthy.

Schakowsky Offers Alternative to Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan.

Also check out Democurmudgeon's Ya' think Paul Ryan's so Smart? Think Again. David Brooks Exposes Ryan as an Extremist.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Another Manufacturer Fleeing Ryan's District

This is another huge hit for Janesville.
JG Excerpt:
JANESVILLE--A Janesville manufacturer of promotional products will close its doors in April, eliminating about 75 jobs. Employees of Norwood Promotional Products, 1309 Plainfield Ave., learned of the decision Wednesday to move local operations to a facility in Red Wing, Minn.
Norwood Promotional Products is the first casualty in Janesville of the new certainty ushered in by the statewide romp of republicans in November. Company execs claim that an "analysis" showed moving the operation out of Janesville would improve customer experience and streamline operational capabilities. In our new world of global free-market capitalism, that's just a safe way to say "creative destruction."

They (the local establishment and media) could pretend the loss of 75 jobs doesn't mean much here, after all what's another 75 jobs after losing 3,500 regional jobs from the closing of the GM plant. They could say the handwriting was on the wall for Norwood after filing bankruptcy back in 2009. But make no mistake about it, small to medium sized companies like Norwood are what's left of the backbone of the Janesville/Rock County economy. Unlike fast food restaurants and Janesville's Mercy hospital, these small manufacturing businesses are not merely recirculating the area's wealth - their payrolls actually bring in much needed fresh added capital. Psychologically, it's devastating and I fear Janesville hasn't seen the end of it.

So let's cut to chase. Norwood resides in Rep. Paul Ryan's congressional district. Why does this matter? Well, because he repeatedly won awards for legislating manufacturing excellence from an outfit called the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). So, how is it when a congressman voting NAM's way over 90 percent in near perfect alignment with his votes on his party's legislative successes from 2000 through 2006, resulted in a precipitous decline of the once robust manufacturing industry within his own district? Hey, don't look to blame democrats - most did not win those prestigious manufacturing awards because they voted against many of the GOP's trade and business policies. Besides, government doesn't create jobs and democrats are socialists is the current winning narrative. Clearly then, today's joblessness is a direct product of past republican policies that all but outlawed manufacturing on American soil.

Let's not forget Gov.-elect Scott Walker either. In a recent editorial, the Chicago Tribune touted him as a governor who is prepared to steal jobs from other states. Really. Good luck with that one. "Wisconsin's open for business!" was one of Walker's first hollow platitudes after winning the election. He'll create and save jobs, by gum. Perhaps Walker could order Norwood to delay shutting their doors until after he is sworn in, so he can fully evaluate their decision and it's effect on the state. Do I sound bitter here?

Yet, Walker and Ryan are merely the tip of the future "certainty" iceberg here in Wisconsin. Norwood also resides in soon to be former Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan's district, but he's a democrat and we all know democrats don't create jobs. He was defeated by job creator extra-ordinaire republican Joe Knilans who promised to bring jobs back to Janesville. During his campaign, he accused Sheridan in failing to bring new production to the GM plant. Surely, Knilans can protect a measly 75 manufacturing jobs then, right? So, what's Knilans doing about Norwood? Can't wait to hear about it. Do I sound bitter here?

Oh, and we can't forget Ron Johnson. Where is that crown jewel of a businessman-turned-senator? That's Mister 30-year-successful-small-businessman-job-creator himself. Heck, if he walked through the doors of Norwood right now everybody would have to put on sunglasses before being permitted to bask in his awesome presence. You know, the Janesville Gazette editorialized against Russ Feingold by claiming he never did much for Janesville. Hear that Sen. Johnson? Now's your chance to step up in Janesville and show what you can do what Feingold failed to. Do I sound bitter here?

So, where are all those tax cutting republican promise-keepers of jobs?

Yet, where is the all powerful local lobbyist group Forward Janesville on this? What about the big-shot business experts of the much ballyhooed Rock County 5.0? You know full well too, that if those local groups happen to "woo" a new business into Janesville someday - the Gazette won't let you, I or anybody forget about it for the rest of our lives. Be prepared for that one.

Hey, I'm not saying it's easy - but these are the folks pushing to deficit spend $1.5 billion for an interstate expansion on a growing population of jobless taxpayers. THEY sure made it sound like job creation is easy if only we can bring certainty back and get rid of those damn socialist democrats. They made it sound like democrats were anti-business and did everything wrong and created too much future uncertainty while Republicans claimed they will reverse that direction.

So I'm not bitter - I'm just waiting for all of these republicans to do what they claimed democrats failed to do - and start saving and creating jobs. This isn't a dare - I'm only reminding you of your promises and asking that you keep them.

Ryan's Hometown Among Worst On Forbes List For Jobs

Ryan Wins Another NAM Award

Thursday, December 02, 2010

GOP Holding Country Hostage For Super-Rich

Think Progress Excerpt:
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he is going to hold the nuclear security of the United States hostage in order to pass the tax cuts for rich.
Okay, let me see if I have this right. Republicans claim that because we can no longer afford to worsen our debt with China and Saudi Arabia, funded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare must be cut to help shrink future debt. In the meantime, super-rich Americans sitting on stockpiles of money need a deficit ballooning tax break extension that will help deepen the red ink over the next decade by $700 billion $4 trillion!! And, because we must stop selling our debt to China or Saudi Arabia, we'll have to make additional sacrifices by ending unemployment benefit extensions. But when Wall Street needed to be bailed out, there's hundreds of billions for that. They also said high health care costs from Medicare are a deficit problem - but there are trillions of dollars on hand to fight two unnecessary wars.

And now they're willing to take it to the ultimate level - withhold our nation's security until they get exactly what they want - the tax cuts extended for the wealthy? Doesn't that sound even a little bit treasonous to anyone?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Ice Arena "Donors" Negotiating Through Media

In what can be only mildly described as just another chapter in Janesville's long-running ice arena soap opera, the fundraising group involved in foisting a new ice arena on Janesville taxpayers have essentially and defiantly thumbed their noses at the city council's outrageously generous offer of $2 million and free land in an industrial park off Beloit Avenue on the city's far south side. As reported in the Janesville Gazette, they started negotiations on their own to purchase the privately owned old Janesville Tennis Club building near Target on the city's North side.

The private fundraising group (donors? investors?), acknowledging they are unable to meet the Dec. 31st deadline to raise $2 million in matching funds, appear to be reshaping a new proposal with new math unilaterally through the media as news of this latest ploy by the group broke first in the fund-raising friendly Gazette.

Although a new arena is viewed as a fiscal boondoggle by many, including myself, some still think a new arena has the potential to make money to offset the city's subsidy. When in truth the facility, if privately owned, would likely not even cover it's own property taxes.