Saturday, May 3, 2014

Walkergate: Abele Doubles Down On Cover Up

A few days ago, I reported that Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele was giving aid and comfort to Scott Walker by refusing to do his job by not calling for the return of the Walkergate emails and documents, which are rightfully county property.

Abele's willful failure to perform his duties had become so egregious that the Milwaukee County Board, in a move spearheaded by Supervisor John Weishan, passed a resolution saying that Abele should do his job.

Now, seven months after my first call for Abele to do his job, the editorial board at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has finally figured it out as well:
But on Tuesday, county corporation counsel Paul Bargren said Abele could not release the documents because he doesn't have them and the decision to release them should be left to the judge. On Friday, Abele told us that he had essentially asked the judge, "Whatever you can release, please release." And that, if Nettesheim feels he can, he should release the records directly to the Journal Sentinel.

In the district attorney's office's response to the Journal Sentinel's request for return of the records, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf said the Journal Sentinel has no standing to ask for the records, at least partly because Abele hasn't asked for them, and that the records should remain under lock and key because they were once part of a secret investigation.

Those are bogus stances. Abele could — and should — make his request stronger. He should say in no uncertain terms that the records the Journal Sentinel is seeking belong to the public and should be released to the public. Merely saying he doesn't have the records is insufficient. Abele says he's an advocate for transparent government, and he has been in other cases. He can demonstrate that by asking for these records, as the County Board has asked. The judge may disagree; certainly, the district attorney's office will disagree. But if he is the open government advocate he claims to be, Abele should put more pressure on the judge rather than just leaving it up to Nettesheim.
Wait! What?! Did you catch that?!
And that, if Nettesheim feels he can, he should release the records directly to the Journal Sentinel.
So Abele claims to have made some weak call for the release of the emails and documents but then says the court should just give them over to the paper.

On second thought, maybe that isn't so shocking. Abele, like his BFF and mentor, Scott Walker, loves to give away public assets and property to the private sector.  Why not turn over the evidence of misconduct so that it can be properly buried or selectively revealed to protect the guilty and harm the innocent?

It is simply wrong for Abele to even suggest giving the emails and other documents to the corporate media. There would be no way to verify that the paper was releasing everything or that the documents weren't edited to fit their agenda.

Besides the questions that have been with the Walkergate saga all along - such as just how deep and how far did the corruption spread - another question has come up with Abele's stonewalling.

Who is Abele trying to protect?


  1. Absolutely right. While the secrecy codicils are at the presiding judge's discretion, the County government's need to know the operations of its offices by its prior occupant as lawful, ethical and keeping with the public faith is paramount. If Abele cannot make this argument, there is likely a compelling reason, and that reason has a bad odor.

  2. How Many People Has Fox News Killed With Their Lies About ObamaCare?

  3. The first John Doe probe was settled and closed. The records of Kelly Rindfleisch were subsequently released to the public, so why not the rest? This information is public property and we know that the secret router system was set up to evade freedom of information requests. It's not just for the Journal Sentinel to pick and choose what it cares to share with the public. Who made Dan Bice and MJS to be the sole and official investigative journalist on this whole controversy?
    The public at large wants to see these records and it has that right.