Showing posts with label corruption in scott walker administration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corruption in scott walker administration. Show all posts

Oct 22, 2014

Scott Walker Upset More Proof of Corruption Released Near Election Day

Scott Walker had a lot to say about the latest batch of emails revealing corruption when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive.

No fair showing Scott Walker's office was crooked this close to Election Day, says Walker.

Several emails show Walker's campaign treasurer received inside information on a real-estate deal. Public office for private benefit of Walker's cronies, that's Scott Walker in a nutshell.

"Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday declined to answer specific questions about why he helped his campaign treasurer in an ultimately unsuccessful bid in 2010 to provide office space for Milwaukee County, where Walker was the county executive," report Dee J. Hall, Matthew DeFour, Mary Spicuzza and Steven Verburg report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

"Most voters can see through the smoke screen. It's pretty obvious this was done for partisan political reasons. If it was for any other reason it would have been done a lot sooner," said Walker. (Glauber, Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Walker may call his office's emails a smokescreen but what is revealed is more corruption from the man asking Wisconsin citizens to trust him for four more years.

Note Glauber and Bice:
The new emails do shed light on the part of the John Doe investigation focused on competition to house the county's Department on Aging in private office space.

Cynthia Archer, who was the county's administration director, offered inside financial information to John Hiller, then Walker's campaign treasurer and a consultant for RAIT Financial Trust, owner of the Reuss Federal Plaza downtown. The owners of the Reuss building were one of the three final bidders on the lease deal.

"I understand the timeframe is short due to when final and best offers are due, so I will get you something ASAP," Archer wrote on Aug. 20, 2010, to Hiller and Jim Villa, a former Walker county aide who at the time was president of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin.

Hiller wrote in response, "I am very sensitive to the situation and I work pretty hard not to leave fingerprints."

The next day, Archer sent a private email to Walker and Villa — but not Hiller — critical of the Reuss proposal, saying it wasn't the best deal for the county.

A few minutes later, Archer used her personal account to email Walker.
Dee J. Hall, Matthew DeFour, Mary Spicuzza and Steven Verburg report in the Wisconsin State Journal:
In another series of email exchanges, Walker asked Hiller in June 2010 to have the broker for the Reuss building reject Milwaukee County’s request for a six-month lease extension on the building, setting up the need for the later deal that Reuss bid on.

In another email to Archer on Aug. 20, 2010, Hiller said he thought officials involved with the request for proposals were unaware of his involvement. “I am very sensitive to the situation and I work pretty hard not to leave finger prints,” Hiller wrote.

Hiller resigned as Walker’s campaign treasurer in May 2011. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in 2012 that the John Doe investigation was probing a county real estate deal possibly involving Hiller.

Months before Hiller was lobbying for his proposal, another Walker county aide was dropping Walker’s name as he tipped off a developer about the potential deal.

“Not very many people know about this yet,” Greg Reiman, of the county aging department, said in an April 15, 2010, email to real estate broker Scott J. Revolinski of RFP Commercial Inc. “I believe they have only talked to the City of Milwaukee Dept of Development and possibly David Boerke (who manages Federal Plaza). I am also telling one other developer I know about this opportunity. I told Scott Walker that I would mention this opportunity to you and see if RFP might be interested in this building. If you are interested I will put you in touch with Scott’s Chief of Staff, Tom Nardelli.”
If the facts of Scott Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County Executive were widely revealed in northern and central Wisconsin, Walker's prospects for reelection would crash.

A glance at central and northern Wisconsin papers reveal the shady real estate deals are blacked-out in local media coverage, replaced by Walker's knockdown as the main story if the story is even run.

Mary Burke called Scott Walker out in a new TV spot that many of Walker's detractors see as overdue:

Sep 14, 2014

Scott Walker Asked If He Knew of $700,000 Mining Co. Payoff: "Not to my knowledge"

Scott Walker, when asked if he was aware of the $700,000 donation the mining company, Gogebic Taconite gave Wisconsin Club for Growth responded with "not to my knowledge." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, September 14, 2014) (Which means exactly what?)

This means Scott Walker is a fraud who cannot be trusted.

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.

National Press Setting up Scott Walker for Pres Run Made Difficult While He Is in Hiding

Update: 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. 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. The rightwing blogger did not respond to Walker, 'Ahh, Scott you're making this up.'

National political commentators are stealthily setting up Scott Walker with lavish praise, a political maneuver designed to weaken Walker's reelection run for governor while ostensibly supporting his run for the Republican nomination for presidency in 2016.

Most of the national press want a freak show in the Republican primary just as in 2011-12, a spectacle made more difficult by the GOP's decision to frontload the primary and hold as few debates as possible.

Seeing Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Paul Ryan, those lusting after another political catastrophe won't be disappointed.

But as for Walker, Paul Fanlund has a profile out on Walker's likely 2014 general election opponent, Mary Burke who makes a formidable barrier to Walker. Writes Fanlund:

Burke shot back (at Walker): 'It’s what I would expect from a career politician, to take the focus off what the actual issue is.'

Scott Walker, career politician.

Tough to refute, inasmuch as the 46-year-old governor has been running for something for the 24 years since he failed to graduate from college.

His is the kind of resume that should provoke a visceral response in anti-incumbent tea-party circles, except that Walker is one of their own.
Those hoping for a Walker run for presidency to savage are by no means assured of getting their chance. Burke is a fighter, even if most of the grassroots would prefer a movement progressive.

It's not that Walker has shown himself the single most corrupt governor in Wisconsin history, (that's a low bar compared to Illinois and New Jersey); has a horrendous jobs record; and that Walker appointed flunkies who stole $10,000s from military veterans.

Walker will never be the nominee because Scott Walker cannot run for the presidency in hiding.

Consider that Chris Christie has now held some 104 question-and-answer listening sessions; Scott Walker has held ZERO.

Feb 5, 2014

Placing Scott Walker out Front Run into John Doe

Democratic-leaning pundits have been quietly pushing for Scott Walker because they want Scott Walker out front, a lightweight with a long history of corruption.

GOP politicos want Walker for ideological purity.

But the shadow of Walker corruption lays long into the Walker future.

Feb 3, 2014

U.S. Steps up Pardons, Commutations; Scott Walker Refuses

"President Obama finally used his power to pardon and commute sentences to order the release of 8 low-level drug offenders serving outrageously long sentences, but there are tens of thousands more in the same situation. The DOJ says it’s looking for others with similar sentences to commute," reads an item in FreeThought.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker maintains his refusal to consider pardoning the wrongfully convicted, including Marine combat veteran, Eric Pizer, innocent but convicted Green Bay ex-cop, John Maloney and Penny Brummer of Madison.

So why would a governor refuse to pardon the wrongfully convicted?

Walker says it's because there are probably 1,000s of wrongfully convicted in Wisconsin, hence Walker cannot use his pardon power.

"If you pick one there's thousands of other examples out there of people who may not have the media or other outlets behind them, who would be in an equal position who probably have a compelling case to be made that we don't yet know about," said Walker in an interview with WKOW TV(Madison, Wisconsin), specifically referring to his refusal to consider pardoning or commuting the Pizer case.  

Moronic human garbage.

If Mary Burke had any decency she would issue a press release indicating her intention to pardon Pizer and so many others on Day One of assuming office. 

Running for political office seeking a mandate to correct injustice, now there's a thought.

Dec 20, 2013

Wrongfully Convicted: Scott Walker: No Pardons for 1,000s with "Compelling Case" of Innocence

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker explains why he has granted no
pardons to incarcerated citizens with compelling cases.
"If you pick one there's thousands of other examples out there of
people who may not have the media or other
outlets behind them, who would be in an equal position who
probably have a compelling case to be made that we don't
know about," said Walker in an interview with WKOW TV (Madison).
Update II: Eric Pizer—the Wisconsin man trying to become a cop and blocked by Scott Walker—is Marine Corps Iraq combat veteran.

Update: From WKOW TV (Madison) and Democurmudgeon: Scott Walker's offers an incoherent and truly sociopathic justification behind his policy of not granting pardons:

"If you pick one there's thousands of other examples out there of people who may not have the media or other outlets behind them, who would be in an equal position who probably have a compelling case to be made that we don't yet know about," said Walker in an interview with WKOW.

Walker states there are a lot of people with compelling cases for pardons, so we should pardon none of them. This is a not a logically compelling argument.

Wrongfully convicted? What matters is whether the media or other outlets are behind them, suggests Walker, a bizarre position.

What about innocent Green Bay ex-cop, John Maloney; the innocent Penny Brummer of Madison who police went after because she was an out lesbian, and the innocent Don Miller of Hurley just released on parole? 

And there are surely many more innocents incarcerated.

The great English jurist, William Blackstone, wrote that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" in his Commentaries on the Laws of England (1769), the source of Common Law in the United States courts, and often cited in opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States.

Walker went public with his disinclination to pardon in the Spring 2012, although he has broad power vested in Article V, section 6 of the Wisconsin Constitution, after being challenged not to pardon his aides and appointees convicted in WalkerGate. 

In Feb, 12, 2012, this mal contends site challenged Walker not to pardon his personally appointed, long time aide, Tim Russell.

"Gov. Scott Walker says he won't pardon anyone charged in the ongoing John Doe investigation of former aides who worked for him as Milwaukee County executive," Walker later said in a Wisconsin Public Radio report in May 30, 2012.

Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel reported Barrett's call a week before the Recall Election in June 2012:

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett stepped up his criticism of Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday by questioning whether [Walker] would pardon any of his aides charged in a John Doe investigation.

“I want to be certain that we’re not going to have this election and he’s going to turn around and pardon all these aides of his who have been charged,” he said after a campaign stop at a Baraboo coffee shop. “I just want him to say that he’s never going to pardon any of these people. These are close associates of his.” (MJS. May 29, 2012)
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie actually thinks the power of clemency and commutation belongs to the Judiciary branch. Gov. Walker "believes these decisions are best left up to the courts," Blogging Blue writes, notwithstanding Article V, section 6 of the Wisconsin Constitution which reads:
SECTION 6. [Pardoning power.] The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may think proper, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law relative to the manner of applying for pardons. Upon conviction for treason he shall have the power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the legislalure at its next meeting, when the legislature shall either pardon, or commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall annually communicate to the legislature each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which he was convicted, the sentence and its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon or reprieve, with his reasons for granting the same.
When Walker implies 1,000s of people do not rightfully belong in prison, and Walker justifies this state of affairs by saying not all advocacy groups and media support are, equal this seems capricious and bloodless.

And Walker's chief spokesperson doesn't even know to what branch of government the power of commutations and pardons belongs.

Does Scott Walker hear himself when he suggests there are 1,000s of innocents in Wisconsin prisons and jails, but as they all do not have the same advocates and media attention so they should all stay in prison?

From Tony Galli at WKOW:

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:

Jun 14, 2013

Corruption and Political Terror

There is one area of concern in the United States that is shared across the political spectrum.

This is of course that the other guys' political operation—in public office and in the political campaign—is out to screw you.

For example, there is a striking correlation between one's view of the NSA Surveillance programs, and who happens to be in elected office, as Glenn Greenwald points out in today's piece in The Guardian.

Greenwald notes that most people are fine with a super-surveillance state as long as the political opposition is not in power.

Wisconsin used to be different. A hint of corruption, and a public office holder was out.

Now, in Wisconsin, with the rise of Scott Walker and the Republican Party, corruption is now just a way of doing business.

Few doubt the proposition that Scott Walker is sufficiently corrupt, petty and vindictive to use the machinery of government to screw his political opponents and help cronies and allies, like at Walker's Dept of Natural Resources. Few doubt this, but the GOP cronies think this is fine.

The worst fears about political corruption are coming true in Wisconsin; and someone of Walker's character and limited abilities not surprisingly hides from the people of Wisconsin.

Talk about NSA total awareness, lots of folks would like an analysis of the metadata of every phone number and e-mail used by the Wisconsin Governor's office and Scott Walker's campaign, the Wisconsin Dept of Justice (with the corrupt J.B. Van Hollen up for reelection in 2014 along with Walker), and the Wisconsin Dept of Revenue.

Run the analyses and see what comes up where clustering and corruption occurs in the Walker networking across state government and special interests.

With an inadequate personality type like Scott Walker's, one can substitute virtually any state government agency where the GOP holds sway.

Walker is capable of anything, not bound by ethics or a dedication to the public good. And he has his hands out to anyone who will pay to play.

So petty is Walker, this guy even went after a college kid he appointed to the UW System Board of Regents, after Walker learned the kid had signed a recall Walker petition in 2011.

The college student did not even vote in the election, Patrick Marley and Karen Herzog report.

In fact, the former appointee signed the Recall Walker petition because his mother is a part-time teacher, so he wanted to show his mother some soldiarity. Report Marley and Herzog:

"Joshua Inglett, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville engineering student, did not vote in the actual recall election … Inglett, 20, on Thursday said he signed the petition outside a department store as a show of support for his mom, who at the time was a substitute teacher."

As future revelations about Scott Walker corruption come out, no one should be surprised.

Trust me, you hear lots more.

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.

May 24, 2013

National Media Skip Scott Walker's Iowa Appearance

Jennifer Jacobs reports: "A contingent of Wisconsin media came to report on Walker, but few national political reporters were here, unlike at the 500-person fundraising dinner featuring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky two weeks ago. Paul’s speech was televised live on C-SPAN for a national audience."

May 19, 2013

Walker Statement Blaiming Citizens for Wisconsin's Jobs Failure Should Be Challenged

Scott Walker blames Wisconsin citizens opposing him
as cause of job losses and Wisconsin's economic downturn
Scott Walker has made many outrageous statements while serving as governor of Wisconsin.

One statement perfectly symbolizes the bizarre and troubling politics of Walker, about whom John Dean wrote: Walker is a "vengeful, pitiless, exploitative, manipulative, and dishonest ... conservative without a conscience."

Scott Walker on March 28, 2013 said citizens' protesting his policies caused Wisconsin to fall to 44th in the nation in job losses. Blameless are Walker's extremist, anti-working families' policies that he touts before his visit to Iowa this week, (and that has observers predicting a Walker presidential run).

"The first year we had a lot of protests in the state," Walker said, during an appearance in Milwaukee to promote business growth in the city. "We had two years', almost, worth of recalls. A lot of employers here I think can relate to the fact (that) uncertainty is one of the biggest challenges for employers big or small or anywhere in between. There was a lot of uncertainty. The good news is that's passed." (Gilbert and Romell. March 28, 2013; Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

The Walker assertion that working families opposing Walker are the cause of Walker's failing on his 250,000 new jobs pledge didn't draw the criticism that this anti-American sentiment warranted.

But the desperation behind the statement is obvious.

As of May 2013, Wisconsin has seen only 36,300 new jobs, or just 14  percent of Walker's unqualified promise of 250,000 new jobs.

These dismal jobs numbers will not be cited when Walker speaks to the Polk County, Iowa GOP fundraising dinner in Des Moines on May 23rd (Thursday).

Walker's idea that citizens—voting their preference at the polls and petitioning their elected representatives when politicians are judged to be acting corruptly and dishonestly—are the cause of Walker's record on jobs tells much about the man and his extremist conception of representative democracy.

Walker does not believe in a representative democracy.

This is seen in Walker and the GOP's secretly crafted gerrymandering, and the GOP's unprecedented vow to stop open displays of anti-Walker sentiment at the People's House, our state capitol, among many other secretly-formulated actions. Walker does not go in for listening sessions and questions-and-answer sessions with the people.

As Walker continues to avoid facing the people of Wisconsin, in favor of visits to out-of-state GOP functions and fundraisers, it would be wonderful if someone were to pose the following question to Walker this-coming Thursday at the Polk County, Iowa GOP fundraising dinner:

Gov. Walker, do you stand by your statement that Wisconsin families opposing you are responsible for Wisconsin's dismal jobs performance during your tenure as governor?

Walker's visit to Iowa this Thursday comes as Rand Paul and Rick Santorum are also drawing predictions of a run for the GOP nomination for the presidency, the Des Moines Register reports.

Apr 30, 2013

Wisconsin GOP: Not Lawful Is No Problem

If Republicans pass a bill into law that is unlawful and unconstitutional, and furthermore is found to be irreparably harmful to Wisconsin citizens by a circuit court judge who subsequently halts implementation (issues an injunction) of the law; then that the law is on hold until a higher court rules or another order rules otherwise.

This is a fundamental check of the judicial branch of government on the other two branches, needed especially when the two branches are temporarily occupied by corrupt partisans.

But a fundamental check not anymore, if the Republican Party's conception of government is ultimately upheld.

A new bill proposed by Republicans, and supported solely by Republicans shows how intent the GOP is on using their gerrymandered legislative majorities to pass unconstitutional bills against political opponents, and in service to moneyed interests such as the Koch brothers and the Cline Resource and Development Group mining interests.

Under the new bill, Assembly Bill 161 (and Senate Bill 154), judicial oversight by a circuit judge is radically altered and its rulings no longer have the force of law, if Republicans object (within 10 days).

Then, an injunction is no longer operative (the injunction is stayed) and whatever unconstitutional laws the Republicans enact will remain the law of the land until and unless another state appellate court acts.

During that period of time, GOP lawlessness is the law of the land.

This GOP bill eviscerates judicial protection of citizens from corrupt partisans. (See also the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau memo of April 10, 2013.)

Notes John Nichols:

(T)he purpose of judicial oversight is to frustrate the ambitions of power-hungry legislators and executives. The whole point of the separation of powers outlined in the federal and state constitutions is to ensure that no branch of government can casually diminish the rights of citizens, or create imperial government.
So, can the Republicans do this?

The only quote I found on the constitutionality of the proposed bill is by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske.

Geske said,"To statutorily undo a court order before another court has acted on it is clearly to me an infringement on a court's independence, I don't think it will withstand constitutional scrutiny." (Marley. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, April 10, 2013)

Assembly Bill 161 reads like the 2011 U.S. House spending bill declaring a House bill passed by the GOP has the force of law should the U.S. Senate fail to approve another spending bill within some three weeks of passage of the House bill.

That bill was widely ridiculed as unconstitutional, and the bill faded.

But the undeniable effect of the Wisconsin bill is: The Constitution is not in force, and judicial enforcement of the law no longer is operative because the Republicans have said so, and this matter will not fade so fast.

Consider:  In the case of the Wisconsin Assembly Bill 161, Republicans say a judicial order has no force of law because the Republicans have crafted a bill explicitly stating such.

So what happens when a judge finds this law (a fast-tracked bill for now) unconstitutional, and Republicans object to the judicial order, saying their objection nullifies the judicial order under their unconstitutional law?

In that case, the matter becomes more than an obscure GOP power-grab, and becomes a full-blown Wisconsin constitutional crisis—the like of which I have never seen in this state.

Welcome back to Scott Walker's Wisconsin, still here and still power-mad and corrupt.

Apr 11, 2013

Scott Walker's Law and Disorder

Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP are fast-tracking proposed legislation that would curtail the power of circuit judges' orders issuing temporary injunctions [legal blocking] of unconstitutional laws.

This soon-to-be legislative act is a GOP power grab and an attack on the judiciary branch of government, specifically restricting the power of judges to protect citizens from unconstitutional infringements by the legislative and executive branches of state government.

The purpose of a temporary injunction is to maintain the status quo and prevent irreparable damage before the legal questions of a law are decided in a court of law.

The standard for issuing a temporary injunction includes the element that those asking for the blocking (temporary injunction) of a law have a high likelihood of success when the merits are weighed in a legal hearing. This is a high legal bar to reach.

The significance of the new Republican initative—now being circulated around the legislature as more Republicans sign on as co-sponsors with a deadline of April 15—is that unconstitutional laws may remain in effect for (possibly) long periods of time during which the Republicans, who now control the legislature and the governor's office and the Supreme Court, may use the cover of unconstitutional laws for corrupt, partisan purposes.

The proposed bill would radically change existing statuary law regarding the legal effect of judicial injunctions, restraining orders, or other orders suspending or restraining (halting through temporary injunctive relief) the enforcement of any state statute.

This soon-to-be bill turns the power of temporary injunctive relief on its head, and demands that so-called aggrieved parties of judges' orders against likely unconstitutional laws, be given new power in this proposed reworking of the judicial process that is (as usual in Wisconsin) supported solely by the Republican Party.

Voter ID Law-An Example

For example, consider Wisconsin's Voter ID Law singed into law in May 2011, some four months after Scott Walker assumed office

A request to temporarily stop (enjoin) Wisconsin's Voter ID law (passed solely with Republican support) was granted by Dane County Judge David Flanagan on March 6, 2012 in the case, Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP, et al v. Walker.

During the subsequent Voter ID trial held on April 16-April 19 and May 4, 2012, the Voter ID law was prevented by the March 6, 2012 injunction order of Judge Flanagan from being enforced because of the clear violation of the fundamental (and expansive) right to vote that Wisconsin citizens have under the Wisconsin Constitution.

After, and as a direct result of the April-May 1012 trial, Judge Flanagan issued a permanent injunction on July 17, 2012.

Between March 6, 2012 and July 17, 2012, there were three elections held in Wisconsin, on April 3, May 8, and June 5, 2012.

In the three elections combined, 100,000s of registered, constitutionally qualified Wisconsin voters would have been stopped from being able to vote—per the objective of the Republican Party of Wisconsin—had this newly proposed legislative act been in effect (assuming of course a Republican attorney had filed petition for review [review by an appellate-level court] within 10 days of the March 6, 2012, temporary injunction ordered by Judge Flanagan).

The proposed act by Republicans extends the time their unconstitutional laws are in force, inflicting as is Scott Walker's wont and history, damage onto political opponents and the rights of Wisconsin citizens, and advancing GOP objectives.

The Republicans claim they need this proposed act to reduce the "legal uncertainty" surrounding GOP laws that are being struck down as unconstitutional.

Following is a reproduction of the memo from Republican legislators seeking co-sponsors.
TO: All Legislators
FROM: Rep. Dave Craig, Rep. Al Ott, Sen. Glen Grothman and Sen. Leah Vukmir
RE: Co-Sponsorship of LRB-0926/1: Relating to injunctions on state statute.
Date: April 10, 2013

Deadline for Co-Sponsorship: Monday, April 15 at 12pm

We are introducing LRB 0926/1 to address the legal uncertainty Wisconsin residents and businesses are subject to as a result of injunctions on state statutes, ordered by judges only elected by a fraction of our state’s population. Increasingly, questions have been raised as to a) whether individual circuit court judges’ rulings impact the state as a whole in regards to the implementation of state law; and b) whether a ruling from a judge - elected by a small portion of the state - should prevent the statewide implementation of legislation passed by the duly elected statewide legislature, and signed by our Governor, having also been elected statewide, without allowing for an expedited review by a higher court.

Under this bill, if a circuit court or court of appeals places an injunction, restraining order, or other order that, upon entry, suspends or restrains the implementation of any state statute, it would be immediately appealable to a higher court. If such an appeal is made to a higher court within 10 days of entry of the lower court’s order, the lower court’s order will be immediately stayed pending an order by a higher court or a final and unappealable order disposing of the entire case. Nothing in this legislation would prevent any court from entering an order that suspends or restrains the implementation of a state statute, or prevents a higher court from removing the stay should the higher court determine the lower courts order was reached appropriately.

This legislation would facilitate a fair and more efficient judicial system by ensuring that one judge cannot prevent the implementation of state law without an expedited review by a higher court. This legislation would also ensure that Wisconsin residents and businesses have a greater degree of certainty as to whether a law is or is not in effect during the disposition of a legal challenge. Lastly, this bill reaffirms that the three branches of our government remain separate, but equal.

If you are interested in co-sponsoring LRB 0926/1, please reply to this email by 12:00pm on Monday, April 15, 2013. Unless you request otherwise, you will be listed as a co-sponsor on both LRB 0926/1 and its Senate companion LRB-1131/1. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact Rep. Craig’s office (6-3363) or Sen. Grothman’s office (6-7513).

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

Generally, under current law, an interlocutory or final judgment issued by a court in an action for an injunction may not be stayed after the entry of the judgment or during the pendency of an appeal. This bill makes an injunction, restraining order, or other order that, upon entry, suspends or restrains the enforcement of any state statute (order) immediately appealable to an appellate court or to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. If a petition for interlocutory review is filed within ten days after the entry of the order, the order is stayed until one of the following occurs:

1. The appellate court or the Supreme Court grants the petition for interlocutory review and subsequently orders that the automatic stay be lifted.

2. The appellate court or the Supreme Court denies the petition for interlocutory review and simultaneously orders that the automatic stay be lifted.

3. Entry of a final and unappealable order disposing of the entire case.

The bill permits the appellate court or the Supreme Court to enter such orders as are necessary to the resolution of the petition.

Apr 7, 2013

Former Madison Mayor 'Dave' Says Scott Walker Is Right to Block Judge Appointments

Former "Mayor Dave" Knows Better Than Dane County Voters, He Says in Incoherent Column

Former Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, is upset that Dane County voters decided not to vote for the Scott Walker appointee for judge in the April 2 election, as is Scott Walker.

Cieslewicz, like Walker, omits mention in his public comments that the Wisconsin Constitution guarantees voters have the final say on whom they elect as circuit court judges.

But Cieslewicz, like Walker, says he knows better than the voters, and they just didn't think this election through correctly.

Writes Cieslewicz:  "Look, I don't like the use of the Walker factor in these races. It brought down Judge Roger Allen a year ago, a good man who I worked with as an assistant city attorney. And this time around it brought down Rebecca St. John, who many attorneys that I respect told me was doing a very good job as an appointed judge."

Let's get Cieslewicz' position, such as it is, clear.

We need a change in judicial appointment procedure, you see, because Cieslewicz and Walker know better than voters; many attorneys told Cieslewicz that St. John was doing a fine job as judge, deserving of re-election though, Cieslewicz also points out, he endorsed St. John's opponent.


Mayor Dave, it's becoming clear why you are the former mayor.

Now, Cieslewicz says, like Walker, that the governor should "appoint a panel of retired judges to make the (judicial) appointment on his behalf," because voters cannot be trusted to make the correct choice in voting for or against Scott Walker appointees for Dane County judge. In fact, let's do this in every county, counsels Cieslewicz.

Voters did not engage the correct calculus that Cieslewicz presumes to know in electing a circuit court judge, though again since he says he endorsed St. John's opponent, Rhonda Lanford, that calculus is elusive. Actually, Cieslewicz' calculus is incoherent.

What he is not doing is making a whole lot of sense.

But the Wisconsin Constitution remains, irrespective of what Cieslewicz or Walker may wish:

Wisconsin Constitution, Article VII. Judiciary (Section 7. [Circuit court: election.]:

For each circuit there shall be chosen by the qualified electors thereof one or more circuit judges as prescribed by law. Circuit judges shall be elected for 6-year terms and shall reside in the circuit from which elected. ...
If Cieslewicz doesn't trust the voters to make the proper decisions on judgeships, advocate repealing Article VII and the annoying section that pertains to voters electing judges in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Journal takes this position.

Cieslewicz is not arrogant, or maybe he is.

But Cieslewicz is pathetic in his assertion that he votes for candidates for the correct reasons, whereas voters elect candidates for the wrong reasons, as divined by Cieslewicz and Walker.

By the way, I voted for Rhonda Lanford, because I am a constitutionally qualified elector who decided that St. John either lied or was truthful on her application for judge in which St. John spouted rightwing platitudes echoing Walker's (what Lester Pines called rightwing "dog whistles") in an apparent effort to get the gig. Besides, I believe Lanford to be a brilliant jurist, and the best candidate for the position.

Wisconsin Crackdown on Public Displays of Anti-Scott Walker Thought

Capitol Police Officers David Davis and Justin Clemens react
to the recitation of Article 1 Section 4 of the
Wisconsin State Constitution. Photo by Lisa Wells
If you live in Wisconsin, politically opposing Scott Walker at the ballot box or at the state capitol building is presumed by Republicans to be illegitimate, civilly incorrect and illegal, and possibly a criminal offence.

Scott Walker-appointed judges get defeated at the ballot box, and Walker terms this "unfortunate," causing Walker to issue the incredible public statements that he will not fill judicial vacancies in Dane County, Wisconsin unless would-be judges agree to not run for reelection. This because voters decided to vote for the wrong candidate.

Now, as Jason Huberty reports: "After a two-month lull, the Walker Administration’s crackdown on dissent in the Wisconsin State Capitol has kicked back into high gear. On Thursday April 4th, six Capitol Police officers marched down the stairs of the State Street entrance to the Capitol and handed out nine long-form complaints to three participants of the Solidarity Sing Along," a group that meets at Noon at the capitol on weekdays and sings for an hour.

Capitol Police march down the capitol stairs
to deliver new citations for singing.
Photo by Dawn Henke.
Judge after judge has thrown out of court citations issued by Walker's Department of Administration against Wisconsin citizens who sing "We Shall Overcome," and other subversive songs for this one hour at the capitol, and as Huberty notes stopping singing has resulted in "nearly seventy dismissals and zero successful prosecutions."

So now, a new tactic by Walker (who really, really wants to stop this singing) is to have "new long-form complaints (citations) ... issued from the office of the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DoJ)," as Huberty notes, working in conjunction with the state capitol police.

Not one capitol police officer has refused to go along with this ridiculous and unconstitutional crackdown on people who disagree with Scott Walker.

Wisconsin Constitution, Article One
Not one Republican officeholder has said, 'what in the hell are you doing?'

Not one Republican officeholder or Tea Partier has said, 'look at the Wisconsin Constitution (for starters): "The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged."

Not one editorial in local broadcast television has spoken out against Walker and his attempt to silence dissent.

State capitol police, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Wisconsin Department of Administration are committing 1,000s of work hours towards stopping displays that petition the Wisconsin government under Scott Walker.

Don't Scott Walker and our corrupt, Republican attorney general really have better things on which to expend Wisconsin resources than stopping singing?

Few, outside of progressive media, and civil rights groups and attorneys such as Lester Pines have spoken out in defense of fundamental constitutional rights.

Instead, we have today's Wisconsin State Journal lede editorial, headlined:  "National buzz bodes well for Wisconsin," referring to Scott Walker's efforts to be mentioned as a presidential candidate for 2016.

Apr 5, 2013

Scott Walker Says He'll Fill Judge Vacancies upon Judges' Promise Not to Seek Election

Wisconsin Constitution - "For each circuit there shall be chosen by the
qualified electors thereof one or more circuit judges as prescribed by law
Walker singles out Dane County voters again for not voting as he instructs. Naked display of ignorance and a tantrum from a governor not fit for office

Scott Walker still does not get it.

Granted, Walker is distracted jetting around the country again posing as a 2016 presidential candidate, while avoiding public mention of his promise of 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term.

Yet, Walker expounded yesterday on his childish comments that because two of his three appointments to the Dane County bench were rejected by voters, this means he may not fill judicial vacancies in this one county.

Dane County voters are not doing as Scott Walker instructs them to do.

So, to edify our governor, let's point to the Wisconsin Constitution, Article VII. Judiciary (Section 7. [Circuit court: election.]:

For each circuit there shall be chosen by the qualified electors thereof one or more circuit judges as prescribed by law. Circuit judges shall be elected for 6-year terms and shall reside in the circuit from which elected.
It is the right of voters to decide to elect judicial appointees; this is what happens in a democracy.

For the further education of Gov. Walker on the matter of judicial vacancies in Wisconsin:

SECTION 9. [Judicial elections, vacancies.] When a vacancy occurs in the office of justice of the supreme court or judge of any court of record, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment by the governor, which shall continue until a successor is elected and qualified.
Now, Walker said he may, as reported by Mary Spicuzza today, "name retired judges or lawyers to fill vacancies in heavily Democratic Dane County, (only) with the understanding that his appointees would not seek election to the position."

Spicuzza quotes Walker, saying he knows Dane County jurists so well only jurists not in their right mind will apply for vacant judgeships: "The reason I said that wasn't out of spite. It's just simple. Nobody in their right mind is going to accept an appointment in Dane County. It's the only county that's unique in that situation. Because why would they leave their position — no matter where they're at, be it public or private service — to take on that, only to turn around and seemingly be automatic that they weren't going to win the next election."

Dane County Judge Frank Remington was appointed by Scott Walker in 2011 and ran unopposed last year. But Walker does not mention Judge Remington.

In Walker's math two of three of his appointments' losing means "automatic." And I can assure readers Judge Remington is quite sane, and is in his "right mind."

In any event, to repeat it is the right of voters to decide to elect judicial appointees or not; this is what happens in Wisconsin democracy. And it is a constitutional thing.

As for Dane County jurists, this is news to Scott Walker, but there are plenty of public-minded, rule-of-law jurists who will apply for judgeships when vacancies occur out of a sense of public service that eludes Scott Walker's consciousness.

Many jurists serve and honor the bench because of their dedication to the rule of law, not dedication to winning the next election.

Scott Walker will never understand that.

Apr 4, 2013

Scott Walker's disdain for democracy on display

Scott Walker says he may not fill Dane County vacancies for judges because his appoitments lose elections.

Walker's Logic

Walker said his judicial appointments in Dane County, after being vetted by voters, were defeated in the electoral arena, so it follows that Walker should not make any appointments, no matter the negative consequences to the judicial branch and the public.

After the second of Walker's preferred judicial candidates lost an election for "political" reasons—two Walker appointments for Dane County judge were defeated the last two years—Walker said in the future it "probably doesn't make a lot of sense to go through that appointment process," and he should leave judicial vacancies unfilled.

Yes, Scott Walker, voters do make political decisions in elections. Seriously, you don't know that? It's called democracy.

One wonders if it ever occurs to Scott Walker that voters are served by the democratic process in a representative democracy?

Write Mary Spicuzza and Ed Treleven:

Walker told reporters it was "unfortunate" that Dane County Circuit Judge Rebecca St. John lost Tuesday's election. She was defeated by attorney Rhonda Lanford, who used the Walker connection (and St. John's own words) to attack St. John during the campaign.

"The mayor, the (district attorney) and others said that St. John was a great candidate," Walker said. "Unfortunately I think that politics has trumped that."
Why is this "unfortunate"?

Since when is the democratic process an unfortunate event?

Walker has no conception, apparently, that voters elect representatives. This is not hyperbole.

It's clear Walker hates the idea that many Wisconsin citizens reject him and often see anyone associated with him in a negative light.

But it does not even occur to Walker that voters expressing their will in a democracy is fundamental to representative government.

That's why Walker and the Republicans feel no sense of shame in their voter obstruction efforts. They simply do not believe in democracy.

Walker's response to his appointed judge losing is that of a petulant, narcissistic child in the governor's mansion with no regard for the voters, the judiciary and the democratic process.

Write Spicuzza and Treleven:

Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust, who is the chief judge for the fifth judicial administrative district, said a decision not to fill judicial vacancies may be a disservice to those whose cases are assigned to vacant branches. Cases could languish because other judges are too busy to take up the load.

"The other 16 judges are not sitting around twiddling their thumbs," Foust said 
Just another display of Walker's hatred of democracy.

Here's some more:

Mar 29, 2013

Walker Says Wisconsin Citizens Opposing Him Caused Job Losses

Scott Walker blames Wisconsin citizens not following him
as cause of job losses, and Wisconsin's economic downturn
Wisconsin democracy means no questions

"Republican candidate Scott Walker promised Tuesday to create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin by the end of his first term if he's elected this fall as governor," notes Kathleen Foody in a piece quoting Scott Walker's oft-repeated campaign promise in 2010. (Wausau Daily Herald, August 25, 2010)

But once elected, Scott Walker planned radical policy changes that he refused to campaign on.

Walker was caught on tape saying, "we dropped the bomb" on an unsuspecting Wisconsin in 2011, causing citizens to protest the secretly crafted attack against the right of public workers to unionize (Act 10), the state take-over of community control, among other radical policy shifts, also not campaigned on.

Now, as Walker's extremist policies have left Wisconsin dropping to 44th in the nation in job creation, Walker says popular opposition to his policies [though Walker's party again controls both houses of the legislature thanks to secretly crafted gerrymandering] caused the drop in job creation.

It was reported in February 2012 that a GOP memo shows "Republican Lawmakers were made to pledge secrecy over (its gerrymandering), (and) Public comments were to be ignored."

Walker surely loves to craft policy in secret, and is disdainful of openly displayed displeasure with Republican policy by Wisconsin citizens.

"Asked Thursday about new numbers showing Wisconsin lagging in job growth, Gov. Scott Walker pointed to the uncertainty he said business owners felt because of the political tumult that rocked Wisconsin early in his term," write Craig Gilbert and Rick Romell in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

This is a line Walker has been repeating for two years now.

If Wisconsin citizens would dispense with open displays of their negative opinion of Scott Walker as a deceitful, corrupt governor; renounce their political opinions; and follow our dear leader; then all would be well in Wisconsin—jobs would spring up across the state, communities would flourish and all would be bliss under Walker's rule.

No uncertainty, just obedient citizens.

Uncertainty, in Scott Walker's view, comes from open discourse and open voicing of grievances against Walker and the GOP.

Maybe that's why Walker still refuses to face the Wisconsin people in public, unscripted listening sessions.

Secrecy by Walker and the Republican Party, and citizens' political obedience to Walker are what is needed to abate uncertainty.

And those 250,000 new jobs Scott Walker promised?

Never mind that. Walker meant only if everyone follows him as he leads his comrades, though Scott Walker is very difficult to find in Wisconsin now-a-days.

But maybe Walker will declare an emergency and start throwing those opposing him into prison, seriously. See Vanegeren and Elbow, The Capital Times, March 19, 2013.