Sunday, September 25, 2011

Walkergate: Tea Parties, Emails and Cronies! Oh My!

I have been repeatedly approached by several people stating that most of the state was not and still are not aware of Scott Walker's long record of misdeeds, corruption and misconduct in office.  In an effort to help change this, I have decided to retell and update many of the problems that we have seen in Milwaukee County during his regime here.  In return, I ask you, gentle reader, to share these reports with your family and friends, both in real life and in the cyberworld.

The following is a small but significant example of the complexity and the depth of Walker's machinations and corruption.

Before I start, I need to remind the gentle reader of a blogsite that existed back then,*, which I had mentioned in the Introduction to Walkergate.  It was long suspected that members of Scott Walker's county staff and/or campaign staff were behind this blog.  I have heard from people with knowledge of the Walkergate probe that county staff were indeed involved with this pseudo-campaign webpage.  Incidentally, I have also learned that Rose Ann Dieck, the ranking member of the Milwaukee County Republicans who was granted immunity in Walkergate, is supposed to be a bit of a computer expert.
I was also told if you want to learn more about her, you'd better do it fast because the Republicans are systematically trying to scrub her name from their documents. was often vitriolic and only wrote paeans to Scott Walker and viciously tore into anyone who would stand in his way, like Mark Neumann, Tom Barrett, and I, your humble host and writer. (I felt quite honored that Team Walker would consider me such a threat that they had to repeatedly attack me and try to discredit me. It also told me that I was on the right track.)  Or in other words, was saying all the the things the Walker campaign wanted to say, but didn't want tied to them.

Now, on to the story.

Two years ago, there was a Tea Party rally which was held at a Milwaukee County public park.  Fellow blogger and good friend, Brew City Brawler went to said rally and took some photos of the event.  One photo in particular caught my attention:

As you can see, this is a banner that was banner outside the rally, proudly pronouncing that the rally was being sponsored by Americans for Prosperity.  (It is already common knowledge that Americans for Prosperity, and the whole Tea Party movement is funded by the Koch Brothers.)

But what caught my eye is that on the far left side, in the center, is the logo for the Milwaukee County Parks.  That made me very curious.  Did Scott Walker authorize that? Was he saying that Milwaukee County was supporting the Tea Party?  If so, that would be highly improper and a clear abuse of his powers.

So, as the Chair of Milwaukee County First, a group that was created to stand up for the people of Milwaukee County as opposed to the special interests (yes, Walker was doing the same stuff back then too), I sent an email to the county executive's office asking for an explanation of what the parks logo was doing on the banner.

The people behind saw my post and sent an Open Records Request about my inquiry.

Even before I could see the reply from Walker's office, they had their reply and had posted a piece on it.  Because the people behind wiped out their blog shortly after Darlene Wink got caught blogging on county time and on county equipment, I cannot provide a working link to their post.  However, due to the miracle of modern technology, namely Google Reader and screencaps, I have been able to recapture the post in following two pictures:

Wow! They really showed me what for, didn't they?  But more on that in a moment.

Right now, I need to point out to the reader something peculiar about how they got the information.  As I mentioned above, they did an Open Records Request, but they didn't use a name, per se, but only identified themselves by their blog title. Then Walker's office gave them their requested information rapidly and for free. That's not usually how they worked, especially if you weren't one of the faithful.

Cory Liebmann, intrepid blogger and skilled researcher, did his own ORR and found the information that I just shared with you.  In fact, Liebmann has a good summary of some of the lines Walker has blurred, if not flat out crossed, in his campaigns and job as county executive.  It really is a must read.

But now for the answer that I received from Fran McLaughlin, who was Walker's Director of Communications at the county, and who, according to sources familiar with the investigation, is embroiled in Watergate as much as any of Walker's other top aides, as well as the desperate hit piece from

I did indeed post the answer the night I received it. But even as they gave me their answer, I found holes in their explanation. ;There was a person claiming that it was not Americans for Prosperity which sponsored the event, even though their name is on the banner, but another group calling itself the Grandsons of Liberty. (Don't you just love how all these right wing groups come up with such patriotic and completely ironic and improperly applied names?)

But I found that the person claiming responsibility for the Tea Party and Walker's spokeswoman were completely contradicting each other on at least two points:
One: Walker’s office said that the banner was not required. The rally organizer said it was.

Two: Walker’s office said that the County had no knowledge of them using the logo. The rally organizer said that County provided it.
So who's telling the truth? Who knows? For all we know, even this contradiction was contrived to help muddy the waters even further.

To summarize this whole thing, we know that there was a Koch-funded Tea Party rally held at a Milwaukee County park, and that the park logo was on the banner proudly announcing the rally. It doesn't really matter which front group sponsored it. But the request for information from the official unofficial campaign blog for Scott Walker, which all information available points to Darlene Wink of being a contributor, was directed to Wink. Then when Walker's spokeswoman supplied her answer, it immediately appeared on the blogsite. And this once mystery group was able to get the requested information and pay the obscenely overcharges that Walker would charge an average citizen.

So to summarize the summary, Walker was already playing up to the Koch Brothers using County property. To keep this relationship and overreach of his powers from receiving too much attention, he and his politically appointed cronies would give incomplete and/or inaccurate information, often at overly inflated prices, to those who did not support him. But if it was an ally (or one of his own staff) the restrictions magically lifted and accurate information was presented promptly and at very low price, if not for free.

Are you starting to see the pattern yet?

The actual url of the site was interesting in itself:  It does make one think it was a campaign site, doesn't it?


  1. There is one other thing that keeps coming back to mind. When Scott Walker left the office of County Executive, he stripped that office clean of all paperwork and computers. It would be interesting if the investigators will get their hands on those hard drives and boxes of files.

    Walker did a pretty good clean up job, but as we know, his group is a bit sloppy with the details.

  2. shouldn't walker be charged with theft, destruction, corruption of government documents?

  3. I have been mostly unaware of Mr. Walker's track record.

    All summaries of past deeds are very helpful to those of us not in the populated corner of the state. Thanks!

    I would like to know which people in the other branches of our state government are "in" with Mr. Walker. I am afraid my own representatives are making deals in political circles where they can step into "higher office" appointments...

  4. I second the 12:21 comment. I would like to know more as well. I did not know this information at all.

  5. Thank you. These posters who didn't know what we knew in Milwaukee also probably didn't know that two-thirds of Milwaukee County voters voted AGAINST Walker for governor.

    And it wasn't because we wanted to keep him as our county exec.

    He screwed this county, he screwed up this county, but no one wanted to hear what we had to say -- especially the pro-Walker media in Milwaukee. The same ones who pushed the recalls that got him into office as county exec but now think that recalls are such a bad idea.


  6. CJ-

    I believe that is what the house raids were all about. FBI agents invaded Cindy Archer's house, plus others that the media won't report, and pulled out computers and boxes of documents. In fact, they went so far as take a computer from one of Archer's neighbors, to whom she sold it.

  7. Two points:
    First, the FBI can re-create files, using master department backup files that Walker and his administrative staff may "think" they've destroyed. If so, that could prove terribly "inconvenient" for Walker.
    Second, SEVERAL of Walker's legislative supporters seem to play extremely important roles in executing his attack on the middle-class...including Scott & Jeff Fitzgerald, JB VanHollen, Rep Robin Vox and Sen. Alberta Darling. These folks should be investigated in detail...Vos & Darling in particular relation to their extreme commitment to the Wis Right-to-Life (RTL) agenda.

  8. Walker and his crew are the epitome of deceitful, self serving, maniacal, corrupt, psychopaths. Walker just leads the group. Psychopaths do not have the ability to feel empathy or even guilt. Anything goes as long as it serves their needs and it doesn't matter to them one iota who is hurt in the process. They can often pass lie detector tests without blinking and will steal or lie, cheat, spy, blackmail, bribe, harrass, and otherwise sell their souls to the devil or sell their mother's soul if it benefits them in some way. Just what we need in Wisconsin...