Category Archives: Wisconson Capitol

Gov. Scott Walker’s Office Targeted By Corruption Probe After FBI Raids Aide’s Home

There’s no surprise here.  It was just a matter of time, in my opinion…

Think Progress

New details are emerging about a potential corruption investigation into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and his staff after FBI agents this weekraided the home of Cindy Archer, who until last month was Walker’s deputy administration secretary.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that authorities last year launched a secret “John Doe investigation” into Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive, looking into allegations that county staffers did political work while at work, and thus on the taxpayers’ dime. Archer, who held the county’s top staff job for the last three years of Walker’s county executive tenure before following him to the governor’s mansion, said she has done nothing wrong nor has Walker ever asked her to do anything improper.

Milwaukee County prosecutors launched the investigation around the time Walker’s then-constituent services coordinator, Darlene Wink, quit, “after admitting that she was frequently posting online comments on Journal Sentinel stories and blogs while on the county clock,” the Journal Sentinel reported:

Nearly all of her posts praised Walker or criticized his opponents.

Authorities later took her work computer and that of Tim Russell, a former Walker campaign staffer who was then working as county housing director, and executed a search warrant of Wink’s home.

Walker, who is out of the state, has yet to comment on the FBI raid and his spokesperson “said his office would have no comment on the raid or investigation.” Authorities have already requested emails and other information from Walker’s campaign, and he hired former U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic after receiving the subpoena, the AP reported.

Archer has a new job in the state government, which she has yet to begin thanks to an extended sick leave. She is a political appointee, but she held a job that used to be a civil service position. Responding to the FBI raid, Democratic Assembly Leader Peter Barcaintroduced a bill yesterday to repeal a Walker-backed change that allowed the governor to fill civil service positions with political appointees, the AP reported.

There has already been one conviction relating to Walker’s campaign. A businessman supporter of Walker was sentenced to two years’ probation in July stemming from two felony convictions that of exceeding state campaign donation limits and laundering campaign donations to Walker and other state politicians.

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Walker Guy Stabs Protester’s Balloon and Bloodies Himself

All I have to say is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is nuts and his supporters are nuttier!

The Progressive

Monday afternoon, as Governor Scott Walker was signing into law a bill that turns the legislative and Congressional redistricting process and any appeals to it upside-down, and as Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch was reassuring the public that Wisconsin has enough cash on hand to survive for three months in the event of a federal government default, Capitol Facilities Manager Ron Blair was tackling a more pressing problem: heart-shaped balloons.

Outside the doors of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Leslie Peterson was reaching down into her shopping bag to remove a heart-shaped balloon so that her friend could take a photo of her with it. As soon as she pulled it out, someone came up behind her and repeatedly stabbed the balloon with a blade. “I’m sick of fishing these off the ceiling,” said the man with the round glasses and handlebar moustache as he walked away.

Shaken up by the sneak attack on her property, Leslie asked the man for his name and identification. He did not respond to her so she asked him again, saying that she was going to file an incident report with the Capitol Police. At that point, he allegedly grabbed her and slammed her up against the door of a women’s bathroom. “I saw blood all over him and me. I didn’t know if he still had the knife, or whether or not I had been stabbed,” said Leslie.

The man, who was later identified as Ron Blair, assistant director in the Wisconsin Department of Administration in charge of facilities management at the Capitol, then ran out of the Capitol and into a building across the street. He later told reporters that the blood all over the stairs and floor in front of the Supreme Court was from an earlier fall he had taken on the stairs. However, Leslie reports seeing blood only after he slashed the balloon.

Meanwhile, Leslie’s screams alerted others who were at the daily Solidarity Sing Along in the Rotunda to call for the police. She and those who witnessed the events were taken to the basement of the Capitol to give their statements. Leslie’s friend, Jenna Pope, had taken several photos of the events, and the camera was taken as evidence, as was the blood-splattered shopping bag containing the slashed balloon.

Continue reading here… 

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Filed under Wisconsin Capitol Police, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconson Capitol

Palin Headed To Madison, Wisconsin This Weekend

There will be interesting goings on in Madison Wisconsin this week-end…

TPMDC

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be headlining a Tea Party rally this weekend, at a venue that has served as the stage for some very high-profile protests of late: The Wisconsin state Capitol building in Madison.

The state Capitol, of course, was the site of massive protests both outside and inside the building, as tens of thousands of people gathered to show (and shout) their opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union agenda. But now, as the Wisconsin State Journal reports, Palin will be coming to town to rally the other side.

And check out this nugget from the paper’s report:

Americans for Prosperity is organizing busses to the event. Last year’s gathering featured former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and others.

Americans for Prosperity is, of course, a Koch financed group. The Koch name has popped up quite a bit in the Wisconsin protests — most notably after Walker’s 20-minute phone call in late February with blogger Ian Murphy, who was posing as David Koch. During that call, Walker discussed his ideas for tricking the Democrats into coming back by pretending to negotiate, his ambition to bust the public employee unions in the mold of President Reagan firing the air traffic controllers — an event that Walker said had led to the downfall of the Soviet Union — and that he had considered (but ruled out) planting troublemakers in the crowds of protesters.

Palin’s presence could provide useful measure of activist motivation on each side at this point in the saga. Back in February, a pro-Walker Tea Party rally at the Capitol featured an all-star cast that included Andrew Breitbart and Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher.

However, out of the tens of thousands who showed up that day, only a few thousand were on the pro-Walker side — with several times more demonstrators on the other.

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Filed under Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Sarah Palin, Wisconson Capitol

Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Morphs Into Intense, Expensive Contest

It’s going to be a long process in determining the winner.  Here is a pretty up to date and dynamic tally.

Huffington Post

A Wisconsin Supreme Court election that offered the public its first formal opportunity to weigh in on the national fight over union rights was very close in the early Tuesday.

Initial returns showed incumbent Justice David Prosser locked in a virtual dead heat with challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg. An assistant state attorney general, Kloppenburg began her campaign with almost no name recognition and faced what looked like an uphill fight against Prosser.

But her campaign has surged in recent days as her supporters worked to focus anger over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive collective bargaining law onto the conservative-leaning Prosser. The law’s opponents hope a Kloppenburg victory will tilt the Supreme Court to the left and set the stage for the court to strike down the law. Election officials in Madison and Milwaukee have noted higher voter interest in what would have been an otherwise sleepy contest.

The measure strips most public workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. Walker has said the move is needed to help balance the state’s budget. Democrats say it’s designed to cripple unions, which are among their strongest campaign supporters, and tens of thousands of people spent weeks at the state Capitol protesting the plan.

The law eventually passed, but is on hold as legal challenges make their way through the courts. Many expect the state Supreme Court ultimately will decide the issue.

The seven-member high court is officially nonpartisan. But Prosser, who is seeking a second 10-year term, is seen as part of a conservative four-justice majority. Kloppenburg’s allies have presented her as an alternative that would tilt the court’s ideological balance to the left.

Prosser has told The Associated Press he doesn’t necessarily agree with the law. Still, bitter Democrats have portrayed him as a Walker clone, helping Kloppenburg’s campaign gain traction over the last few weeks.

Pat Heiser, 76, said the union struggles weighed heavily on her decision to vote for Kloppenburg.

“I think collective bargaining should be a human right,” Heiser said. “We’re not slaves anymore; that ended in the 1860s.”

Continued here…

Prosser’s campaign: http://www.justiceprosser.com

Kloppenburg’s campaign: http://www.kloppenburgforjustice.com

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Filed under Wisconsin Democrat Senators, Wisconsin Supreme Court Election, Wisconsin Union Law Court Ruling, Wisconson Capitol, Wisconson GOP

Wisconsin Union Law Should Be Considered By State Supreme Court: Appeals Court Rules

Huffington Post

A Wisconsin appeals court says the state Supreme Court should decide whether a law that takes away nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers should be allowed to take effect.

A majority of the seven-member Supreme Court must agree to take it or it would remain in the appeals court.

The 4th District Court of Appeals said Thursday it is appropriate for the state’s highest court to take the case because it presents significant issues that are likely to end up before the Supreme Court anyhow.

A Dane County judge issued an order last week preventing Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, saying Republicans violated the state open meetings law when passing it.

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Anti-Union Legislation, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Capitol, Wisconson Fiscal Crisis, Wisconson GOP

Wisconsin Senator’s girlfriend had help getting job

Randy Hopper

Image via Wikipedia

So much for family values and all the  propaganda that goes with the family value meme

Once again, the utter hypocrisy of Republican values comes shining through via the Gov. Scott Walker twisted governing.

Milwaukee - Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Even though the state is supposedly broke, top officials in Gov. Scott Walker’s team were able to scrape together enough money to give a state job to the woman identified as Sen. Randy Hopper’s girlfriend.

Anything for a political ally.

Valerie Cass, a former Republican legislative staffer, was hired Feb. 7 as a communications specialist with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing. She is being paid $20.35 per hour. The job is considered a temporary post.

Cass previously had worked in the state Senate and for the GOP campaign consulting firm Persuasion Partners in Madison. She also was paid for campaign work for the state Republican Party and U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner before that.

“Ms. Cass’ name was among many forwarded to DRL by the Governor’s Transition Team as potential candidates for positions with the department,” said David Carlson, the agency’s spokesman.

But who exactly recommended her for the post?

Cullen Werwie, spokesman for the governor, confirmed that it was Keith Gilkes, Walker’s chief of staff. She was then interviewed by the Department of Regulations and Licensing’s executive assistant and deputy and hired by Secretary Dave Ross, a Walker cabinet member.

An internal staff directory lists Cass as working in the secretary’s office as the assistant to the executive assistant.

Werwie said Gilkes did not recommend her as a favor to the first-term lawmaker, who voted for the governor’s controversial budget-repair bill earlier this month.   Continue reading…

 

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Assembly, Wisconson Capitol, Wisconson GOP

Wisconsin Goes National

Politico

The first round is over. Republican Gov. Scott Walker delivered a crushing defeat to government employee unions in their fight over labor rights in Wisconsin.

But the passage of a law stripping away collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers has touched off a much larger political battle that threatens to spread over Wisconsin’s borders and across the 2012 landscape.

Democrats in Wisconsin are vowing to transform virtually every upcoming state and local election there into a referendum on Walker’s administration. Party leaders from Madison to Washington are gearing up for a major fight in the hope of sending an unmistakable signal to other ambitious GOP state executives.

Their efforts to make Walker and his supports pay a high political price for their victory has led Republicans to activate their own campaign machinery. Few expect the conflict will stay contained in Wisconsin.

“What you’re seeing is a reaction from the national Democratic Party to try and hold the line because they realize that if we’re successful in Wisconsin, there will be a national impact,” said Republican State Leadership Committee president Chris Jankowski, whose group supports GOP candidates in state-level campaigns.

Already, the national parties and their House, Senate and gubernatorial campaign committees have sought to capitalize on the Wisconsin struggle through fundraising appeals, press releases and television and online ads.

Leaders in both camps are describing the next phase of the struggle in Wisconsin in dire terms.

Wisconsin state Senate President Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican who shepherded the labor law to passage, touched off a small firestorm when he told Fox News that ending collective bargaining would affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential race.      More…

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Assembly, Wisconsin Democrat Senators, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Capitol

The Suicide Of The Republican Party

Keith Olbermann’s FOK (Friends of Keith) News

Still having never learned to be calm, retract their claws, and sit around and act rationally in a situation that calls for panic, Wisconsin’s Republicans and their Corporate Puppeteers tonight guaranteed themselves an unprecedented and disastrous recall next January.

More over, they also guaranteed themselves that any cloak of stealth under which they have operated in their attacks on teachers, firefighters, policemen, unions, and the settled law of collective bargaining, has been stripped away. If you pass a supposedly urgent “budget repair” bill with key budget components cut from it, you forfeit the fiction that you are doing anything remedial, anything essential, anything except a naked power grab on behalf of corporations who will get the money stolen from organized labor – civic or private.

And further, when you accomplish all this by parliamentary trick – after your national party has spent two years and more decrying Congressional reconciliation – when you deny the minority the right to participate in the outcome whether by compromise or protest, you cut through the cacophony of political-speak in this country and you transmit your sneering indifference towards democracy to ordinary citizens who do not normally pay attention.     More…

Edit: (Emphasis are mine)

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Filed under GOP, GOP Agenda, Wisconsin Assembly, Wisconsin Capitol Police, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconsin Public Service Employees' Protests, Wisconson Capitol, Wisconson Fiscal Crisis, Wisconson GOP

Deja Vu all over again?

 Huffington Post – Max 1

Then:

“First they came for the Socialists­, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

==========­==========­==========­==========­=========
Now:

First they came for the Democrats calling them Socialists­, and I did not speak out -
Because I am not a Socialist.

Then they came for the organizing power of Unions, but I did not speak out -
Because I’m not a Union member.

Then they came for the Hispanics and Muslims, but I did not speak out -
Because I am neither Hispanic or Muslim.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”

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Filed under Trade Unionists, WI Union Workers, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Service Employees' Protests, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Capitol

20 lies (and counting) told by Gov. Walker

Russ’ Filtered News gave us the very popular An Open Letter To Conservatives and Muslims In America: The Shocking TruthNow it seems Russ has done it again with his new post entitled: 20 lies (and counting) told by Gov. Walker.

Here is an excerpt from Russ’ latest post:

We’re used to politicians stretching the truth, but the level of deception and dishonesty Wisconsin’s governor has exhibited in the battle over his union-busting budget repair bill (even the name is a falsehood) sinks to astounding new lows.  What follows are the 20 lies I’ve identified in a quick review of the record.  If you find or recall others, please let me know.  We’ll keep updating.Walker: His bill is about fixing a budget crisis.

The truth: Even Fox News’ Shepherd Smith couldn’t swallow that one, declaring that it’s all about politics and union busting, and “to pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey.”

Walker: says he campaigned on his budget repair plan, including curtailing collective bargaining.

“We introduced a measure last week, a measure I ran on during the campaign, a measure I talked about in November during the transition, a measure I talked about in December when we fought off the employee contracts, an idea I talked about in the inauguration, an idea I talked about in the state of the state. If anyone doesn’t know what’s coming, they’ve been asleep for the past two years.”

The truth: Walker, who offered many specific proposals during the campaign, did not go public with even the sketchiest outline of his far-reaching  plans to kill collective bargaining rights. He could not point to any statements where he did.  In fact, he was caught on tape boasting to what he thought was his billionaire backer that he had “dropped the bomb.”

Walker: keeps saying that “almost all” of the protesters at the Capitol are from outside the state

The truth: “The vast majority of people protesting are from here — Wisconsin and even more from Dane County,” said Joel DeSpain, public information officer for the Madison Police Department.

Walker: He wants to negotiate.

The truth: He won’t negotiate, but he’ll pretend to so he can trick the 14 Dem senators into allowing a vote on his bill. Walker recently offered to actually sit down and speak with the minority leader – something he should have done anyway and long ago – but only if the rest of the senators came back with him. Why?

“…legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way…But that would be the only, if you heard that I was going to talk to them, that would be the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of them. And my sense is, hell, I’ll talk to them. If they want to yell at me for an hour, you know, I’m used to that, I can deal with that. But I’m not negotiating.”     More…

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Russ' Filtered News, Russell King, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Democrat Senators, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Capitol, Wisconson Fiscal Crisis, Wisconson GOP