Friday, March 26, 2010

Unreliable Sources Are, Well, Unreliable

In an alleged rebuttal to my post from last night, Bruce Redenz of Badger Blogger infamy issued his own post.

At first, I wasn't even going to respond to it. Why should I? I don't see much credibility in any of the sources. Bruce Redenz was the one feeding into the whole sock puppetry thing that was occurring over there last fall. And before that was the whole Ned Yost affair.

If that wasn't enough, Bruce cites as his source of information as none other than Tim Russell himself. Shockingly, Russell denies anything untoward regarding his salary or how he attained his fourth position (between campaigns) under Walker's administration.
Mmm. I wonder if I called and spoke to Governor Doyle and Mayor Barrett and they both said that they had absolutely nothing to do with the decay of the zoo interchange, that the fellows at Badger Blogger would just accept that. Something makes me think that they wouldn't.

Another reason I wasn't really keen on paying attention to it was that apparently there is some literacy issues and I didn't want to embarrass anyone. For if one read what I wrote (emphasis mine for this post, not the original):
But even those raises would pale in comparison to the bump in pay that Russell recently received. I have just learned today, that on this past Friday, Walker promoted Russell to the position of Administrator of the Division of Housing. Now, I don't know exactly what Russell's new salary is, but I would think it reasonable to presume that it is somewhere in the range of his predecessor, James Hill, who had retired last fall. According to JSOnline's Data on Demand, in 2008, James Hill received a salary of $110,571...
one would see that I was making a presumption, not stating hard facts. But apparently that was too subtle a point for Bruce or the others that jumped on his bandwagon.

But for kicks and giggles, since I am this far already, let's finish the job.

Bruce has two main arguments: That I was off on the money and that I was off on the reason for the appointment.

As for the money, Bruce wrote (in bold nonetheless):

Russell tells BadgerBlogger that his Director of Housing salary, $75,866.13 – a full $37,201.00 less than that of his predecessor – dealt him a raise of $2,496.13 over his previous county exec’s office salary of $73,370.00.

That’s a raise of about 3.4%. A nice raise, but not exactly “huge,” and significantly less than the “raise in the neighborhood of $50,000.00″ that Liebenthal alleges.

Now, again, for all I know right now, this might be accurate. I hope to find out more next week.

But even if accurate, it does raise a couple of interesting questions.

One was that if you go to JSOnline's Data on Demand, it lists Russell's salary as being $21,280:

Now, that is obviously a typo, which is why I did not include it in my original post. But what is the correct number. If one goes with $51, 280, which was close to what I was told yesterday, it would be understandable since the 2 and the 5 are directly next to each other on a keypad. But if one goes with $71,280 that would be harder to explain, unless you say he did get a $50,000 raise when he was promoted to Assistant Chief of Staff.

But then again, there is another error with that strip. It lists Russell's start date as August 2008, but we know that Russell was in Walker's administration for six years already, excluding campaign times.

Another thing that doesn't make much sense is that Russell's alleged salary, if you believe him, is almost the same as that of his immediate superior, Tom Nardelli, who made $75,386:

While not impossible, it is extremely rare, especially in government, where one makes nearly as much as ones supervisor. Again, this may be explained if Russell was a beneficiary of the exorbitant raises Walker gave his cronies in 2008.

Again, I hope to have accurate, reliable numbers some time next week.

Bruce's other argument was that Russell deserved this promotion/raise:

BadgerBlogger asked Russell whether he believed that his work history and previous county government assignments afforded him proper qualifications for his new position. Russell defended his qualifications.

“My background includes significant experience with the programs and functions of the [Housing] Division, including Section 8 Voucher, Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs, and in addition, I have worked in the housing and mortgage industries for more than 20 years.”
(What is it with referring to himself in that weird context? Is he avoiding personal responsibility or is he being an elitist?)

Oh, I know all about Russell's current and past experience in real estate and mortgages. That alone raises some other interesting questions that will have to wait for another time.

But that doesn't explain away the stench of cronyism and all the other positions Russell has had under Walker's administration. And just because he has been in a business a long time, that doesn't necessarily mean he is very good at it.

After all, he did not put his years of experience to good use when he was in the Economic Development Division (emphasis mine from the original):
Walker’s last two choices to lead the county economic development office, Bob Dennik and Tim Russell, came from his campaign and lacked depth in the development business, Clark said. Dennik left the post this week to become an executive with a Pewaukee construction company. Russell is now Walker’s community relations director.

Walker chooses folks who don’t have (the necessary) experience,” she said. Dennik came under repeated fire from the board the last two years over disappointing land sales results that put the county budget in a jam. He didn’t return several phone calls seeking comment.

Only about $226,000 of the $7.2 million in budgeted land sales revenue for this year has materialized, contributing to a projected multimillion-dollar, year-end deficit. The land-sales budgets have been off $1 million or more in four of the last seven years, county figures show.
I'm sorry, but I just don't see how an unreliable source interviewing another unreliable source disproves the fact that there are still some unanswered questions regarding Russell's pay and his positions, unless you accept the simple fact that Walker, despite his promise not to, is playing heavily with cronyism.

Oh, and Aaron, it is spelled Liebenthal. Thanks for correcting it.


  1. So you're STILL saying, you have no facts and you are only speculating...

  2. Well, you know how it is with your boss. It takes time to unravel all the lies...

  3. So, you are going to double down on stupid , huh, you said yourself that Russell started in aug 2008, so seems the jsonline number would be correct. Not every one is a liar like you, I highly doubt he would have provided false numbers if they are open to public records.

    I see wisopinion took down the link to your lies. Good to see that they recognize you for what you are ( like the rest of us) a liar.

  4. That's a lot of words.

    But, yeah, so you have no proof, all indications are that you are wrong on the original post, and now are trying to pivot off. Okay.

    The original post was clearly about Russell's salary. You were wrong. Be a man and accept responsibility.

    As a social worker, do you tell your clients to obfuscate through life, too?

  5. I hope the commenters who momentarily think they have you on the run can accept that it would be outrageous for Russell to receive a big raise. I mean, that would be cronyism, right? You've disproved that because it didn't happen. Right? Because when the real numbers come out next week, they will run to the hills and hide. The truth will out, oh, it will out.

  6. Look, the original post was about the size of the raise Russell allegedly received.

    If it wasn't, capper did a poor job making whatever other point he was trying to make.

    If he wants to pretend that the post wasn't about him thinking he had a "gotcha" moment about Russell's salary, then he can continue to delude himself.

    I don't care if Russell got a $2500 or $25,000 raise (actually, I would be outraged if he did). At this point in the tale, I care that Capper looks foolish and has further strained whatever credibility he has in his own echo chamber. As has been seen, he feeds into other blogs and then perpetuates his factually inaccurate stories.

    Whatever his faults are, at least Cory Liebmann has the good sense to correct himself. But note how they both try to ex post facto change the subject when their fantasies are debunked.


  7. "Well, you know how it is with your boss. It takes time to unravel all the lies..."

    So now you're claiming to know things about my life too? You are the king of speculation aren't you.

  8. Lol! Look at capper commenting anonymously on his blog. "the truth will out" [sic] .

    Not sure what truth capper is talking about, but some anonymous commenter wouldn't know what capper is up to.

  9. Publius-

    You might want to reread both posts again. Even the title of the first post had two issues pointed out. I may or may not be wrong on the salary. Hopefully, we'll find out next week.

    The cronyism is undeniable. It is also a flagrant breaking of one of Walker's campaign promises (more on that some other day).

  10. Fun with sentence construction...

    "Scott Walker Gives Long Time Crony Huge Pay Increase"

    Try to follow along here, Chris:

    - The subject of the verb is "Scott Walker"

    - The verb of the sentence is "Gives"

    - The direct object is "Pay Raise"

    - The possessive or article of the sentence is "Crony"

    - The adjectives of the sentence is "Long Time"

    The article was about the pay raise. You got your facts wrong.

    Don't get pissy and try to act like the subject of the post was anything other than you trying to score points about an allegedly exhorbitant pay raise.

    You picked the title. If you want it to be about something else, change the title.

  11. BWAAA HA HA HA! What porcine prick!

    You spin faster than Tas, dude. They could have used your big self on the Deep Tunnel project.

    for all I know right now...

    ...which obviously is nothing, you sure put out the stink.

    "literacy issues ", indeed!