Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walkergate: Something Old, Something New

Sunday night, Fox6Now of Milwaukee had some "breaking news" that Fran McLaughlin, who used to be Scott Walker's Communications Director when he was Milwaukee County Executive, had her name appear in documents involved with the illegal politicking trial of Kelly Rindfleisch.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel followed that with a story of their own on their website iterating the same thing.

Of course, for the readers of Cog Dis, this is old news.  On Friday, I wrote about it first:
The next interesting tidbit comes on the bottom of page 13, where the last arrow is pointing:
rellyk (Rindfleisch): and then I got Fran highlighting all the mistakes in the press releases that the campaign does
Fran would be Fran McLaughlin, who was Walker's spokeswoman as county executive. Yet another name to add to the corruption list. What is also interesting, at least for Milwaukeeans, is that McLaughlin currently is the Public Information Officer for Sheriff David Clarke, a pompous ass that has aligned himself with the teahadists and other conservative nut jobs and is more interested in politicking than actually performing the duties of his office. One has to wonder if McLaughlin got waived through the normal screening process and background check before Clarke gave her this political appointment.

The really curious thing about the article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article is that there is not one single mention of McLaughlin or her involvement. Why was her name omitted?
Fox6Now then followed up with an interview with Walker today, in which he trotted out the same old line about not knowing anything and claiming to put a stop to it when he found out. He did so because, you know, he's an Eagle Scout and all, and would never let his people use government property for campaigning.

But we know better than that, don't we?

For once, I would love to see a reporter actually drill Walker about this instead of just nodding their heads and taking what he says as gospel truth. How many times do they have to be lied to before they start doing their jobs and investigate a story?

To his credit, Steve Schultze of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel introduced a new name that had previously flown under my radar (emphasis mine):
Fran McLaughlin, Walker's county spokeswoman, and Jon Myhre, a deputy spokesman, were among a group of seven former county employees whose personnel records were subpoenaed by prosecutors in connection with the investigation, according to court records.
A quick Google search gives us Myhre's LinkedIn profile which shows that after he left the county executive's office the first time, he was involved with various positions in the health care field, including communications, business development and sourcing advisor.

One would think that such a position might have brought Myhre into contact with Kelly Rindfleisch and/or Andrea Boom who both worked for the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans.

Oddly, Myhre's profile is incomplete in that it does not include the two months that he served as "county policy advisor" in the spring of 2010, about the time that Walker promoted Rindfleisch to be his Deputy Chief of Staff (and somehow forgetting to mention this to his Chief of Staff Tom Nardelli).

I don't know if it is because the district attorney's office didn't ask for them or because the reporters didn't look for them, but I do note that there's at least a couple names missing from that list that really should be included.  Ah well, I'm sure the DA's office will get to them soon enough.  They just need to remember that not all the bad guys were always in Walker's executive office per se.


  1. And this posting is another reason why Capper is my fave when it comes to Wisconsin's lefty blogs.

  2. Replies
    1. that, and calling me a "gentle reader" at times. :O)

  3. Possible correction necessary? Either you missed it or it was recently deleted.

    "Oddly, Myhre's profile is incomplete in that it does not include the two months that he served as "county policy advisor" in the spring of 2010,"

    I don't have full access to Linkedin- I searched with google and viewed the cached page with a cache date of Mar 24, 2012 08:40:54 GMT. It has the listing

    "Policy Advisor - County Executive's Office
    Milwaukee County

    Government Agency; 5001-10,000 employees; Government Administration industry

    March 2010 – May 2010 (3 months) "

    1. It wasn't there last night and it's not there now, at least from what I can see.

    2. He has several LinkedIn profiles. One has been santitized.

    3. I got a screen grab of his profile with the policy advisor position as above.

  4. Jon Myhre lists employment as FEI Behavioral Health between his two stints at the County Executive's Office.

    Another former employee of the County Executive's Office employed by FEI Behavioral Health is Rod McWilliams, former Director of Communication for County Executive Scott Walker.

    "Director, Crisis Management Services
    FEI Behavioral Health
    Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Mental Health Care industry
    June 2007 – Present (4 years 9 months) "

    " Director of Communication
    Milwaukee County
    Government Agency; 5001-10,000 employees; Government Administration industry
    September 2005 – June 2007 (1 year 10 months)"


    Rod McWilliams appears in this Journal Sentinel Article "Walker should heed what Walker preached" by Cary Spivak and Dan Bice on October 25, 2006.

    "Curious as to what Walker thinks, we called him at the courthouse. His flack Rod McWilliams wasn't very helpful.

    First McWilliams was aghast that we even asked him - a county worker - for a statement about a campaign matter.

    We explained to McWilliams that we didn't want his opinion. Rather we wanted to talk to Walker - you know, the guy who mixed county business with politics in the first place. So, we again asked McWilliams to ask Walker to call us.

    McWilliams refused to take the message.

    "That's not how we do things," he lectured, explaining there is a wall between campaign and county business.

    Hmm, that's one tall wall. Sounds like McWilliams has been listening to the Walker who ran for governor, not the one who is using the county budget fight to raise campaign cash."


  5. The JS story listed seven former Walker workers whose personnel records were subpoenaed -- and included on the list was Tom Nardelli.

    Isn't that new? Or did I previously miss that he's being pulled into this, more and more?

    1. Nardelli's name on the list is not new. He just has been under the radar because he hasn't been charged. Yet.

    2. The personnel records list is not new? Other sources say otherwise.

  6. I don't know that the Nardelli file is old news, as I believe that this is the first time personnel files have been discussed at any length. However, after reading all the complaints, I'd argue that his file being subpenaed isn't a surprise (as he was, in theory, the #2 guy in the office).

    Fran McLaughlin is a bit of a different story. Not only was she farther down the food chain, but she had never been mentioned in any of the documents until this most recent Rindfleisch transcript.

    1. I had heard that her home had been raided about the same time Cindy Archer's was. She denied it and no one said anything about it.

  7. Oh, I agree that the McLaughlin tie-in is intriguing and was more noteworthy yesterday.

    However, in the long run, Nardelli in the higher position may have more to give over to get that immunity -- and putting him on the list may indicate a continued squeeze on him. (And I just didn't want that piece to go unnoticed in the Capper-and-cohort effort here to put together this puzzle.)

    1. Don't be stealing my future posts, people! BTW, Nardelli could be an easy egg to crack. He's got all them pensions he wouldn't want to lose by being convicted on a felony.