There's a whole lot happening with our crazy coin-operated ideologues here in Wisconsin so I've got my copy of the cheese doodle ready to separate one bit of nutbaggery from the other ...
The End of John Doe Act I
The last of the John Doe cases that has been charged has ended with Brian B. Pierick, domestic and business partner of former Scott Walker top aide Timothy Russels,
being sentenced to an over $2000 fine and 50 hours of community service for child enticement. The charges grew out of the inspection of Russelss home computer which revealed the criminal behavior of Pierick, who was not himself part of Walkers staff.
6 of Walkers associates have been charged and plea bargained their convictions up until now.
The John Doe is not over, but until more charges or public statements are made there will be no new revelations.
For my own part, I wanted trials, testimony and juicy details of the shenanigans that went on inside Walkers Milwaukee County Executive office where private emails and political blogging occurred as a matter of routine on a secret router to avoid archiving requirements. That they occurred at all in a taxpayer funded office by people receiving taxpayer funded salaries was not just illegal, but infuriorating.
Anyone paying attention knew that Walker spent little time or concern about Milwaukee County, frequently raiding the budget for pet projects and business tax givaways while deferring maintainence on County facilities year after year until buildings were literally falling down and killing people with chunks of concrete falling on them. However, seeing the extent to which the Walker gubernatorial campaign virtually ran an elected office was disgusting.
Stay tuned. There WILL be more to come.
New Revelations About State Justice David (The Choker) Prosser
Those who have been following FitzWalkerStan news know about the angry confrontation where perpetually angry RW State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put his hands around Justice Ann Walsh Bradleys neck (recall the laughter at his excuse that she put her neck in the way of his hands) during an argument in her chambers. Since then he's been charged with ethics violations and has been demanding all Supreme Court Justices recuse themselves so there won't be a quorum to hear his ethics violation case so it will just disappear for lack of a court to hear it.
Well, he's gotten his wish as Justice Bradley just recused herself leaving only 2 justices to hear the case (4 are required), but she didn't just silently recuse herself. She's given us more information on Prosser and his reign of terror.
State Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley received stepped-up security from law enforcement more than two months before Justice David Prosser put his hands around her neck in a dispute over a controversial case, according to a court document issued Wednesday.(bolding is mine)
That disclosure came in a decision Bradley released recusing herself from the ethics case against Prosser over the June 2011 altercation. Bradley wrote in the filing that she and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson to this day lock themselves in their offices when working after hours because of concerns about Prosser's behavior.
"If nothing is done, I wonder what will happen next in this escalating pattern of abusive behavior," Bradley wrote.
Locking themselves in their offices after hours? Hmmm.
Bradley wrote that law enforcement developed an increased security plan for her and Abrahamson after a deputy court director contacted Bradley in late March 2011 to say she was concerned that Prosser could endanger their physical safety. Prosser at the time was in a close race for re-election and vocally critical of Bradley and Abrahamson.Interesting to note is that 3 of the 4 RW justices (the RWrs are Roggensack, Prosser, Gableman and Ziegler)on our State Supreme Court have had recent legal violations themselves:
The court reprimanded Justice Annette Ziegler for participating in cases as a circuit judge involving a bank where her husband was a director. The court deadlocked, 3-3, on whether Justice Michael Gableman violated the ethics code by lying in a campaign ad. And the Prosser case has been stalled almost from the start.None of the 3 moderate (i.e. sane) Justices have ever been cited for anything.
More good news for Prosser in his case comes from a Walker appointee who has told the special prosecutor in his case to stand down.
The state Judicial Commission has told its special prosecutor - at least for the moment - not to pursue new avenues to forward its ethics case against state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.
Since Gimbel (the special prosecutor) began work on the case, the makeup of the commission has changed so that it is now controlled by Walker appointees. Among the commissioners are people recommended by John Gard, a lobbyist, former Republican Assembly speaker and former aide to Prosser when he was in the Legislature. In recommending the appointees, Gard told an aide to the GOP governor they were "fiercely conservative" and would "never wimp out."(information in italics is my addition)
Empire GOP Strikes Back
Poor Republicans. They pass illegal laws using illegal methods and then have to reach for their crying towels when the cases go in front of judges. Well, no more thanks to a new bill being unveilled by State Senate President Michael Ellis which would mandate that our (RW dominated) State Supreme Court hear any challenges instead of, you know, the regular courts that actually uphold the law.
The bill comes after a multiple parties filed lawsuits challenging Republican Gov. Scott Walker's contentious law stripping most public workers of nearly all their union bargaining authority and a GOP-authored law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.Ellis and the Republicans, of course, state that they're simply "streamlining the process" rather than acting like sore losers after repeated smackdowns by actual court.
Because Republicans dominate the State Legislature and Governor Scott Walker is at the helm of The Titanic that our state has become, look for this to be rammed through quickly and signed into law so they can get the legal decisions they want rather than the legal decisions that are, well, legal.
It Just Got Easier to Fleece Lobbyists
Because Republicans can now pass any bills they want, they have very quietly voted to remove the last major obstacle to fundraising efforts. During the budget process where elected officials amend, decide and vote on the spending of $65 billion, fundraising is prohibited. The State Assembly wants to end that practiceso businesses with any interest in getting their hands on tax dollars can inset coins into any state elected official even during the time the budget is being discussed, finalized and voted upon.
I'm sure Republicans will raise even more enormous amounts of cash as the budget process is just starting (nice timing for the bill).
In their own districts and everywhere else in Wisconsin except Dane County, lawmakers in the Assembly will now be able to collect campaign checks from donors while they are deciding who gets what out of the state's more than $65 billion budget for the next two years.They have no shame, but at least they're doing their utmost to prevent the public from knowing what they're doing behind closed and secret doors to ensure they'll be able to shakedown lobbyists and business at any time.
The vote was taken not in front of television cameras but by a paper ballot with minimal public notice - a growing practice in the Legislature in recent years.
With provisions concerning everything from how much families and businesses will be taxed to how much special interests receive in money collected through those taxes, the budget is always among the most important bills lawmakers consider.And those paper ballots, new this legislative session, means that the votes are hidden from public view since notices are only posted in the State Senate and State Assembly rather than in view of the public.
The public notice, however, isn't the same as the notice given for other committee votes, which are posted on the Legislature's website. Notices of paper ballots are posted only on the bulletin boards located in both the Senate and Assembly. If a new motion is being voted on, the public has to go to the chief clerk in the respective house to get a copy of it.Yes, just hide everthing from the public. The new GOP motto.
That makes it more difficult for voters living far from Madison, or even near the statehouse, to monitor what their representatives are doing.
Walkers Big Time Flip-Flop
After being a 2 term Milwaukee County Executive who loved residency requirements which keep public employees residing in the municipality or county in which they work, Scott Walker is saying he wants to end them.
Local governments like residency requirements because public employees not only pay local taxes, but have a vested interest intheir communities. In other words, they like to keep the tax dollars they spend for salaries local. Understandable. And, while he was Milwaukee County Executive, he agreed.
But now, with high unemployment (which he caused) and the City of Milwaukee surrounded by red counties whose residents want jobs (but not residency requirements that would have them move from their suburban paradises) and important endorsements from Fire and Police Unions (that don't like residency requirements) at stake, it seems Scott Walker has rethought the whole situation.
On top of that, he hates Milwaukee (damn Democratic voters) with a passion and it seems wants nothing more than to drain every last penny out of the largest city in Wisconsin. He did his largest budget cuts to Milwaukee in his last budget and draining as much local tax money out by ensuring it goes to non-city residents is just more icing on his Republican layer cake.
Those Ring of Fire counties already drain revenue from the city and county of Milwaukee as their residents drive in to work and drive back out with their salaries, using city and county resources that they don't contribute a penny for while in the area.
Of course, this would only apply to Milwaukee and not elsewhere in the state. Last year Walker and his Republican allies also singled out Milwaukee when it came to the Milwaukee Area Technical College where he now appoints the board of directors and specifies that officials from surrounding (Republican) counties have seats on that board.
Did I mention that Walker hates Milwaukee?
Walker Still Fighting ObamaCare
In addition to refusing to set up state exchanges, Scott Walker is refusing to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin. Of course, it's not because he hates poor people or sick people... I'll let you read his BS for yourself (I bolded them).
Speaking to an audience of hundreds at a meeting here of business lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Walker said his plan would cover somewhat fewer people than a full expansion of Medicaid as provided under the federal health care law, which he said would cover 252,700 people, or 28,100 more than his own approach. But the Republican governor said that his proposal, which shrinks state health programs by a few thousand patients, would reduce the role of government in people's lives and make them more independent.
"Some people will portray this as not caring about people. I think it's just the opposite. I care too much about the people of this state not to empower them to control their own destiny," Walker told the audience.
PS: I'm only linking to articles that are not behind paywalls. You get 15 or 20 views for free with the Journal Sentinel, but the Capitol Times and Wisconsin State Journal now seem to be behind paywalls and even I'm not going to cough up 5 bucks a month.