Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Shortly after the tragedy at O'Donnell Park, where a 27,000 pound concrete facade fell off, killing a teenage boy, injuring another boy and seriously injuring a woman, Team Walker had to brag about "crushing" Tom Barrett in the polls.
Despite receiving some criticism for their poor choice of words, they repeat the same gaffe shortly after a panel fell at Mitchell Airport, striking another young man in the head. This time, they "crushed" a low balled campaign goal.
A couple of weeks ago, two of Walker's campaign staffers (not to be confused with his county staff or his county/campaign staff), issued a racially-tinged tweet.
Now, Walker has come out with a new commercial which shows Walker wearing boxing gloves, threatening to "fight back" against Tom Barrett. Barrett, if you would recall, is still recovering from a severe beating he took when he intervened trying to protect a woman and her grandchild near State Fair last week.
Taken individually, each of these examples are not very meaningful and, at worst, can be called an example of poor taste or social skills.
But together, they only reinforce the perception that Walker is an immature, egocentric and not ready for prime time. It also reinforces the stories about Walker's days at Marquette University and the unethical behavior he displayed when he ran for president of the student body.
This was crystal clear in reading the Associated Press story but not in the Sunday JS piece. Call the Associated Press more liberal or the JS more conservative, but as I’ve noted in the past, there is often a distinct difference in how they report these kind of politically charged issues.
But lo and behold, in this morning’s Journal Sentinel, Walker did another piece, in response to the Democratic press conference, that finally ran down all the details about the bond deal Johnson received. Why did the paper wait until five days after the Associated Press story ran? Your guess is as good as mine.
As if there was a question on why Barrett would be the much better governor...
Monday, August 30, 2010
There was the "Great Twit Off" in which Neumann and Walker were competing for the most followers. Neumann won that contest when Walker got himself disqualified for getting himself booted off of Twitter* for excessive spamming. Neumann's victory in this contest was confirmed when his team was live tweeting the debates and Walker's team was silent.
Next up was the Facebook version of the Great Twit Off. Neumann won that one as well.
Even in the most recent Rasmussen poll, Walker, who was leading in that poll, lost his edge and is now behind Neumann.
But cheer up Walker fans, there is one contest Walker is winning hands down. That contest is the "Caption Contest" entries.
As far as I know, Neumann has only one entry: The infamous hair net picture.
Walker, on the other hand, appears to be an almost endless source of them. Some of my favorites include his version of the bad food service look:
Walker doing his best Alfred E. Newman pose:
This recently revealed beaut, which I personally think perfectly reflects what a "straight shooter" he is:
And the newest one of them all, Walker Ali:
* Team Walker's Twitter FAIL kind of puts his attack on Barrett's site being down while they change ownership look a little weak, doesn't it?
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Now there is a threat to the oak trees as well:
The Wisconsin Department of Natural says a deadly tree disease has been discovered for the first time in Oneida County.
According to the DNR, a tree infected with oak wilt was discovered about four miles southeast of Eagle River and three miles west of the Chequamegon-Nicolet Forestin July.
Oak wilt causes red oaks, black oaks and northern pin oaks to die within two or three months.
The disease is caused by a fungus that plugs and kills the water conducting vessels in the outermost wood of the trees.
The disease has also been found in southeastern Langlade County and eastern Florence County.
The DNR discourages moving oak firewood from April through July to prevent the disease from spreading.
Two Hoonah police officers were ambushed, shot and killed Saturday night by a suspect who on Sunday afternoon was still barricaded in his home on Front Street in the Southeast Alaska community of about 800 people, according to Alaska State Troopers.The wife and young children of the one of the officers witnessed the violence as it began, as did the mother of the other officer, said interim city administrator Bob Prunella.
Tokuoka was off duty, Martin said. He was in his car with his wife, Haley, their 6-year-old son and their 2-year-old daughter. They stopped to talk to Wallace, the officer on duty, who was standing outside the vehicle. Wallace's mother, a nurse who was visiting from Florida, was nearby and saw her son shot, Prunella said.
"The regular officer went down first. In fact, my daughter and the kids were in the car. Matt wasn't actually on duty yet," Martin said. "The shots rang out, you know, and they hit Tony. I guess they hit them in the leg first. And then Matt told my daughter, he said to get the kids out of here. 'Get out of here!' he said.
"He went to help Tony and I think that's when he got it."
Prunella said that Tokuoka tried to get other people to safety but that he didn't have all the details yet. Wallace's mom told Prunella she saw her son shot.
Those poor kids just had their entire futures taken from them. The article doesn't say what started this whole thing, but there is no way it was worth this.
I can't wait to hear the wingers try to tell us the answer is to put more guns out there.
Clarke is probably feeling a little nervous given he can't count on a Republican cross over with the Neumann/Walker race being so tight.
Anyway, said anonymous Clarke supporter and I have been have a little chat about Clarke's failure as a law enforcement officer, specifically when he tried to help a drunk driver get back on the road.
Said Clarke supporter retorted with this line (emphasis mine):
Can you immediately tell when someone is at .08 just by looking at them? A guy stuck in a snowbank on a snowy day doesn't immediately mean he's drunk. Clarke called for a squad to deal with it, so what? He's the sheriff, not a beat patrol deputy.My, oh my. So he's the sheriff! I guess that means he's exempt from his primary job duty, which is enforcing the law.
How is he supposed to lead his deputies if he is incapable of doing the job himself?
Surprisingly, or maybe not, the elitism isn't even the worst of it.
First there is the factual problems. I'd say it was pretty obvious the driver was looped, giving Dan Bice's report:
It looked, at first glance, like a run-of-the-mill winter accident.
At least that's the way Sheriff David Clarke Jr. treated it.
But he couldn't have been more wrong.
Clarke, the first cop at the scene, instantly moved into helper mode. First, he tried to push and then pull Allen's vehicle out of the snow bank. But even with the help of another motorist, Clarke couldn't get Allen and his Ford Taurus back on the road.
That's when the second officer arrived.
Deputy Sandra Santoro* did what any good cop should have done from the start.
Santoro ran a check on the driver and found that his license was suspended. She then sized up Allen, noticing his eyes were bloodshot and glassy and that he reeked of alcohol. Visible inside his car were two empty beer bottles, one empty beer can and an open beer can, still three-quarters full.
"I'm not gonna lie to you," Allen told Santoro, according to her police report. "I was drinking. I had a few beers. I knew I was busted when you guys came.
"I almost got away with it."
As it turned out, Allen's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit. The 43-year-old driver later pleaded no contest to drunken driving, agreeing to pay a $764 fine.
But the elitism and the incompetence still isn't the worst part.
As any law enforcement officer could tell you, honesty is supposed to be the biggest thing. Everyone realizes hat police officers and deputies are human beings. That means that they are going to make mistakes and poor choices from time to time. That is just part of being human.
What matters most is how you deal with the problem once it's there. A good cop or deputy could cope with the consequences of making a mistake, if they owned up to it and admitted where they erred.
Clarke didn't even do that much. Besides neglecting his duty as first officer on the scene, he then tried to cover up what happened by bringing up trumped up charges against the arresting deputy. To make it even more obviously a cover up, it happened only when the paper starting looking into the incident which had occurred, and not the six months earlier when the incident actually happened.
I guess it all adds together though. If Clarke is too dishonest to even admit when he screwed up, how can we expect him to be honest about what party he belongs to?
*Deputy Santoro recently was a hero when she was part of rescuing a man who was threatening suicide by jumping off the Hoan Bridge. I wonder if Clarke will write her up for not taking the bridge in as evidence.
One of the few wishes she made before passing was that at her funeral, we made sure that her favorite hymn, "Amazing Grace," was played. Her favorite version of this hymn was done by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. But the funeral director said that they didn't have it, but would play it if we found the CD. It took a couple hours of panicked shopping, but we found the CD and had it played at her service:
I wrote about my mom a couple of years ago. And yes, Ma, I still remember.
Reviews of the new shirt are coming in already:
- "These are perfect for small people" - Carl-Henric Svanberg
- "They are really slick" - Tony Hayward
- "Always the white size and the white color" - Charles Murray
- "Simply will be the squawk of the town. I'm getting one for each of my wives" - Charlie Sykes
- "It'll be the rage among the screaming twenty-somethings." - Kevin Binversie
Friday, August 27, 2010
The polls show, as Cindy Kilkenny gleefully points out, that for the first time in the race, Mark Neumann is leading Scott Walker. And the polling was done on August 24, the day before Neumann stole Walker's bag lunch and ate it during the debate.
But Team Neumann and Ms. Kilkenny shouldn't be blowing up their victory balloons quite yet.
Rasmussen is a rather questionable source of polling numbers. Furthermore, Neumann's lead is only one percent, which is basically a statistical tie. Although I will give credit to the fact that Neumann's momentum is on an upward swing, while Walker's is falling like a piece of a county building.
Also, Tom Barrett is making an impressive push as well. He was down by a helluva lot more, but now is within three or four points of each of the Republicans. If one calculates in the Rasmussen Factor, it actually would put Barrett above each of the Republicans by a couple, three points.
In fact, Barrett is coming on so strongly, that Wisconsin has gone from "Leaning Republican" to "Toss Up."
It's not surprising that Walker's numbers are dropping. Just look at some of Walker's "highlights" from the past year or so:
- His backed up toilets at the courthouse makes the national scene,
- Parts of County buildings are falling down, including O'Donnell Park where a woman was maimed and a teenage boy was killed,
- Total disarray at the county run mental health complex, including the sexual assault of scores of patients, and the poor way he responded to it,
- A budget meltdown,
- The open mocking of his incredulous campaign promises,
- Campaign staff making racially charged tweets,
- The questions around his campaign bike ride,
- County staff doing campaign work,
- Questions about his academic career, and
- The loss of jobs due to cuts in the transit system.
After these numbers, I would not be surprised if Scott Walker is curled up in a fetal position under his desk, hyperventilating into one of his brown paper bags.
Now, with this being on the western side of the state, I haven't been following the race too closely, but I have to imagine that Kind has not had to spend much money on his campaign for re-election, given that his biggest help is coming from Kapanke himself.
As I pointed out yesterday, Kapanke is in hot water for using money from a supposed charitable fund to help pay a personal debt to the city for lights at his ballpark, which he uses to advertise for his campaign.
Today, it turns out that Kapanke is saying that is absolutely not true. Kapanke said he didn't make a payment to the city with these funds. Kapanke said he made TWO payments with the charity's money:
Congressional candidate and state Sen. Dan Kapanke acknowledged Thursday he tapped about twice as much money as was previously reported from a charitable foundation to pay for lights to be installed at the home field of a baseball team he co-owns with his wife.
Kapanke, owner of the La Crosse Loggers of the Northwoods League, told the Leader-Telegram editorial board the La Crosse Loggers Foundation, a charitable organization separate from the team, made two payments totaling about $32,000 to pay off the personal debt.
How is this guy is still in office, much less still in the race?
H/T Steve Hanson at Uppity Wisconsin
The cats is out of the cellophane bag now as he had a meet and greet with the Conservative Young Professionals* last night:
Notice that while at the fund raiser, he doesn't want to talk about crime, but things he has no jurisdiction over. But that kind of fits in, doesn't it? Phony Democrat, phony sheriff, phony politician.
*It always strikes me as sad that these young people already have had their idealism stolen from them.
If you want to vote for the Democratic candidate for Sheriff, look at Chris Moews, who is a Democrat and has experience upholding the law, which already puts him many steps ahead of Clarke.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
You could tell it was going to be a rout in the first question, when Scott Walker kept purposely misinterpreting Neumann's tax plan and Neumann came out with a line to the effect of "I know this is hard for you to understand, Scott."
The rest of the evening went much the same way, with Neumann dancing circles around Walker. Neumann consistently came up with specific answers, with his talking points all in a row, while Walker was left with his wild claims which he never backed up with any sort of plausible explanation on how he would keep them.
To make things for Walker is now the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is finally getting around to doing some fact-checking, and in the smallest of surprises, found that Walker lied.
His repeated failures to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens is starting to cost him dearly in the polls, hence the onslaught of radio and TV commercials in his own home district.
Tom Barrett is standing up for the citizens who need protection, just like he did outside of State Fair last year. His campaign has started a petition drive to tell Walker to start taking ownership of his failures, starting with BHD. But first, watch the video:
Now go and sign the petition.
The Democrats have filed a complaint against Kapanke accusing him of funneling funds from a charity he operates to pay his personal debts. From the Rhinelander Daily News:
The new complaint alleges Kapanke took $16,930 from the charity and used it to make a payment to the city of La Crosse on June 12, 2009. The complaint says that was a scheduled repayment of a portion of a $225,000 loan made to Kapanke and his wife in March 2009 from the city for installing lights at Copeland Field, where the Loggers play. The complaint cites IRS records showing that the payment came from the foundation.This isn't the first time Kapanke has gotten himself in legal trouble.
He was originally accused in 2007 of using his baseball team and the stadium to gain free publicity for his political aspirations.
Last year, he was accused of not complying with the open records laws and that he was using his government office and staff for campaign purposes. He was found guilty of violating the open records laws, but then stuck the tax payers with his $38,000 legal bill.
Apparently tired of having Attorney Michael Maistelman, who is again representing the Democrats, kicking his butt in court, has already cried "Mea culpa."
The question is now whether Kapanke is either incompetent, corrupt or both.
I just can't help but admire the irony of someone who can't bear to shed his BP stocks or admit that there is a man-made factor in the global climate change wants to be associated with green.
Then again, that particular shade does seem close to the BP green, doesn't it?
“Senator Russ Feingold should heed the advice of the citizens of Wisconsin and stop the reckless spending in Washington,” Ron Johnson for Senate campaign spokeswoman Sara Sendek said. “Workers and businesses are struggling to get by while Senator Feingold continues to support higher taxes and increased spending policies that do nothing to create jobs or improve the economy.”He's also been going around telling the fairy tale of how he worked real hard and created his company from the dust and made it a big success all my himself.
But we know that he didn't build it, but rather married into it.
Now more news is coming out which belies his make-believe stories. From WKOW.com, we learn that RoJo is the recipient of government help:
In the 1980s the company expanded through the help of a $2.5 million government bond issued by the city of Oshkosh - a bond that charged below-market interest rates.
Today Johnson rails against government subsidies, saying they go against the free-enterprise system.
The question is, can RoJo make it a full week before he makes some sort of blunder showing him to be just another hypocrite and/or just another pretender.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Marquette University is, as the reader would remember, is the almost alma mater of Scott Walker, almost being the key word. Walker failed to graduate, leaving school entering his fourth year, even though he only had about three and a half years worth of credits.
At the time of that Walker's non-graduate status came out, I stated that it was my opinion that the fact he failed to graduate was a minor issue, I pointed out that it seemed to me that the more significant issue was why didn't he graduate.
I had repeatedly heard rumors that his departure was related to an election he entered to become student president. I had heard that he was being his usual negative self and was just being a generally unpleasant person. Because of this, and the fact that when the school paper refused to endorse him, he and his cronies snatched up as many copies of that issue of the paper as they could and destroyed them. Despite of, or maybe because of, his shenanigans, Walker had his butt handed to him in a 80-20 landslide, or so the story went. It was shortly after this that Walker left school.
The story said he left in disgrace and embarrassment due to his boorish behaviors and the massive routing.
A few days ago, a faithful reader forwarded an email to me that included this text:
Being an email that appeared to be circulated, I was skeptical of its veracity. However, I did manage to find said comment, which can be found here and reads thus:
Why did Republican candidate for governorleave without graduating?
And was he punished for trying to rig an election in which he was a candidate for student government president?
The circumstances surrounding his departure from Marquette remain murky. The best information about what happened may be in his student records.
At the end of the 1988 or 1989 school year, Walker was a candidate for student government president.
Walker and a few people who were at the University likely know the full story. University records about students are generally confidential. However, Walker could ask the University to make those records public.
A little-noticed allegation raised publicly about Walker about a year-and-a-half ago may be old news. What makes the allegation unusual is that the person who made it revealed his name. Anonymous allegations, especially about political candidates, are generally considered less reliable.
What makes the allegation more unusual is that the name of the person matches that of a person associated with Marquette.
Steven Blackwood confirms that he has written about Walker's time at Marquette. However, Blackwood says he knows nothing about the reasons that Walker left without graduating.
On January 8, 2009 on Milwaukee Rising carried a posting from Blackwood.
Part of the posting is:
"He's a great smoozer.
"Pretty good for a guy who ran for student government President at Marquette University in 1988, losing because, angry at not being endorsed by the Marquette Tribune (the paper liked both candidates), he had his cronies go around and seize piles of the paper and toss the,. (typo) Subsequently, the paper endorsed his opponent. Side note: Scotty never did graduate."
The comments do not say if Walker was expelled or punished in any way. They also did not indicate if others were punished.
Blackwood works at the MU Raynor Memorial Libraries, according to a University website. A search of several websites shows a Steven Blackwood of Milwaukee has donated $1,100 to presidential candidates. However, nothing indicates any donations to any candidates for governor by a person with the same name.Walker can authorize the release of his student records. Will he?
Is this an old allegation that has been discredited? If so, it should not reflect on Walker's qualifications.
Walker's campaign has not replied to a request for comment.
It is unfortunate that Walker’s opponent from the last election, Lena Taylor, actually a normally savvy woman, hadn’t run such a lackluster campaign. Another part of the problem is that Walker, early on, found the value of constantly appearing in the media over the years whether he knew anything or not (often not). He’s a great smoozer.
Pretty good for a guy who ran for student government President at Marquette University in 1988, losing because, angry at not being endorsed by the Marquette Tribune (the paper liked both candidates), he had his cronies go around and seize piles of the paper and toss the,. Subsequently, the paper endorsed his opponent. Side note: Scotty never did graduate.
And yes, there is a Steven Blackwood at Marquette University, and who appears to be active in politics, at least in donations. Now, not being a conservative blogger, I don't have the luxury of being able to do phone calls or open record requests during the work day, so I have not been able to confirm that these are all the same person. But there is, I believe, enough circumstantial evidence to make it considered plausible.
To further increase suspicions, the Democrats had also been doing their homework. They sent out this press release, including this tidbit:
In February, 1988, Walker admitted violating Marquette campaign rules during his run for student government president and the Marquette Tribune deemed him "unfit" for office after finding Walker's campaign guilty of "mudslinging," and after reports that his campaign was throwing out copies of the paper that contained information damaging to Walker.Mmm, trying to stifle a voice that was critical of him. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Walker left the university not long afterward.
(By the way, here is the flier that the Dems were distributing at the debate.)
The fact that Walker has refused to release his transcripts, along with this information, raises questions if Walker left school on his own volition, as he claims, or if there was another reason.
Walker should just come clean and release his transcripts. It would be better to be honest about a poor decision than to have it come out this way or leave room for further speculation. But then again, that kind of integrity just doesn't seem to be in Walker's character.
Their Senate hopeful, Ron Johnson, is having a problem getting his identity straightened out. A prime example would be the way he presents himself as a self-made millionaire, but in reality, he made his money by marrying into it. He has also been having problems getting himself caught up in trying to figure out what his positions is on most topics, whether it be his stock in BP or sunspots.
Perpetual gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker has also been proven to be a fraud many times over. He claims to drive an old Saturn around, but in actually is chauffeured in a big, black SUV. He claims to be so frugal he uses a bag lunch, yet spends thousands of dollars at Ruth's Chris. He claims to spend our money like it was his own, but he gives himself a $50,000 boost in pay and then buys a new house with a big pool, while we get crumbling buildings and insufficient services.
The latest of the Grand Old Pretenders is Rebecca Kleefisch. She is just getting her name out there, but is already showing great pretending potential. She is portraying her as some sort of Jane Common Woman who understands how tough times are because she is also struggling.
But the evidence seems to contradict those claims. First there is the question if she really owns an iPhone or not. A la Walker, she claims to drive an old beat up minivan everywhere, but as we can see in this video, this is no minivan:
And for someone who has to cut coupons and cut down on her groceries because she is so heavily taxed, she sure has a nice home with hard wood floors and granite counter tops in the kitchen:
While I won't give out her address, let's just say a house by Okauchee Lake can run over a third of a million.
Is it any wonder that the GOP is having problems getting their messages out in a clear fashion, when they can't even decide on who they really are? It is amazing that anyone would be able to support people that aren't even honest on who they are.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Last week, on August 19th, Herman decided to send out a foolish tweet regarding President Obama's faith:
But the fun didn't stop there. That very same day, he also sent out a Mark Belling-esque tweet regarding illegal immigration:
The Republican National Committee is distancing itself from a personal tweet sent by one of its directors that suggested President Barack Obama had once admitted his Muslim heritage.
Late last week, the committee's new media director, Todd Herman, posted an item asking whether the president was among the 20 percent of the public who thinks he was a Muslim. The tweet linked to an old interview Obama gave in which he stumbled, verbally, in trying to explain why people were confused about his religion.
Asked whether the tweet was RNC sanctioned, spokesman Doug Heye replied, "no," before offering perhaps the fullest distancing yet of any Republican entity from the Obama-is-a-Muslim rumors.
How many times do we have to see this kind of crap, especially among the higher ranks of the Republicans, before they admit that this isn't a fluke for them?
"I don't want to be perceived as a threat to anyone," Krause said Monday. "I just want to be safe, like everyone else."If that is true, then don't wear a gun while doing your gardening and acting like a schmuck in general.
Earlier: In The Wild, Wild West (Allis)
Monday, August 23, 2010
Milwaukee County First's take on all this can be found here.
Uppity Wisconsin also sounds off on the issue.
But the line of the day goes to James Rowen for this:
I'll bet Walker's people are meeting overtime to figure out what to do.Also his office staff.
That's a good thing.
Because that means 20,000 people have seen what a fool he is making of himself with his false promises and his willingness to destroy the state, like he is trying to destroy Milwaukee County.
Why do I say that?
From Channel3000, who did an independent fact check on it, and came up with this conclusion:
First, the state would subsidize Amtrak's operating costs for the line, but the Wisconsin Fiscal Bureau estimates it would cost $7.5 million, not $10 million. Taxpayers are already spending about $6 million a year on the Hiawatha line, which is the same rail line connecting Milwaukee to Chicago, WISC-TV reported.Lying to people and then threatening to make a bad economy unsalvagable is not a good way to impress and win over the voters.
But can he really stop the train? While Walker is claiming he can, he has not said how he would do it or what he is willing to sacrifice.Any federal money spent on the project, which could be anywhere from $60 million to $100 million by January, would have to be paid back to the government, and that would blow a large a hole in a new governor's state budget.
In other words, keep up the good work, Scooter!
If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.I lost count, but how many anti-gay Republican politicians turned out to be gay lately? Perhaps they're quiet because they know it could cost them their jobs and their prestige with other Republicans.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
But the bigger question is this: Why would any homosexual, Republican or Democrat, have to demand respect? What is wrong with us as a society that we still can't respect people without them having to fight for even a level playing field?
Sunday, August 22, 2010
- Milwaukee County First: More Details Emerge About BHD
- Fairly Conservative: You just don't understand.
- The Political Environment: More Horror Stories From County Care Facility: How Thick Is Walker's Teflon?
- Milwaukee County First: Will Scott Walker Ever Take Responsibility?
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The normally Walker-friendly local paper isn't buying into his crap on MMSD:
Walker has suggested separating sewers in the combined sewer area in Milwaukee and Shorewood piecemeal; the work would be done when the municipalities do the routine street maintenance. It’s an idea worthy of discussion, but it should be remembered that separating the sewers in this way would be costly and slow.The Dems are taking full advantage of Walker's spewage problem with this video, once again showing that Walker turned his back on his constituents when they needed him the most:
Remember: Overflows also happened in areas with separated sewers. Separating the sewers may have mitigated what happened in July but could not have prevented a serious overflow or some backed-up basements in older neighborhoods. To get a handle on that issue, homeowners and municipalities need to address the miles of possibly leaky local sewer lines and laterals.
Calling Lake Michigan Tom Barrett’s toilet — as the Walker campaign did in a recent news release — is a particularly odious charge. Coupled with the “Soul Train Line” tweet the other day from the Walker campaign, which was at the least stupid and insensitive, helps sets the tone for a nasty fall campaign if Walker and Barrett win their September primaries.
Wisconsin voters deserve better.
Walker's failure to lead is becoming as clear in his campaign as it is has his pretending to be the county executive.
ADDENDUM: James Rowen also reminds us that Walker was polluting Bradford Beach and it was the same MMSD that he now maligns that pulled his butt out of that particular sling.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Following a campaign stop in Brookfield, Walker was asked about the staffers' forwarding of the video. He contends the controversy won't hurt his standing among African-American voters.Walker is correct in this statement. Given that most of the job cuts and service cuts have targeted African-American workers and recipients of services, I don't think Walker's standing could get much lower.
Alameda Superior Court Judge Steven Brick ruled Aug. 9 that there are "serious questions" about the legality of furloughs and issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking all furloughs for Local 1000-represented employees, regardless of funding source. Thursday afternoon the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco rejected the governor's attempt to overturn our court victory blocking furloughs. Governor Schwarzenegger immediately asked the California Supreme Court to review the ruling.I hope Scott Walker is paying attention. AFSCME already has a number of actions pending about Walker's abuse of power regarding furloughs and unfair bargaining tactics.
In his ruling, Judge Brick wrote that the furloughs have depleted state employees' savings, hurt their credit, brought on foreclosures and have even threatened many families' ability to afford food and medicine.
The judge wrote that Local 1000 "made a sufficient showing of great or irreparable harm to at least some of their members through the 30 plus declarations."
Brick credited the member statements for showing the balance of harm was on workers.
"Judge Brick was not convinced that furloughing of these employees was going to do anything to address the $19 billion deficit that was used to justify the furloughs," added Felix De La Torre, Local 1000's lead attorney on the case.
Rory Kuenzi of Weyauwega, will be tried on homicide charges by a jury from outside of Waupaca County. According to a press release from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, the ruling was made Thursday in Waupaca County Circuit Court.
Last December Rory Kuenzi was bound over for trial on homicide charges after a preliminary hearing. The criminal complaint charged Kuenzi with Hit and Run Resulting in Death and Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle in the October 23, 2004, death of Kevin McCoy, whose body was found just north of State Highway 54, in the town of Farmington in Waupaca County.
Walter Engel who was charged with perjury for allegedly making false statements while under oath was also bound over for trial at the December 2009 joint preliminary hearing. A judge ruled Wednesday Walter Engel will have a separate trial from Kuenzi
At the preliminary hearing, a witness testified that he observed Kuenzi who was intoxicated leave an underage drinking party driving his truck south bound on Butts Road. The witness testified he heard a thump, saw a shoe come up from Kuenzi’s truck and that Kuenzi then stopped and got out of his truck. The witness testified Kuenzi, with the assistance of the witness, carried McCoy’s body off the road. Kuenzi then left that location without leaving any information concerning his identity, address, or registration number of his vehicle. Kuenzi did not render any assistance to McCoy. Witnesses at the party indicate Kuenzi was intoxicated when he left the party.
Kuenzi’s trial is scheduled for November 15, 2010 when a jury will be selected.
A 9-year-old girl got quite the surprise at the Athens Fair Thursday.
Video is available at the link.
Amanda Szomi battles a severe skin conditions that blisters her skin both inside and out.
The one thing that takes her mind off the constant pain his riding a horse named Prince. Prince belongs to a fellow rider named Kristin Heller. After seeing the friendship and bond between Amanda and her horse, Heller decided to surprise the young rider and hand over the reins to Amanda.
Everyone was in on the surprise and when the big reveal came, Amanda was speechless. A few people in the crowd teared up as the owner handed Prince over.
Amanda said that fairytales really do come true and that her Prince had finally come.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Walker, the establishment candidate, who after years of campaigning, finally won the blessing of the State GOP as well as Republican groups around the nation. One of these groups, the Republican Governors Association ran a misleading attack ad on Barrett, claiming that Barrett would cost jobs in Wisconsin if he were to be elected.
From the JSOnline blog covering this issue:
Barrett then went up with an ad saying Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, was blaming Barrett for problems such higher unemployment, which the Barrett ad said was "ridiculous."
But the Walker campaign says the ad wasn’t their work, but the RGA’s.
Walker’s campaign manager Keith Gilkes is now calling the Barrett ad a “big fat lie.” Walker’s Washington, D.C.-based attorney has asked TV stations across the state to refrain from broadcasting it.
“The Barrett campaign not only misattributed an advertisement to the Walker campaign, but it also built an entire advertisement of its own around it in order to call Walker a liar,” attorney Glenn M. Willard told station managers in an e-mail.
And this is where the hypocrisy from Walker and his campaign comes in so fast and heavy, and from so many directions, that it gets layered upon itself. There are three incidents of hypocrisy, which I will present in reverse order of importance.
Secondly, Walker's camp is not exactly being straight forward with their cries of innocence. While it is true that the RGA paid for the anti-Barrett ad, Walker cannot say that he is not supporting the lies told in that ad.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Walker had this up on his official campaign blog:
Unfortunately the Barrett Campaign and their "heavy on pages, light on substance" jobs plan fail to acknowledge the thrust of the "Be Bold" report: Wisconsin's high taxes and anti-business government leaders are killing jobs like crazy.
Tom Barrett glazes over this time and again because he has no plan to address it. He will be a third term of Jim Doyle and that means high taxes, high spending, and if we're lucky every once in a while he will try to "save or create" a job or two by throwing millions of your tax dollars at a company to make our miserable business climate a bit more tolerable.
This kind of attack has been going on for months, as indicated by Walker's press release on May 20:
“Unlike Tom Barrett, Scott doesn’t need to ‘consult a tax expert’ to know that a $22.5 million tax hike kills jobs and drives away business,” said Gilkes in reference to Harley Davidson’s losses this year as a result of combined reporting, a tax Barrett supports. “Tom Barrett has raised taxes in Madison, in Washington, and in Milwaukee, and the recent Doyle-Barrett water rate hikes are now threatening to drive away the 1,500 jobs at MillerCoors. Barrett is lock step with Jim Doyle in supporting the same type of big government thinking that got us into this mess to begin with – a love for a boondoggle $810 million taxpayer funded train from Milwaukee to Madison, and going gaga for a global warming bill that threatens to cost Wisconsin 43,000 jobs.”For Walker to play innocent of the misleading statements in the anti-Barrett ad is hypocrisy number two.
The most egregious example of Walker's hypocrisy, just from this one story, is about the whole issue of jobs itself. As the ad that Walker doesn't want people to see points out, Barrett has an established record of bringing companies and hundreds of jobs to Milwaukee:
Walker on the other hand, is personally responsible for the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, through his own decisions to continuously slash bus routes, lay off county workers, and generally lower the quality of life in Milwaukee County. Walker really should worry more about undoing the damage he has been doing than trying to tear down other people.
Afterthought: Another bonus level of hypocrisy from Walker is just the fact that he is complaining about anyone else's ad being negative and/or misleading. I am still waiting for the first thing to come from Walkers campaign that isn't either negative and/or misleading.
Governor Doyle immediately pledged to file an appeal.
Scott Walker shrugged and said that local leaders did all they could do and went back to full campaign mode.
Tom Barrett, who already has shown himself to be many times the leader that Walker wishes he could be, took action to support Doyle's appeal. Barrett and Common Council President Willie Hines made an announcement of a survey push that will aid Doyle's appeal:
City of Milwaukee Announces Survey Push in Preparation for FEMA AppealThank goodness that at least the City of Milwaukee has a good leader. Maybe by 2012, when Walker loses again, the County will too.
In response to historic flooding throughout Milwaukee County on July 22, 2010, the State of Wisconsin made an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). While FEMA did make a declaration granting assistance for damage to schools and public property, it did not grant emergency status for individual assistance. Governor Doyle is appealing that decision, but the City of Milwaukee must work to arm that appeal with as much appropriate data as possible.
To that end, we are collecting information on damage to sleeping spaces, as part of the appeal process. Basements are NOT considered living units (even if they are furnished) unless they served as sleeping spaces. (This specifically means flooded basements in which individuals are or had been sleeping).
The City of Milwaukee is partnering with non-profits, community groups and neighborhood associations – especially in those areas hardest hit by the flood – to distribute surveys of homes with sleeping spaces that were damaged as a result of flooding. If you live in an area that suffered severe flooding, you will likely see people conducting surveys. NO ONE CONDUCTING THIS SURVEY WILL ENTER YOUR HOME. (However, an official FEMA representative may have to enter a home to verify the survey at a later date). Survey signatures serve as a type of affidavit, so it is not necessary for homes to be entered at the time of survey completion.
If your basement or flooded area served as a sleeping space for someone in your home, and you are concerned about not being counted via our public survey, we ask that you be counted for the city’s FEMA appeal by doing one of the following:1. Call your alderman (414-286-2221), and he or she will arrange for you to fill out a survey, or**MEDIA ARE WELCOME TO PROMOTE THESE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARTICIPATION**
2. Come to the City of Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda (200 E. Wells St.) during one of two designated times; the survey takers will be stationed in the rotunda TOMORROW (Friday, Aug. 20), from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., as well as Saturday (Aug. 21) morning, from 9 a.m. to Noon.
For further questions, please call Desiree Matel-Anderson, Homeland Security Fiscal and Compliance Monitor: 414.286.5744.
We appreciate your cooperation as the City of Milwaukee attempts to put itself in the best position for our appeal to FEMA. Thank you.
He will have to get them to believe he could actually stop this train from coming, when in reality, he can't. He will also have to get people to believe that the train only goes from Milwaukee to Madison and back, when in reality, it will reach all across the nation. He will also have to convince people that live up north that some angry cranks in Waukesha County represent the majority and that people really don't need the jobs that will come with the train being built.
But it appears that Walker's train game is already coming off its tracks.
Cindy Kilkenny points out that this whole train game is a last minute gimmick. She also raises the question about if this is just another sign that his internal polling numbers are still showing that he is in deep trouble when it comes to the primary, which he still likes to pretend isn't going to happen.
And now the pro-train advocates are standing up to him. JSOnline points out that they have built their own website to fight back to tell Walker and Mark Neumann that they are daft for thinking that they are more powerful than this locomotive.
I have a feeling that this, like most of Walker's other schemes, will fizzle out within a week.
But has anyone else also wondered if there is a subliminal message in Walker's website? I have to wonder why he picked www.notrain.com as his address. He says that it stands for "No Train."
But given his recent behaviors, and the way he abandoned Milwaukee County and his responsibilities towards it, I find it much more likely that it really stands for "Not Rain."
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
“It’s unfortunate that the decision was made to publicly connect a Soul Train video with the proposed high-speed rail line. The video was not appropriate in this context and demonstrates that some of the staff members working for Scott Walker are naïve and unsophisticated. This behavior also diminishes the importance of public transportation in our community.Eugene Kane, columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, also opined on the matter. The key takeaway part of it comes at the end of his piece on the issue:
“As Chairman of the Milwaukee County Board, it is my duty to denounce actions that reflect poorly on Milwaukee County. I expect Scott Walker to immediately issue a public apology for the behavior of his political staffers. He should personally admit that this was a mistake so we can all move on to more pressing issues facing Milwaukee County.”
It would be easier to dismiss the gaffe as an honest mistake if not for the fact neither Republican candidate for governor seems to be making much effort to court African-American votes. Walker's hard-line stance against government spending pretty much ensures he's not going to make any promises to help low-income black residents in a city like Milwaukee.
It's hard to find many black people at all in any of the recent political ads by either Walker or Mark Neumann.
If that's what's ahead for black voters, it would at least be comforting to know the Republican candidates understand the need not to let clueless aides send out snarky messages that could be construed as racist. It will also be interesting to see what Walker has to say about this flap the next time he appears on local black radio, which I hope he does soon.
After all, the governor is supposed to represent everybody in Wisconsin, even the ones who used to watch "Soul Train" for the music and not the politics.
I am glad that these men aren't listening to the white, conservative Walker supporters who keep insisting that they don't have the right to feel that Team's Walker's actions were offensive.
It's the budget gimmick that Scott Walker is using to make himself look like a fiscal genius, but will only end up costing Milwaukee County tax payers tens of millions of dollars as he racks up a deficit that makes George Bush look like a miser.
Posted by sandstorm on Aug. 17, 2010 at 4:07 p.m.
"Walker is actually running something..."
seriously? this is an accomplishment?
Tony Hayward was running BP Oil.
you wanna brag on that guy?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
“An honest mistake was made by a staffer that forwarded a message from a blogger that linked to a video rather than a blog post. When it was brought to our attention, she immediately removed the message and apologized to anyone that was offended by it.”As Tom Barrett and others have already pointed out, it was not "an honest mistake." That much was given away when she tried to convince people that she couldn't tell the difference between "youtube" and "hotair."
Furthermore, the blogger that Walker refers to was Michael Brickman, Walker's own campaign blogger! I am only surprised that the rest of the campaign staff didn't retweet it as well, as is their wont.
That would be like someone apologizing for hitting you in the face because their fist accidentally followed their clenched fingers.
And Walker shouldn't even consider saying Brickman's action was a mistake either. When Brickman started his tweet with the word "Ha!" it would indicate that he had indeed viewed the video and found it funny.
No one shouldn't be surprised by Walker's inability to issue a proper apology, though. First of all, if he had done that correctly, it would have been the first time he did something right in a long time, and he wouldn't want to break his streak. Secondly, as I pointed out last night, race baiting has been a long standing practice of Walker's, so he probably can't even conceive on how it was offensive.
Last night, we saw what was supposed to be a full on attack by Team Walker in response to President Barack Obama coming to town to do some fund raising for Tom Barrett. But even before they got started, they stumbled on the poor road conditions caused by Walker's hypocrisy.
They picked up the momentum today, even getting some national attention for their gimmick.
However, true to their nature, Team Walker managed to screw it up.
Perhaps being a little too giddy from what they perceive to be a rout coming in the primary, they got overconfident and slipped up.
Michael Brickman, Walker's official campaign blogger, started the train wreck by tweeting a race-baiting comment to an article at Hot Air, which included a video of a group of people, predominately African American, dancing to the song "C'mon'n Ride It (The Train)."
This was retweeted by Walker's communication director, Jill Bader:
Both Brickman and Bader have since deleted their respective tweets.
Stephanie Findley, an African American woman, took offense at their insensitivity and inappropriateness and called them out on it, giving them even more national attention:
"On the day President Obama visited Milwaukee, the spokeswoman for Scott Walker, the endorsed Republican candidate for governor, posted to Twitter a video meant to mock the ongoing high-speed rail plans of this administration. There are many humorous ways to get the point across. Instead, the Walker campaign reached way back to the 1990s to dredge up a video featuring primarily African-American dancers. It would be naive to suggest that there are no racial overtones in the timing and the content of this communication by the Walker campaign. At best, it is tasteless and needlessly provocative. At worst, it recalls the coded racial program of division that has been exploited in the past. In either case, Scott Walker must apologize."
Bader then made it even worse for herself and her team when she tried to cover up her screw up with another tweet:
James Wigderson only adds to the mess by trying to rationalize Team Walker's misdeeds and then through up the red herring of the James T. Harris case. Note to James: Findley didn't need to be told that it was offensive, like Harris did. And to further cement that he is losing ground as being a serious writer, he decides to just insult everyone.
Illusory Tenant further disproves that it was an "accident" by pointing out that it is pretty difficult to mistake the two links for each other:
Then Jill Bader further expects you to believe she thought that a URL containing the hypertext protocol http://youtu.be was in fact a link to a blog post at http://hotair. I don't know which you're supposed to swallow: either of those ridiculous expectations, or the fact that she's the communications director for a serious gubernatorial candidate.And since they seem to enjoy the national spotlight, Jill Bader will be glad to know that for her birthday, she was named as Keith Olberman's Worst Person in America.
Now, if this was an isolated incident, I might have been willing to go along with it being an accident.
However, it is hard to swallow that when the chairman of Walker's campaign, Michael Grebe, is also the CEO of the Bradley Foundation, which had put up the money to publish the highly racist book "The Bell Curve."
And lest we forget, about ten months ago, Walker and his buddies at CRG were trying to force the bogus budget down our throats by playing the race-baiting card against Lee Holloway.
There's just too many coincidences for it to be a mere "accident."
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Scott Walker is practically besides himself about this, since he knows the President will be bringing in lots of money for Barrett. And this spells trouble for Walker who is having problems handling his own campaign money.
In response to Obama's appearance, Walker has a new video slamming the high speed rail, and the jobs, that are coming to Wisconsin. In said advertisement, he claims that he would stop the rail (and the jobs that come with it) and "use it to fix the roads and highways" of Wisconsin.
Cindy Kilkenny, beating me to the punch, points out that it's a bit ironic that Walker would actually be standing on a road that is all tore up, and wonders "what kind of politician would admit to letting that road exist in his domain?"
But the irony doesn't end there.
It is rather remarkable that Walker has taken such a sudden interest in the infrastructure. He is the one that allowed Milwaukee County roads to become in such bad shape that even one of his most rabid supporters and henchmen, Orville Seymour of the ridiculously named Citizens for Responsible Government, was decrying their horrible condition at a budget hearing last year:
One thing he complained about the road conditions, namely College Avenue and 13th Street. I wonder if he realized that he was echoing Milwaukee County First in his criticism of Walker's neglect of the county's infrastructure.Now, even when Walker's most loyal and fervent backers admit that he can't maintain a road worth a darn, why does he think he should use road maintenance as a talking point for his campaign?
His irresponsible statement came in an after debate interview and was reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Walker said he didn't graduate because he got a job and he suggested that in the current economy college students close to graduating might consider doing the same.Just like almost everything else coming out of Walker's campaign, this is a tremendously ignorant thing to say.
If people were to actually follow Walker's advice, the unemployment situation, as bad as it is, would end up being exponentially worse.
However, via Caffeinated Politics, we learn that on Sunday morning, Laura Tyson, a member of the president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, appeared on This Week. Some of her comments were on the relationship between education and employment:
And then, finally, we have to worry about the longer-run problem of this structural employment, because I'm going to point out one thing for this discussion. The unemployment problem is primarily a problem for people who have a high school -- who don't have a high school education or just have a high school education.
Unemployment for those with college educations is now 4.5 percent. Unemployment for those with more than a college education, below 4 percent. We have a problem of education in this country, and we have to educate more of our young people fully through college education. Let's take this as an opportunity to do that.
If people were to follow Walker's suggestions, they would have a three to four times greater chance of being unemployed.
Not only would Walker be a bad governor, he is a shameful and inappropriate role model for today's youth.
And for any article about Scott walker:
See the rest here.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Unfortunately, there was no broadcast of the debate on TV or the radio, so unless you were actually there, there is no direct way of telling who really one.
But I did notice a few things that would indicate that Neumann won this debate as well.
One thing is that he and his campaign were much better prepared. During the debate, one of his staffers was tweeting Neumann's statements and positions for the whole world to see.
Team Walker, on the other hand, didn't even acknowledge that there was a debate scheduled, much less what happened. Jill Bader, Walker's communications director, at least acknowledged it in the form of a retweet, but the rest of it was regarding State Fair. Michael Brickman, Walker's blogger (on the official official blog) has nothing about the debate either. My good buddy, Ashley Moore (aka ashleestarin), Walker's logistics person, has nothing either.
It's like all of Team Walker was avoiding the subject altogether.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sent a reporter to the debate. It was noted that Walker resisted talking about his own record as a career politician, and his dismal record as county executive by attacking Tom Barrett, the presumed Democratic nominee.
Since Walker's campaign was avoiding all mention of the debate, and Walker continues to evade dealing with his failures as county executive, it is likely that he failed in this debate as well.
What was most alarming was Walker's attitude towards education (emphasis mine):
In an interview with reporters after the debate, Neumann declined to criticize Walker's educational background. Walker attended Marquette University but did not graduate.
Walker said he didn't graduate because he got a job and he suggested that in the current economy college students close to graduating might consider doing the same.
What an irresponsible statement to make! Besides the fact that college graduates earn more money, in this troubled economy (which Walker wants to bring further into ruin with his Bush-style economics), it is important for people to have every advantage they can. And a college education is an undeniable advantage.
Perhaps if Walker finished his degree, he would have realized the importance of balanced budgets and of proper and timely maintenance.
Channel 12, WISN-TV, also covered the debate after the fact. In their news video, they unwittingly air a very ironic statement from Walker regarding health care. Walker stated that he did not feel that the federal or state government has a right to tell people what to do with their health care. That is an odd thing for Walker to say, considering that for the first seven of his eight years as county executive, he did the very thing which he claims now to oppose while running the GAMP program.
I must say though that I have a deeper appreciation of the frustration Neumann supporters are feeling. If Neumann wants to win he primary, he will need to continue to press his advantages over Walker, including Walker's hypocrisy and failures as county executive. It can be done without making it appear as an attack, even though Walker's people are so adept at playing the martyr that it is irrelevant of whether Neumann does attack or not.
*NOTE: The name of the sponsoring group has been changed for accuracy.