Sunday, April 15, 2012

Walkergate: The Rindfleisch Gambit

Two months ago, I reported about the desperate defensive strategies that Kelly Rindfleisch was attempting against the four counts of illegal campaigning. The defenses were universal immunity - where the immunity she received during the caucus scandals spanned all time and all places - and change of venue:
The first attempt to was to try to get the case dismissed outright, stating that it was improper for the complaint to include testimony that Rindfleisch had given years ago during the caucus trials. In other words, they were trying to argue that the immunity granted all that time ago was unlimited in time and scope - an universal immunity, if you will.

While I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the Internet, I find this laughable. The immunity that was granted was indeed to protect her from incriminating herself...for the caucus scandals. It was not meant to cover her for any other misdeeds she might do years later.

Rindfleisch's attorney is also trying to get a change of venue, stating that Rindfleisch should be charged in Columbia County where she lives. In 2007, the state changed the law that would allow this for ethics and misconduct in office charges. But the rub is that not only did the alleged crimes occur in Milwaukee County, she was considered a Milwaukee County resident for terms of her employment. She used an address in West Allis as her home address to secure her job in the county. Her attorney, in what I would consider to be a major gaffe, pointed out that this was not her real address. In my humble layman's opinion, this would only mean they should charge her for falsifying government forms, her employment papers, to be able to work for Walker in Milwaukee County.

I would expect that both of these motions will be dismissed and the trial will proceed in Milwaukee County.
It turned out that I was correct in my expectations and the motions were indeed dismissed.

But now we learn that her attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, has filed for an appeal on the change of venue.

The rationale of his argument makes no sense, and could cause further harm to her case:

Rindfleisch owns a home and votes in Columbus and never has in Milwaukee, according to her venue appeal.
"Rindfleisch never moved to Milwaukee County with the intent of staying there permanently," her appeal says.

But she filed a statement with the county in 2010 declaring that she lived in Milwaukee to meet the county's residency requirement.

Her appeal at this stage of her case is unusual. The Appeals Court should accept the case to clarify the definition of a defendant's residence in the law and to avoid "substantial and irreparable injury" to Rindfleisch, her appeal says.

Shifting the case to Columbus, a small town 28 miles northeast of Madison, would "reduce media speculation and possible interference," the appeal says.
As I state earlier, he is only confirming that his client committed fraud upon Milwaukee County taxpayers, by saying she agreed to move to Milwaukee by July, but having no intent of doing so. She could very well now be charged with fraud.

As one of the Twitteri had quipped, does this mean the county can go after her for her entire pay instead of just the half where she was campaigning?

But this raises another point, one with much greater consequences than the fraud.

Consider the following:

  • Rindfleisch started with Milwaukee County in January 2010. She was moved up to the $28 per hour job of Deputy Chief of Staff in March to replace Tim Russell, who was transferred to another job for various reasons.
  • And as I've reported before, and which the Democrats confirmed by releasing copies of her hiring and promotion papers, she was hired and promoted by no one else but Scott Walker.
  • In the criminal complaint and in the recently released transcripts against her, she boasts that she spends at least half her time doing campaign work.
  • Tom Nardelli, who was supposedly her immediate supervisor, testified he didn't even know she had been hired.
  • County supervisors with whom I've spoken reported that they didn't know she was part of Walker's office until months later when she suddenly appeared.  Nardelli was left scrambling to give them her background and she didn't know what she was talking about when she did address the supervisors.
So what does all this mean?

Well, my friend Jake, who had to go and steal my thunder, put it all together.
So Rindfleisch just admitted in her court filing that these statements are true, and that she only took the Milwaukee County job as a campaign position for the election season. Put this together with then-County Exec Walker being the sole person signing off on Rindfleisch's hiring and promotion, and you see that Scott Walker brought Kelly Rindfleisch on as a campaign worker, but paid her out of the County Executive's Office, in clear violation of state law.

This would indicate that the appeal isn't necessarily about getting Rindfleisch off the hook.  If anything, it would seem contradict that, since they are basically admitting that the job was mainly for the political aspect of things and had really very little to do with any official county business.

The only feasible conclusion for why Rindfleisch might be doing this is to buy time for Walker.  She apparently has drunk deep enough of the Kool-Aid and/or resigned herself to her fate that she is willing to give up in order to keep her case from exploding before the recall election.  

Well, it's either that or she is hoping that by stalling, Walker is able to steal the election and grant her a pardon before she has to go to court.

Before you pshaw that idea, think about all of the outrageous thinks Walker has already done.  Do you really think he'd be above that kind of thing?  If you do, you haven't been paying attention.


  1. It has to be about the time factor. She's due in court, and the appeal buys her some time.

    Her entire defense appears to be based on getting the trial held outside of Milwaukee County, not that she's innocent. Her court filings in the appeal suggest she knows she's been caught red handed.

    She'd have to flip to save her skin at this point. She hasn't quite made that leap yet though.

  2. If she gets a change of venue I'm sure a friendly Republican D.A. will offer a plea deal down to a misdemeanor, a small fine and some community service (volunteering with Americans For Prosperity). Walker won't need to pardon her.

    I think the Prosserized Supreme Court will provide the escape hatch, confirming once again that the "Rule of Law" is for the suckers only.

    1. She would have the same DA. I'm not even sure the judge would change, but I think he would. She'd probably have a better chance of getting a sympathetic jury though.

  3. The writing is on the wall; Walker either pardons these people or he goes down.

    The simultaneity of Charlie Sykes and other rightwing propaganda organs' attacks on the John Doe investigation post-Easter is no conincidence.

    Corruption is costing Scott Walker in the polling numbers; and his stonewalling will work directaly in proportion to the dearth of public demands for the truth.

  4. She may agree to fall on the sword believing that Walker will pardon her. Poor Kelly - dumb bunny. She had better wake up and smell the coffee. It's most likely the GOP that is paying her high-priced attorney. The GOP will do anything to protect Walker -- even throw dear, loyal Kelly under the bus to do so. While she may think a pardon is in the offing, she's sadly mistaken. The people paying for her defense obviously want her to take the fall for Walker, and, it would be political suicide (IF he survives the John Doe and recall election) for him to pardon her. She'd be in a far better position if her attorney was arranging for a $1,000,000+ tell-all book deal. Because that's all she might have after 14 years at Taycheedah. That's IF Tim Russell or Cullen Werwie don't get to a book deal first.

  5. Question is, Are the Feds Interested? Great Discussion of Double Jeopardy & Dual Sovereignty: Why Walker is NOT relevant. Excerpt; Thus, a State might preempt federal authority by first prosecuting and providing for a lenient sentence (as compared to the possible federal sentence) or acquitting defendants who had the sympathy of state authorities as against federal law. enforcement.

  6. OK, Kelly! What will it be? Door #1 Tell All Book Deal, awesome cash money payout, who cares if you're a turncoat, you'll be baptized anew, or Door #2, jail time, no money, no friends.

  7. Good call on that MAL, it's clearly a "run-out-the-clock" type of move, and Paul Bucher's fake outrage move against the Milwaukee County DA's office is part of that- they know they have the goods on Walker and that he's slipping near the point of no recovery in the polls. They have to try to discredit and stall the investigation any way they can.

    It's time for the Dems to turn up the heat on Gov. Doe and his corrupt hires even more. When you start spending money in the media for ads saying something, the media often tends to feel a need to look into things more.

    And if they won't, we sure as hell will. That gun isn't just smoking, I think we see whose hands are holding it.

  8. Up coming court dates:

    Kelly Rindfleisch
    19JUL2012 Pre-trial

    Darlene Wink
    15MAY2012 Sentencing hearing

    Kevin Kavanaugh
    18APR2012 Calendar call

    Timothy Russell
    04JUN2012 Pre-trial

    Brian Pierick
    20APR2012 Preliminary hearing

    If Pierick decides to roll over on Russell/Walker, we may know by 20APR. We may also find out some of the info Wink gave up for her plea deal when she gets sentenced on 15MAY. I don't know what a calender call is, but the Kavanaugh case could shine new light on the Russell/Walker financing of political meetings with Herman Cane via siphoning of money of war veterans. Remember, Kavanaugh was appointed by Walker as Treasurer the laundered veterans fund.

    1. Just to keep us all on the same page:

      Walker appointee to Milwaukee County Veteran's Service Board. Also Walker appointee to position of Treasurer of Operation Freedom (Walker's event raise money for *cough*veterans*cough*).

      One time webmaster of GOV Walker appointee to Department of Instruction. Russell's de-facto husband (yes, Pierick and Russell are gay republicans). Also, Russell was always the IT guy behind, Pierick just happened to be the face when Russell was bust for laundering money.

    2. From Wikipedia:

      A calendar call is an occasion where a court requires attorneys representing different matters to appear before the court so that trials and other proceedings before the court can be scheduled so as not to conflict with one another.[1] Although typically a mundane event, attorneys on opposite sides of a lawsuit will often use the calendar call to maneuver for an advantage by pushing for a time that is nearer or farther away, depending on their perception of what will be to the advantage of their client. Often the plaintiff pressing a lawsuit will want to resolve the matter quickly, while the defendant will want to delay the resolution for as long as possible.

      In most jurisdictions (and in all United States federal courts), parties to criminal trials will be called upon first to set the dates of their hearings, as the government must adhere to tighter deadlines in prosecuting crimes, in order to protect the rights of the accused.

  9. It's rare to see pshaw used any more ... and rarer still to see it used as a verb! SuzyMetta4

  10. President George H.W. Bush issued what might be called "pre-emptive pardons" at the end of his term to forestall the flipping of participants in the Iran-Contra and guns-for-drugs dealings of the Reagan/Bush/Quayle "Enterprise."

    Blatant as that was, it never came back against him in the form of prosecution for corruption.

    The GOP can hardly have forgotten the success of that tactic. Is it likely Walker would refrain from attempting to emulate it, if Rindfleisch or others seem about to be flipped?