Thursday, January 26, 2012

John Doe Charges Show Walker Was No Post-Ament Reformer

Fresh criminal charges brought today against two more former Milwaukee County employees - - these who worked directly for then-County Executive Walker - - allege persistent campaign fund-raising and other forbidden political activity on taxpayer-paid time taking place right under Walker's nose, as reported by Dan Bice.

The complaint also reveals the existence of a secret email system used by Walker and his aides - - and alleges that records from the system were withheld from release under Open Records requests.

Serious stuff.

Additional charges could come that further implicate top Walker County staffers, campaign officials and long-time advisers; Walker as witness is among the distinct possibilities.

Serious stuff, getting more serious.

Couple these revelations with earlier John Doe convictions for illegal donations to Walker's campaign for Governor, and pending charges of theft by Walker appointees from funds Walker was supposed to have moved out of his office, and a picture of Walker is emerging as a failed administrator - - at best - - of a major public office.

Remember that Walker was swept into that office after Tom Ament resigned as County Execitive in the wake of a massive recall signature effort.

Set aside that irony, given Walker's criticism of the same recall process now being used against him.

Set aside, though don't forget, that people had already been found guilty in the caucus scandal years earlier for similar behaviors.

It now looks like Milwaukee County taxpayers simply traded one form of public dysfunction for another:

In the case of Ament and supervisors who expanded fiscally ruinous pension payments, it was a matter of using a publicly-financed system to pad their retirement incomes.

With Walker, it was a matter of using the same publicly-financed system as a partisan consulting business to help candidacies and campaigns.

In both cases, public offices and resources were misused.

Walker the reformer. Hardly.

I'm looking at this paragraph from the Journal Sentinel's 2010 contorted endorsement editorial for Walker, that praised his "habit of upending the status quo," and does it ever ring hollow now:

If there is one thing Walker has shown in his tenure as county executive, it is an abiding intolerance for the failures of business as usual.


Reagan's Disciple said...

Million dollar pension payouts vs. a few emails trying to organize a fundraiser.

One was the cause for a recall, and the other is a veiled attempt to try and justify a recall.

Ed Hammer said...

Okay, let's stop here a minute. Awhile ago, didn't Scooter suggest that he was responsible for initiating the investigation. Now we see that folks within his office have been charged. As a hard charging executive, wouldn't you have thought that perhaps he would have disciplined these employees? We're left with a range of scenarios. He is a poor executive who let his staff run wild working on his campaign and just couldn't stop them. He is a naive fellow who just didn't know what was going on on his behalf at his office. He is a liar and didn't seek the John Doe investigation. He is up to his neck in corruption. Maybe there are more scenarios, If you can find a different one, let's hear it.

James Rowen said...

To RD: This "a few emails" isn't up to your usual efforts to minimize and conflate.

My eight-ball says try again.

Say What? said...

RD: It's got to be hard defending this guy Walker of yours. Have you dug deeper into that "poll" just released. 60% of the people disapprove of his collective bargaining bomb.

Say What? said...

The complaint reveals a “secret email system” that was “routinely used by selected insiders within the Walker administration” for county business as well as unofficial purposes such as campaigning.

The existence of the email system was a closely held secret, and was not made known to the county employee responsible for gathering county emails in response to requests for information made by the public, reporters and groups, the complaint said. The secret system used personal Internet email accounts.

"In the course of the investigation, it was learned that a private email network was established and operated out of the County Executive's office and that the private network was used to communicate both political campaign and government-related information to select individuals," Chisholm said in a statement. 

The complaint does not list all the officials who used the secret system, but it does say the unofficial networking system was set up in the county executive’s office suite by Russell, Walker’s one-time deputy chief of staff at the county."
A few emails? Good Lord RD- you gotta be swallowing real hard righ now.
I'm assuming you watched the "Governor's" speech. Did you juice how dip fast he was talking. Did you notice that when he asked every business in Wisconsin to creat a new job, there was virtual silence. Did you notice that he didn't mention higher education at all. Thompson used to have the UWM maching band come in to celebrate higher education. Look at the sadness in his eyes.look at the half smile as he walks down the aisle. There was no bravado. The truth is:Walker's time is short.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

GOPs are never about reforming or cutting goverment to make it cleaner or remove corruption- they just want to funnel the money to THEIR people.

And it's been that way for at least the last 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Reagan's Disciple, answer me this:

Incompetent vs. corrupt -- which one is Walker? If so many of his staff were committing felonies, evadig laws, setting up a shadow government with a new email router in his office, only feet from his door, and he was so unaware of this, he was incompetent as a manager of his staff.

If he was aware of this, and worse to come, he was corrupt as an elected official.

You leave us no alternatives but the choices above, RD. Which is he? And why would either of the above win him election again -- if there is a recall election, before he has to resign for malfeasance?

A. Wag said...

Maybe Walker the Reformer could take on prison reform next--from the inside.

Anonymous said...

The Republican corruption just never goes away...and the guy at the top knows what is going on. Does anybody remember Watergate? In Nixon's words "I'm not a crook" We'll David Frost got him to admit he was a crook. Where is David Frost now? Maybe he can schedule an interview with Walkie Talkie.