Thursday, July 31, 2014

Realtors, WMC Wrote WI Supreme Court's No-Foul Ethics Rule

As you process the news that the conservative majority on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justices today validated Wrong-Way Walker's rollbacks of voting and collective bargaining rights - - and that several of the same Justices' campaigns were significantly funded by the WMC and other corporate special interests which also heavily back Walker - - do not forget that these same Justices let the WMC and the Realtors write for the Court a new ethics rule defining when - - basically, never - - recusals were in order by Judges and Justices to reduce conflicts-of-interest and enhance the appearance of fairness.

Yes, you read that right:
In response to [a tougher, independent proposal], the Wisconsin Realtors Association (“Realtors”) and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (“WMC”) filed separate petitions.[4] The petitions sought to amend the Judicial Code of Conduct to provide that recusal is not required in a proceeding based solely on any endorsement or receipt of a lawful campaign contribution from a party or entity involved in the proceeding. The petitions also sought clarification that a judge does not need to seek recusal where it would be based solely on a party in the case sponsoring an independent expenditure or issue advocacy communication in favor of the judge.
In a 4-3 decision,[5] the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the League’s petition and adopted the Realtors and WMC’s petitions. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, joined by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice N. Patrick Crooks, criticized the majority’s decision to adopt the rules calling it “a dramatic change to our judicial code of ethics.”[6] In particular, the dissent took issue with the majority’s decision to adopt petitions “proposed by special interest groups.”[7] Dissatisfied with the majority’s decision, the dissent urged the Legislature to “engage in further study of judicial recusal.”[8]
Part of a regrettable, embarrassing pattern.

And noted nationally, cited here:
The Center for American Progress surveys the states on judicial ethics, gives Wisconsin an "F," and slaps David Prosser's face at the top of the Internet version of the report.Read it here:
Wisconsin: F (35 points) 
Wisconsin received a failing grade after its state supreme court adopted a recusal rule that literally instructs judges not to recuse themselves from cases involving campaign contributors. In 2010, the four-justice conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted to institute a recusal rule written by the Wisconsin Realtors Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a group that subsequently donated nearly $1 million to support conservative Justice David Prosser’s re-election in 2011. The rule says that recusal is not required “based solely on … a lawful campaign contribution.” The majority’s comments that accompany the rule say that requiring recusal for campaign cash “would create the impression that receipt of a contribution automatically impairs the judge’s integrity.” In other words, the four justices in the conservative majority are worried that mandatory recusal would lead the public to think that judges are biased.

Add "Fugitive Dust" To Noxious WI Terminology. Is "Dirty Tier" Next?

The environmental news from Wisconsin is filled with confounding dissonance and double-speak, like nature preserve clear-cutting and mountaintop-removal, as law and policy here is intentionally distorted to degrade water, land, air and the state's reputation.

And here's another one, Bucky:

"Fugitive dust."

Perhaps followed by more beauties like "Fugitive Compliance." Or "Dirty Tier," and others crafted and already implemented by our "chamber of commerce mentality" environmental regulators. 

Now under the influence of consultants and other process-laden gurus, not wildlife protectors and nature preservationists.

Back to "fugitive dust," actually spotted when a Pennsylvania-based frac sand mining firmSmart Sand - - I kid you not - - allegedly let it loose into the people's air over Western Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources which found it among multiple air quality permit and rule violations at the mining site on August 30, 2012.

Intentional clean air violations can result in daily fines of $25,000, and six months jail time, as the DNR told the company in a November 9, 2012 letter.

Yet in the world the Walkerites have turned upside down, the same company is now urging the DNR to reward it with environmentally-green props, as the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters further explains:
An out-of-state frac sand mining company with a history of breaking environmental laws wants the state to label it “green.” The Smart Sand mining company has applied to the Department of Natural Resource’s Green Tier program. The Green Tier program is supposed to reward companies that have well-developed environmental management plans with a history of positive results. This criteria does not fit Smart Sand. 
Allowing Smart Sand to qualify for the Green Tier program would be tantamount to greenwashing – allowing a polluting company to market itself as environmentally friendly. And worse, it would degrade the value of the Green Tier standard for those companies who are truly committed to innovating and improving their environmental practices.
Take Action
ACT NOW: Say No to Greenwashing Frac Sand 


Framing Today's WI Supreme Court Pro-Walker Rulings

One last thought on media reporting that the Wisconsin Supreme Court's corporatist majority validated Walker's self-serving attacks on union and voting rights: Would you be stunned to see Nevada media report: 'Casino operators meet, agree house odds are fair.'

File Under, Big-Capacity Magazines Make A Deadly Difference. Again.

Another only-in-America gun lobby success story:  
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An angry husband sprayed his father-in-law's house with bullets from two 30-round magazines, killing two people, after his wife ran to the home during an argument Wednesday.
The man later exchanged gunfire with authorities and died of a gunshot wound after hitting several deputies and a state trooper, Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said.

"He just went wild," Butler said of the shooter. "I mean, shooting at random. He just turned it loose, that automatic. He unloaded it every time I think he pulled up there" in front of the victims' house...
Seven people were in the house when authorities say Andrew Michaelis drove by in his truck and discharged a 30-round magazine from what authorities described as an assault rifle. He killed two people: his wife's father, 61-year-old Gary Simpson, and Simpson's 10-year-old grandson, Trekwan Covington... 
Authorities found another 50 to 60 rounds in his truck "so this man was prepared to take some lives this morning," Butler said.



Rightist Court Limits Rights In Wisconsin

No surprises in the State Supreme Court rulings today, as pro-Walker justices - - some heavily boosted in elections by right-wing organizations that backed Walker, too - - said it is OK to limit collective bargaining rights and ballot box rights, too.

It's all about the far right and their corporate piggy bank controlling and coordinating to retain power and gain more.

Would you be stunned to see stories in the Nevada media declaring 'Casino operators meet, agree house odds are fair.'

So we are to have fewer rights and fewer jobs under this administration and through its allies on the Court, too.

Fewer rights and fewer jobs: Put that on a bumper sticker.

As I said the other day, these decisions underscore why judicial elections are so important.

More later.

A GOP Gov. With Legal Troubles, Failing Economic Plans And Falling Stature...

Is it failing Wrong-Way/John Doe Walker? With our 37th place ranking for job growth following upper-income and business tax giveaways, along with cuts to education and public employees' take home pay?

No - - it's Kansas, led by failing GOP Gov. Sam Brownback - - who even has a John Doe I like legal shadow clouding the picture.

Kansas could be The Wisconsin of the Great Plains.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

So Does Cincinnati-Based Scripps Family Need Right Wisconsin, Charlie Sykes?

[Updated] That's my first reaction to the deal that sends Journal Broadcast Group to new ownership in Ohio. 
Two storied media firms, Journal Communications Inc. of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati, announced Wednesday evening an agreement to merge their broadcast operations while spinning off their newspapers into a separate company.
Under the deal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will serve as the flagship of a new public company, Journal Media Group, which will be headquartered in Milwaukee. 
Meanwhile, Journal Communications' broadcast assets, including WTMJ radio and television, will be folded into Scripps, with the headquarters in Cincinnati. The E.W. Scripps Co. name will be retained and the firm will remain controlled by the Scripps Family.
Also glad to see the newspaper remains in a Milwaukee-based chain, and happy for my friends still working there, but it's the end of an era.

And frame this line from the story and check back in, say, a year: 
"Everyone wins," said Steven J. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Journal Communications, who will serve as the nonexecutive chairman of Journal Media.
Though I'll tell you who one winner is: Scott Walker. His Trek/WEDC outsourcing subsidies' story and scandal are off the Front Page for a spell. 

Can Cargill Cut 600 Milwaukee Jobs Friday W/Out 60-Day Notice?

[11:20 p.m. update: I see a more complete story at BizTimes.com says all employees will be given 60 days pay.]

The workforce blow is bad enough, but doesn't the company have to give 60 days' notice so workers at the Valley cattle slaughterhouse operation get at least a few weeks financial cushion and time to prepare and work with agencies on job placements, options, etc?

The state law mandating the notice dates to the sudden, '70's closing in Madison of the Red Dot Potato Chip plant on the city's East side; Mayor Paul Soglin's office, where I worked at the time, helped then-State Rep. David Clarenbach craft and push through the law.


Facing Walker Jobs Whiff, WMC Whiffs, Too

I'm surprised that the venerable Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, with all its high-paid executives and lobbyists and spinmeisters on board and on call could only apply stale lipstick to pretty-up Wrong-Way Walker after the Trek spill he's taken.


And, yes, Walker is intimately familiar with lipstick and economic development issues, as he's the one who famously brought the image into business and politics as Milwaukee County Executive.

The WMC is defending Walker by deflection, hauling out all its shop-worn tropes about the need for less regulation, fewer unions, tort reform, reduced taxes, smaller government, etc, as the way, it says, to address the outsourcing issue with which smarty-pants Walker has deflated his own campaign.

Like an outdated Vaudevillian who doesn't know that his audience has heard it all before, the WMC forgets that Walker has already given it all the favors it says it needs - - lowered taxes, tort reform, fewer regulations, a wounded, scape-goated labor movement through Act 10 and divide-and-conquer - - and still Walker's jobs-creation pledge is a failure as Wisconsin's jobs-growth ranking has fallen behind neighboring states' to 37th nationally.

The WMC is trying to confuse the conversation to help Walker escape from a campaign message mess of his own creation about jobs - - a self-inflicted wound that only calls attention to the ineffective WMC playbook that has not worked on Wrong-Way's watch.

Leaving him and his business executive allies in the ridiculous position of attacking Mary Burke and Trek, the business where she served as an executive - -  one of the state's most well-known and successful and appreciated businesses.

Formerly loved by the allegedly pro-business Walker until it got inconvenient.

More lipstick, please, makes for a rather weird political bumper sticker or state economic plan with the WMC's blessings, but if that's how the WMC wants to make its mantra and their candidate more attractive, then more lipstick, please.



As Wisconsin Awaits Historic High Court Rulings Trifecta...

We will learn on Thursday a great deal more about the current, conservative-leaning State Supreme Court - - heavily-funded by right-wing corporatist donors - - and we will get a further lesson in the incalculable importance of Supreme Court elections granting life-time tenure.

At The Wisconsin DNR, Buzzwords, Process, Regimentation

Scott Walker said he wanted a "chamber of commerce mentality" atop the Wisconsin DNR, but if you look at the agency's Leadership Team Charter just approved internally and found on my transom I'd say strategic planners have won out over environmental planners for the heart and soul of this DNR management team.

It's a development I'd noted recently, quoting other DNR documents.

Chamber of Commerce or Champion Consultants? You decide.

Here's the agency's memo about its new Department Leadership Team, (DLT), Charter - -  below, in full, and I haven't re-coded it for fear of losing some pieces, so apologies for the appearance of the text.

Here a couple of samples that caught my eye if you can get no further:
White Papers and Issue Briefs: White Papers and Issue Briefs are to be developed for all items requiring DLT action. White papers will be used to document broad issues that require further scoping, discussion, and planning before recommendations can be identified. Issue briefs will be used to make decisions and will include a summary of the decision to be made, list of viable options, advantages/disadvantages of each option and the recommended option. White papers and issue briefs will:  Be prepared using the template documents available at HYPERLINK HERE.  Be no more than 2 pages in length, preferably only one (1). They may be accompanied by additional background information.  Be submitted to the ESA, at least 2.5 weeks prior to the meeting.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All decisions are made or delegated by the Secretary’s Office. The DLT is the advisory body that advises and informs the Secretary’s Office. Meetings will be facilitated in a manner to promote thorough discussion to ensure options, ideas, and impacts are analyzed before decisions are made. Members will actively engage in discussions with a goal of candid and collegial interactions that promote constructive conflict and debate. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Adopted: July 21, 2014


I.  Sponsor:
Secretary

II. Purpose and Objectives:


Department Leadership Team Charter

The purpose of the Department Leadership Team (DLT) is to provide leadership and direction for the Department. The DLT’s role is to set the strategic direction and priorities to accomplish our mission as One DNR. The DLT is responsible for ensuring integration and guiding operational excellence. The DLT should routinely operate at a scale where the focus is on strategy, critical thinking, and policy development.

III. Team Membership and Member Expectations

Core Members:  Secretary
Deputy Secretary  Assistant Deputy Secretary  Director of Policy  Secretary’s Directors (5)  Division Administrators (5)  Office of Business Support & Science Director  Chief Conservation Warden  Director of Continuous Improvement – (Serves as the Operations Management Team
Representative)  Chief Legal Counsel
Core members are expected to:  Actively participate in the DLT including being prepared for meetings, participating in
discussions, developing white papers and issue briefs, etc.  Constructively share perspectives and issues from their assigned program/geographical area
and actively work toward solutions together as One DNR.  Support and communicate decisions of the team.  Sponsor teams and ensure they have the proper direction, support, and accountability.
Support Members:  Facilitator – Responsible for facilitating discussions as needed. (To be appointed by the
Secretary and may rotate based on the issue.)  Executive Staff Assistant (ESA) – Responsible for documentation and documentation
management, tracking of tasks and decisions, and assisting the Secretary with agenda setting.  Internal Communications Specialist – Responsible for drafting messages to communicate DLT
efforts and decisions to supervisors and staff.

RespectIntegrityProfessionalismCollaborationCustomer Service

Auxiliary Members: Other DNR staff invited to provide technical expertise for specific agenda items. Auxiliary members often include the Communications Director, Human Resources Director, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Financial Officer, etc.
Substitutes: DLT members may designate a substitute to represent them if they are unable to participate. Substitutes should be carefully chosen making sure that they have the skills and knowledge to act on behalf of the regular member.

IV. Authority and Boundaries:

The DLT is the executive level team in the Department and is the advisory body to the Secretary’s Office. The DLT has the responsibility to advise and inform the Secretary’s Office on all matters associated with the direction and management of the Department including strategic planning, identification of emerging issues, and agency effectiveness (budget priorities, integration, management systems, engagement, consistency, etc.). The DLT does not supersede the authority of the Secretary’s Office, Governor’s Office, and Natural Resources Board.
The DLT has the authority and responsibility to establish and empower the necessary teams to ensure effective management of the agency. Each team will have an assigned DLT sponsor that is responsible for ensuring the team is:
Operating within the scope of their DLT approved charter.  Completing assigned tasks and accomplishing goals.  Reporting out accomplishments quarterly to the DLT.  Effectively supported by timely decision-making and the resolution of challenges and
barriers.
The following teams are standing teams established by the DLT along with their role and assigned sponsor. Additional teams may be approved by the DLT.
Team
Role
DLT Sponsor
Operations Management Team
Responsible for evaluating and making decisions on the details of the day to day operations of the agency.
Continuous Improvement Director
Information Technology Oversight Board
Fish and Wildlife Management Team
Environmental Management Account Team

RespectIntegrityProfessionalismCollaborationCustomer Service

Integrated Law Enforcement Group

V. Meeting Structure and Operating Guidelines

The DLT will meet according to the following meeting structure. Additional meetings may be called to address time sensitive or time intensive items.
1. Monday Morning Secretary’s Briefings:
Attendees: DLT Core Members, Tribal Liaison, Federal Liaison, Legislative Liaison, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Communications Director, and others as appropriate.
Purpose: Share information on high priority and emerging issues from the previous weekend or coming in the week ahead and notable projects or initiatives.
Time: Every Monday morning 8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Facilitator: Deputy Secretary Notetaker: None – notes are prepared in advance Agenda:
a) Hot/emerging issues - All b) Upcoming meetings for the Secretary’s Office c) NRB Prep will follow at 9:00 a.m. if needed (separately scheduled)
Minutes (Notes): Will be drafted in advance following a standard template that includes:
a) A written summary no more than 3 sentences in length b) The names of key constituents involved (ex. WCC, legislator, etc.) c) The name of the program and key staff involved. d) Whether or not the issue is confidential. (Confidential issues will not be shared in the
Briefing Notes posted in the Resource). DAs and SDs are responsible for ensuring that information for the notes is provided by Friday
at 12:00 p.m. Will be provided to DLT members by Friday at 4:30 p.m. Will be shared via the Resource each Monday.
2. DLT Action Meeting: Attendees: DLT Core and Support members along with Auxiliary members as needed. Purpose: DLT standing team reporting (quarterly) and decision-making. Time: Occurs every other week on Tuesday mornings from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. (Note - Need to schedule on off Board weeks) Facilitator: Deputy Secretary or designee Notetaker: ESA
Agenda: a) Approval of minutes from previous Action or Strategic Direction Meetings. b) Follow-up issues - ESA c) Items for decision d) Standing Team Reports (To be scheduled quarterly) e) Quarterly budget briefings f) Items/Issue Briefs for next meeting

RespectIntegrityProfessionalismCollaborationCustomer Service

g) Issue briefs/white papers are to be shared two weeks in advance of discussions to streamline discussion and decision making process. Exceptions to this timeframe will be allowed for time sensitive issues.
Minutes: Decisions and tasks will be documented. The Internal Communications Specialist will draft articles for the Resource to communicate
DLT decisions.
3. DLT Strategic Direction Meetings:
Attendees: DLT Core members and Internal Communications Specialist along with Auxiliary members as needed. Purpose: Higher level strategic discussions and policy decisions. Time: Full day meetings every other month
Facilitator: Deputy Secretary or designee Notetaker: See minutes below. Agenda:
a) b) c)
Progress on strategic initiatives (engagement, action plan) Discussion and decision on initiatives and major projects Identification of agenda items for next meeting
Minutes: Will be taken by individuals identified/delegated by the issue leader, and will be provided to
the ESA within three days following the meeting. The ESA will compile and send out the draft for additions and revisions. The minutes will be moved for approval at the next DLT Action Meeting.
The Internal Communications Specialist will draft articles for the Resource to communicate DLT decisions.
White Papers and Issue Briefs: White Papers and Issue Briefs are to be developed for all items requiring DLT action. White papers will be used to document broad issues that require further scoping, discussion, and planning before recommendations can be identified. Issue briefs will be used to make decisions and will include a summary of the decision to be made, list of viable options, advantages/disadvantages of each option and the recommended option. White papers and issue briefs will:
Be prepared using the template documents available at HYPERLINK HERE.  Be no more than 2 pages in length, preferably only one (1). They may be accompanied by
additional background information.  Be submitted to the ESA, at least 2.5 weeks prior to the meeting.

VI. Decision-making Process

All decisions are made or delegated by the Secretary’s Office. The DLT is the advisory body that advises and informs the Secretary’s Office. Meetings will be facilitated in a manner to promote thorough discussion to ensure options, ideas, and impacts are analyzed before decisions are made. Members will actively engage in discussions with a goal of candid and collegial interactions that promote constructive conflict and debate.

RespectIntegrityProfessionalismCollaborationCustomer Service


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Good Old Days Of 2013, When Walker Loved Trek

I noted in a blog post that only a few months ago the economic development corporation that Wrong-Way Walker created and chairs was singing Trek's praises until Walker found a negative way to use the same company to advance his re-election campaign.

With apologies to Johnny Mathis and Bonnie Raitt fans and to John Burke, too, can you remember a more blatant self-serving Wisconsin political example of 'first you love me, then you snub me?'

VIDEOS

BORN IN WISCONSIN

Trek

Born In WIsconsin
Establishing a bigger mission of bikes—encouraging people around the world to get on a bike for transportation, recreation and fitness—requires global support, and most importantly, the support of your community. Trek Bicycle started in a barn in Waterloo, Wisconsin, and has developed into a global leader in the design and manufacturing of bikes and biking equipment. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) helps advance key industries, including bicycle manufacturing, by building mutually beneficial collaborations among sector participants. Together, our goal is to maintain and enhance Wisconsin’s status as a bike culture hub.
WEDC works with industry leaders like Trek to address challenges and create opportunities. With our network of more than 600 economic development partners, we offer customized solutions and resources to help companies start, grow or locate in Wisconsin.
To learn more about what Wisconsin can do for your business, contact us.






As Predicted About Bob Donovan's Mayoral Bid...

Yes, I said Monday the righty alderman would be the darling of talk radio, but, my goodness, is David Clarke already over the hill at the Journal Broadcast Group's GOP affiliate?
The 8th District alderman made his announcement on Charlie Sykes' show on WTMJ-AM (620) and filed papers with the Milwaukee Election Commission later Tuesday.

Editorial About Walker's Trek Fail Missed Important Evidence

The Journal Sentinel today chastises Gov. Walker for attacking Trek - - the iconic Wisconsin firm that any other Governor would love as a homegrown model - - as part of his increasingly desperate campaign against former Trek executive Mary Burke, the company founder's daughter.

At one point, the editorial makes this statement to underscore what was wrong with Walker's attack on Burke at the expense of the company:
Walker erred by not acknowledging Trek's contributions to the state even while criticizing one of its former executives. If it was any other company, he'd have been fawning.
This point could have been strengthened by saying that, in fact, Walker had acknowledged Trek's contributions to the state - - only to contradict and negate the praise in his self-serving attacks.

Walker and his administration had twice created and posted video promotions on the website of his economic development agency, making his attack on Trek more of a flip-flop for self-interested and partisan purposes.

You can access both of the videos here - - and note in one that Walker handles the intro calling attention to himself, of course, and urges viewers to look closely at several Wisconsin business success stories, with Trek featured prominently.

In other words, when Walker thought that sidling up to Trek was good for his image and yes, his campaign by extension, he was eager to associate himself with the company and bask in its light.

But when Burke's candidacy began to take hold, he had no hesitation to turn on her and Trek, regardless of the dirt he was willing to throw on the company and the weight of the hypocrisy he was willing to embrace.

The editorial suggests Walker's hypocrisy includes an act of omission, but there is an overlooked history of commission, too, and video evidence to prove it.

Citing the videos would have used Walker's own words to sharpen the editorial and better explain the cynicism behind and enveloping his Burke/Trek attack.

Even Radio Rage Can't Get Ald. Donovan Elected Milwaukee Mayor

[Updated from Monday:]

 So he's running. It'll be loud, but unsuccessful.

We'll know tomorrow if he's running for Milwaukee Mayor or dipping his toe in the water, or what, but there's no way that perpetually angry South side Alderman Bob Donovan can win a city-wide election.
Alderman Donovan


In some Milwaukee-area suburb or smaller town, maybe, but Milwaukee - - even with endless promotion for Donovan by across the AM dial by right-wing, anti-city talk radio -- -  is not going to put a GOP-watter carrier and Walker clone on steroids in the Mayor's office.

Penokee Hllls Documentary On Tap Tonight In Milwaukee

Don't miss this:
Wisconsin's Mining Standoff Urban Ecology Center in Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Pl, Milwaukee 53211
& Protect Our Future

2 films + discussion

Tuesday, July 29th - 7 - 8:30 pm

Admission is free -- $10 donation is suggested.
All donations are appreciated and proceeds will benefit Bad River Legal Defense Fund.




Wisconsin's Mining Standoff


Wisconsin's Mining Standoff - a new half-hour investigative piece created by 371 Productions of Milwaukee for Al Jazeera’s series Fault Lines.

It looks at the unfolding battle over the proposed GTAC mine in the Penokee Hills and 
traces the way money and power have influenced the laws that will determine whether and how this mine gets built.   



One of the film makers will join us for the discussion after the showings.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Many Levels To Wrong-Way Walker's WEDC Scandal

It seems today that Governor Scott Walker and GOP gubernatorial re-election candidate Scott Walker had a discussion with WEDC/jobs' agency Chairman Scott Walker and now wants Walker Walker Walker to stop lending state money or giving tax breaks to companies that are sending jobs to other countries on the Walkers' watch.

The message seems to be: Hey, cut it out - - you're making all of us look bad.

So to bring you up to date - - and here is one summary post - - It has been established that the job-creation agency Walker founded, touted and chairs (The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC), has been subsidizing with public money some big Wisconsin businesses that have been sending jobs overseas.

At the very time that Gov. Walker is only about 40% towards meeting his now-unattainable, signature 250,000 new-jobs' pledge, and also while the state's job-creation ranking under the various Walkers trails the rate of growth in most of our neighboring states' and has fallen nationally to 37th.

And while executives of some of those companies who are taking state subsidies on Governor and WEDC Chairman Walker's watch while also outsourcing jobs made big donations to candidate Walker's campaign treasury.

Creating so much political blow back that Gov. Walker today is saying that the WEDC run by Chairman Walker should stop lending public money and giving tax breaks to outsourcing businesses.

And while you are wondering how it was that Walker the Governor didn't know about these lending practices, or didn't care about them, or see anything sleazy or counter-productive about what was happening under agency chief Walkers' nose while candidate Walker was flailing about hypocritically for days attacking his opponent for overseas production at a Wisconsin company she left in 2004-'05...

Let's see if we can find a comparison?

Suppose after a search you hired a mechanic to fix the truck you use for business.

You hired this particular mechanic because he had convincing advertisements and recommendations in your local newspaper and he convincingly promised to make your truck run better, and more profitably, by adding new parts that would go on your tab.

As part of a bigger plan to help your business and everyone else's, too.

You said, well OK, that's a good use of my money - - to make my truck run better and my business more profitable and make the big picture even brighter.

So how would you feel if your truck kept stalling and you discovered by reading in the newspaper that the mechanic had actually been shipping those truck parts to competitors, and some of them were sending your mechanic thank-you checks, too.

If you had any chance of overcoming the mechanic's double-dealing you'd fire him and demand a refund for the money you'd made available for better parts and that overall, big picture plan.


And if the mechanic came around again looking for more work, you'd say "no way."

Because, really, how else are you going to stay open for business?

Originally posted at Purple Wisconsin.

Oh, I See...The Walker/WEDC Outsourcing Scandal Is Expanding...

...So Hat Tip To WKOW-27 TV for revealing that more companies were getting funded by Walker's WEDC while outsourcing jobs away from Wisconsin, thus explaining Gov. Wrong-Way's complete flip on the issue and pledge to stop the funding.

Funding from an agency he created and chaired. Does he read the minutes? See the loan and tax break proposals and decisions?

As chair, does he sign them, or is he mailing it all in, literally, figuratively, ethically?

These companies are being subsidized with public dollars to send jobs overseas - - so no wonder Walker's 250,000 new jobs' pledge is stuck at 41%, and no wonder also that Wisconsin's job-creation rating has fallen to 37th, behind national trends and gains in other Great Lakes states - - though Walker's campaign treasury has grown with donations from some of these out-sourcing business's officials.

He's presiding over the removal of Wisconsin jobs, and paying his friends to do it, with our money, to boot.

A variation on pay-to-play?

What a scandal.

What a hack.

Walker Completes Flip-Flop On Jobs Outsourcing, His Role In It

[Updated, 3:30 p.m.] I'm guessing his overnight polling is so bad that Gov. Wrong-Way now says no more state money shoveled from the state failing jobs' agency he created and chairs to businesses that send jobs overseas.

In other words, Gov. Walker is telling WEDC chairman Walker - - Hey, don't do that again - - you're making both of us look bad.

We'll see if he asks for the return of any of the money, especially from businesses which also sourced his campaign with donations.

More, here.

And you're wondering: how could he turn on a dime like this - - go from bashing Trek and Mary Burke (gone from Trek since '04-05) for outsourcing to cutting off from state funding other businesses outsourcing right now?

Two reasons:

His inner circle told him - - Look, cut your losses. It's still July. This will pass. Let's get if off the front pages and Internet. Now.

Second reason - - Walker and the Team don't believe in anything except the overnight polling and the long-term ballot-box prospects.

Principles? A track record?

Forget it.

Walker Treks Down Rabbit Hole

Wrong-Way Walker canceled Amtrak train line construction and train-assembly jobs, and oversaw state payments through WEDC - - which he chairs - - to businesses that shipped jobs overseas - - and led the state downward in national job-creating rankings to #37.

Yet he has managed to shift the debate over jobs, even as his own 250,000-new-jobs pledge is unattainable - - to opponent Mary Burke and Trek Bicycle Co. - - a private, successful Wisconsin company her father founded and that employs 1,000 people in Wisconsin.

And whose payroll she left in 2004.

Crafting ads and releases to slip past his own failures and distort Mary Burke and Trek into the problem is some big-time political evasion that informs us about the desperation of Walker's campaign and character.


Warning Against Ignoring Climate Change Ignored By WI DNR

When it comes to climate change and the administration of Wrong-Way Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, ignorance is both bliss and policy:

A key US business and diplomatic figure pens a strong warning against ignoring the climate change issue.

And as I have noted more than once on this blog, a key climate change web page put up by the Wisconsin DNR has not been updated since June, 2012.

Worse, some information was scrubbed after Walker's inauguration and installation atop the DNR of bis chamber of commerce mentality because the citations had been posted during the previous administration when some planning on climate matters was being undertaken and distributed.

Finally, Wrong-Way Walker, along with other Wisconsin GOP 'leaders,' [Sic], have signed a pledge against climate change actions.

With the Walkerites, no-change is the preferred answer to climate change.

One Question For The M-7 On Advocacy For SE WI Jobs

The seven-county regional public-private group says no jobs should be left on the table.

Good point.

I don't recall hearing anything from the group about losing years of Amtrak work, the Talgo-train assembly factory in a hard-hit Milwaukee neighborhood, and all the spin-off employment and development swept off the table when Wrong-Way Scott Walker blocked $810 million in federal Madison-Milwaukee Amtrak rail construction that was already underway in 2009-2010.

A detailed, archived account of what was the loss of an entire new industry here with future growth benefits, here.

Separately, here are links to statements and rationales offered by a Milwaukee business leader, Walker backer and M-7 mover-and-shaker who denigrated the Madison-Milwaukee train project after Milwaukee business leaders at an M-7 meeting initially helped laud and introduce the train line.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wisconsin's Sad Lexicon - - Walker To Grothman To Vos

Just like Tinker to Evers to Chance, (and yes, as the poet wrote in "Baseball's Sad Lexicon - - 
"Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble"
- - this blog featured a sour trifecta this weekend with names as we see it that are also heavy with trouble  - - Walker to Grothman to Vos - - and did they ever make Bucky look bad and sad!

Quick Quiz: When A Thought Includes "Walker" And "Drain The Entire System"...

Do you think it's a reference to:

Wisconsin's credibility? Our 37th-place job ranking? The WEDC's overall performance? 

Nope.

It would be Walker's phony fears about housing and saving immigrant children, as...horrors...50 might be headed to Wisconsin, where Robin Vos has already told them they are not welcome.

Walker explained during, what else, a campaign stop how it is that Wisconsin, open for business, is closed to homeless, destitute, threatened children:
Walker said he is concerned about the risks children face in traveling many miles to the United States and the cost of dealing with them once they are here.
The Republican governor says if the children aren't sent home quickly, they will likely blend into communities and "that's going to have costs and drain the entire system."




Key Items For Your Walker/Doe 'Who-Knew-What-When' File

I'd say these tie the whole Walker/Doe/money coordination thing together.

*  About prevailing law:

Gov. Scott Walker, allies knew prevailing interpretation of state law
*  About the Walker/interest group coordination:
History Of Right-Wing Coordination For Walker Disclosed
*  About sending in the cleaners to fix the mess:
*  About excuse making:
New John Doe Or Old, Walker Will Know Nothing