Thursday, February 24, 2011

Republicans Playing With Public Safety; Walker Says Legislators Urged "Riling Things Up"

Scott Walker and his power-tripping allies in the legislature are carrying out careless, politicized law enforcement in the state.

For the former law-and-order party, it's surprising, but this is what happens when politicians think their mandate extends without limits.

The exhibits in this case:

*  Taunting  state correctional officers with a National Guard replacement preparations even though the correctional officers have not said a word or made a gesture about a work stoppage.

*  Pulling both national guard officers and DNR wardens off their regular duties to tour prisons and prepare for [phantom job actions, further pressuring corrections personnel while leaving poachers and other field offenders a freer hand.

It was just the other day that DNR wardens broke up a wildlife thrill-killing ring. Isn't this, along with deer herd management and safe outdoors pursuits what the public really wants the DNR field staff to do?

*  Sending State Patrol officers repeatedly to look for absent State Senate Democrats.

I'd rather have those officers assisting drivers.. Or pulling over speeders, drunks or overweight trucks.

*  Finally, there is the admission by Governor Scott Walker in that now-infamous prank call with someone impersonating industrialist and conservative kingmaker David Koch that the Walker administration had considered sending provocateurs into peaceful crowds of protesters to stir up trouble.

Koch wasn't on the phone; the concern is that Walker disclosed political strategies to mislead Senate Democrats, roll unions and work with other governors nationally to do the same. And Walker said on the recorded call that political and PR considerations led him to dismiss the provocateur idea - - not its dangerous implications for people in the crowd and for real law enforcement.

Why did Walker take that call? Probably because the Koch brothers, major conservative funders nationally, had through Kochpac given Walker $43,000 in his run for Governor.

The Madison police chief correctly wants an explanation from Walker about the troubling remarks on the tape about trouble-makers, and further investigation is certainly merited.

*  And now we have a further disclosure by Walker on Fox last night that legislators were in on these provocateur conversations, too:

"VAN SUSTEREN: But you thought about it.
WALKER: We do. We had people contact -- I'd had people -- I even had lawmakers and others suggesting riling things up."
Which raises an interesting question: Can Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen do it?

Well -- that's a potential problem - - because Van Hollen is a Republican, a Walker ally and - - side note - - recipient of $12.500, from Kochpac.

Now I'm not a lawyer, but Walker's words have civil rights' suppression, color-of-law implications. Was this all talk, or did anyone instruct anyone to do anything?

Someone completely separated from Walker's orbit and any issue raised on that tape should run an investigation free of favoritism or conflict-of-interest.

The bottom line:

A 24/7 Machiavellian administration is doomed to undermine good public policy and smart use of resources - - producing a completely upside-down outcome if budgets are indeed stressed.

Walker now seems bent on dragging us into a deeper quagmire.


MAL said...

I still cannot believe that the agents provocateur idea did not elicit an 'are you crazy' response from Gov. Walker?

If anyone has any information on these matters, please contact the following:

Special Litigation Section
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Special Litigation
Section Washington, D.C. 20530


United States Attorney's Office
Western District of Wisconsin
660 West Washington Avenue,
Suite 303
Madison, WI 53703

and the Center for Media and Democracy at

It's time for all of us to come together and get these perps.

James Rowen said...

Thank you, MAL.