Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Much Collaboration Do You Want?

By Jeff Simpson - Cross Posted from Purple WI

The Misaptly named "Citizens for Responsible Government(CRG)" has jumped on the right wing bandwagon of filing frivolous lawsuits and are now suing to be able to collaborate with candidates and other dark money groups.  
Wisconsin's Club For Growth(WICFG) and their "leader" Eric O'Keefe has already filed a frivolous lawsuit, asking for the investigation(he is one of the people being investigated) to end.   Mr. O'Keefe, has the sound of desperation wherever he goes to tell his story:
"We have in Wisconsin a taxpayer-funded domestic spying operation of over three years' duration conducted by the Milwaukee County DA, John Chisholm, and now in concert with Kevin Kennedy at the Government Accountability Board, which is corrupt and so is Kennedy," said Eric O'Keefe, one of the directors of the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
While it does not surprise me that Governor Scott Walker has no problem Mr. O'Keefe slandering a solid public servant like Mr. Chisholm, it does surprise me that the Governor has not distanced himself from groups with such questionable pasts as WICFG & CRG.  
Then CRG stepped, in maybe because they have been left out of all investigations so far, or it could be that when cases get in front of Judge Randa, they are confident in knowing the end result will favor the Republicans.  In that case, why not ask for the moon.   It also does not hurt that Scott Walker's lawyer's wife, works for Judge Randa
Either way, Club For Growth, funded by another org that Mr. O'Keefe sits on the board of, wanted to help muddy the waters.  Or as CFG president  Chris Kliesmet puts it:
"My rights to speak out are being violated and they're being violated in a violent way,"
The reality is, that Mr. Kliesmet should be thankful that his right to speak have actually not been taken away in a "violent way".   We have a history of doing that in America and it can be lethal! !   
In case you need a quick reminder of what is going on here, Wisconsin elected & public officials, have a history of breaking election laws.  Then earlier in Governor Scott Walker's term, there was a John Doe investigation that actually netted 6 convictions
Anyone who has watched an episode of CSI, or even Starsky and Hutch, realize that in order to get convictions, you need to gather evidence and investigate.  That is what the prosecutors were doing when they confiscated some computers from key figures in the case(some of who were given immunity).  This allowed investigators to get 5 felons and one convict, out of our government, so everyone benefitted.  
Mr. O'Keefe felt the need to speak up on that issue also, and really should not have(emphasis mine):  
He alleged "synchronized paramilitary raids" had been conducted in September 2011 and October 2013 that were aimed at intimidating their targets. Those whose homes had been raided are suffering reactions "similar to rape victims," he said.
Yes Mr. O'Keefe really did compare having your taxpayer supplied laptop confiscated to being raped.   While I am sure every Rape Victims would disagree, the real question here is -  why is our Governor taking counsel from someone who would hold such disgusting beliefs?   
Instead of allegedly coordinating in private,  Mr. Kliesmet comes right out and tells us his plans:
CRG told the court it wants to collaborate with Vilas County Supervisor Kim Simac, Waukesha County Board Supervisor Carl Pettis and state Senate candidate Jason "Red" Arnold. But it has not started working with the candidates because the accountability board and Chisholm have said such collaboration can be illegal, even if a group does not urge people to vote for a particular candidate, the group said in its suit.
Everytime the words, "can" or "may" be illegal are spoken or written, Chuck Chvala's Google alerts go crazy!   Plus, if the Republicans did not think this was illegal, they would not have tried to pass a bill to make it legal
It will be interesting to see where the courts take this and where it finally lands as illegal or we completely change the election landscape.
With such hyperbole and the flurry of lawsuits being filed, one would almost think that these people have something to hide.   However, as we wait for the courts to decide how much collaboration is allowed, there is something that can be done that is 100% legal.
That is to work bipartisanly to fix our state's messes. 
I hope these same people who are working so hard to collaborate, make sure and let the republican elected officials know that they expect the same out of them during session.   The people of Wisconsin will be watching next session to make sure that both sides amendments and arguments will be listened to and considered.     No more stunts like Robin Vos telling the Democratic Caucus not to waste any time on amendments because everyone would fail.   
If they find collaboration to be such an important function for success, let's make sure and live by that example.   
Let's swear off the divide and conquer philosophy, that Scott Walker brought to the state in 2010 and start working together.  
Finally, as Mr. O'Keefe complains about his speech being stifled, you should know that his speech is so stifled, that he only has a website, a facebook page, linked in, unlimited access to right wing radio, the ability to talk to any of his friends and neighbors, most right wing politicians will take his call, and he can write a letter to the editor in any paper he wants(among other venues).   
Some people in Wisconsin would love, if their biggest problem was, that their speech was "stifled" to this extent!  

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