Monday, March 10, 2014
Excluding Congressman Paul Ryan's CPAC lectures and a secretive meeting with the Koch Brothers during summer recess in 2013, Ryan has held zero listening sessions for district constituents since his failed run as the vice-presidential nominee for the White House in 2012.
These will be his first. Listed below are the two locations in Rock County. See the full schedule here.
Wednesday, March 19
Holiday Inn, 3100 Wellington Drive
Friday, March 21
The Gathering Place, 715 Campus Street
ALSO: Washington Post - A story too good to check: Paul Ryan and the tale of the brown paper bag
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:02 AM
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
It was only expected that the Republican Governors Association (RGA) negative Backward ad attacking Mary Burke distorted information dating back to 2007, the last year she served as the state's Secretary of Commerce under Gov. Jim Doyle.
But when Burke's latest ad shows that the state's unemployment rate was 4.8% in 2007 as a matter of her record, Walker's political hacks cry foul claiming if Burke wants to play the game, she should mention that it went up to 9.2% under Doyle.
Except, Jim Doyle is not running for governor. Burke is.
Watch Burke's ad:
Democurmudgeon - Burke Campaign, PolitiFact Demolishes Republican Governors Association Lies
Posted by Lou Kaye at 5:52 PM
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Fox News Chris Wallace asks Scott Walker, “Question, if county workers were doing nothing wrong, why should they be using a private email account?
That's the six million dollar question Walker refused to answer. Instead he yammered on, "Well, but that’s exactly to my point. You had a Democratic district attorney spend almost three years looking at every single one of those communications, interviewing people, talking to people and closed the case."
And.....? Nothing. He never answered the question.
Wallace's question can and should be asked repeatedly of the governor by Wisconsin's media, but in addition, include his own recent admission that he now finds it necessary to carry two phones. If you're doing nothing wrong, why have a separate private phone? There's no reason for that second phone. In fact, that extra phone acts as a portable router that stifles the Freedom of Information Act.
I can hear Walker loyalists stomp their feet over that one. Awww man ...you mean, Walker can't have a private conversation at any time while he is governor? Well, yes and no. But a couple things here first.
Walker supposedly created a Code Of Conduct Agreement for his office staff that they must sign in order to remain employed. The agreement defines the hours of his office staff as 8AM to 5PM. That should be the governor's "official" hours as well.
Granted, a governor is expected to be available around the clock if necessary and can be away from the office for an unspecified amount of time, but we should expect the person elected governor to hold the highest standards and at the minimum keep the same hours and conduct as expected of his staff. That means all of his communications during those hours should be done on the state issued network system. That means no separate second phone connection while on the job.
Secondly, a person elected governor or to any major public office has made the choice to serve the public. Sorry to say, but that choice means less privacy during the time being paid on the taxpayers dime. If you want privacy, get a job in the private sector.
Another point is that as technology progresses, laws governing these issues become obviously antiquated and must be updated. That needs to be done. But in the meantime elected officials should be erring on the side of utmost caution, not stretching the laws to the farthest limits of legality.
But speaking of Scott Walker specifically, he has made two admissions that should have raised bells to their highest alarm. He has said previously that mixing political campaign communications during official office hours is routine and now said he uses a second phone to keep his official duties separate from his political campaign activities.
So when is Scott Walker not acting in his official capacity as governor of the state of Wisconsin? Anytime he answers or uses that private phone.
With his history, that's not good enough for me ...and shouldn't be good enough for anyone.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 1:21 PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The JS Online blog article titled, "Gov. Scott Walker: anonymous comments now in the past" reported that while serving as Milwaukee County executive, Walker would have his aides and associates post positive blurbs under adopted monikers in the comments sections below stories on the newspaper's site. The story continued ...
JS Online Excerpt:
"Those are things from the past," Walker said of the past commenting. "What we are trying to do even going forward right now is to comment in every different forum...We live in a world right now where there are hundreds of different media."
Newspaper columns, editorials and their comment sections are so 1980 that they are no longer enough public opinion for Walker's taxpayer funded staffs to anonymously engage with. Unless the JS Online writer made an error in transcription, Walker is clearly describing an expansion, not dismantlement, of a taxpayer funded media manipulating machine for his personal use into every form of social media, from Facebook, Twitter, Reddit to radio and more.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 8:23 PM
Monday, February 24, 2014
This interview about the Walker Doc dump with MSNBC host, Andrea Mitchell (w/Dan Bice), zeroes in on the mingling of political campaign activity with the staffs of taxpayer paid public office.
Interestingly enough, Mitchell says she (we) talked to Governor Walker's office for a statement that she proceeds to read on the air for viewers. The problem is, is the statement came from Walker's political campaign, Jonathan Wetzel - Friends of Scott Walker. None of the cast members flinched at the irony that questions about Walker's official capacity (as county exec) and taxpayer paid government cached emails are being answered by his political campaign.
It's still business as usual.
The other point is the people of Wisconsin and that includes the inquiring press, deserve answers from the governor directly from the governor and/or through his official government office - not from his political propaganda campaign machine.
Watch the video here.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 5:14 PM
Friday, February 21, 2014
In what seems to be a response to my suggestions about TIF financing to a group of local residents who are objecting to a landowner's campaign to fast-track a development including a new I-90 interchange near Milton, the Janesville Gazette posted a reminder of the landowner's statement that he won't seek capital incentives for infrastructure inprovements of his project.
Watson has said he won't seek municipal incentives for infrastructure for his project and that he'd bankroll the plan, including infrastructure within the industrial area.
I'm glad to hear it. This is good news of course but a very unusual "promise" considering the size and scope of this developer's plan. But it's also an absolutely hollow and useless statement unless it's put into writing on all of his land deeds in the proposed development.
Remember, infrastructure costs for developments and conventional TIF agreements (not forgivable loans, surplus hand-outs, etc.) run with the land, not with the owner.
An interstate highway interchange will tremendously boost the value of the nearest adjacent land for development purposes. Watson could later sell the vacant land and its new owner(s) could then approach the township or municipality for TIF financing. My point here is that his statements about requesting no incentives for infrastructure common of TIF agreements can only be made durable if it is written into a deed condition, prohibition or covenant on the land. But judging by his casual public statements posted in the newspaper regarding this proposal, I doubt he will put it in writing on his deeds.
Just to be clear, it's expected area officials know of this and would insist the landowner list and legally document all of these conditional statements before making a decision. It's the right thing to do.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:12 AM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Scott Walker supporters went on a tangent soon after the release of some 28,000 pages of emails from the first John Doe investigation. At the top of their talking points seems to be a veiled acceptance that Walker is indeed guilty of the allegations, but that the case is closed without charges against him and therefore he is protected by double jeopardy. Strange defense considering they want to run this guy for president.
Walker himself downplayed the importance of the email release calling them years old 'communications from a county employee.'
Below are some of the early links to the email scandal posted on #WIunion
The Progressive - Starting Today, Scott Walker is Officially in Hot Water
The Progressive - The Biggest Revelations from Scott Walker's Really Bad Day
Slate - This Could Be the Start of Scott Walker’s Bridgegate
The Nation - Emails, Charges, Probes! Chris Christie? No, Scott Walker
CapTimes - Records released in John Doe probe of Scott Walker aides — here's what to watch
CapTimes - How deep Will The Damage Be For Scott Walker From The John Doe Email Dump?
DailyKos - Big Wis. John Doe News - Thousands of Emails and Documents Released
Think Progress - Emails Suggest Walker Knew Of Illegal Campaign Coordination
AlterNet - Did Scott Walker Just Tank his Career?
JohnDoeWalker.Com - Dedicated Website For Tracking Walker-related Emails In Cover-Up Scandal
TPM - Investigation Surrounding Walker Even Bigger Than We Thought
TPM - Scott Walker Aide Forwarded A Totally Racist Email
Huff Post - Scott Walker Ordered Doctor Fired Because She Was Once A Thong Model
Blue Cheddar - Quick thoughts on the John Doe document release
The Political Environment - More On Email Showing Walker Wanted Cover-Up In County Patient Death
Washington Post - Scott Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes as ex-aide’s e-mails are released
MKE Express - Rindfleisch to Campaign: You Guys Are in the Drivers Seat
JS Online - Unsealed email ties Scott Walker to secret email system
NOTE: Hours later, JS Online changed above title to "Emails link Scott Walker to secret email system."
Wisconsin State Journal - John Doe transcript: Scott Walker must have known of private email, laptop system
Posted by Lou Kaye at 7:19 PM
Monday, February 17, 2014
Forum was held Wednesday, February 12th in Janesville.
Part 1 is Mike McCabe's introduction. He spends some time talking about the influence of money in government, how a few wealthy donors can neutralize the voices of the many and why it is important to follow the money in order to understand the backwards legislation that is sweeping through Wisconsin.
As can be expected, the news is not good as the majority is vastly outgunned and outspent by outside interests. Parts 2, 3 and 4 are mostly question and answer. This is important commentary. Watch it:
Part 2 (12 min.)
Part 3 (27 min.)
Part 4 (11 min.)
Big thanks to Vckstr89 for the video work and uploads.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 2:04 PM