Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Was Alberta Darling For Unemployment Insurance Before She Was For It?

One of the myriad of hot topics currently going on in Wisconsin is the issue of unemployment insurance.

In April, more than 10,000 Wisconsinites had their unemployment benefits end, solely because the state legislature was too busy finding new ways to stick it to workers, tax payers and voters to actually craft and pass legislation which would benefit these suffering people.

The money was there for the taking, at no cost to the state, since the federal government had already made it available.  The legislature, which is so fond of calling special sessions for all of their draconian measures, could have easily done the same in order to take advantage of that and spare the unemployed weeks and months of no income whatsoever.  But even now, three and a half months later, it doesn't look like they'll get anything done until next month at best.

Enter Wisconsin Jobs Now! who started to hold protests outside of Darling's offices, starting on June 28, 2011.  This prompted a reaction from Darling, who supposedly issued a statement later that day stating her support for these benefits to become available:
However, Darling released a statement after the protest Tuesday saying she supports extending unemployment benefits to the out-of-work in Wisconsin. Darling said legislation is currently in the works to allow the benefits to extend for another 13 weeks.

“Recently, the non-partisan Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council voted unanimously to work with the state Senate and Assembly to craft legislation to address extending unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks,” Darling said. “I support an extension and will work with my colleagues to pass the measure as soon as possible.”
The observant reader will note that at the top of the article, it is noted that the article was edited at noon on Wednesday, (June 29) to include Darling's statement. This would indicate that Darling actually issued her release late on the 28th and that it did not make it to the original story before it was published.

The fact that she supposedly issued the press release was confirmed again a couple weeks later in another article (which leaned heavily towards editorializing)(emphasis mine):
On June 28, roughly 30 to 40 protesters representing Wisconsin Jobs Now assembled outside Darling's Menomonee Falls office demanding this legislation be passed. However, a protest wasn't necessary as Darling issued a statement that day voicing her support of the legislation they were demanding.
Now, again, the observant reader might have noted that I have used the word observant twice now in regards to the press release. There is, of course, a reason for this.

Working on a tip, I found some rather interesting things. The tip included that people who have been watching all of Darling's sites, tweets and Facebook entries had never even seen that press release until July 11.  So I decided to look deeper into it to see if my tipster was indeed accurate.

If one goes to Darling's press page on her official website, you will see that there is the press release, dated 6/28/11, just as reported:

But if the reader would then click on the link for the release, one would find this:

Holy smokes!! The date changed to 6/27/11, the day before the protests and the day before she issued the release, which as noted above in the two news stories, distinctly came after the 6/28 protest.

Well now, isn't that a bit curious?

A little more digging, and going to Google's cache search, one finds this interesting development:

The gentle reader will note that the titles of the two entries are the same, as are the titles on the press releases she issued on 6/27 or 6/28 and the one she released on 7/11.  Not a big thing in itself, showing only that she and/or her staff aren't a lot of original thinkers, something we all already knew.

But look closer and you will see that both bodies include the wording she used on a press release issued on July 5 to bash on the teachers union.

Curiouser and curiouser.

It would appear that Darling (or more likely one of her staffers) had taken the July 5 release and rewrote over to issue both the June 27-28 release and the July 11 release.

But not being the most tech savvy person in the world, I consulted with a friend of mine from #wiunion and asked him to look over the facts and judge the facts to see if my interpretation of events were correct.

My friend did just that and told me that it appeared that I, and my tipster, were correct.

He did his own searches using various tools, my friend came to a similar conclusion.  He stated that it definitely appeared to be two releases that were modifications to the July 5 release.

He further supported the hypothesis that the 6/27-28 release was not actually there until two weeks later.

Here is the rationale for what we see on Google versus what Darling is trying to pull off and that Google just didn't get around to it until then:

  1. The Google cache would not miss her release for almost two weeks, especially when it is attached to a high traffic site such as the legis.gov site. Pretty much every time that a Google spider pings the site or the site gets linked, Google would find the document. It's unlikely no one anywhere on that site updated or were spidered/cached during that length of time. It's virtually impossible.
  2. The site has increased its traffic from an average of 100,00 visitors a month in December to an average of 400,000 visitors per month. Google typically increases their crawling/archiving schedule big time in such cases.
  3. When you look for "press release" in Google and use a search of the words used in her press release, it is not shown ANYWHERE. There are ZERO other sources for that document.
In summary, it is fairly apparent that Darling only made any kind of statement regarding unemployment insurance as a direct result of the direct action taken by Wisconsin Jobs Now!.  But the fact is she didn't make the statement until after the June 28 protests, and even then didn't put it into writing until two weeks later.  To make matters even worse, she then tried to use deceptive methods to make it look like she was in favor of this legislation all along when, considering all the other actions and statements she had made during the past several months, the odds are that she really didn't give a damn about continuing the benefits until she realized how badly it would hurt her in her recall election.  Her nonchalance towards the people suffering without these benefits is further shown by her lackadaisical approach to the dating of the press release.

It's bad enough that she doesn't care enough about the unemployed workers to feel motivated to enact this legislation back in April when the benefits ended. It's even worse that she would pretend that she actually did, when it was obvious that she didn't.  And the worst part is that she is insulting the intelligence of the voters by lying about it all, and even then, not doing that very well.

Marie Antoinette couldn't have done it better.


  1. thanks for all your work and details.
    How to get this out to the folks in her district is now the issue.

  2. Great work. Noted and crossposted at my site. Keep bringing it, and let's see if Bice or some other J-S hack bites on it (they certainly would if Sandy Pasch's crew tried this).