Saturday, April 4, 2015

Racist email shared by top Walker 2010 aides; also by Ferguson, MO officials

A racist email forward found recently among Ferguson, Missouri officials' communications which equated poor "mixed in color...lazy" people with dogs was also shared in virtually the same form between then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's two top personal staff appointees in 2010, records show.

The Washington Post included the email forward's full, unredacted text, along with additional and complete Ferguson records, in a Friday posting that was listed among the paper's five most-read stories of the day:
The Ferguson records were first obtained by federal law enforcement officials in their investigation that followed the shooting death of Michael Brown last year by a Ferguson police officer.

Buzzfeed, among others, had reported in a separate, earlier story that Walker's former Milwaukee County Executive Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff had exchanged much the same email forward the previous year, so it must have been making the rounds on the Internet:
WASHINGTON — The deputy chief of staff to then-County Executive Scott Walker praised a racist email forwarded to her in 2010 that joked welfare recipients are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r [sic] Daddys [sic] are.”
The email tells the story of a dog owner who asks the government for canine welfare checks because the dogs match the criteria detailed above. Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s then-deputy chief of staff in 2010, wrote that the email was “hilarious” and “so true.” The email was sent to Rindfleisch from someone outside Walker’s staff.
Another email sent to Rindfleisch from Walker’s then chief of staff, Thomas Nardelli, detailed a “nightmare,” in which a person wakes up black, gay, Jewish, and handicapped.
Rindfleisch’s emails were released to the public as part of the so-called “John Doe investigations” into Walker’s staff. Rindfleisch pleaded guilty in 2012 “to felony misconduct in office for doing campaign work at her government job,” according to Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporting at the time.
Rindfleisch began serving her jail sentence last week. Nardelli is deceased.

There is no suggestion that the presence of what appears to be virtually the same offensive email forward in both the Ferguson files and the Walker staff records was coordinated, or is anything other than a coincidence.

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