Saturday, April 27, 2013

We're Reforming What Now Why?

In 2002, it was learned that then Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament and his staff crafted a plan that would greatly enrich their own pensions, which would cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.   As a result, Ament was forced out of office and on of his aides, Gary Dobbert, was convicted and sentenced to jail.

Ament was succeeded by Scott Walker as Milwaukee County Executive.  It was
learned that during his tenure in that office, Walker was running a caucus-styled operation out of the the county executive's suite.

This scandal launched a three year John Doe investigation, commonly referred to as Walkergate.  Stemming from Walkergate were a number of arrests and convictions.

Walker's Director of Constituent Affairs, Darlene Wink, was convicted of illegal politicking during work hours and using county equipment.

One of Walker's Deputy Chief of Staffs, Kelly Rindfleisch, was also found guilty of illegal politicking from the county executive's office.

Tim Russell, a long time special friend of Walker's who served in numerous positions in Walker's administration, was found guilty of stealing from a veterans fund which wasn't even supposed to be under the control of Walker's office.  It was noted that Russell had also committed numerous crimes of illegal politicking, ranging from installing a secret router to directing Wink's fundraising work to doing campaign work during work hours and using county property.

Walker himself, although never charged, was found to be intrinsically involved with the caucus-styled operations, as evidenced by numerous emails.

After Walker left Milwaukee to corrupt the entire state government, Chris Abele was elected into office.  In the two short years of Abele's reign, there already have been questionable activities.

One such scandal was Abele using his Director of Administration, Patrick Farley, to try to frame then County Supervisor Johnny Thomas.  Abele has also tried to use taxpayer money to illegally reward his cronies.

Sadly, despite over a decade of corruption and fraud coming out of the county executives' office, the plutocrats and oligarchs have been able to convince too many people that the County Board of Supervisors is to blame for all our problems.

No real reform will happen unless we start by cleaning up the county executive's office.

I wonder who they are going to blame when things keep getting worse.

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