Sunday, September 25, 2016

Despite major floods, WI has zero interest in climate change

[Updated] Ten weeks ago there was massive flooding in Northwestern Wisconsin that killed three people.

This week two more people died in more flooding that damaged even more counties in Western Wisconsin.


Experts for years have been predicting severe rain events as a consequence of a rapidly warming climate.


A recent national report's summary, with multiple charts:

Heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five decades. Largest increases are in the Midwest and Northeast. Increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events are projected for all U.S. regions
And a separate, UW Sea Grant Institute report said: 
As warmer temperatures increase evaporation and the amount water vapor in the atmosphere rise worldwide, the air will become more saturated, increasing humidity levels year round. This means when it does rain or snow, it’s likely to be in very large amounts. 
All of this means Wisconsin can expect an increase in extreme heat waves and more frequent droughts in summer. At the same time, severe thunderstorms may double in frequency, increasing the amounts of damage caused by heavy rainfall, flashfloods, hail and strong tornadoes.    
But Wisconsin under Scott Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel and other GOP state officials are officially hostile to climate change - - in the extreme - - and obeisant to the fossil fuel sector whose greenhouse gas emissions are also fueling the warming climate.

Walker and other Wisconsin GOP officials lined up to sign a Koch brothers pledge opposing climate change initiatives if they cost one new net cent.


Then the list got bigger:

The pledge has more that 400 signers, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy, Reid Ribble and Jim Sensenbrenner, state Sens. Alberta Darling, Glenn Grothman, Mary Lazich and Leah Vukmir, and state Reps. Dale Kooyenga, Bill Kramer, Jim Ott and Don Pridemore, all Republicans.
So when the deluge subsides, Walker can calm the waters temporally and pantomime some chief executive moves with hand-shaking and damage tours, and state officials can fill in all the necessary forms for assistance from the Federal Government they say on all other occasions is too big and well-heeled.

But a lot of that federal aid and whatever scarce state dollars Walker can throw into the pot will literally go down the drain during the next heavy rain event until and unless the state gets serious about respecting and merging solid science with infrastructure planning and adaptation that could minimize future damage.


And save lives.


And as we say, get with the program and stop being the State in the State of Denial


Update: Take a look at what a real state leaders is doing.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

On debate Monday, remember GOP Team WI all-in for Trump

Wisconsin's Republican Governor, Congressional delegation, and state legislative caucus all want the racist, sexist, egomaniacal, pathologically insecure and habitually dishonest Donald Trump to be US President, Commander-in-Chief, nominator of US Supreme Court justices, Appeals Court and District Court judges, US Ambassadors to foreign countries and the United Nations, designator of protected areas and national monuments, and the administrators of the US EPA, the CIA, Homeland Security, National Parks Service, the US Forest Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Department of Labor, the members of the National Labor Relations Board, Secretary of State, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, the Secretary of the Interior, Treasury Secretary, the US Department of Agriculture, four of eight members of the US Civil Rights Commission, and numerous federal, regulatory agencies and commissions too numerous to mention, etc.

But you get my drift, no?
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As Walker's campaigns grew, so did investigations, stakes

With the John Doe II probe back in the news and also at the doorstep of the US Supreme Court next month, it's rather amazing to follow a common thread linking much of Walker's career: first there is the campaign, then the investigation.

*  The pattern emerged in 1988, with a run for Marquette University student body president which ended badly for Walker: 

He was accused of violating campaign guidelines on multiple occasions. The [Marquette] Tribune reported then that he was found guilty of illegal campaigning two weeks before his candidacy became official. 
Later, a Walker campaign worker was seen placing brochures under doors at the YMCA. Door-to-door campaigning was strictly prohibited.
Walker initially denied this but later admitted to the violation, which resulted in lost campaign privileges at the YMCA. In the run-up to election day, the Tribune’s editorial board endorsed Walker’s opponent John Quigley, but said either candidate had the potential to serve effectively.. 
However, the Tribune revised its editorial the following day, calling Walker “unfit for presidency.” The column cited Walker’s distribution of a mudslinging brochure about Quigley that featured statements such as “constantly shouting about fighting the administration” and “trying to lead several ineffective protests of his own.” 
The revision also expressed disappointment in Walker’s campaign workers reportedly throwing away issues of the Tribune after the endorsement was initially made. 
Walker dismissed this, saying he had no knowledge of what his supporters did, according to a Tribune article from February 25, 1988.
*  Then there was the secret email system set up by Walker aides down the hall from his Milwaukee County Executive office used to organize and finance 2010 GOP campaigns on public time. Known as John Doe I:
The investigation – resulting in six convictions – involved embezzlement, money laundering and staffers mixing state business with a campaign effort to get Walker, then a Milwaukee county executive, to the governor’s mansion.
*  That probe set the stage for another, broader investigation known as John Doe II - - a state prosecutorial effort which unearthed millions of dark money dollars routed for Walker's 2012 recall election, and others. through a secret network.

The scheme, prosecutors said, also funded legislative candidacies that helped preserve Walker's GOP governing majority; the investigation was shut down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a move now eligible for a review by the US Supreme Court because of conflict-of-interest allegations against two Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices who shared major donors with Walker.


Quite the progression - - from being accused in 1988 of "violating campaign guidelines on multiple occasions" in a campus election to being accused of being at the center of a multi-million dollar dark money system which led one major publication to address it with this headline:
WHY THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD TAKE ON POLITICAL CORRUPTION IN WISCONSIN
Yes, for the record - - Walker himself has never been charged in these investigations, and has managed to stay on his feet after truthiness problems on a smaller scale have cropped up - - but all it will take is four US Supreme Court Justices accepting the Doe prosecutors' petition for a review of the state's dismissal of their investigation and Walker can be credited with shining the brightest national light possible on shady money and campaign tactics.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Loopy WI DMV plan makes loopy Walker/WI sense

Given that the State of Wisconsin under Scott Walker which is in thrall to the road-builders a) has no comprehensive transportation plan statewide except a billion-dollar debt-laden highway expansion program, b) has no financing plan to pay for highway expansion and/or repairs to what we already have c) has boosted fatality-inducing speed limits despite warnings from experts, d) has allowed the roads and bridges to deteriorate to fourth-worst in the nation, e) already killed off regional transit authorities, f) is starving transit and cutting urban bus connections to suburban jobs...it makes perfect sense in that rudderless, policy-free special-interest driven scenario that Wisconsin is considering giving licenses to new drivers without requiring them to take a road test.

When, in fact, Wisconsin's novice drivers should definitely have to take a road test, if only to learn how to dodge the potholes without hitting 
Cars in a crash
the additional motorists headed for far-from-the-city-jobs without a transit connection through orange-barrel zones, lane-changes, zipper merges and onduced congestion artificially extended for extra years because Walker and the Legislature needed to push out construction schedules in the face of falling demand from car-averse millennial and retirees who choose to no longer drive.

Vos wanted higher WI speed limit; credit him the carnage

The Journal Sentinel has the data: fatal highway crashes are spiking with the higher speed limit pushed by the road-builder lobby's newest best friend, noted transit foe and Governor-in-training Robin Vos.

So 
file this from 12/9/13 under "told you so," or just plain "duh!":

Encouraging Wisconsin drivers to go faster is going to cost lives.
Along with this highway safety double-standard from earlier in 2013: 
But Vos has yet to get behind modest efforts in the Legislature to tweak state OWI statutes and treat some first offenses as misdemeanors if offenders' blood alcohol content measured 0.15 or higher, or about twice the current legal BAC limit of 0.08. Offenders blowing 0.14 and below - - still just a ticket... 
So we could end up with higher speeds on state highways to match what's posted in other states - - the uniformity or consistency argument - -  but continue to be the exception on drunk driving and merely ticket (enable) first-time (caught) drunk drivers up to 0.14 who would be charged with a misdemeanor if they were caught over the border blowing 'only' 0.08. 
Make sense?
I mean, why listen to stupid experts with facts in hand when a Robin Vos knows better?
AAA Wisconsin is urging the Wisconsin State Senate to stop proposed legislation that would raise the maximum speed limit on rural highways to 70 mph due to concerns that higher speeds make it more difficult for vehicles to slow or stop in order to avoid a collision, and can increase the severity of resultant crashes. AAA is particularly alarmed about the potential implications for trucks, as their weight makes those considerations even more pressing. 
The legislation would result in a 5 mile per hour increase to the current maximum speed limit in the state, which would have a dramatic effect on the stopping distance of trucks, lengthening it by up to 100 feet. 
This is a concern for all drivers, as according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 8 in 10 truck crashes are multi-vehicle collisions, and over 70 percent of injuries and fatalities sustained in truck crashes are the occupants of the other vehicles. 
The evidence from neighboring states provides a clear warning: higher speed limits lead to higher rates of truck involvement in fatal crashes. According to the most recent data available from NHTSA (2012), Wisconsin’s rate for large truck involvement in fatal crashes was 7.4 percent, while Minnesota and Iowa - which allow trucks to travel 70 mph on rural highways - were at 10 and 13.2 percent, respectively. Michigan, which has a differential speed limit that keeps trucks below 60 mph even in places where cars are allowed to travel 70 mph, was well below Wisconsin at 5.2 percent. 
Picture of Representative Robin Vos

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Intimidated Walker plays the budget threat card

Not from The Onion:

WI GOP Scott Walker is hinting today that he might cut Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm's staffing if the Milwaukee DA keeps pressing ahead with the John Doe case involving Walker and key donors which the US Supreme Court may accept for further as early as next month.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, with two of its members' impartiality at the heart of the potential case, had already made the case harder to bring to the US Supreme Court by denying Chisholm and two other DA's the use of outside, donated legal assistance. 

All this pressure from people with a vested interest in killing the case suggest there is something these dark money beneficiaries want permanently hidden.

Tainted WI Supreme Court process yielded Walker another win

Using documents provided by The Guardian, a Capital Times editorial today explained how the same secret coordination between GOP Gov. Scott Walker and dark money donors which aided his 2012 recall election win also slopped on to two Wisconsin Supreme Court justices who ruled - - after refusing to recuse themselves - - that a state investigative probe into the legality of that dark money network be shut down.
In a request that the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to shut down a John Doe inquiry into illegal campaign activity, a group of Wisconsin prosecutors argue that Prosser and Gableman should not have heard the case because their campaigns benefited from work by individuals and groups that were a focus of the investigation. “Under any reasonable reading,” the prosecutors argue, those involved in the case “did not receive a fair and impartial hearing” from Wisconsin’s high court.
No matter what action the U.S. Supreme Court takes with regard to evidence of bias and the abandonment of ethical standards by justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, there can no longer be any question that Wisconsin legislators, prosecutors and members of the state judicial commission have a responsibility to address clear evidence that Justice Gableman and retired Justice Prosser failed to respect and honor their positions as a public trust and, further, failed to strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system.
But let's not forget that the tainted process provided yet another benefit to Walker and his cohort, and another stain on the State Supreme Court's integrity. 

Perhaps sensing that the controversy might dog him the rest of his term, Prosser. 73, resigned mid-term earlier this year and gave Walker the chance to choose, without any confirmation procedure, a replacement Justice into the year 2020 who is younger than Prosser, and even more ideologically and reliably hard-right:

Much of the coverage of this appointment has focused on an odd quote where Kelly compares affirmative action to slavery. “Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways,” Kelly wrote in a book chapter the new justice included in his application to sit on the state’s highest court. “But it’s more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same...”
It’s a very odd statement, in no small part because Kelly does not appear to understand what affirmative action is. In most cases, affirmative action is a voluntary program where business, universities, or other entities take steps to diversify their workforce or student body... 
More importantly, however, if Kelly were actually correct that there is some “foundational principle” that prohibits the state from requiring someone to enter “into an unwanted economic relationship,” then most American civil rights, labor and employment law would need to vanish.  
Minimum wage laws require employers to enter into an economic relationship where workers are paid a certain amount, despite the employer’s preference to enter into a different relationship where the workers are paid less. Anti-discrimination laws require employers to hire African-Americans, women, or other groups that the employer might despise. The federal ban on whites-only lunch counters forces restaurants to enter into an economic relationship by selling meals to customers the restaurant would prefer not to serve...
Given Gov. Walker’s well-known hostility towards unions, that may explain why he chose this obscure lawyer with highly idiosyncratic views for Wisconsin’s highest court.
You say there are no rewards for bad behavior.

Eagle Scout Walker would disagree.

WI GOP pols perpetually baffled by their world

Well, look: you can't expect busy career politicians to be up on everything, even the campaigns they run to win or stay in office and hold jobs which apparently are an endless source of befuddlement.
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg

*  Like Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate Majority Leader:

Wisconsin Senate GOP leader says he had no knowledge of donations from lead manufacturer
Or Gov. Walker, who's made a career out of strategic forgetting or playing dumb, in his own words like these - - which are definitely keepers:
Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) struggled Friday to explain why the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has failed to recover any taxpayer money given out to companies that have outsourced Wisconsin jobs, despite past claims he'd asked them to do that... 
"Again - that's a question you'll have to direct to them," said Gov. Walker. "The bottom line is the expectation, but if it's a company that - for legal reasons or otherwise - they'll have to answer the questions. They're the ones that handle that process." 
Yes, Walker has made a career out of strategic forgetting or playing dumb:

--------------------------------------------------------


Here's one example, after a patient starved to death at the Mental Health Complex, the gubernatorial campaign was underway and a report about it could have surfaced: 

Walker defends withholding Mental Health Complex report

"I don't know what's in it, so it's hard for me to say" if it should be released, Walker said. His administration had nothing to do with the report being withheld, Walker said.
But isn't there something earlier?
Ah, The Marquette Tribune had it in 2010, and used its files clear back to 1988, when Walker's campaign for student body president imploded over ethics and rule violations, and it was time to take responsibility:
Walker’s campaign record murky

In the run-up to election day, the Tribune’s editorial board endorsed Walker’s opponent John Quigley, but said either candidate had the potential to serve effectively.

However, the Tribune revised its editorial the following day, calling Walker “unfit for presidency...”
The revision also expressed disappointment in Walker’s campaign workers reportedly throwing away issues of the Tribune after the endorsement was initially made.

Walker dismissed this, saying he had no knowledge of what his supporters did, according to a Tribune article from February 25, 1988.

Spare us the rhetoric: Walker raised some taxes, fees

[Updated from 9/12] Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker and GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos are continuing their pre-budget dance which could well end with cuts to social programs to finance too many new roads and please the road-builder lobby.

But please, gentlemen: we are not stupid. We can read. We can Google Scott Walker and tax increases and increased fees and find the facts.


So spare us sanctimonious b.s. like this demonstrably phony and self-serving jaw-dropper Walker made in his no-new-taxes-and-fees- pitch to Vos today:

“I believe we can agree that we did not get elected as conservatives to raise taxes or fees,” Walker wrote.
Well, yes they did. Let's refresh their memories:

*  Taxes:  Politifact, citing the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, said Walker's first budget in 2011-'13 budget broke a promise by raising more $49 million in taxes on low-income and elderly people:

The bureau determined that Walker included three tax increases in the budget totaling $49.4 million over the two-year period.
The largest involved a reduction in a state tax credit for low-income working families, known as the earned income credit. A tax credit reduces the amount of tax you owe. 
In this case, the earned income tax credit is in place for both state and federal taxes. It"s refundable, so individuals with little or no income tax liability may still receive the credit. 
Walker"s plan would decrease the tax credit for families with more than one child, allowing the state to collect an additional $41.3 million in taxes over two years from those families. (The credit would actually go up for families with just one child.) 
A second tax increase, the fiscal bureau said, is stopping the inflationary adjustment of the state"s Homestead Tax Credit -- the property tax break that appears as a credit on income tax forms for low-income homeowners and renters. The bureau calculated that change would increase taxes by an estimated $8.1 million.
*  Fees - - I suppose Walker forgot all the state park, trail and forest fees Walker and Vos raised when they put together the 2015-'17 budget, as explained by the DNR:
MADISON -- Camping fees for Wisconsin state parks, state forests, state trails, and state recreation areas will increase beginning on July 28, 2015. 
The fee increases were enacted as part of the 2015-2017 biennial state budget. The legislation calls for the fee increases to go into effect as soon as changes can be made to the camping reservation system. 
The increase in camping fees is based on a three-level rate structure that will place the parks at a camping rate depending on demand, uniqueness, location and other factors. Camping rates will increase between $3 and $6 per night for residents and between $6 and $9 per night for non-residents. There is an increase in the per night charge for electrical service from $5 to $10.. 
Admission fees and trail passes were also increased in the state budget, but will not begin until annual stickers and passes for 2016 go on sale in December 2015, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2016. Annual admission sticker fees will increase from $25 to $28 for state residents, from $35 to $38 for non-residents and $10 to $13 for resident seniors. Annual trail passes will increase from $20 to $25 for an annual pass and from $4 to $5 for a daily pass.
*  Triggering new local taxes and fees - - By starving local budgets, Walker and the Legislature have pushed  costs to municipalities - - hence, wheel taxes to fix roads which have deteriorated because state funding has been reduced. The same is true for school districts which have increased borrowings paid back with property taxes to fund school improvements because state aids have fallen, or been frozen.

In fact, Urban Milwaukee says that kind of bonding is skyrocketing:
School districts are asking voters to approve nearly $700 million in borrowing for new construction and building updates, and more than $150 million in increases in school district budgets. Those requested amounts are the largest put before voters at the annual spring election going back at least a decade. School districts can hold referendums at any time during the year, but many referendums are scheduled to correspond with regularly-held elections like the annual April election. 
Wisconsin’s public schools are funded through a combination of state support and local property taxes. State law limits the degree to which districts can raise property taxes, unless residents vote to approve an increase in school district budgets. In the most recent state budget, lawmakers did not increase the revenue limits for school districts.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The EPA is coming to review the WI DNR's files

Props to the non-profit law firm Midwest Environmental Advocates, (MEA), for its relentless work with donated funds and forcing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to enforce the US Clean Water Act on behalf of the people instead of serving special interests through the "chamber of commerce mentality" Scott Walker made the agency's direction from his first few days in office.

From MEA Tuesday:

Media Alert: Anniversary of Petition for Corrective Action to EPA Coming Soon

October 20 marks one year since citizens asked the EPA for help with Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources water pollution management – EPA visit pending

September 20, 2016

MADISON, WI – Today is one month away from the anniversary of the filing of the Petition for Corrective Action with the Environmental Protection Agency. Over the past 11 months, much work has been done by the EPA, clean water advocates and the Department of Natural Resources to assess what Wisconsin needs to do to come back into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

What is the Petition for Corrective Action?

On October 20, 2015, 16 Wisconsin residents filed a Petition for Corrective Action urging the Environmental Protection Agency to require the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to fix its deficient water pollution permitting program. More about the Petition, events that have happened since its filing last year, and correspondence among Petitioners, EPA, MEA and DNR are available online: midwestadvocates.org/pca

Since Midwest Environmental Advocates filed the Petition for Corrective Action, our law center and the Petitioners have received support from DNR retireesbusinesses that depend on clean water, and local lake and river groups which has made all the difference in pressuring both EPA and DNR’s prompt response and coordination.

What is coming up with EPA involvement and citizen action?

The Environmental Protection Agency will visit the State during the second week of October 2016 to do water pollution permit file reviews to continue investigating how DNR needs to bring water pollution permitting back into compliance with the Clean Water Act. EPA has already issued a preliminary investigation status chart reaffirming certain issues that clean water advocates have long been fighting for, such as:

·        our State doesn’t do enough to let citizens intervene in government actions against water polluters;
·        the DNR needs a more robust program for protecting water quality downstream from facilities with water pollution permits; and
·        our State needs to change its laws so that citizens can challenge a water pollution permit without seeking out four other like-minded individuals for legal action.
Citizens have taken other actions to call for greater DNR accountability. 

Residents in over 15 counties introduced resolutions to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, asking Congressional members to use their authority to call on the DNR to stop violating minimum federal Clean Water Act requirements. 

The statewide WCC Environmental Advisory Committee accepted these resolutions and will learn more at an October 2016 meeting.

The La Crosse County Board also passed a resolution calling for the DNR to improve inspections and report to the board on violationsThe county’s health department and Board cited the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s report that the DNR failed to follow its own water pollution and monitoring policies 94% of the time.

Please consider covering the visit by EPA next month

While the file reviews themselves may only be one step in a larger effort, the fact that the EPA will be in Wisconsin to take an in-depth look at the DNR’s policies and procedures in water pollution regulations – in just under a year since citizens formally asked for federal intervention – is an important sign of progress.

This effort is a story about many years of citizens working in their communities and in the courts to protect Wisconsin’s water. The Petitioners themselves have personal stories that reflect why Wisconsin’s water pollution regulatory program is about more than clarifications in state law and agency statutory authority. Most Petitioners are willing to share their stories with the media as they did with the EPA through the Petition for Corrective Action. Please contact MEA to coordinate staff or Petitioner interviews.

Midwest Environmental Advocates is a public interest organization that uses the power of the law to support communities fighting for environmental accountability. Learn more about the Midwest Environmental Advocates on the web at midwestadvocates.org, like MEA on Facebook or follow @MidwestAdvocate on Twitter.
###

Stacy Harbaugh
Midwest Environmental Advocates
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
612 W. Main Street, Suite 302

Golden Sands CAFO info/hearing likely after Nov. election

Despite the news story to the contrary below, I am hearing - - and not for the first time - - that this hot potato will be held until after the November elections:

Saratoga CAFO report could be released soon



long-awaited report about a controversial dairy farm that could be built in southern Wood County may soon be released.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources tentatively plans to issue a draft environmental impact statement about the proposed Golden Sands Dairy by the end of September, a senior DNR official told state legislators Wednesday.

The DNR also is tentatively planning to hold a public hearing in late October, although both dates are subject to change...

Golden Sands Dairy would have 5,300 cows and is expected to produce 55 million gallons of liquid manure each year, according to the DNR. The farm also would have 33 high-capacity wells, each of which has the capacity to draw more than 100,000 gallons of water per day.

If it occurs, the delay is likely related to the political problems caused statewide by CAFO runoff, additional pollution from millions of gallons of CAFO manure spread by aerosol spray on nearby farms, CAFOs' heavy groundwater demands and several other issues causing political problems for GOP legislators. 

It would also not surprise me if Walker tries to minimize coverage that plays into the big-money, speciall-interest "supplicant" label The Washington Post dropped on him in the wake of The Guardian's document dump.


The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has tracked more than $30,000 in donations from the CAFO's owners to Walker's campaign.
File:Confined-animal-feeding-operation.jpg
Here's a longer list of those hot potatoes which Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality;-driven DNR has on its plate.

'Listening' session/policy fail: Walker disapproval at 52%

So much for having endorsed the GOP's white power Presidential loose cannon, walking through scripted, by-invitation-only listening sessions while barely engaged with his big salaried, mansion-provided, perk-laden state job:

Wisconsin GOP Governor and dark money "supplicant" Scott Walker holds on to negative poll ratings - - 43% favorable to 52% unfavorable - - according to the latest Marquette University Law School poll:

Gov. Scott Walker's job approval was 43%, with 52% disapproving of his performance. Fifty-four percent approved President Barack Obama's job performance, while 41% disapproved.
Also interesting that Walker rates substantially behind President Obama despite having shifted state resources to fight Obama initiatives on health care, Medicaid expansion, Amtrak service and federal clean air rules, among others

Separate polling data released yesterday showed Walker tied for 8th least-popular US governor.

Is there an opponent who can take advantage of his deep weaknesses?



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Scott Walker, Brad Schimel and Goodbye, Wisconsin

47 words from Doe files frame Walker-the-supplicant

The Guardian's John Doe file disclosures are voluminous, but if you have only time to read one file and a few paragraphs among the many easily catalogued online for your reading, make sure it's the one with emails from a fund-raising consultant detailing how and why Gov. Scott Walker - - skewered as "a supplicant" for big money in The Washington Post's Doe files story Tuesday - - should hit up the super-rich.

Within that file are less than fifty words which sum up what the entire Walker experience has done to our state - - and, again - - don't miss the why, because it screams the same kind of sweetheart pay-to-play undercurrent which has roiled public WEDC 'job development' financing to DNR land and permit decisions:

“Take Koch’s [sic] money,” Kate Doner, Walker’s fundraising consultant, urged him in September 2011. “Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson. Ask for $1m now. Corporations. Go heavy after them to give . . . Create a list of legislation that passed and benefits whom.”
Seriously!
"Corporations. Go heavy after them to give . . . Create a list of legislation that passed and benefits whom.” 
No wonder Team Walker wanted the Doe probe shut down. 
 

NY Times hoists Scott Walker on his dark money petard

On the same day that The Washington Post gave broad coverage to The Guardian's disclosures about Scott Walker's dark money direction, The New York Times offers a solid editorial that further spreads the word about Walker's secret financing machine:
Anyone looking for more evidence that politicians pay no attention to campaign contribution limits will find it in an astonishing trove of documents leaked to The Guardian, which published a report last week about the secret money that has recently flooded Wisconsin state politics. 
The roughly 1,500 pages of emails, financial records and court filings — most of which have not been made public until now — were collected during an investigation of possible campaign-finance violations by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign to beat back a 2012 recall effort.
As I said earlier today, this is the Walker we know too well in Wisconsin, but it's good for the country to see what he and his donors have done to the state. 

And isn't it delicious that Scott Walker just wondered about "what kind of system do we live in?" The evidence is in.