Friday, May 23, 2014

Walkergate: Will Abele Run Interference For Walker?

For months, I have been calling for Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele to do his job and demand that the emails and other documents related to the Walkergate investigation be returned to Milwaukee County, its rightful owner.  As the top official of the county, it is Abele's responsibility to be the curator of these documents and thus his job to get them back and make them available to any public records requests.

Abele has willfully and actively avoided meeting his duties for so long that the Milwaukee County Board had to pass a special resolution calling on him to finally do his job.

Even then, Abele still stonewalled, saying he wouldn't do it without a court order.  Then he topped it off by saying that even with a court order, he would rather have Scott Walker go through the emails and documents to decide which ones should be released (emphasis mine):
Abele suggests that if the judge decides to release records sought by the newspaper, Nettesheim should screen them to exclude ones that aren't otherwise public.

Or Nettesheim could turn them over to Walker "so that he could review them and provide to County Executive Abele the public records that he should have provided...when he left office," Abele's brief says.
On Wednesday, the Honorable Neal Nettesheim, the judge who oversaw the Walkergate investigation, gave the order for the Walkergate files to be returned to the county. But even then, Abele openly stated that he would violate open records laws by being selective on what he would release:
It wasn't immediately clear how long it would take for any records to become public. An Abele spokesman, Brendan Conway, said the county "will release any records we have and that can be legally released" after redacting private information.

The documents, numbering in the tens of thousands or more by one estimate, include some emails exchanged using a secret router set up in the county executive's office when Walker was county executive.
It is not Abele's place to decide what or what cannot be released. These are public records and his job is to fulfill any open records request or to explain why he cannot.

Abele's resistance to do his job only adds to the speculation that not only does he know what's in those emails and documents, but that he is trying to protect someone.

I'm not the only one raising these concerns either. Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, who was one of the original whistleblowers on Walker's illegal politicking, issues a press release on Friday, raising the same questions:
Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, Jr., today demanded that County Executive Chris Abele release thousands of records seized by investigators during a John Doe probe into the potentially illegal actions of staff in Gov. Scott Walker's administration as County Executive.

A reserve judge recently ordered that John Doe prosecutors turn over the records to Milwaukee County.
Weishan said news reports indicated that Abele would release the records once they had been redacted.

"Why is Abele trying to cover up possible criminal activities of the Walker administration as County Executive?" Weishan said. "The public requires full disclosure, not redacted history. Abele should release the records without redactions. Abele has no authority to redact these records. Abele has proven to be less than honest with the public and cannot be trusted. A self-described friend of Scott Walker should not be in charge of releasing the documents."

Weishan said that Abele should make the records public immediately after receiving them. He added that staff time required to redact the records would not be a wise use of tax dollars.

"I recognize that these records make up thousands of pages, the public has a right to know what was going on under the Walker administration that triggered the John Doe," Weishan said. "Milwaukee County has only limited resources to sift through thousands of emails. The most cost-effective method is to release the documents unedited.

"What is Abele trying to hide? Abele should not help Scott Walker cover up for his misdeeds in office. He should release all the records unedited and un-redacted."
Another concern that needs to be watched out for is that even if Abele does finally agree to do his job and release the records unedited, what is he going to try to charge for them?

Just like Walker, Abele's good friend and mentor, Abele has a history of trying to charge astronomical rates for records that he doesn't want released.

I have a feeling that even though Judge Nettesheim has ordered the records to be released, this matter will end up being in court again to get Abele to do his job and to stop running interference for his good friend and mentor, Walker.

As Weishan asked, what is Abele trying to hide? And who is he trying to protect?

Call Abele at 414-278-4211 or email him at and tell him to stop protecting Walker and to do his job.


  1. Abele can only run interference if he takes his mouth of walker's @ss long enough to stop fleching and, you know, actually release the records.

  2. someone needs to go over to politicususa and post the facts -- they are a great progressive news source, but sometimes a little to much "happy talk" and cheerleading at the expense of facts.

    They are "reporting" the release as a slam dunk and that this will potentially be Walker's downfall -- they don't understand the abele/walker dynamics at all.

    There comments are moderated, so there is no saying they will publish anything that is posted, but everyone that reads their article needs to come over here to get the facts.

    Please check this out:

    One-And-Done: How a Judge’s Ruling Could End Scott Walker’s Governorship

  3. All these records accumulated through the course of John Doe I are public records, which the public has every right to see. Every document, unedited with no redactions. This is not private information.
    These records should be made available to all, not just through what the Journal Sentinel deems relevant.
    The county can make all these records available to those interested by placing them in a downloadable .pdf file for those interested, just as was done with those records associated with Kelly Rindfleisch and released in February 2014.
    Chris Abele has no part in controlling the public's access to freedom of information.

    1. Correct, and there is nothing that should be hidden, since it's allegedly "closed". And if Abele stalls, then the DPW should call him out at their own convention in 2 weeks.

      No real Dem can stick by Abele at this point, can they?

    2. Unfortunately, like a plunger that is stuck in an overflowing toilet, many find their lips sealed to abele's posterior squarely between his cheeks.

  4. The treasure trove of racist and misogynist jokes is not something that Abele should deny the public from reading.