Showing posts with label Tim Russell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tim Russell. Show all posts

Sep 7, 2014

Wisconsin Press Misreporting Nature of Wisconsin John Doe Probe

Wisconsin's two largest newspapers, the AP, and the Gannett Co dailies are misreporting a major element of Wisconsin's biggest political-criminal justice story—The John Doe Recall probe investigating coordination among Scott Walker, the Walker campaign and outside groups that flooded the Wisconsin airwaves with Express Advocacy ads during the 2011-12 Recall Elections

Misreporting a major fact of the Wisconsin John Doe probe has led many Wisconsin readers to the perception that the bipartisan law enforcement officials conducting the John Doe probe are just playing politics, when the opposite is true under the rigorous and reformist John Doe statute that protects the innocent when looking into the possibility of criminal activity.

Wisconsin John Doe Statute
The journalistic mistake is repeating the fallacious and misleading line from the Walker campaign that Scott Walker is not a "target" of the John Doe law enforcement investigation carried out under the authority of Wisconsin Constitutional officers [district attorneys] and the Wisconsin John Doe statute.

Cody, our neighbor's dog who lives down the street is not a John Doe target; Packers coach Mike McCarthy is not a target; and neither is Scott Walker nor anyone else.

That's because the practice, statutory rationale and rules governing Wisconsin's John Doe's statute do not authorize designating 'targets' during the course of Wisconsin John Doe probes.

Federal grand juries in Wisconsin (and other states) do designate and notify targets as "putative defendants," state grand juries in other states designate targets.

In Wisconsin John Doe probes do not designate targets.

The John Doe statute authorizes a law enforcement investigation conducted with the compulsory authority of a quasi-judicial hearing to look into if and by whom crimes have been committed, precisely to determine whether someone should become a target of a criminal complaint on the basis of the facts and testimony gathered in the probe.

In fact, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has specifically recognized that the John Doe statute does not even "require that a witness be advised as to the nature of the proceeding," and does not require that the gathering of evidence and testimony reaches a point when someone must to be advised he or she becomes an effective target of the John Doe investigation, likely to be served a criminal complaint. (Ryan v. Wisconsin, (79 Wis.2d 83 (1977)).

This ruling has stood for 37 years without challenge because it is uncontroversial

Scott Walker's repeated I'm have not been told I'm a target statements are misleading and dishonest.

The Journal-Sentinel editorial this weekend advocating that the John Doe probe continue, notes Scott Walker has repeatedly asserted "that prosecutors have said he is not a target of their investigation."

This is not credible.

Walker won't be told he is a target until and unless he is served with a criminal complaint (likely just before).

In the middle of the for-now-halted John Doe probe Scott Walker surely was not told the status of the secret probe in a misuse of the term "target," while released documents of the John Doe officials reveal their theory that Walker appears to be at the center of a "criminal scheme."

John Doe probes are not grand juries, and they are not mini-trials requiring a reporting of the status of the probe or the disclosure of evidence that could be exculpatory in a hypothetical future trial, the Brady Rule; this imperative exists after the charging of a criminal defendant.

Alerting someone he or she is suspected of illegal activity in a John Doe probe is like law enforcement alerting a criminal suspect that law enforcement has accumulated a mountain of evidence that the suspect is running guns and manufacturing crystal meth, so heads up guys.

Target is a precise legal term used in federal grand jury proceedings, but the Wisconsin press has generally used the term target interchangeably in reporting on the current John Doe Recall probe as though the investigation is a grand jury proceeding.

Federal court opinions on the John Doe probe have used the term "target" and "subject," but by no means are the opinions intended to equate the use of target in grand jury proceedings with subjects and subpoenaed witnesses producing testimony and being investigated in the Wisconsin John Doe Recall election probe.

John Doe probes are begun when there is reasonable suspicion to believe a major crime has been committed, and conflict(s) of interests or practical difficulties—such as stonewalling in the first Walker administration John Doe probe (May 2010 - March 2013) resulting in criminal convictions against three former aides, one appointee and one campaign contributor to/of then County Executive Scott Walker—make a John Doe proceeding necessary as determined by a district attorney, judge; and in some cases as requested and initiated by Wisconsin citizens, a Wisconsin law enforcement jurist confirms.

If someone in a John Doe probe is charged like Tim Russell and Kevin D. KavanaughScott Walker's longtime political aides who were appointed by Walker to a military veterans' non-profit groups and proceeded to embezzle $10,000s donated and intended for veterans and their families (both were convicted in 2012)—the criminal charging then and only then causes someone to become a "target," at the discretion of the district attorney and judge overseeing the probe.

A quick phone call to a law enforcement jurist or Wisconsin criminal defense jurist will confirm these facts about targets and what John Doe officials reveal to the people to whom they speak.

In the meantime, the Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and most of the Wisconsin press are consistently misrepresenting this major element of Wisconsin's biggest criminal justice-political story right up to the last critical months before the November gubernatorial election.

Tuesday afternoon, September 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will hear oral arguments slated to begin at 2:30 on several cases related to the John Doe 'Recall' probe including whether numerous documents should be released, and whether U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa erred when Randa halted the probe on May 6 this year in an incredible and spectacularly corrupt ruling attempting to salvage Walker's political career in a ruling that stains the federal judiciary in Wisconsin.

Walker has been shown to be at the center of a criminal scheme in the documents already released. (Marley, Bice and Glauber, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Walker's fear, and Randa's fear is that if the probe were allowed to be continued (and no jurist to whom I have spoken can cite a Wisconsin John Doe proceeding that has been halted in this manner as Randa did in May), Walker and several others would be served with a criminal complaint, then Scott Walker and likely others would become targets.

It has already been established Scott Walker solicited money on behalf of outside groups, and coordinated with outside groups to benefit the 2012 recall campaigns of Republican state senate candidates. (Bottari, Center for Media and Democracy)

Reporting and repeating Scott Walker's line that Walker (and others) are not John Doe targets is an abdication of the commitment to reporting facts that underlie the best of American journalism, and effectively functions as a cover-up and propaganda for Walker and his allies.

This error is exacerbated in the context of Walker's allies' repeated assertion that coordination and solicitation among Walker, Walker's campaign and Walker's allies is not a crime, calling Wisconsin campaign finance regime, "zombie law," though numerous people have already been convicted and sentenced for the same crimes—laundering campaign contributions, misconduct in public office and filing false reports with the state Elections Board (now Wisconsin Government Accountability Board)—that Walker and others appear to have committed.

This is a grave matter for Wisconsin journalism assuming one takes matters such as the formal structures of Wisconsin democracy and the rule of law seriously; the issue is no less than the question: Is Scott Walker above the law?

When there is this much at stake, Wisconsin journalism has to get the story right.

Sep 3, 2014

Scott Walker Disrepects Veterans Again and Again

Tim Russell, Scott Walker and Brian Pierick
"Don't think for a minute that Walkergate
or its effect will end ... ."

'When a vet is interred, it is considered a final and lasting resting place. It's final to us'

Updated - Since Scott Walker appointed two longtime political flunkies, Tim Russell and Kevin Kavanaughwho had and likely never will have any veterans' advocacy or non-profit experience—to non-profit veterans' groups, it's been clear Scott Walker uses veterans as a campaign prop and could not care any less about service.

Tim Russell and Kevin Kavanaugh proceeded to embezzle $60,000 from the veterans' funds with which they were entrusted by Walker.

".... charged (and later convicted) .... with embezzling more than $60,000 intended for veterans and their families, instead using the stolen funds on everything from Caribbean cruises to wedding expenses to renewing Walker-for-governor websites." (Bice, Schultze and Stein, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Now, a Korean War Veterans memorial up in Price County is getting the shaft from Scott Walker and his Department of Transportation which is refusing funding for the revered area, reports Seth Carlson in the Price County Review.

Walker's DoT and disrespect for veterans isn't anything new.

Walker wants to expand I-94 against the wishes of numerous Milwaukee community groups and dig up and move the resting place of veterans at Wood National Cemetery, "located on the grounds of a former Soldiers Home that today is called the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee."

"(W)hen a vet is interred, it is considered a final and lasting resting place. It's final to us," said Al Richburg, director of Wood National Cemetery, reports Don Walker in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Someone forgot to tell this to Scott Walker, or more likely Walker doesn't give a damn. Other private cemeteries along Scott Walker's plan to widen I-94 will move final resting places as well.

As the Root River Siren noted this Spring, "Scott Walker even dared to stand next to U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin at Wood National Cemetery on Monday (Memorial Day 2014) to honor the fallen and praise Medal of Honor recipient, Gary Wetzel."

Scott Walker is an ass, and any politician who voted for the budget allowing this desecration is an ass.

It doesn't stop there.

As the Siren also noted: "As unsavory as the whole [Russell-Kavanaugh] episode is, it largely remains forgotten by Wisconsin veterans as a whole. Then legislation (passed this last) March, which Walker signed into law, that makes it harder for people to pursue legal remedies and compensation for repeated exposure to asbestos."

Mesothelioma is the rare form of cancer which occurs - and disproportionately affects veterans."

Veterans groups condemned the bill, but Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce loved it - and even had a hand in writing it. See, many of their members are the source of these lawsuits and they really hate to pay out cash for killing people - even veterans."

"A number of veterans groups have sworn they won't forget come election time. We've heard that before."

Veterans groups and Democratic Party representatives have introduced the "Full Compensation for Victims" Act, repealing the GOP's "Corporate Profits over Veterans" Act. (Jessica VanEgeren, the Capital Times)

As of the posting of this piece, Scott Walker has never apologized once for what his flunkies, Russell-Kavanaugh, did to veterans, or what Walker had done.

Mar 3, 2014

Appleton Post Crescent: Scott Walker Owes Explanation about Secret Email System

The Appleton Post-Crescent blasted Scott Walker in a weekend editorial condemning Walker for his hostility to the Wisconsin people's right to know.

The blistering editorial in the wake of revelations of secret emails follows similar blasts from the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, the Beloit Daily Herald, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Capital Times and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

It's no wonder Walker and the Republicans attack voting, gerrymander the legislative districts in secret, attack open government in criminal violation of the law; one can go on listing the Walker assaults against democracy.

Scott Walker is all about evading accountability for his actions against the people of Wisconsin.

Walker will say in quickly muttered bursts: I want to talk about the future, not the past.

Of course Walker does, this way he doesn't have to account for his criminal past. And Scott Walker's promises about the future are as unreliable as his commitment to the public's right to know what their governor is doing and has done to their state.

Scott Walker should face the people of Wisconsin, and answer their questions to their satisfaction.

The Appleton Post-Crescent editorial reads in part:

It’s about responsible government and subverting the public’s right to know. ...

Walker has refused to answer questions about the email system, but he needs to. Did he know about it and participate in it, as at least one of the emails states? And if so, how does he think this secret system was ethical? How does he think hiding communication that’s considered a public record was serving his constituents?

His answers will speak to his integrity not just when he was Milwaukee County executive but today, as governor. His lack of answers so far speaks to it, too.

Mar 2, 2014

The Wisconsin Campaign for Governor in 2014—A Morality Play

Suppose a Wisconsin officeholder assumes public office and one of his first acts is to arrange a campaign operation inside the very office confines to which he was elected.

Not just a political infrastructure, but an active campaign with electioneering, email system and laptops, monitoring the media, secret communications in violation of Wisconsin's public records law (a primary check against New Jersey-style political corruption), regular meetings of campaign and public office staff inside the office (a courthouse office) and his top aides and the officeholder using the public office to coordinate campaign strategy with carrying out public duties. And with top aides reminding each other to carry out the campaigning covertly.

Any reasonable person would see this as knowingly committing misconduct in office, criminal misconduct in office.

We don't have to suppose; we have Scott Walker. His aides were convicted or took immunity deals.

Walker was elected governor and the evidence in emails and testimony obtained by law enforcement resulted in 15 criminal convictions.

After using the Milwaukee County Executive's office as a campaign office, including but not exclusive to Walker's 2010 run for Wisconsin governor, Walker again betrayed the Wisconsin people as governor and sold out to big-moneyed interests and his own extremist ideology on which he dared not campaign, while making unequivocal promises of 250,000 new jobs.

Scott Walker's Non-denial and Slur on Walker's Older, Secret Intranet System; File This

For future use, file Scott Walker's flack and his statement trying to knock down Bob Kiefert's piece: "I can report that Walker knew about this [illegal] system as far back as 2002. How do I know? I helped Tim Russell set it up."

Walker campaign spokesman Jonathan Wetzel said, in reference to Kiefert's exclusive being picked up by the Wisconsin State Journal, "That a recent blog post by a Democrat Party activist, unsubstantiated in any way whatsoever, is being reported as factual is ridiculous." (DeFour. Wisconsin State Journal)

Ridiculous? Unsubstantiated?

Wow. Sounds like reckless disregard and defamation to me.

How about suing Kiefert and the Green Bay Progressive for libel and defamation, if Scott Walker and Jonathan Wetzel really believe Kiefert's story is ridiculous.

Maybe former Walker aide, Tim Russell, can get in the act as well; he'll be out of prison soon for embezzling from veterans.

Or, how about suing the Wisconsin State Journal's business entities?

Don't look for a comment or a lawsuit from Scott Walker's office though; truth remains a compelling defense against charges of libel.

Stay tuned though for more from Kiefert.

Mar 1, 2014

Wisconsin GOP Flacks Say Kill John Doe Law in Effort to Protect Scott Walker

Scott Walker still hides from Wisconsin and has
offers no comment on the secret router and
email system used by Walker and his aides
It is clear that GOP flacks and politicians do not know what Wisconsin's John Doe statute is; they just don't like it when the law is used to find out Republicans who commit crimes against the Wisconsin people.

John Doe probes find the guilty and protect the innocent, a dangerous law enforcement mandate for Republicans in Wisconsin politics today.

Law enforcement acting in the John Doe probe found evidence of GOP criminality beyond a reasonable doubt, so predictably Republican flacks want to kill the John Doe statute (the text of the Wisconsin statute is newly and heavily annotated online).

GOP arguments—such as there are—are unsound and uninformed.

Take today's Wisconsin State Journal's Chris Rickert.

Rickert writes,
But whereas a John Doe can dam up just about any information about who they’re targeting and why, a grand jury offers at least a few opportunities for information to leak out, providing clues into what prosecutors are after. ...

The argument for dumping Doe is simple enough from a health-of-the-democracy perspective. Politicians are adept at misrepresenting their opponents’ positions and spinning news to fit their agendas.
John Doe probes do not "target" anyone.

Their charge under law is to investigate if and by whom crimes have been committed when practical difficulties, like stonewalling by Scott Walker that resulted in the first John Doe, and conflicts of interest make law enforcement investigations impractical, and when innocents could be hurt "from the fallout of frivolous prosecutions" (Berghahn) vis a vis John Doe probes.

"The whole purpose of the John Doe is to inquire whether possible criminal activity occurred," said the retired judge (Neal Nettesheim overseeing the first John Doe). "The John Doe served its purpose. It's to resolve uncertainty and to go where the evidence takes you." (Bice and Umhoefer. MJS)

Secrecy is not mandated, but secrecy protects innocents and the investigation, so secrecy codicils are often employed in John Doe probes.

If and only if a criminal charge is brought or evidence points to a charge being likely does someone like Scott Walker aides or appointees—Tim Russell, Kevin Kavanaugh, Darlene Wink, Kelly Rindfleisch for example—find out he or she is a target.

Russell and Kavanaugh embezzled $10,000s from non-profits meant for veterans and their families, so naturally readers won't hear their names often from Republicans.

John Doe probes are not mini-trials, they are law enforcement investigations that may or may not result in prosecutions.

As for the health-of-the-democracy argument, just because Republicans are revealed to be corrupt and charged and convicted of crimes (with no claims of innocence) does not mean the John Doe statute is suddenly "undemocratic."

If Republicans want to make the argument that Tim Russell, Kevin Kavanaugh, Darlene Wink, Kelly Rindfleisch et al., are innocent then by all means, let's examine their presented evidence and hear their arguments.

No such claims of innocence from the first John Doe probe (even from GOP flacks) have been made because against the evidence such claims are ludicrous.

No, Republicans are going after the statute because they know that Scott Walker is dirty and has been for a long time, and they wish to protect Walker.

Being innocent and yet convicted and in prison does not weigh heavily on most Republicans' minds.

Ask Penny Brummer, an innocent women who sits in prison, or Robert Lee Stinson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for whom a wrongfully convicted bill is named, killed by Republicans in the state assembly.

Ask Scott Walker who says he cannot grant pardon because there are too many innocents in Wisconsin prisons, a beyond-belief argument that ought to disqualify Walker from public office.

Walker used the Milwaukee County Executive's office as a campaign machine for governor because he felt is he was entitled; Walker violated public records law because he felt he was entitled; and Walker won't talk to the press now because he knows as well that he is neck-deep in uncharged crimes.

Now, I am no attorney but I'm thinking what just about every non-Republican jurist is thinking: Scott Walker should have been charged at a minimum with Misconduct in Public Office (Wisconsin Statute 946.12), but some people like Scott Walker and Republicans are more equal than others.

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, who was leading the first John Doe investigation, knows this, and backed away from charging Walker last year because he was afraid of the fall-out.

Feb 28, 2014

Scott Walker Has Smoking 50-caliber As Emails Network Administrator Comes Forward

The release of some 27,000 emails from the secret e-mail system used by Scott Walker and his Milwaukee County and campaign staff should put to rest the myth that Scott Walker didn't know of or Scott Walker has not been part of the system on which Walker and his most trusted County and campaign aides communicated.

No smoking gun, say some observers.

Now comes late-breaking news from Matthew DeFour in the Wisconsin State Journal:
Gov. Scott Walker's Milwaukee County executive office was using a secret Internet system as early as 2002, according to a former county administrator who said he helped set up the network.

That's several years earlier than prosecutors disclosed in a complaint against one of Walker's former aides who was convicted of using a secret system to campaign on the taxpayers' dime.

Milwaukee County human resources assistant director Bob Kiefert said he was called into Walker's office in 2002 by then-deputy chief of staff Tim Russell. Kiefert showed Russell how to set up a hard-wired Internet connection using a DSL modem and a telephone line. The network allowed county executive staff to send and receive emails and surf the Web outside the public system set up by the county's Information Management Services Division in 1998.
Kiefert first disclosed the story in a piece in the Green Bay Progressive.

Feb 26, 2014

Tim Russell—Scott Walker's Close Aide, Friend and Embezzler of Veterans' Fund Makes News

Tim Russell Claims in Prison Documents He Had "Authority" to Dip Into Funds (Lounsbury. Uppity Wisconsin)

When I first read about Tim Russell and (Kevin Kavanaugh) in January 2012 being charged with stealing money from veterans and their families after being appointed by Scott Walker, I thought Walker was political history within months.

These two Milwaukee County officials had no veterans' advocacy experience, no non-profit experience, and their political experience was composed of kissing up to GOP politicos like Walker.

Finally, the best-held political secret that Republicans use veterans as props, oppose veterans' benefits, and could not care less about veterans would come out on Scott Walker's watch, so I believed.

This was not to be.

Local broadcast Wisconsin media, and GOP-leaning dailies (mostly Gannett Co dailies devastating local coverage) throughout the state rarely mentioned the ongoing scandal and when they did they usually left out mention these two slime stole from veterans, instead merely stating that the two were accused of embezzling from unnamed non-profit(s).

Up-north and central Wisconsin voters whom I contacted had no idea what the story was, just some political thing out of Milwaukee.

So, arguably the most shameful episode of Scott Walker's cronyism, a spectacular political story that should have blown up anyone near it and one of the lowest forms of crime: Stealing from veterans, mostly blew over.

Republicans were more than happy to look past the charging and sentencing of these two Walker appointees.

No Walker denunciations. No Republican denunciations. No statement from Scott Walker to come clean with prosecutors and cooperate fully, perhaps because the two were so tight.

A new piece out sheds some light on Walker and one of the slime he appointed, Tim Russell.

Tim Russell Claims in Prison Documents He Had "Authority" to Dip Into Funds (Jud Lounsbury. Uppity Wisconsin) Please check it out.

This seems plausible.

As Steve Schultze (known in Scott Walker's inner circle as "asshole," emails reveal), Dave Umhoefer and Daniel Bice reported in 2012:
Various employees who worked with Russell at the county said he was perceived as part of Walker's close circle, along with John Hiller, a property developer who has been at Walker's side since Walker's first try for office; Bob Dennik, a political consultant and fundraiser for Walker; Jim Villa, who served as a chief of staff to Walker at the county and also worked on Walker campaigns; and others.

Walker returned the loyalty, promoting Russell and bringing him back onto the county payroll twice after Walker re-election campaigns as county executive. Russell held eight different jobs during Walker's eight years as county executive, including executive assistant, several economic development positions, deputy chief of staff and housing director. The development jobs paid more than $80,000 a year.

Several of his close associates and others who had dealings with Russell dating to Walker's first county executive run in '02 expressed shock over the allegations.

"He was one of Walker's most trusted confidants," said Orville Seymer, a property manager active in recall politics through Citizens for Responsible Government. "That's what makes this so shocking. Walker trusted him implicitly. He's not guilty yet but the evidence looks pretty strong." CRG jump-started the recall drive against then-County Executive F. Thomas Ament in 2002, leading to Walker's victory in a special election later the same year.
Scott Walker has been walking through a minefield that he self-laid for years.

This is why national Democrats want Scott Walker out front of the GOP field for president, a gift that will never happen, no matter what Larry Saboto thinks.

With big help from the Wisconsin press, $10s of millions from out-of-state billionaires and maladroit political communications from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Walker survived Tim Russell and Kevin Kavanaugh.

Eight months out from the general election for governor, one hopes at least one of these characteristics has changed.

Feb 10, 2014

Scott Walker Is the Rick Perry of 2016 and Hasn't Even Declared Yet

From left to right: Felon Tim Russell, Scott Walker
and Felon Brian Pierick
Update: Rightwing blogger says his site made a transcription error, although the rightwing blogger refuses to post the entire interview and, as pointed out by the site that broke the story, the short audio clip "does not contain a phrase the blogger says you can hear that explains things, among other questions raised."
I have to admit to schadenfreude watching Scott Walker's faux run for the GOP nomination for the presidency, encouraged energetically by national political journalists.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist, Dan Bice, wrote in April 2013 that Scott Walker is not an "ideas guy," suggesting someone as error-prone as Walker who can't think on his feet "could earn him the distinction of being the Gov. Perry of the 2016 campaign." (Daniel Bice chat transcript on Thursday, April 18)

Now, it is revealed Scott Walker told a rightwing blog in January how he voted for Ronald Reagan. Only problem is Walker was 13 and 17-years-old during Reagan's two elections in 1980 and 1984.

I mean how can someone not remember whether or not he voted for Reagan, emphatically so when he was not old enough to vote yet?

Does anyone really need any more evidence this guy is a lightweight and a pathological, if petty liar?

Blogging Blue and The Political Environment have the story. "I remember, I was a teenager, had just become a teenager and voted for Ronald Reagan— limited government, you know, smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense. You knew what you were getting. You knew how a Reagan administration, a Reagan presidency was going to be better for you," Walker said.

And how do you "just become" a teenager and then vote?

This rumination of Walker's demonstrates anew Walker's penchant for making things up to fit his grandiose conception of himself, his inability to think on his feet and a level of deceit not seen in Wisconsin politics since Joe McCarthy.

And of course one can see why Walker hides from public encounters with the Wisconsin people, with the first and second John Doe probes casting doubt on his character, with more criminal records to be released.

Nov 23, 2013

GOP Complains: Tell It to the Judge

Scott Walker with former aides, now convicted felons - John Doe I
"The bottom line is, I know how I have conducted myself in public service," Scott Walker said. "It is the traditions I have from my parents; it's part of how I obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. We operate at high integrity."
Wisconsin State Journal October 2, 2011

Judge Gregory Peterson is the supervising judge of John Doe II, by Wisconsin statute.

So, Republicans and their friends who funneled $10 millions into the Recall elections, if they have any facts about improper behavior of any prosecutor or investigator, tell Gregory Peterson.

Dan Bice has a new piece about Wisconsin Club for Growth, Charlie Sykes, and assorted Republicans whining.

One can assume the GOP hates the John Doe probe staff, so if the John Doe probe staff is really acting improperly, the GOP would have publicly laid out the facts and evidence.

That the GOP did not just tells you, they're a bunch of cry babies upset with the rule of law being applied to them.

Nov 10, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day, Will Williams.
Your commitment to peace does us
Remember our veterans.

Know our veterans' friends, committed to treating Agent Orange and PTSD.

And our veterans' enemies, who steal from veterans while using veterans as props.

The neocons and Republicans saluting Veterans Day do so with irony, as they keep up their campaign that fraud, lies and 'government dependence' define the veterans' reentering American society.

And to AP writer, Allen Breed; are you still sticking to your story that the VA makes it's too easy for veterans to file claims and is an "open invitation to fraud," in your words?

President Obama made easier it to file and obtain PTSD disability benefits in 2010, and all the GOP hucksters and poseurs came forward.

From the Wisconsin State Journal (May 27, 2010)
In February 2010, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts questioned Assistant to the Solicitor General, Anthony Yang, in the federal benefits-related case, Astrue v. Ratliff (No. 08-1322).

Asked Justice Roberts, "In litigating with veterans, the government more often than not takes a position that is substantially unjustified?"

Yes, he was told.

Roberts found this "really startling."

Mr. Chief Justice, you're right.

What we do to our veterans is startling, and calling their benefits system an open invitation to fraud is outrageous.
Scott Walker on motorcycle at Operation Freedom event.
Walker's personal aides stole from fund meant for
veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan
On a local note, how about Scott Walker uses Veterans Day 2013 as a day to hold a listening session to explain the embezzlement from veterans and their families in Operation Freedom.

Straighten out the record, for once.

After all, stonewalling by Scott Walker's office in the embezzlement of funds from Operation Freedom did lead to the John Doe I probe, (Bice. MJS. May 31, 2012), according to the District Attorney's office which requested the John Doe probe in the first place.

Stealing from veterans. Nice.

Is Walker going to mention his buddies, felons Tim Russell (who operated Walker's 2010 Walker for Governor campaign website, and Kevin Kavanaugh, on his new Scott Walker for Governor site, maybe apologize?

Well, I suppose the new John Doe II means Scott Walker will not be taking questions on this Veterans Day.

Oct 9, 2013

GOP Gov Shutdown Devastates Veterans

The Republican-Tea Party government shutdown is far worse than Scott Walker appointing cronies with no veteran advocacy experience to non-profits only do watch as his cronies embezzle $10,000s.

From the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Americans are starting to grasp the full impact of the federal government shutdown on veterans and troops. Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki appeared before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to discuss the impact of the shutdown on veterans. In his testimony, he said that if the shutdown continues, veterans won’t receive disability and GI Bill benefits on November 1.

The hearing also included testimony from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which called for Washington to end the shutdown that has a damaging effect on veterans and troops. IAVA continues to call for an end to the shutdown, and clarity for those veterans trapped in the uncertainty of how the shutdown will continue to affect their benefits and services. IAVA has launched a petition calling for Washington to put a stop to the political games and ensure that veterans get the care they need:

“Veterans are hurting and are tired of being used as political chew toys, said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “They need Washington to end the shutdown so they can receive and benefit from the services and support they have earned. But until the government re-opens, our veterans deserve clear, reliable, and accurate information.” 

Sep 13, 2013

Corporate Media Cleaning up Another Scott Walker Scandal

Remember the WalkerGate scandal and Recall campaign the story was endlessly trumpeted that Walker's personal appointees, Kevin Kavanaugh and Tim Russell, embezzled $10,000s from veterans and their families?

Likely you don't recall if you live in the northern half of Wisconsin.

That's because the corporate press buried the scandal, spun the scandal, and played stenographer to whatever two sentences Walker uttered before running away out of state to another fundraiser.

Blue Cheddar has a piece illustrating the lengths the Walker PR machine - masquerading as Wisconsin media - will go to help Scott Walker bury another $multimillion corruption scandal.

Sep 7, 2013

Scott Walker Still Won't Run

From left to right: Tim Russell, Scott Walker and Brian Pierick
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Dan Bice in April 2013 wrote Scott Walker is not an "ideas guy," suggesting someone as error-prone as Walker who can't think on his feet "could earn him the distinction of being the Gov. Perry of the 2016 campaign."

Bice didn't say it but Walker is a lightweight, still enchanted by the fact that billionaires will talk to him and tell him what to do as governor of the state of Wisconsin, with occasional input from the "Savior."

Walker can always count on the corporate press to forget history, as the press dutifully records Scott Walker met with the Nation of Patriots military/veterans' group out on a summer fundraiser.

  • Yes, Gov. Walker—but didn't a shady character with no veterans' advocacy experience whom you personally appointed to military veterans' groups—proceed to embezzle $10,000s and get criminally charged and convicted? You remember, it was this year that Timothy D. Russell was convicted.
  • Gov. Walker, didn't you also personally order that management of the veterans' group be reorganized so your appointee, Russell, could run things as he saw fit?
  • Did you apologize to the Nation of Patriots for what you did? I mean these patriots have long memories, right?

These questions were not posed by the corporate press, nor any fact mentioned of Walker's history of involvement with appointees who embezzled from veterans' non-profits.

Does anyone believe that this guy, Scott Walker, is really going to run for president?

He is going to bank a lot of money and come back to Wisconsin and announce he just wants to serve the people of Wisconsin; the corporate press will then dutifully report the later fiction.
wounded veterans and families of military servicemembers who died in Iraq and Afghanista - See more at:

Aug 17, 2013

Scott Walker, Campaign Used Public Office to Flack for Walker During O’Donnell Park Death

Death of young man in 2010 concerned Scott Walker; Walker was
worried the tragedy would hurt Walker politically. Walker’s campaign
manager, put it immediately after man was killed: "Make sure there is
not a paper any where that details a problem at all." Cover-up and lies.
Lisa Kaiser has the must-read story on Scott Walker corruption and his appalling insensitivity to the death of a young man in 2010.

Walker's cynical and persistent actions in reaction was that the death of 15-year-old Jared Kellner and two others injured on June 24, 2010 at the Milwaukee County O’Donnell Park parking structure could hurt Walker’s political image.

Reports Kaiser:
In the initial phases of the John Doe investigation, the public learned how then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s county aides worked on his gubernatorial campaign while working at their taxpayer-funded jobs. Some of these aides were prosecuted for their illegal behavior.

But the release of hundreds of emails sealed for years under the John Doe’s secrecy order—recently released as part of the litigation involving the O’Donnell Park tragedy—reveals more serious evidence of how Walker’s top campaign advisers were actually calling the shots on county matters to protect Walker and his campaign for governor from political damage from this tragedy.

And make no mistake: Scott Walker was definitely aware that his campaign and county staffers were working together to shape his image as he ran for governor in 2010.

Walker was copied on almost all of the emails ....

Nowhere in any of the emails released is there evidence of Walker or any of his campaign or county staffers expressing sympathy or concern for the Kellner family or the public’s safety. Their only interest seems to be managing Walker’s image and distancing himself from any potential cause of the structure’s failures.

Jun 23, 2013

Scott Walker's Presidential Run Looks Improbable

From left to right: Tim Russell, Scott Walker and Brian Pierick
"Don't think for a minute that Walkergate or its effect will end ... ." 
I don't believe Scott Walker is going to run for president in 2016.

All Walker is going to do is pretend to run, and suck up as much money as he can from out-of-state interests to defend his abyssal jobs record after unequivocally promising in the 2010 campaign that Wisconsin will have 250,000 new jobs at the end of Walker's gubernatorial term.

As of early Summer 2013, Walker is at some 49,000 private sector jobs, no where near coming close to meeting his 250,000 jobs promise by the end of 2014, with Wisconsin bringing up the rear for job growth among its border states.

Put aside the fact that the national press would look much more carefully than the Wisconsin press has at the machinations of WalkerGate and Walker's aides stealing money from veterans.

Put everything aside that we know about Walker's extremist, Tea Party-crazy ideology, and the growing currency of the Walker image as a petty, vindictive politician.

The heavies in the GOP know they cannot go with this crazy hick—way too much baggage, horrible optics, and the guy is a lightweight. 

See, for example, the shot at the above-right of Scott Walker (center) next to Walker appointees, Tim Russell (convicted of embezzling from veterans) and Brian Pierick (convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after a charge of child enticement was dropped in a plea deal).
By June 2011, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney all had announced the formation of their respective presidential exploratory committees, a necessary early legal and political public step toward a formal declaration for presidency.

If Scott Walker were re-elected governor in November 2014, he would be forced to effectively declare his candidacy for the presidency by announcing the formation of his presidential exploratory committee within some seven months after the gubernatorial election.

No, Walker is going to go the way of Sarah Palin—live off the taxpayers, then get out, and grab a job trading in on his extremist posturing and Ayn Rand ideology that trashed the state of Wisconsin.

Jun 14, 2013

Stop Me from Killing Again, Scott Walker Says to GOP Ripping-off Veterans

Still hiding
C'mon guys, my former aides stole from veterans. I appointed these guys!

Just another Scott Walker dance, as Walker pretends the Wisconsin GOP legislature is a separate operation from the governor's office.

A move by Wisconsin Republicans to strip disabled veterans of property tax credit benefits is drawing major blow-back on the presidential pretender, so look for Walker and the GOP to make this anti-veteran move go away, fast.

The measure makes Walker's buddy and a former top aide, Tim Russell—who embezzled from veterans—look like Mr. Social Conscience by comparison.

Not separate, but incompetent.

"Governor Walker hopes the Legislature will fix the issue, but will review the budget in its entirety when it gets to his desk," said Walker spokesman Tom Evenson, the Wisconsin State Journal reports, while going along with the pretense that there is no coordination between Walker and the GOP legislature.

Give me a break, if the GOP and Walker want the anti-veteran measure out, it's out.

Now, Walker can say: I stand with veterans [when my aides are not embezzling from veterans and when I don't trash the veterans' health care facilities].

Bottom line: Walker is too much a lightweight, an incompetent, surrounding himself with inadequate personalities and like-minded extremists for the Republican Party to consider Walker seriously for President.

Walker just gets money from the presidential chatter, a pretty good benefit, while he and the GOP legislature dance around Wisconsin public policy like two embezzling Walker appointees in love.

Jun 13, 2013

Scott Walker withdraws appointment of student regent who signed recall

Scott Walker—Lightweight to the end

Karen Herzog of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, "Gov. Scott Walker has withdrawn his appointment of a University of Wisconsin-Platteville student to the UW System's Board of Regents — a student who signed a petition calling for a recall election of the governor two years ago."

The appointment was made this last Monday, and rescinded days later after Walker apparently learned Joshua Inglett signed the Recall Scott Walker petition.

Anyone wondering, not many in Wisconsin are anymore, how low Scott Walker can go ought to stop wondering.

Walker is the most petty governor Wisconsin has seen.

What's next, using the Wisconsin Dept of Revenue against political opponents?

Don't be surprised.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker remains in hiding, perhaps penning letters to his jailed former staff members like Tim Russell.

Dec 11, 2012

Scott Walker Continues Lie on His Aides and Friends Stealing from Veterans

Tim Russell and long-time aide and friend, Scott Walker

Scott Walker refuses to refer to former top aides, all guilty of felonies, by name in interview

In the interview below, Scott Walker calls his long-time friend, Tim Russell, "an individual" whom he refuses to refer by name, and then says of one of the "other people" who ripped off veterans in Milwaukee County, Kevin Kavanaugh, as though Walker has no idea who Tim Russell and Kavanaugh are.

"As Milwaukee County executive, Scott Walker appointed Kavanaugh to head the county Veterans Service Commission. Kavanaugh is the fifth Walker aide or associate to be convicted in a secret probe. A sixth is awaiting trial," notes the AP.

Walker stonewalled the investigation causing the Milwaukee DA to initiate a John Doe criminal investigation because of Walker's stonewalling.

Walker is also pretending he has no idea what Kelly Rindfleisch, another criminal aide of Walker's, was up to.

So, Walker is pretending he doesn't know the aides he personally appointed, personal political appointees, as though these were strangers to him. This is like Nixon pretending he didn't know Haldeman and Ehrlichman, though not even Nixon went that far.

Hey, maybe Scott Walker should run for president.