Showing posts with label Walkergate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walkergate. Show all posts

May 30, 2014

Scott Walker Implosion May Be Imminent with New Release from Secret Comm System

Scott Walker's corruption featured
in February episode of Chris Haye
s
Update: Milwaukee County Executive announces he will have possession of the emails within days of June 4, and then release as fast as possible.  Look for a late June-July release of Scott Walker and staff emails on secret and illegal router system, installed in Walker's office during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. One prediction: It will begin to dawn on the most dense D.C. pundit that Scott Walker will never become the GOP nominee for the presidency.
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Tens of thousands of emails will soon be released featuring communications among aides to Gov. Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive (2002-08), current Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced.

The emails were seized in the first John Doe investigation that found massive misconduct in public office, and resulted in convictions of six Walker aides, appointees and associates.

The emails follow the February release of 28,000 emails that were made public as part of litigation by Walker's aide, Kelly M. Rindfleisch and her appeal of her conviction for misconduct in public office.

Walker in the past has refused to answer questions about ethics and criminality during his tenure as County Executive, pointing out the fact that the first John Doe investigation did not result in criminal charges against Walker as explaining away any questions why he used and allowed to be used a secret email communication system in the Milwaukee County executive's office.

This next release of emails will speak loudly, demonstrating a micromanager who ignored the law and any sense of ethics, and will be much more difficult for Walker to evade, and will almost certainly stop talk of Walker running for president, possibly torpedoing his run for reelection for governor as well.

The new release of secret emails also follows the March 1 revelation by Bob Kiefert that he worked at the Milwaukee County Executive's office as an employee and explained how to set up another secret Internet system in 2002 in the physical presence of Walker aide and convicted felon, Tim Russell, and Scott Walker himself, who smiled and waived at Kiefert when Russell tried to introduce the two as Walker was on the phone.

Russell explained to Kiefert that the Internet system was done at the behest of Walker, (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal) who was to personally thank Kiefert for his help.

"Kiefert said the 3G broadband network described in the (criminal complaint against Walker aides) is a faster, more modern version of the equipment he helped install in 2002," reported the Wisconsin State Journal's DeFour.

Mar 5, 2014

Scott Walker and Aides Shared Confidential County Business on Private Emails

Scott Walker and his aides saw the Milwaukee County Executive's office as their political fiefdom, not an elected office, responsible to the people.

Lisa Kaiser reports:

"Gov. Scott Walker’s aides in his Milwaukee County executive’s office used their private emails to share information protected by attorney-client privilege, confidential contract bidding details, and updates from closed-door meetings, a survey of the newly released John Doe emails shows."

No staffer in Walker's office is revealed to be stating, 'we can't be doing this.'

That taking confidential, private information and giving the information to Walker's political campaign was standard operating procedure shows that this abuse of office is what Scott Walker believed he was entitled.

Mar 4, 2014

Washington Post: A behind the scenes look at Scott Walker

Update: John Nichols comments on Scott Walker and his stonewalling of the Wisconsin people after "Tens of thousands of emails detailing the ethical and legal lapses, political misdeeds, insensitivity, sexism, racism and homophobia of his 'inner circle' of closest aides were released." Notes Nichols:  "The headlines in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal, newspapers that endorsed Walker’s initial election and refused to support the recall, were tough — going so far as to suggest that the governor must have known about secret political operations set up in his Milwaukee County Executive Office. Both newspapers have used their editorial pages to demand answers from Walker, as did other papers."
The Washington Post has a piece out portraying Scott Walker as a "leader on the rise," during Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County Executive (2002-10).

The piece says Walker was fixated with "cultivating his political image," and features numerous emails and accompanying descriptions supporting this characterization.

What is striking about this obsession of Walker's is that this campaign for governor reveals an almost pathological disregard for the people of Milwaukee County—"in the hours after a boy was killed at a county owned garage, Walker's staff was quickly concerned about his public image."

What about the kid killed?

"A 13-ton concrete slab had come loose and fallen from a county-owned parking garage in Milwaukee, crushing and killing a 15-year-old boy, and within minutes, aides feared the worst for their boss, then Milwaukee County’s top elected official," writes Rosalind S. Helderman in her piece.

It comes as no surprise that most of the people on the emails are convicted criminals or struck immunity deals with the John Doe probe.

These are Walker's people.

We read emails from Tim Russell (felon who embezzled from a veterans' fund) and Kelly Rindfleisch (misconduct in public office) and the whole bunch of Walker's staff who hijacked a public office and used it as a campaign in Walker's rise to power.

Left out of the Post report is the fact that Milwaukee County Asst DA Bruce Landgraf presented evidence in court this year that Walker's top campaign and County staff sent emails between January and October 2010 [election for governor was in November 2010] using the secret and illegal email system installed in Scott Walker's office. Hence, we have all these emails made public after Rindfleisch appealed her criminal conviction.

Walker's press secretary now wants Wisconsin to believe that Walker's office was not using a secret Internet system as early as 2002, as was recently reported.

Mar 2, 2014

Winning Definition of Scott Walker: Conniving, Two-faced and Against You

Scott Walker: Don't look at me or anything I've done
Update: "Walker and his people hijacked government to serve his own political interests rather than the interests of the people." (Conniff. The Progressive)
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When Republicans define a political opponent, they do so prior to the declaration of candidacy.

This means Republicans fabricate and lie, hoping not many folks are paying attention, and certainly not thinking.

Democrats on the other hand attempt to use facts and reality-based arguments seeking a mandate to win an election.

This is a difference in ethics between the parties, emphatically in the post-Citizens United world.

Every effective communication—working the press on stories, jumping on stories, feeding stories—all to help define, say Scott Walker with free media is an imperative to winning an election.

Conclusion: Do that.

In Wisconsin, the plausible definition of Scott Walker is a conniving, two-faced rat, against You and against veterans home from war.

By the way, for the George Lakoff "framing" freaks who believe they found the new, revealed code to political communications, they have not.

The political act of convincing communications in support of a compelling message has been used for almost 100 years—it's called PUBLIC RELATIONS, ... freaks.

Feb 26, 2014

Why Scott Walker Won't Answer Questions

Question from Luke, Green Bay, WI. - A simple yes or no question "Did you Governor Walker know of the secret e-mail system?" Why won't he just answer the question? We are paying his salary. It is a simple yes-no question.
 
Answer from Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel  - Why won't he answer the question? My guess: He is paying his lawyers very good money, and they have told him, "Do not answer that question."

-- From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Columnist Dan Bice's Online Question and Answer

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 25, 2014

New Journal-Sentinel Column Signals Press Tired of Scott Walker Lies, Evasions

It's no wonder Gov. Chris Christie has done over 100 listening sessions and Scott Walker had done zero.

Walker is afraid to face the people of Wisconsin, and more afraid to face the press in an extended press conference explaining the new release of emails and the emails' writing that points to Walker cheating, lying and stealing from the taxpayers of Milwaukee County.

Scott Walker had his own illegal, secret email account, emails show.

Scott Walker ordered his personally hired Milwaukee county staff to post fatuous pro-Walker comments on Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel news online pieces, emails show.

Scott Walker and his staff campaigned on Milwaukee County time, emails show.

Scott Walker is correct in pointing out that he was never criminally charged in the first John Doe investigation, to the chagrin of the Wisconsin people who see the evidence of Walker's criminally campaigning on the taxpayers' dime, in taxpayers' space and on taxpayers' time in black and white in the court-ordered released emails.

This is what is called felony misconduct in office, as convicted Walker aide, Kelly M. Rindfleisch, will tell you.

Milwaukee County DA John T. Chisholm had the discretion in the first John Doe probe to decide whom to prosecute and he chickened out, fearing blowback in prosecuting a sitting governor.

That decision of Chisholm's is not final. The evidence for prosecuting Scott Walker is plain to see and is certainly with the scope of the John Doe II probe. The DAs now investigating if and by whom crimes were committed should prosecute those who broke the law even if this someone is a sitting governor.

Feb 23, 2014

Two Largest Wisconsin Dailies Call for Scott Walker to Hold Press Conference on Emails

From left to right: Tim Russell, Scott Walker and Brian Pierick
"Don't think for a minute that Walkergate or its effect will end ... ." 
Update: Even Fox News host, Chris Wallace, grows frustrated with Scott Walker's evasions.

WALLACE: Did you have your own private e-mail account?

SCOTT WALKER: It’s one of those where I point out district attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues.

WALLACE: But sir, you’re not answering my question.

SCOTT WALKER: No, because I’m not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information.
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The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal are both editorially supportive of Scott Walker to a fault.

Now, the two largest Wisconsin dailies are calling on Walker to come clean with an extended press conference that ends when the press is done with questions, not when Scott Walker declares this is "old news."

It's not old news when the probe that resulted in 15 convictions involving his former top aides, who as the emails reveal, acted on Scott Walker's orders, is now a public fact shown in black and white. Walker knew, was a participant and lied about it. Why?

Scott Walker cannot weasel away on this one.

From a PR perspective, as the editorials writers at the Journal-Sentinel and State Journal are aware, a hours-long, question-and-answer session explaining and apologizing is the right thing to do.

From a good government perspective, it's imperative.

Everyone is wondering why Scott Walker was not prosecuted when the court-ordered release of the 27,000 emails shows Walker was the top dog in the conspiracy to run a secret political campaign out of a public office.

Scott Walker even parades this fact of not being prosecuted in his seconds-long encounters with friendly, GOP-aligned journalists.

I wasn't prosecuted is a fair point.

As are the voluminous emails proving Walker knew and directed action on the secret email system, and after his aide was caught ordered that the use of the secret email system stop, shortly before the Milwaukee County Executive office was raided by law enforcement.

As noted by Ruth Conniff in The Progressive Magazine, there's nowhere left to hide now.

Scott Walker Is Desperate So Wisconsin State Journal Runs Pathetic Flack Piece

Here's Steven Verburg's (GOP) fronting for Scott Walker in his piece on Sunday's front page.
More than 28,000 pages of secret emails and other documents released under court order last week illustrate in sharp detail the extent to which modern electronic devices allowed Scott Walker’s top taxpayer-funded staff in the Milwaukee County executive’s office to be secretly converted into political campaign assets in 2010.

But his former aides were betrayed by the supposedly hidden laptops, wireless connections and Web-based email accounts after prosecutors seized hard drives that stored reams of messages. ...
Scott Walker used the secret, illegal router email system; he "urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, " (Stein, Marley and Bice. MJS), and after his aide Darlene Wink was caught, Walker then Walker ordered the system shut down.

To state his aides were "betrayed" is like saying an idiot who fires a pistol at a man for being black was betrayed by the bullet.

No, Walker and his aides were not "betrayed," as Steven Verburg writes while pretending to be a journalist, instead of a Walker flack.

Walker and his aide are perpetrators who ran a campaign for governor from the office of Milwaukee County Executive, and even found time during business hours to sneak in their own brand of humor about Jews, blacks, gays and disabled Americans on emails that no decent person regards as anything but vile.

As Democurmudgeon writes (and I am posting almost his entire text; he won't mind as he as repulsed as I am) watch this video at bottom:

MSNBC's Chris Hayes hit on the real revelation of the newly released stack of emails. Hayes points out "the shear jaw dropping offensiveness" of a few of those emails.
Hayes: "What kind of work environment exactly would it be all okay to get this in your inbox and then forward it to an unspecified amount of coworkers and subordinates...but think about the kind of work environment in which a chief of staff sends this kind of email to his subordinates. An email that is explicitly homophobic, racist, antisemitic and offensive in every way possible? ... These are the thoughts people who are in charge of things like, oh I don't know, running the states welfare system." 
This is who Scott Walker and new Republican Party are.

If anyone is wondering if Republican officeholder criticized Scott Walker's former chief of staff and other Walker aides for this crap, forget it, no GOP officeholder in Wisconsin ever publicly criticizes Scot Walker and his staff.

Feb 22, 2014

Emails: Scott Walker Urged County Staff to Comment on News Websites and Promote Him

"In the heat of the 2010 governor's race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show." (Stein, Marley and Bice. MJS)

We know Walker used the illegal email system; we know he knew about it though even now, incredibly, Walker will not admit this; and we know Darlene Wink got busted for promoting Scott Walker on County time, a crime that Walker urged County staff to commit.

The very first question of Walker if he has the guts and decency to answer questions should be: Governor, do you think you really have the credibility to deserve reelection?

Darlene Wink had to plea bargain for doing precisely what Scott Walker in black and white urged her and others do to.

Feb 21, 2014

Scott Walker Says He's "Done" with Scandal; Claim Not Supported by Facts

Title 18 USC § 201 - Hey, Scott Walker if you do take
questions from the people, I have a question RE the above
federal statute. I just don't trust you, Mr. Governor.
Check out Mining Mogul's greasing Walker and Co.
Scott Walker has still refused to hold one extended news conference, or one listening session to answer questions about the emails bombshells revealing his tenure as Milwaukee county executive that resulted in some 15 criminal convictions, a racist culture and what appears be grounds for criminal investigation into a political operation run out of a public office.

Wisconsin's largest daily newspaper that is editorially supportive of Walker, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, has demanded Gov. Scott Walker must answer questions raised by release of emails.

"The longer he dodges questions, the more he undercuts his reputation as a straight-shooter. There are questions that need answering that only the governor can answer. The people of Wisconsin deserve those answers," concludes the editorial.

One extended news conference won't do the job either; Walker needs to follow the example of Chris Christie and hold regular listening sessions, partially because Scott Walker was in charge.

Jim Myers reports from D.C. that Walker won't answer questions because he says he's "done" now, and hence Wisconsin voters are not owed any explanations.

Reports Myers:
Walker was asked if he would agree to hold a news conference to address the document disclosures, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did when controversy erupted over the closure of lanes heading into the George Washington Bridge.

"No, because I am done," Walker said. "The difference is he (Christie) was just at the beginning of his process. This has been done. Your paper and others have reported on it. You are basically getting a splash because political opponents of mine want to draw attention to something that has already been resolved as of last March."
Actually, Walker is anything but done, because the five district attorneys and supervising judge are looking into a "wide variety of state-related issues, including the recall races, ... a current legislative leader and the governor's contest." the John Doe probe began in part because the "investigation is following up on a number of leads turned up by an earlier John Doe probe ... ." (Bice. MJS; Oct. 21, 2013) So, even the first John Doe is not done in that in carries on into John Doe II.

While Scott Walker may believe he has the power to declare a criminal matter done and resolved, law enforcement, the rule of law and the Wisconsin people are going to have the final word on Walker's scandal.

Walker is exposed to the public and he does not like it. Seeing how petty, hateful, bigoted and obtuse Walker and his minions are is a PR disaster for this bunch.

Personally for Walker is the exposure of the man as a liar, seemingly pathological. As Dave Zweifel writes in his Plain Talk column: "There were several revelations that came from the thousands of John Doe emails released Wednesday by the Appeals Court, but what caught my attention the most was how the emails confirmed just how much Gov. Scott Walker lies.

Yes, he lies and he was in charge of a criminal rise to political power.

The Wisconsin John Doe statute is 968.26. Remember that because attacks on law enforcement investigating Walker and the Money are going to increase.

This is a legal investigation convened and supervised to find if and by whom crimes have been committed. Let's not kid ourselves, there are huge-moneyed forces that want to stop this law enforcement investigation and they have the money to apply pressure to try to get their way. For now, the John Doe probe II is anything but done.

Speaking of not being done, check out the continuing coverage of Wisconsin's venerable The Progressive Magazine, the scourge of Joe McCarthy in 1954 and of Scott Walker 2011-?

My favorite is Walker's Denials No Longer Hold Up by Ruth Conniff.

The Progressive is poring over the 27,000 pages of emails and is pumping out precisely written scoop after scoop daily.

Illegal Email System Will Cost Scott Walker, Says Expert, as Walker Stands Mute

When Multiple Kelly Rindfleisch learned she is a target
Talking Point Memo has two pieces worth reading as national media pundits are doing their best to pooh pooh the vile racism and Walker's clear complicity in the illegal enterprise run out of the Milwaukee County Executive's office.

See How Scott Walker's Secret Emails Could Doom Him for 2016 and Scott Walker Isn't Taking Questions About Secret Email Club.

TPM's Daniel Strauss writes:
A massive document dump released this week about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has revealed some embarrassing tidbits about former aides to the governor. So far there hasn't been a bombshell directly linking governor to legal misconduct, but the the slow burn of the scandal -- and his reluctance to answer questions about it -- may drag down any presidential or vice-presidential ambitions Walker had in 2016.

"I think it's damaging, not because there was a lot of new information in the emails that were released, but because it put the story back on the front pages and it's really displaced the other things that the governor would prefer to talk about in an re-election year," University of Wisconsin political science professor Barry C. Burden told TPM.
Walker's credibility had been nuked nationally, and his penchant for surrounding himself with dumb, racist hicks is on full display, as the national know-nothing talking heads and hacks laugh off venal racism and duplicity of Scott Walker and his closest staff.

Walker's habit of appointing racists has continued in his tenure as governor. See Scott Walker aide behind ‘Black Friday’ fundraiser fired for racist tweets (December 3, 2013), Top Scott Walker Aide Fired for Recent Racist Facebook Rant Had Earlier Directed Staff to Withhold Information About Free Photo ID to Low-Income Wisconsinites (August 9, 2013) and on and on.

Meanwhile the national treasure known as The Progressive Magazine has more pieces eviscerating Walker:

As for Scott Walker's legal future bear in mind that John Doe investigators under the statute 968.26 (2) (b), under the the supervision of the judge of the investigation may approve subpoenaing (and certainly considering records already subpoenaed) "written records that the judge finds relevant," and this would include rereading the 10,000s of e-mails that the investigators may have missed.

The point is just because the focus of John Doe II appears to be illegal coordination, adding to the scope of the investigation is certainly within the John Doe II's probe's charge, and just like everybody else who has seen the emails by Scott Walker on the illegal email system, there appears to be no reason why investigators and district attorneys could not reach the conclusion that crimes have been committed.

Feb 20, 2014

Scott Walker Meltdown Lesson: Don't Trust National Pundits, Except Nate Silver

From left to right: Tim Russell, Scott Walker and Brian Pierick
"Don't think for a minute that Walkergate or its effect will end ... ." 
Even today the well-regarded Larry Sabato ranks Scott Walker as a "First Tier" candidate, along with Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

Dr. Sabato should perhaps update that Crystal Ball.

Sabato was joined by virtually the entire D.C. commentariat in this ridiculous assertion that this corrupt lightweight from Wisconsin could ever function on the national stage, though most progressives just wanted Walker out front so he could take a fall.

Political writers at Cognitive Dissidence and I am proud to note, this site have been saying for years that Scott Walker as a presidential candidate is a joke that is not going to happen.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice also knew better, saying Walker is not an "ideas guy" who could quickly become the Rick Perry of 2016 if Walker ever threw his hat into the ring.

Now, that Walker's political trajectory is plunging towards the bottom of Wisconsin's Lake Mendota, time to say I told you so. From last year:

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. 

And about that other guy from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan ... Paul Ryan will never be president of the United States. He's as fake as Walker, just not as dumb.

Scott Walker Exceeds Probable Cause for Criminality and Venality

Wisconsin John Doe probe is testimony to
our faith in the Rule of Law
Update: A corrupt U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa steps in and orders halt to John Doe probe.
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Last October, Scott Walker refused to engage a question about the John Doe II probe and offered an evasive statement, "We expected that with a new Democrat candidate for governor in the race that there would be stories like this along the way." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) and (WPR)

No Wisconsin journalist expects a straight answer from Scott Walker anymore, something the nation is now finding out as another republican mentioned as a presidential candidate has fallen in a spectacular fashion.

Right about now, it can be said with certainty that Scott Walker did not expect the myriad stories after the court-ordered release of some 27,000 documents reveals the depravity and duplicity of his former top aides and him in black and white.

Walker is now drawing unfavorable comparisons to Chris Christie, and it won't be long before national Republicans begin to walk away from Walker with the same urgency they now employ in avoiding Christie.

Not that this white flight matters a great deal in this post-Citizens United era in which billionaires determine who the Republicans nominate for president, and not GOP politicos or voters.

Now that a fraction of emails from Walker's secret and illegal email system used to campaign in the offices of Milwaukee County has been released, Walker and his administration are equally evasive about John Doe I as about John Doe II: "The recently released communications of a county staffer from several years ago are part of a legal process that was completed early last year,' said Jonathan Wetzel, the spokesman. "Governor Walker is confident that during that legal process, these communications were thoroughly reviewed by the authorities." (Davey, Yaccino. NYT)

Wetzel's two former two predecessors have been granted criminal immunity, and 15 criminal convictions resulted, including Walker's top aides, with no claims of innocence from this "legal process" referenced by Walker.

Yet, one wonders if Walker truly expects this New York Times report as well, as he claimed last year:

The (court-ordered) messages showed how actively Mr. Walker’s campaign coordinated with county workers in 2009 and 2010, when he was running for governor. They shared emails about the proper wording of campaign news releases. They exchanged emails on county time promoting a birthday fund-raising event for the campaign. Some used private email accounts to communicate even, apparently, with Mr. Walker, according to an email from the county’s administrative director, who at one point advised a colleague to do the same, adding imprecisely, “Consider youself [sic] now in the ‘inner circle.’ ” And plans for a daily conference call, the newly released emails show, included members from both his campaign for governor and his county executive staff.
As noted here, John Doe I began after Walker and his aides stonewalled investigators looking into missing money embezzled from an event honoring veterans, and law enforcement investigators subsequently found a criminal political racket run by Walker.

Stealing from veterans was later found to exceed $10,000s by two perpetrators with no veteran advocacy experience, both of whom were appointed by Scott Walker.

Walker did not bring anybody else with him to the governor's office from his tenure of Milwaukee executive so his line that the governor's office is not staffed with convicted felons is meaningless.

On "May 5, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed a petition with court officials asking if his office could initiate a secret investigation into what happened with $11,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans," that was staffed with Walker appointees, reported Dan Bice. That's how this criminality that is Scott Walker and his aides began.

After the Milwaukee DA failed to bring charges against Scott Walker, and the DA implied the John Doe probe was a mini-trial requiring guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to move forward, many wondered why the John Doe proceedings did not result in Walker being charged.

With Walker now implicated in black and white, foiled by his own illegal email router system he personally used for electioneering, Walker may have a tougher time escaping criminal charges no matter how much money his billionaires pay Walker's criminal defense fund in exchange for Walker doing their bidding as Wisconsin governor.
 
Checking with jurists the past couple of years, without exception the belief is that Wisconsin statute 968.26, the John Doe statutory authority in Wisconsin, is a law enforcement tool used to establish probable cause, a standard or quantum of evidence typically sufficient to bring criminal charges.

Ask a black man in Milwaukee if probable cause is sufficient to convict him, and the reply is likely, 'no.' Just being black is sufficient.

But Scott Walker and his contributors are recipients of billionaires' treatment under the law.

The Wisconsin BenchBook reads in part regarding John Doe Proceedings:

"Proceeding to determine whether crime committed and by whom." ...
D. "Must conduct self as neutral detached magistrate in determining probable cause [47.47.]

Still, the prevailing consensus appears to be that in Wisconsin John Doe probes, determining whether to bring criminal charges is up to the prosecutor and supervising judge, who employ a standard of proof that is not clear.

As the late Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice John Coffey (1978-1982) wrote in Wisconsin v. Hooper, (No. 79-1580-CR.) (Supreme Court of Wisconsin) (April 29, 1981):

"(P)rosecuting attorneys possess broad discretion in determining whether or not to charge a defendant and thereby initiate criminal proceedings," and DAs enjoy "quasi-judicial prosecutorial discretion;" hence the enormous pressure brought to bear on the current John Doe judge, Judge Gregory A. Peterson, and the five bipartisan district attorneys whose probe is facing legal challenge in federal court and Wisconsin's Supreme Court from forces with seemingly unlimited financial resources.

The Koch-funded GOP front groups such as the Wisconsin Reporter have been attempting to apply political pressure to the John Doe proceedings as well.

It's not just prosecutorial discretion that will decide John Doe II, but also jurists able to withstand the pressure brought to bear by the huge-moneyed interests supporting Walker.

The courage of John Michael Doar and Robert H. Jackson is needed against this challenge to the rule of law supported also by hateful and bigoted political movements, the most prominent of which are underground.

Dec 20, 2013

Scot Walker's Appointee, Kevin Kavanaugh Embezzled from Veterans; Gets Out of Prison

Scott Walker appointees, Timothy Russell (left) and Kevin Kavanaugh
(right) appear in front of a Milwaukee County court in January 2012.
Both are convicted of embezzling from veterans and their families.
It was announced today that Kavanaugh is getting out of prison early. Good, let 'em out. Let him live his life.

Scott Walker appointed Kevin D. Kavanaugh to head the Milwaukee county Veterans Service Commission when Walker served as Milwaukee County Executive (2002-2011).

Kavanaugh had no veterans' advocacy experience, no non-profit experience and no administrative experience.

No matter, Kavanaugh was an old crony and personal friend of Walker's from years back, so Kavanaugh got the veterans' gig for services rendered to Walker.

As Cognitive Dissidence reports: "Two of Scott Walker's cronies - Tim Russell and Kevin Kavanaugh - were arrested and charged with stealing from a fund meant for veterans and their families. (Actually, the fund was being used to promote Walker and his campaign for governor.)"

Here's the John Doe criminal complaint against Kevin Kavanaugh.

With Scott Walker personally appointing scum like Kavanaugh who proceeded to steal $10,000s from veterans and their families, I don't believe Walker has a shot at the GOP nomination for president in 2014.

Running for president, with the authority of commander-in-chief, won't go without frequent mention of Walker's appointees' stealing $10,000s from veterans.

The Wisconsin media largely buried the story of Walker’s people stealing from veterans in 2011-12, the national media won't.

Not many in central and northern Wisconsin even knew of the John Doe criminal investigation (2010-2013) and Walker cleaned up in those regions of the state in the recall election winning 53.1 to 46.3.

Walker won with the help (possibly illegal) of $10s of million spent in a relatively small state. Now, these immense sums of money appear to be the focus of a new John Doe investigation.

To give you an idea of the money poured into Wisconsin, consider the recall races in 2011 and 2012 cost $137 million in Wisconsin with a population of some 5,686,986. 

Florida has an estimated population of 19,317,568, and its governor, Rick Scott, spent $73 million all by himself.

It was announced today that Kavanaugh is getting out of prison early.

Good, let 'em out.

I'm still with Joe ‘Ragman’ Tarnovsky: "The following award is being presented to Scott Walker, Kevin Kavanaugh and Tim Russell for actions BELOW and INFERIOR AGAINST VETERANS: The Distinguished RAT BASTARD Tail for Thievery and Lack of Accountability."

Learn from the Ragman. That goes double for Scott Walker.
Joe is a Vietnam Combat Veteran, having served 26 months in the Republic Of South Vietnam, 10 months with Company A, 27th Combat Engineers, 28 August 1968 to June 1969, and 16 months as a crewchief/doorgunner with the 240th Assault Helicopter company on UH-1C Hueys, the Mad Dog Gunship Platoon from July 1969 to 22 October 1970. Joe graduated from Cuyahoga Community College in 1982 with a Associate Of Arts Degree and from Cleveland State University in 1986 with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology; he also accumulated 12 hours of graduate work at Cleveland State. He lives with his best friend, his wife, and they have 34 rescued cats, 7 rescued dogs. Joe has spoken at high schools and colleges for 25 years about PTSD, war and how not to treat returning veterans when they come home to America after fighting for their country. 

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 Change.org 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.

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.