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Friday, September 26, 2014

Developer "Wins" $2.4M From Taxpayers, City Council Grovels Into The Camera

You know, some things will never get better regarding Janesville's policies on economic development, and when the quality of the presentation and the expectations from those agreements degrades to the level of Monday's city council meeting, expect the slide to continue on.

The city council as expected, unanimously approved (Farrell was absent) a TIF agreement giving away $2.4 million in land and cash value to a well-connected and deep-pocketed developer, Jeffrey Helgesen. But what was not listed on the agenda was the misdirection communicating the agreement along with what I saw as an embarrassing moment for the taxpayers of Janesville. Literally, several members of the council groveled at the feet of the wealthy recipient through the camera lenses, who could not find it within himself, or a spokesperson, to attend the meeting. It was truly pathetic all around.

Beyond the bad optics, the actual presentation left many important questions never asked and unanswered, deliberately I should add, in what seems like a coordinated effort between the city and the developer to leave major components of the agreement omitted and open-ended.

For instance, during the presentation and also in the resolution, there is no mention of the lifespan term of the TIF District. The TIF District itself was created several years ago, but it is important to know how many years property taxes paid within the boundaries of the TIF will remain segregated from the general fund.

Also, stating that the two developments will generate $12.4 million in "annual tax value" implies to the average observer that that is how much tax revenue will flow into the city's tax treasury each year. Of course that would be a completely wrong conclusion to assume. The $12.4 million figure is the projected ASSESSED value of the development and is nowhere near that amount in annual tax revenue. Remember, property taxes on developed property inside a TIF remains excluded from the general fund for the life of the TIF. Taxpayers will not see a dime more than the baseline tax being paid on vacant land for the next 10 or possibly 15 years.

There is also no mention of jobs and this is where the city leaves itself open for more ransom demands at the hands of the developer and his tenants. Outside of enterprise zone tax credits available to a future employer, we can assume Helgesen will likely use the renter's jobs potential as leverage against the city to pay their lease or turn over more cash or tax awards. By giving the developer 3 years to meet the provisions of the agreement, they basically gave him another hostage to line up for final demands on the city BEFORE he begins construction. You can almost bet on this.

Then, and this gets better or worse depending on your perspective, council members and the city's economic development coordinator create the impression that competition was in play for the agreement.

In fact one council member, Brian Fitzgerald, said "we won this time," just before they voted to pass the TIF agreement resolution. I think when city officials make statements to indicate a competitive bidding process was in play for a $2.4M incentive package, they should also identify which cities or villages Janesville was in competition with for Helgesen's attention - and what "packages" they offered. If Janesville won, who lost?

On the other hand, if Janesville dangled the property and cash hand-out to attract developers, they should list the names of the competing developers and what their job creation offers were. My point of course is that in the vast majority of these deals, competition is not involved at all. These are simply people winning taxpayer funded largesse because of their connections. So why did they mention competition when none exist?

Other questions that should have been asked was whether or not the developer approached private commercial banks for his project or whether he considered buying one of Rock County Alliance's shovel-ready distribution / manufacturing sites that are for sale - but he wasn't in attendance to be asked.

In Rock County, I must be the only one that offers an independent perspective on the area's economic development strategies outside of the local trickle-down borg.

I admit it's a boring subject and many folks shut it out of their conversations, but I would also submit that these agreements play a major role in expanding a rigged system that redistributes wealth to the top, destabilizes free markets, shifts the tax burden and drives the wedge deeper into the wealth disparity gap.

In fact I would say that after public officials ability to sell out our voices exponentially grew via the Citizens United ruling, these local economic development "incentive" agreements are running a close second to being America's next worst problem.

Janesville residents, you are getting som - moked from every angle and as recent Janesville Gazette editorals would say - get informed!

Council Video On TIF agreement The TIF presentation begins at 1:30:00 The council discussion begins at 1:36:20.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Calendar: LWV Event In Janesville With Mike McCabe

The Janesville League of Women's Voters invites the public to come hear Mike McCabe, discuss his new book, “Blue Jeans in High Places.” This is listed as a social event.

McCabe is the director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks money and exposes corruption in state politics. The nonpartisan, all-volunteer local League works to register voters, host candidate forums, study the issues and bring informative programs to the voters.

“This program is not only for political people but for those who vote holding their nose and for those who don’t vote at all. These last two elections have shown us there are plenty that don’t even go the the polls.” says Amy Golackson, president of Janesville’s League of Women Voters.

Thursday - September 25, 2014
6:00 PM

Pontiac Convention Center
2809 N Pontiac Dr
Janesville, WI 53546

Web: Janesville League of Women Voters

For a primer on McCabe and his important book, read Bill Lueders' Mike McCabe delivers a blistering manifesto in Blue Jeans in High Places (Isthmus)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Newspaper Misinforms On Referendum While Telling Readers To Get Informed


"Under state law, the increase in the levy of the City of Janesville for the tax to be imposed for the next fiscal year (2015) is limited to .908%, which results in a levy of $29,712,286. Shall the City of Janesville be allowed to exceed this limit and increase the levy for the next fiscal year (2015), by a total of 4.039%, which results in a levy of $30,912,286? If this referendum is approved, the amount of approved increase in the levy will be available to the City only through the year 2019." Yes _____ N_____

If you want to get informed with correct information about Janesville's tax hike referendum or the local citizens two referenda that were left helplessly dangling by the Janesville city council, you've come to the right place.

It's very unfortunate that the city council approved "reframing" the language in their own so-called "street repair" referendum (NOT the citizens referenda) that basically insults local taxpayers. Yet once again, it's the Janesville Gazette newspaper that not only repeatedly goes along with the city's ill-advised narrative, but doubles down on both the insult and the errors.

JG Editorial Excerpt:
(Titled: City's critics should get informed, do better)

Many people also don't understand that the state limits how much the city can increase its tax levy each year. The amount is based on the percentage increase in value from new construction. That has led to tax increases in the 1 percent to 2 percent range for recent budgets in Janesville. That's hardly frivolous and barely keeps up with inflation.

The problem with the above statement is that the "state" the Gazette editorial is referring to, and the limits they seem to be complaining about were newly imposed on local governments by their endorsed governor, Scott Walker, and state republicans Act 10 law. Before Walker, local elected officials were able to control their own costs and levies without central state power intervention. If the newspaper has a problem with that, they should take it up with their endorsed governor or join the effort to replace him.

OR embrace the suck.

JG editorial excerpt: One way around that limit is to borrow for major projects. The state allows cities to exceed levy limits to pay off debt.

That's only half true. Walker and company did not take away local officials power to borrow, so the city can borrow for major projects. Essentially, the state says local officials can exceed levy limits without asking voters, but only using borrowed money - WITH DEBT.

For instance, the Janesville city council could borrow a billion dollars tomorrow if they so choose, providing they found a lender and were able to pay it back without raising taxes. NO STATE PERMISSION OR REFERENDUM IS REQUIRED.

However, (returning to Act 10 restrictions) the only way Walker and company will now allow local communities to raise the tax levy (revenue) beyond the increase in value from new construction is through referendum.

JG editorial excerpt: That's why the city council last month approved a plan to ask residents in November if they support borrowing $1.2 million a year for five years to catch up on street maintenance.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! That's a completely false statement on two counts.

One, the city council is NOT asking residents to borrow. Period. The word "borrow" or any terms related to borrowing activity does not appear anywhere in the referendum question. The city council is asking residents to approve raising the property tax levy by 4.039%. Those are the facts. Remember, the city is not required to go to referendum to borrow - only to tax.

Two. The referendum is NOT about "street maintenance." Again, the referendum question contains NO language about streets or maintenance, nor does it imply the additional money will be used exclusively for streets. Because it is a binding referendum, the city is bound only by the language set forth in the referendum. That means the city is asking voters to approve taxing property owners above state imposed levy limits on the city's budget by $1.2 million a year for the next five years. That's it. Period.

The city could spend the extra money on administration raises or new vehicles - or on anything including road repair.

Despite multiple stories and editorials from the Gazette about Janesville's referendum being a question to approve street repair, spending or borrowing - the referendum is about none of that.

Now, perhaps that is the message city officials want to send to taxpayers and voters, but it is wrong and misleading AND in truth, was incumbent upon the Janesville Gazette to set the record straight. Instead, the newspaper helps the city misinform voters and ridicules those who question the misleaders.

Monday, September 22, 2014

WEDC Administrative Budget Up 35% Under Walker's Mismanagement

According to a recent Legislative Audit Bureau report, administrative spending in Gov. Scott Walker's flagship agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), ballooned 35% after its first year.

Keep in mind this substantial increase is for operational staffing (mostly patronage hires) and utility costs, not for the so-called tax incentive venture capital slush fund the scandal-plagued governor keeps topped off for his political donors. In fact, you won't want to go to that side of the WEDC budget equation if government secrecy or misuse of taxpayer's dollars are among your pet peeves.

Walker's highly contradictory brown-bagging facade as governor however becomes again evident in his visible role as the WEDC board director, as it tells the same story of wasteful spending, reckless accounting and failed jobs creation ...

Wisconsin Gazette Excerpt:
The Legislative Audit Bureau’s report examined the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s finances over fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13. Auditors found the agency’s spending on administrative expenses such as salary, marketing and travel grew from $11.2 million in the first year to $15.1 million in the second.

Read more here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Walker Booster Critiques Tax Cut Driven Deficit. Next Day Walker, "More Tax Cuts!"

The Janesville Gazette, a big booster and apologist of Gov. Scott Walker's (endorsed him both times), published an amusing editorial the other day criticizing republican legislators in a "I told you so" fashion that their election year tax cuts went too far now that a revised projection shows the state budget heading into a $1.8 billion deficit.

At first glance, it's easy for the reader to think they're including Walker in their criticism, but the editorial mentions Walker merely by association. The editorial's title, "Republican tax cuts don't look so wise given fiscal estimates" pretty much sums it up that in the Gazette's view, it's "republican," tax cuts, not Walker's that are to blame.

The truth is, they can conveniently use republican lawmakers as their whipping boys for all the state's troubles because they know their gerrymandered districts protect them. They can't lose. The editorial creates a final separation and elevation for Walker when they conclude, "Walker demonstrated his fiscal chops soon after taking office." Really.

But here's the best part. The very next day after their editorial, Walker unveiled his re-election platform and among his priorities are guessed it ...more tax cuts in the face of spiraling budget deficits. Gotta' wonder what the Gazette's WMC-owned editorial staff are thinking now, but you can bet they will be endorsing Scott Walker for governor - no matter what.

After hearing this audio of Sen. Fitzgerald posted at the Democurmudgeon, it's really beginning to look like Walker and state republicans are suddenly satisfied with large budget deficits driven by tax cuts. That's not necessarily a surprising concept from supply-side "conservatives" since their policies are largely responsible for driving the nation's debt. It was only in their electioneering rhetoric, where they pretended tax cuts will drive greater economic activity enough to cause an actual increase in tax revenue. They don't even pretend that anymore.

Deficits NEVER did matter with conservatives. It's all about winning re-election.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scott Walker's Budget Sink Hole Is Deeper Than It Looks

Press Release

Wisconsin State Sen. Jennifer Shilling Excerpt:
Walker budget deficit grows to $3 billion

MADISON – After state agencies submitted their 2015-17 budget requests this week, Gov. Walker’s budget deficit is now projected at nearly $3 billion.* The overall budget deficit could exceed $4 billion once state transportation, school funding and other agency budget figures are released.

Current Fiscal Year (FY15) Budget Deficit:
$396 million (LFB memo 9.8.14)
Projected 2015-17 State Budget Deficit numbers:
$1.8 billion structural deficit (LFB memo 9.8.14)
$1.1 billion in new spending requests (DOA agency budget requests 9.15.14)
Estimated $680 million Transportation Fund deficit (Associated Press 9.15.14)
Estimated $568 million in K-12 Fair Funding costs (WI DPI 2013-15 budget request)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

City Council Operates Outside Of The Law, Power Slams Citizen Initiative. What's next?

I hope the Wisconsin attorney general's office is paying attention to what's going on in little ol' Janesville. Afterall, isn't it the AG's job to enforce state laws?

In brief, a Janesville resident didn't like the way things were going with the city's planning and spending for a new central fire station, so he took the initiative and started a petition drive to place two questions on referendum to local voters. He met the guidelines as written in state law. The petitions were deemed valid by the county clerk's office and went to the city council as per Wisconsin Statute 9.20.

That is when things got very messy.

Instead of following state statutes regarding the handling of his petitions, the city council, following some bad advice from the city attorney and the local newspaper, the Janesville Gazette, proceeded to turn the tables on the resident and his supporters. They basically said we're going to ignore you and your petitions and you'll have to sue us to make us follow the law. Apparently, the city council is banking on the notion that if they shirk the law or operate outside its parameters, they can end the process established by law. Got it? That's it in a nutshell.

Regarding petitions of direct legislation, there are state statutes that local governing bodies are expected to follow ...assuming they follow the law in the first place.

But what makes this moment in time somewhat special is it comes after a 30 day period the common council was given to deliberate over the petitions. The law is fairly specific. It outlines...

Wisconsin State Statutes Excerpt:
9.20 (4)
The common council or village board shall, without alteration, either pass the ordinance or resolution within 30 days following the date of the clerk's final certificate, or submit it to the electors at the next spring or general election…
(my emphasis)

That’s the law.

But the Janesville city council followed a law the city attorney pulled out from Oz called the "take no action" law. Taking no action is not an option listed under 9.20, but that is exactly what the Janesville city council did with these petitions. They did NOT adopt the resolutions OR submit them to the county clerk, nor did they give the petitions an up or down vote within the specified 30 day time frame.

That is against the intent of the law according to the state's handbook on Direct Legislation...

Initiative and Referendum in Wisconsin Excerpt:

Limitations On Use Of Municipal Initiatives: A series of decisions by the Wisconsin Supreme Court have dealt with “Direct Legislation,” Wisconsin’s statutory term for the indirect initiative. In particular, Landt v. Wisconsin Dells, 30 Wis. 2d 470 (1966); Heider v Wauwatosa, 37 Wis. 2d 466 (1967); ans State ex rel. Althouse v Madison, 79 Wis. 2d 97 (1977) have set limits on the use of this procedure. The court ruled that:

5) If it does not enact a direct legislation proposal, the municipal board must put the question to a vote, even if it declares the measure to be invalid or likely declared unconstitutional.

That's worth repeating. The municipal board "must" put the question to a vote ...even if they declare the measure invalid or likely declared unconstitutional.

But they did not put the question to a vote and now the time is up.

The 30 day period is over and there is one week left to get the petitions on the ballot for the November General Election. This is where it all stands and time is of the essence.

Fact is, the Janesville city council put the cart before the horse AND is playing dirty pool against the electorate. And, so is the Janesville Gazette.

The question at hand isn’t about the question on the petition. The question is about the question going to the ballot box for voters to decide on. It’s also about a citizen and citizenry operating in good faith according to the law. It’s not about whether everyone agrees with a single citizen, who did his due diligence and played by the rules, or the 3500 signers who agreed with him. He met all the requirements of Wisconsin State Statute 9.20. It was up to the council to vote on the petition’s resolutions, adopt them or submit them to Janesville voters.

As a spectator, I think this episode is a very big deal for the city of Janesville. Not just because I think the council has done irreparable harm to the office and themselves, but with the message they send to others that shirking the law is a viable strategy to settle your differences.

That, much like Gov. Scott Walker, if you can find ways to circumvent laws, you can operate outside its limits and redirect the burden and pursuit back onto those who want justice. It's just bad public policy all around.

The council is also telling Janesville residents that their civic engagement and participation is meaningless and their petitions are useless as long as the council operates outside of the law.

No doubt, the city council's decision to shut down citizen initiative has its supporters, but I predict it will have a chilling effect on future civic engagement and cooperation that will likely last until there is a complete turn over of the council's membership. That's a truly sad predicament.

Stay tuned in on this one, because regardless of where these petitions are headed, it still won't be over.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Janesville Newspaper Spins Tax Hike Referendum Into a Spending Referendum

Several items stand out after reading this article from the Janesville Gazette, but for the sake of brevity, I'll stick with only two.

One, in a story that centers on shared state revenue shortfalls for Janesville and cuts in local road funding, Forward Janesville is not mentioned at all. Why is that? After all, Forward Janesville membership clinked champagne glasses when Scott Walker won the governorship, and posted editorials criticizing and opposing Tom Barrett for suggesting local roads and shared revenues would be among his top funding priorities if elected governor.

Back then, Forward Janesville lobbied against the restoration of state aid for local roads so they can carve out a bigger share from the zero-sum revenue pie for the I39/90 expansion. Since city officials seem so heavily vested in Forward Janesville's legislative agenda, it's an eye-roller now to see officials talk about funding problems that have worsened due to their lobbyist efforts, without mentioning them. Most people can see right through it.

Two, the Janesville Gazette laughably described a tax hike referendum as a "spending" referendum.

JG Excerpt:
The city is floating a spending referendum for street repairs. The referendum asks residents for permission to exceed state revenue caps to pump as much as $1.2 million into street repairs over a five-year period.

To be fair, it's not an out-an-out lie ... but it's still bullshit. The city council is floating pushing a "TAX INCREASE" referendum earmarked for street repair. The city intends on spending $1.2 million more annually for street repairs whether the referendum is approved or not. THAT means it is NOT a referendum on city "spending." It's a average $37 tax hike that will be buried in property tax bills of Janesville homeowners if voters approve. Council members said if the referendum fails, they will likely approve a borrowing note to pay for the additional spending - referendum not required.

People of Janesville, aren't you sick of having a news service constantly work and rework the angles of a story until it fits a particular narrative to serve their political agenda?


RNR - Local Walker Cartel Gear Up To Provide "Cover" For Political Cronies

Friday, September 12, 2014

Did Scott Walker Sic His Media Dogs On Congressman?

According to this blog posting by Rep. Mark Pocan, MediaTrackers put in a request for his travel records. It was no big deal for the congressman or his staff as they immediately complied with the request. But something strange happened along the way...

Pocan Blog Excerpt:
Madison, WI — On Friday, the Pocan campaign for Congress put a request into the Wisconsin Department of Administration for Governor Scott Walker’s air travel from June 4 to September 5, following a previous request for the balance of his time as Governor. Campaign staff personally delivered the request at approximately 10 a.m. Friday, September 5 and confirmation email was sent at 10:36 a.m. CST from the Walker administration.

At 1:33 p.m. EST/12:33 p.m. CST that same day, an allegedly independent, disreputable right-wing organization, Media Trackers, sent Representative Mark Pocan’s official office in Washington a request for his official travel schedule, through September 1. That request came just hours after the Pocan campaign made the request of Governor Walker’s office.

There are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week and 8,766 hours in a year, and the only time MediaTrackers bothered to ask Rep. Mark Pocan for his travel records was within two hours after Pocan made a request into the Department of Administration for Governor Scott Walker’s air travel records.

It's business as usual.

By the way, Walker's staff has yet to fulfill the open records request after 71 days and counting - according to Pocan's posting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

State Transportation Fund Referendum Could Create Road Lobby Budget Supremacy

Do you know on the November ballot there is a referendum question asking Wisconsin voters to change the state constitution to make it illegal to use transportation fee and tax revenues to repair state budget issues, but does nothing to protect other state programs including the state's general fund from raids by transportation?

Although there have been no "raids" on transportation funds in the state's current budget, a DOT report shows that the reverse is already in progress. The 2013-15 Biennial Budget Act 20 legislated approval for the Department of Transportation to raid the state general fund of $107.5 million to meet DOT spending obligations.

If the referendum becomes law, and it certainly looks like it will, it is very possible that the demands from DOT bureaucrats and road lobbyists will reign supreme in state legislative budget decisions.

Crony capitalists always win.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Video Forum: Wisconsin's Mining Standoff

The Rock County Progressives present a video and forum:

"Wisconsin's Mining Standoff" by 371 productions ...a short film about the proposed mine in the Penokee Hills of northern Wisconsin

Wednesday, September 10
6 PM-6:30 PM cheese & cracker reception (nonalcoholic potluck)
6:30 PM- 7:45 PM, speakers & discussion

Senator Tim Cullen, District 15, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Mining

Devon Cupery, Producer at 371 Productions (which also made the emmy-nominated 'As Goes Janesville.')

371 productions - Video Screening Schedule

Devon also worked as lead researcher for 371’s BizVizz project, the first mobile app to make corporate tax & campaign finance data accessible.

**Basics Food Cooperative
1711 Lodge Dr.
Janesville, Wisconsin

(**This is an independent event not affiliated with Basics)

Directions: from Madison route 90 until 1st Janesville exit, south on Route 26 past route 14, look for Toys R Us on the right, right on Lodge Drive, on right across from Toys R Us.

The Community Room is to the left when you come in.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Weird Koch Op-Ed Runs Counter To Themselves And Their Support Base

I hate giving somebody like Charles Koch even a brief uncritical mention on my blog, but you know what they say about enemies, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." That's about where I stand when I visit Webpages or social forums dedicated to extreme right-wing views, or carry strong authoritarian tendencies to impose their solutions.

So while reading an op-ed written by Charles Koch, I was amazed by some of his obviously populist left-wing statements made against corporate welfare, the use of taxpayer funded incentives and subsidies for businesses and his apparent opposition to "train to the job" policies.

USA Today Excerpt:
Companies should earn profits by creating value for customers and acting with integrity, the opposite of today's rampant cronyism.

Too many businesses focus on getting subsidies and mandates from government rather than creating value for customers. According to George Mason University's Mercatus Center, such favors cost us more than $11,000 per person in lost GDP every year, a $3.6 trillion economic hit.

Charles Koch wrote that? There's plenty to chew on right there. Of course my first reaction is to see how those statements relate to economic development policies here at home in Janesville, Wisconsin.

For the most part, city leaders here and across Wisconsin not only believe that communities are in competition with one another for jobs, they vigorously support and fuel those concepts by carving out special slush accounts from modest local tax treasuries to fund bidding "incentives" to pay business ransom demands. In the meantime, they leave the business of government and its responsibility to the general public teetering on insolvency.

Considering George Mason University's Mercatus Center is a Koch funded think tank, I would think they would want to hide their report showing the accumulated annual cost of business subsidies and incentives, is $3.6 trillion AND describe it as a loss. That's more than the entire federal budget! Yet the Koch's see government, not its corruption and those that extort it, as the problem?

There's even more local friction to Koch's op-ed if we include some policy statements from one of Koch's special millionaire club members, Diane Hendricks. The billionairess from Beloit recently said that local governments (city councils, county boards) must not be afraid to stick their necks out (as opposed to getting out of the way) by offering taxpayer funded capital incentives to effect economic growth. In fact, members of the local business establishment have said "taxpayers need to put more skin in the game," when it comes to attracting or expanding private-for-profit business enterprise.

Again, Charles Koch's op-ed is not only in direct opposition to all that, Koch claims those concepts are responsible for washing away up to $11K per person in lost GDP ...every year!

But there's more.

I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King. There are no dead-end jobs. Every job deserves our best. "If a man is called to be a street sweeper," King said, "he should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'"

I assume if every job deserves our best, it should also pay the best.

Again. Am I missing something here? My interpretation of "there are no dead-end jobs" is also to say that there is no such thing as an "entry level job." That is, if you do your job well, whether you're flipping burgers or stocking shelves, you deserve to be paid for your time, production and labor well enough to support yourself without government assistance. If the employer's business model can't support that, it's the business that's dead end - not the job. The Koch's support those values? That's pure Leftyville.

And finally...

When it comes to creating opportunities for all, we can do much better. It's time to let people seek opportunities that best suit their talents, for businesses to forsake cronyism and for government to get out of the way.

Again, here we go. Is that meant to be a joke? The folks at Walker's Workforce Developmental agency and their local tools have been preaching the exact opposite to that. To them, it's all about training to the jobs that are available to satisfy the local economy's needs. In fact, their concern is that schools have for TOO long tried to satisfy students’ personal pursuit of the American Dream.

If the Koch brothers really believe in some of the concepts Charles wrote about, I'd have to ask them: why are they supporting candidates whose regressive economic and political philosophies runs counter to theirs?

Look, I'm not going to pretend the Koch's war on the concept of government, the environment, unions or public education does not exist, but if we can acknowledge that the game is rigged with a crony collectivist system (some call it rent-seeking) that incurs a $3.6T LOSS in GDP every year and costs individuals up to $11,000 in personal wealth - THAT should be public enemy number one. By comparison, everything else the Koch's have been trying to do is just playing around at the edges.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

MKE Journal Sentinel: Investigation Into Gov. Scott Walker's Campaign Must Continue

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened a JS story linked by my friends on the #WIunion hash tag. I figured it's probably just another weakly critical and apologetic editorial from the MKE Sentinel Journal on Gov. Scott Walker, given the title relating to the John Doe investigations into his office activities. But not this time.

Titled, John Doe investigation of Gov. Scott Walker's campaign must continue, the editorial offers little new insight into the scandal for those who have been following it closely. But what they do present is a very good synopsis of the investigations up to this point in time while supplying known facts that contradict Walker's history and rhetoric to the reality. That they do this without making direct accusations or throwing red meat out adds credibility to their reasoning.

Editorial Excerpt:
Under state law, prosecutors had reason to suspect the activities of the Walker campaign and the Wisconsin Club for Growth. This was not, in the words of the governor and his allies, a "witch hunt." It was a legitimate state investigation aimed at learning the truth.

After reading their editorial, voters still sitting on the fence should begin wondering why folks who publicly claim they are wrongly accused or victims of a witch hunt continue to stonewall the release of evidence. That doesn't make sense.

So far, each passing release of investigative documents, emails and case files failed to show any exculpatory evidence exonerating Scott Walker or his political campaign allies. There is no reason to expect such evidence even exists. To the contrary, each new shovel full of evidence just buries them deeper into a hole of public opinion, a court filled with more accusations of wrongdoing and unanswered questions.

At the same time, prosecutors also want what may be possibly the most damning evidence of all to remain sealed in hopes of restarting the John Doe or to lay down the groundwork for a grand jury.

Either way, the investigation must be allowed to continue if justice is to be served.

A must read! --> John Doe investigation of Gov. Scott Walker's campaign must continue


The Political Environment - Randa Overreach Brings Walker True Transparency