Friday, October 28, 2011

Walkergate Comes Full Circle

Six weeks ago, I wrote An Introduction to Walkergate in which I laid out the general facts regarding Scott Walker's misdeeds as Milwaukee County Executive and gubernatorial candidate and how they led to the John Doe investigation which is being conducted into Walker's staff and his campaign.

Recent events have made it apparent that it is time to expand on that history and show how it relates to what is happening today.

In the introduction, I pointed out the obvious part of the investigation, which was how Walker's aides were making use of government equipment for politicking and campaigning. But, in my humble opinion, they weren't the only ones doing this.

Every Friday, Walker would release a "newsletter" using the county website.  More often than not, these newsletters were nothing more than a sales pitch about how great he was instead of its purported purpose of informing Milwaukee County citizens of events or news.  Sadly, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett stooped to doing the same behavior.  It got so bad that the GAB eventually had to tell both sides to stop it.

Another thing I mentioned in the introduction was the fact that Walker was going on annual motorcycle rides around the state every summer.  Walker claimed that these bike rides were for the purpose of promoting tourism for the county, but no one really bought into that.  In fact, on at least one occasion, a complaint was filed with the Milwaukee County Ethics Board, stating that this was a political stunt and that tax dollars shouldn't be used for it.  But the Ethics Board would rule otherwise and allow the ride to happen.

The reason for this was that the entire Board were political appointees of Walker's which only met once every three months. Walker would wait until they had their spring session, then have one of his aides offer the ride proposal to the chair of the committee who would rubber stamp it. This way he was able to circumnavigate the entire board taking a look at it and possibly denying it.

One thing that I did not mention in the introduction was that Walker also had the help of a third party in both running the county and in his campaigning.  There is a group with the utterly inappropriate name of Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG).  CRG is the group that helped usher Walker into the county executive's seat when there was a pension scandal in Milwaukee County.

During the duration of his regime, Walker would receive help from this group in reinforcing his maleficent stunts.  At budget times, they would try to coerce progressive supervisors to go along with Walker's irresponsible and illegal budgets by threatening them with recalls.  (Funny how Republican politicians, pundits and squawk show hosts elide over this point when they are complaining about last summer's recalls or the upcoming recall of Walker).  CRG would also do other enforcement type of tasks, like trying to besmirch a certain blogger by filing false charges against me him.

During the year leading up to the election, CRG held a couple of rallies to allegedly support Walker's "0% Budget" which supposedly did not raise taxes.  The odd thing about these rallies was the fact that Walker's campaign staff, namely Jill "A-Train" Bader, Walker's campaign spokeswoman were at these events, arranging meetings between the candidate and certain individuals, even though these were described as being strictly non-political county events.

With this additional information, we are now prepared to address the events of this week.

On Monday, just a couple of weeks before the recall against Walker is supposed to start, Walker announces a new "government" website called "Reforms and Results."   While the website is undoubtedly a government website, it has the look and feel of a campaign website. Everything on the website is about Walker. It is just one variation of "When Governor Walker did this..." followed by a variation of "When Governor Walker said that ...", just like a campaign website would.

To further the campaign feel to it, the site is also full of a lot of opinion pieces, like a campaign site would be.  And so typical for Walker, they can't even get the facts straight on the subjects.  It is mostly based on the money saved by Walker passing the union busting bill, even though he already testified, under oath, in from a US congressional committee that this law had no fiscal impact.

The Democrats have filed a complaint, and rightfully so, regarding Walker again using government property to do politicking and campaigning.  Walker's people quickly defended against this by saying that they ran it past legal council and the GAB and that they found it to be simply "informational."  Did I forget to mention that Walker has replaced at least on of the members of the GAB?

Also this week, with the most coincidental timing, two Koch Brother-funded groups - the grossly misnamed Americans for Prosperity and the alleged news service MacIver Institute - have launched their own website with the theme of "It's Working!"* and video touting the exact same political points.

Is anyone else getting a feeling of déjà vu?

The only logical reasons that one could possibly ascribe to Walker and these groups showing such egregious and blatant disregard for the law and for ethics is that either they are very desperate or that they are very confident that the flood of Koch money will manage to keep the governor's chair firmly bought for Walker to continue to do the wishes of his wealthiest campaign donors.

Either way, it also shows that nearly overwhelming disdain they hold for the people of Wisconsin and why he truly deserves to be recalled.

*You'd think with all that money, the Koch front groups could do better than copying my series of posts on how "The Walker Budget Is Already Working!"   I guess that only shows that there's nothing they're not willing to steal.


  1. The Scott Doe investigation is in a quiet phase for the moment. Can't wait for the indictments.

  2. I thought this info may be of interest. Allison Rozek, Administrator of ASD (Administrative Services Divison) abruptly quit or was fired yesterday, 10/27/11. As you know the DWD has had three Secretaies, with the most recent change occurring this past week. Curiously, Ms. Rozek was fired two years ago from the Milwaukee City Development only to be hired by Walker into a Milwaukee County position and later placed into a political appointment at DWD. Before her firing at the City of Milwaukee it appears as though Ms. Rozek was in charge of several high profile, controversial development projects with federal loan guarantees. I am curious if this may be related to the John Doe investigation centering around Walker's time as Cty Exec. I am also interested about the circumstances of Ms. Rozek's firing both at City of Milw and at the DWD. Thank you for your time.

  3. Anonymous 3:44

    I would be surprised if we see them this year. Just the logistics of examining the seized computers, depending on how hard Walker's crew worked on trying to scrub them, and then the analysis of the data they pull out of them will take months.

    Anonymous 6:17 -

    I have not heard of Ms. Rozek before this story broke, much less heard or her tied into the John Doe.

    What I am more curious about is just what is happening in the DWD that so many top people are leaving like this.