Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just Who Has Been Cleaning Up At The Courthouse?

Last week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on how the County Board Supervisors were upset because Scott Walker did an end run on them and manipulated the system in order to contract out the privatized custodial services for the county as a procurement instead of the proper method of professional services contracting.

The Board has very good reason to be upset, besides the simple fact that due to Walker's mismanagement, the courthouse is worse than a sty, with clogged up toilets and garbage amassing in the hallways. Or the fact that workers are forced to bludgeon rodents in the hallways or have cockroaches all over their workspace and getting into their personal property. (But not to fear, Walker in all of his arrogance, makes sure his bathroom is cleaned and well stocked by the staff he just laid off.)

This is just another example of Walker's style of mismanagement and corruption. He keeps cutting more and more staff in any given program or department, until said program or department is no longer able to function properly. He then uses this as an excuse to open the door for privatization and profiteering, or otherwise abdicate his responsibilities. He has done this repeatedly, including the Income Maintenance Program, the mental health system, the parks, the House of Correction and almost anything else you care to name.

And speaking of corruption, Dan Cody broke the big news yesterday when he found out that the owner of one of the companies winning a cleaning contract, Edward Aprahamian, had contributed $1,000 to Walker's campaign on June 30th.

JSOnline, without any accreditation to Dan Cody, has posted their story regarding this contract which will most likely be in the paper on Monday. The beginning of their story is misleading since it covers the fact that the bathrooms and most of the courthouse won't be cleaned for at least another month. It is not until such time that most readers have moved on to other stories that they get to an even bigger problem.

When they do get to the meat of the corruption, the story tries to downplay it by mentioning that Tom Barrett and Jim Doyle also received donations from Aprahamian. What they don't mention is that neither Barrett nor Doyle were in the process of taking bids for cleaning contracts.

The report goes on to say how Walker and his interim public works director deny any wrongdoing:

County officials said the company was picked based on an objective review that included quality of work, work history and price.

"I did not have anything to do with it," Walker said in an e-mail reply to questions about the contract.

Aprahamian made $3,000 in donations to Walker since 2005, including his recent $1,000 gift.

Takerian, the county's interim public works director, said there was no political influence involved in the selection of MidAmerican.

But again, MJS and reporter Steve Schultze is found lacking. A quick look at the Milwaukee County Ordinances, specifically the Code of Ethics, shows that there is a problem for Walker. Chapter 9.05 (2)(k) specifically spells it out:

(k) No campaign contributions to county officials with approval authority: No person(s) with a personal financial interest in the approval or denial of a contract or proposal being considered by a county department or with an agency funded and regulated by a county department, shall make a campaign contribution to any county elected official who has approval authority over that contract or proposal during its consideration. Contract or proposal consideration shall begin when a contract or proposal is submitted directly to a county department or to an agency funded or regulated by a county department until the contract or proposal has reached final disposition, including adoption, county executive action, proceedings on veto (if necessary) or departmental approval. This provision does not apply to those items covered by section 9.14 unless an acceptance by an elected official would conflict with this section. The language in subsection 9.05(2)(k) shall be included in all Requests for Proposals and bid documents.
Seeing as how Walker already had the Recommended Budget by June 1, which included the plan to privatize these services, and that this would be about the time that the RFPs would be going out, I believe that Aprahamiam's donation is in direct violation of this ordinance, and should be thoroughly investigated.

Walker's apparent corruption is already starting to have ramifications. Cindy Kilkenny, author of Fairly Conservative, is already calling Walker out on it:

Just for the record Scott Walker, you are as sleazy as any other candidate you’ve ever accused. Privatization my ass. You just played a campaign payoff by promising Aprahamian a guaranteed income at taxpayer expense.

And dude, I’ve always believed in Wisconsin. You can take that “again” and shove it down one of your dirty county toilets.

I would not be surprised if this is just the beginnings of Walker's problems, and that it just might be the opening that Mark Neumann has been waiting in the wings for.

It is also worth noting that Citizens for Responsible Government has not been living up to their name again and has not said anything about this whole thing. Their silence speaks volumes about who they really are.


  1. you got to be kidding. Right? That is the best you can do? The man contributes money, lawful amount, and that is enough to get the contract? Really reaching for it, aren't you?

  2. wait a couple years when this cleaning service jacks up the price and costs even more than the county originally payed for cleaning.glad skippy the clown is getting his bathroom cleaned though.maybe instead of running around pretending that he's a pheasant hunter he could shoot rats in the courthouse basement.what a goof this guy is.maybe takerian is skippy's interim cleaning servant.we know he does the rest of his dirty work.

  3. Anonymous 1:47,

    It's not the amount, it's the timing, or were you unable to read the post?

    If so, you may be a Walker backer.