Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charlie Sykes: Scott Walker's Attack Dog

Well, well, well. The day that I've been expecting for five months has finally arrived.

Charlie Sykes decided to launch a full attack on me. He's already sniped at me by using libel and untruths (which reminds me, gotta follow up with the lawyer tomorrow).

His attack was based on this post that I wrote over the weekend. Of course, he misconstrued by intent, but that is the norm for him as mentioned by a former WTMJ staffer, Dan Shelley, who had worked a lot with him, and knows of which he speaks.

But it got me wondering why Sykes waited a full 72 hours to attack me on that post. After all, it was not the first time I wrote something critical about Sarah Palin. So why this now? And Sykes isn't the master of chivalry himself.

UPDATE: Apparently, while Sykes has an issue with my Palin post, he has no problem if someone mocks the Palin family be saying they are incestuous. Can you say hypocrisy?

When I had a chance to listen to his podcast* this evening, it all became clear in five minutes.

Sykes started out his show building up the audience into a fervor. In doing so, he repeatedly emphasized that I am the Chair of Milwaukee County First, as well as that I hold a position with my union's local.

But then Sykes overplayed his hand. He also included snipes at my friend and fellow MCF board member, Keith Schmitz, and his involvement of MCF and Open Book, trying to allege some impropriety when there is none.

It was then that I realized that this had nothing to do with the Palin post I wrote. He was merely trying to discredit me and Keith in order to discredit MCF.

But why would he do that now? Simple. Yesterday, I spent the entire day and night at the courthouse, watching the County Board trying to fix Scott Walker's faulty budget. As other union members, I was wearing my "No More Cuts" shirt, but for some unknown reason, the media chose to focus on me, including an interview with Channel 12 and shots from the other stations' news shows. I was also featured, rather prominently, in this morning's edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

All of a sudden, my name was all over the place, and I was getting attention. (Although this wasn't the first time I was on TV. WTMJ - TV interviewed me on Labor Day while I was manning the MCF table at Laborfest.)

Apparently, this was seen as a threat by Team Walker.

As I pointed out last summer, some of Team Walker's key players include Michael Grebe and Steve Smith. Grebe is the chair of Walker's campaign, as well as CEO of Bradley Foundation. As the Foundation's CEO, he is the boss of Janet Riordan aka Liz Woodhouse aka Mrs. Sykes III.

On top of that, Smith is Sykes' boss. Between pressures from both his boss and his wife's boss, as well as just being the unofficial mouthpiece for Walker, it is only logical that Sykes would be Walker's attack dog, trying to discredit us.

I guess I shouldn't complain though. At least he didn't try to waterboard me.

But it does raise a couple of interesting questions. Why does Team Walker and Sykes see a small grassroots group that advocates for Milwaukee County, and has criticized various County Supervisors and Governor Doyle, as a threat? Is this there subconscious way of admitting Walker is not good for Milwaukee County?

*The podcast is fun to listen to. Two of his earlier callers actually point out that I was correct, even if I might have chosen my words more carefully. Of course, he trashed them too, as his norm, per Dan Shelley.

Cross posted at Sykes' favorite site, Whallah!


  1. Disclaimer - why do I think sykes is a loser?
    Because I've met the Judge (twits ex) and she frig'n ROCKS !!!
    So I say sykes is an adultering loser, and I say so with no appologies. And I also say bloggers who give him a pass just to kiss his a## are losers as well.
    There... i'm done...

  2. Oops, I must not have not hit "submit" on my original comment. Here goes again.
    I WANT walker to win. I HOPE walker wins. But i know that as soon as barret
    finds his way into the race, walkers chances s winning are gone.
    Sykes sees you as a threat to walkers run. Milwaukee and Racine are walkers only hopes, and that hope seems a bit weak as is. I think most bloggers see that but are too busy sucking up to the "blog father" to be honest with themselves and their readers.
    ...NOW I'm done.

  3. So, what you're saying is we won't find a copy of "50 Rules Why Life Is Not Fair: Get Used To It" at Open Book.

  4. Frankly, you give yourself way too much credit in how you and Milwaukee County First play into the Walker campaign strategy.

    Because I'm sure you don't. Knowing a thing or two how campaigns work, you are an object of office jokes and thus a distraction. I think the situation you are writing about can best be described like a kitten with a ball of string.

    In the absence of nothing better to do (it's a slow news cycle), Charlie decided to bat you around a bit for self entertainment. Clearly, he got the better of you (this post being the proof).

    I'd be surpirsed if Team Walker even noticed you on TV, in the paper, or even gave your presence at the County Board hearings a second thought. I mean, you've said as much that your a Board/Union gadfly...

  5. Totally ignoring Sykes would have been the best response. A person who is blessed to have a job in life where he can make a difference on serious issues for the community...and all he chooses to do with that opportunity is to be a partisan hack and act like a baby is a waste.

  6. Publius-

    Slow news cycle? He had the county budget to talk about. He had Fort Hood, the imminent (and now done) execution of the DC Sniper, health care, and a whole slew of topics he could have chosen. The timing is more than suspicious.

    Your explanation also does not explain some of the behind the scenes stuff that has been going on.

  7. Let's suppose for a minute that he did have other things to talk about...

    It doesn't mean that batting you around like a kitten with a ball of string isn't fun for him.

    And this behind the scenes stuff... if you insist on center stage, you get the tomatoes. Don't pout when you start to draw the attention of those you criticize.

    You are either practice or entertainment for Team Walker.

  8. When you "follow up with the lawyer," Chris, make sure you direct him to Whallah! I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it.

  9. Making fun of chubby guys isn't going to win Sykes any fans in Milwaukee, is it? :-)

    Capper looks like 90% of the guys walking down the street.

  10. All I know is Sykes is providing Open Book with a lot of free advertising since a part of his audience is made up of liberals. They will only be seen as an endorsement.

    Nice optimism Publius, but this is not a matter of "batting us around like kittens with a ball." Both of us have been pecking at him and Milwaukee's own Bill-O, being the massive egotist that he is, can't help himself.

    What puzzles me is why is he lashing out because I was in on starting a bookstore, especially the notion that this is some cozy deal with the Village of Shorewood. It is a very dumb premise.

    Logic would tell you that since I was a vendor to the Village, what do they owe me? Cary Spivak also didn't get the fact that we were offering a chance to fill a hole on Oakland Ave. and the Village of course say this ann opportunity to help out.

    Spivak also mentioned that the hotbed of socialism, Harley's for Men, also got some village support.

    Thought he was supposed to be a champion of capitalism. Oh I forgot. Sykes doesn't know crap about it.

    People are encouraged to bring their used copies of 50 Rules into Open Book. We will be more than happy to buy them to be placed next to Going Rogue and Going Rouge.

  11. Wow. Just wow.

    That's awesome spin. Nice work, Keith. With you as spokesman for Milwaukee County First, how can the group fail?

    Keith, I'm willing to bet that Dan Bice didn't just stumble on to that story. It was fed to him. And I'm sure it's not coincidence that Capper is now drawing increased scrutiny and attention.

    You guys crack me up. You wanted to write the blogs, play in the sandbox with Milwaukee's politicos, and are now reaping what you have sown. Enjoy.

    Right or wrong, politics ain't beanbags.

  12. Who said it is Publius? I am fully willing to dish it out and take it. Note, for example, that unlike you I don't hide behind an alias.

  13. Right or wrong, politics ain't beanbags.

    It's deep insight like this that earned Publius the reverent moniker, "the Cheddarsphere's own John Madden."

  14. Looks like Sykes got the better of Liebenthal. Way to go Sykes for dishing back the BS that Liebenthal spews on a daily basis. Liebenthal needs to be exposed for the blooter that he is.

  15. Make no mistake about it. Walker has an iron grip on the message. Just ask any one involved in county government. You should have seen the County Department Heads at the final budget hearing... hiding in the back of the room. Only someone with a scorecard would be able to point them out...

    Interesting that the "old media" is attacking the new media. Sykes is in Walkers pocket, but the (new media) blogs will continue to reveal truths that would other wise remain hidden.

    God bless America on this Veterans Day.

    They fought for the right to free speech.

    Shame on those who would silence Cappers right to post the truth.

    They are turning up the heat because your message is "spot on."

  16. Keith-

    I disagree. Publius has the right to remain anonymous. It is a tradition that dates back to the Revolutionary days. Heck, I even did for a while too, until I learned that Fred Dooley was trying to out me, cuz he was too chicken to do it himself.


    Even Sykes said on his show that we will be an impact in next year's election.


    That was freakin' hilarious! The visual is worth it alone.

  17. pubis',pubics',whatever team skippy will cough you up like a kittens' hairball and toss you aside when their done.

  18. "Why does Team Walker and Sykes see a small grassroots group that advocates for Milwaukee County, and has criticized various County Supervisors and Governor Doyle, as a threat? Is this there subconscious way of admitting Walker is not good for Milwaukee County?"

    You are implying that anyone who does not agree with your group is against Milwaukee County. Isn't it possible that someone could be "for" Milwaukee County (whatever that means) and still disagree with some of your positions.