We have learned of some of these nefarious doings through the emails of Abele and his minions, some of which have been very revealing. And included in those revealing emails, we learn that a favorite henchman is his spokesman, Brendan Conway. We learned how Conway was responsible for releasing the attack on State Senator Chris Larson because Larson dared to oppose the hostile takeover.
We also had learned that County Supervisor Deanna Alexander was working in collaboration with Team Abele throughout the process. She was so cooperative with them, one might have mistaken her for one of Abele's staffers. As I have pored over the emails, there are numerous ones from Alexander to Abele's office, sharing County Board documents.
What we didn't realize was just how close of a working relationship Alexander had with Abele's office.
On February 5, 2013, we see that Conway sent Alexander an email that included a first draft of a press release stating that Alexander was calling for a state audit of the Board and Executive's office:
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Early the next morning, Alexander emails the County Board Communications Director, Velia Alvarez, asking her to send out an attached press release:
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The gentle reader can see the actual press release here. She also issued a rather childishly written memo including her proposed resolution. As the gentle reader can see, the wording has been altered to a small extent, but the gist is exactly the same.
The gentle reader should also take note that Alexander sent a blind carbon copy to Conway. This is a small but significant detail which will play a larger role shortly.
After Alexander issued her press release, Steve Schultze, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter who covers Milwaukee County, sent an email to Conway, asking how Abele felt about Alexander's proposal.
Conway's response to Schultze was particularly odd, considering that Alexander had included him in her email with the press release hours earlier:
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A little less than an hour later, Conway responds to Schultze, claiming that Abele was in Madison and unavailable, but issued a statement in favor of the audit. But even this was not without a hitch:
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Ironically, when the County Board called for a full audit, Abele dismissed it as being an attempt to stall for time. Can you say hypocrite?
Interestingly, Bruce Murphy of Urban Milwaukee caught this as well and asked Alexander about it on February 12, 2013. Her reply was rather telling in that she admitted that her audit was meant to be in collusion with the state's ramming through of the takeover. Also interesting is this time not only did she bcc Conway but included Representative Joe Sanfelippo, the sockpuppet that introduced the Plutocracy Bill for Abele and the GMC:
I find it interesting but not surprising that Team Abele would punk Schultze and try to get him to print what they want him too, just like Abele did with Aaron Rodriguez and other bloggers. But it appeared that Murphy was already square in Abele's pocket, so why did they need to punk him too? Was he still too independent in his thought or was it that they were just so used to pulling stunts like this that they couldn't help themselves.
While this whole sordid affair might not rise to the level of criminal activity, there is certainly some serious ethical questions. And speaking of questions, this new discovery raises many other questions which calls for further exploration:
- Did Conway write other press releases, commentary, or documents for Alexander?
- Did Alexander ask Conway to write the document(s) or did Abele tell him to do it?
- If Conway wrote the press release at Alexander's request, was Abele aware? (The emails shows that Conway sent a copy of his draft to Raisa Koltun, Abele's legislative aide.)
- If what they were doing was legitimate, why did they blind carbon copy each other so much? That would seem to be a tacit admission that what they were doing was at the very least unethical.
- Will the fact that Alexander was sharing so much information with Abele's office, will she be censured for it, like former Supervisor Lynne De Bruin was?
Stay tuned, gentle reader. I sense that when it comes to all things Abele - just like it does with his hero and role model, Scott Walker - there is more. There is always more.