3 developments today might have Wisconsin
Governor Emperor Scott Walker circling the wagons:
JOHN DOE PROBE RECORDS
We know the Milwaukee County John Doe was closed after 6 convictions of Scott Walkers top aides and associates, but the records were sealed by the judge overseeing the case for undisclosed reasons. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has requested the records be made public, however, it's one of Walkers own former aides, convicted-of-a-felony Kelly Rindfleisch, who has been successful in hauling out some of those records into the light of day.
An appeals court judge ordered the release Wednesday of numerous documents in the closed secret investigation of aides to Gov. Scott Walker, including the personal emails of convicted aide Kelly Rindfleisch.
Also to be filed with the Court of Appeals are the search warrant for seizing records from Walker's office when he was Milwaukee County executive and a transcript of the secret hearing over that and other warrants. The search warrant was issued on Nov. 1, 2010, the day before Walker was elected governor.
Curley agreed to include in the case file emails retrieved from Rindfleisch's private email account and her personal computer, affidavits supporting the scope of the John Doe investigation in August 2010 and affidavits supporting search warrants related to Walker aides Darlene Wink and Tim Russell.It's not all the records, but numerous records will be released.
In addition, the judge's order would allow the release of affidavits in support of seizing records from Walker's office when he was county executive; search warrants for computers, financial records, cellphone records and remote data storage records in Rindfleisch's Columbus home; and the transcript and exhibits from the Nov. 1, 2010, hearing seeking those search warrants.
Rindfleisch will use information in those documents to aid in the appeal of her felony conviction, part of the plea deal she made with the Milwaukee County District Attorneys office which included having her sentence stayed until her appeal is heard and ruled upon. Should her appeal fail she faces 6 months in prison and 3 years of probation for working on Republican campaigns and events while on a taxpayer salary and working in Scott Walkers Milwaukee County Executive office.
Yeah, she's not the only one interested in those records.
Walker's personal and campaign attorneys did not return calls late Wednesday. Walker campaign spokesman Jonathan Wetzel in an email said only that the case "does not involve the governor."Same old, same old "nothing to see here", Walker "is the son of a preacherman and Eagle Scout", he "cooperated in the investigation" (and that "cooperation" cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars and an entire team of fancy, high priced lawyers), and "move along".
It's a start. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinels lawsuit demanding release of all the John Doe records is still pending.
THE JOBS NUMBERS ARE OUT
Wisconsin added 24,305 private-sector jobs in the 12 months from March 2012 to March 2013, representing a 1.1% increase in employment, which ranks the state 34th among the 50 states in job creation in that time frame.Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.
The ranking was little changed from a report released three months earlier, which covered the 12-months through December 2012. That report gave Wisconsin a preliminary rank of 33nd. In Thursday's report, the state's December-to-December rank was revised downwards from 33rd to 36th.
Wisconsin continued to trail the national rate of job creation, as it has for over two years, according to Thursday's data. The U.S. grew private-sector jobs at a rate of 2.0% in the latest 12-month period, nearly twice the rate of Wisconsin's 1.1%, the data show.
The Walker administration and its critics have clashed over how well the state's economy is performing and what accounts for its below-average growth. While running for office, Walker's No. 1 campaign promise was that the state would add 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his four-year term.(bolding is mine)
In his response Thursday, Walker focused on a new method of ranking, which hasn't been used previously. That ranking said Wisconsin came in 22d out of 50 in private-sector job creation when ranked in absolute number of new jobs, not in terms of percentage change.
Yes, in response Walker is focusing on a "new method of ranking which hasn't been used previously". Infamous for creating his "own" set of jobs numbers just before the recall election in 2012 when the Bureau of Labor Statistics was about to release more bad jobs numbers for Wisconsin, he's at it again creating a new methodology for calculating job numbers.
That's right, folks! Even his own jobs numbers creation machine isn't cranking out the numbers he wants so he's making a new one. Stay tuned for the BS as campaign season rolls along.
Remember, too, that Walker is walking back his only campaign promise: to create 250,000 jobs. He's walking it back as fast as he can.
OBAMACARE PLANS AND PREMIUMS ROLLED OUT FOR WISCONSIN
They're bad news, too. For Walker and the GOP.
The premiums are less than expected on the federal exchanges (Scott Walker refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid and also refused to set up state exchanges).
The Obama administration released figures Wednesday suggesting that average premiums for health plans sold on the Wisconsin marketplace set up under the Affordable Care Act may increase less than previously feared.An estimated 180,000 Wisconsinites currently get individual health insurance plans. With the additional 92,000 Wisconsinites Walker is kicking off Medicaid (and those who won't get Medicaid because Walker refused to accept federal funds to expand it), there will be a lot of folks looking into getting covered under the exchanges.
The report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided the first information on premiums for the marketplace, or exchange, being set up by the federal government in Wisconsin.
For instance, a family of four with an income of $50,000 a year in Wisconsin would pay on average $282 a month, or $3,384 a year, after taking into account federal tax credits next year for a standard health plan purchased in the new marketplace.
Without the tax credits — which are staggered and which disappear for a family of four making above $94,200 — the same plan on the state's exchange would cost $861 a month, or $10,332 a year.
Enrollment begins on Tuesday with coverage to begin January 1, 2014.
In fact, things are so bad that the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has launched an $828,000 ad campaign on behalf of their pal, Scott Walker, to tout his performance at creating "hundreds and thousands of jobs".
Here it is if you can stomach it (I DO recommend it for just the sheer yucks you'll get from hearing them, in very serious tones, proclaiming those "hundreds of jobs" while remembering Walkers 250,000 jobs jobs jobs campaign promise).
Yup, they're sticking some serious money into promoting The Big Lie more than a year before his re-election.
On screen, however, are the words, “Wisconsin ranks 2nd in the U.S. in economic growth potential."(bolding is mine)
The word “potential,” while not spoken, is important. A video called "The Fed explains real versus potential GDP," has this to say about potential GDP:
"Potential GDP is the value of all the things that we had the ability and desire to produce in our economy, even if we didn’t produce all of it. If GDP is different that potential GDP, then we have a problem. The economy isn’t employed at its full potential."
They're betting on people missing the word "potential" in that ad and hoping to leave those they propagandize with the idea that Wisconsin is somehow near the top of the heap. Yeah, we have potential, but Wisconsins wages are declining, Walkers budget stripped enormous amounts of money out of schools along with local budgets leading to a serious falloff in public sector jobs, and the resulting economic decline has been pretty devastating.
The 1% and corporations are doing very, very well with tax breaks and subsidies flowing from the state like manna from the heavens. The rest of us, not so much.
One more laugh from the linked article:
And on Wednesday, the Cap Times’ Mike Ivey reported that Wisconsin comes in at 41st in Forbes’ “Best State for Business” ranking.Now THAT'S funny.
A comment posted to the story Thursday morning reads: “But Forbes must be wrong. I saw an advertisement today that states Wisconsin is Number 2 in economic development (with the obligatory Thanks Gov Walker). So what is that about? What numbers does Walker use that Forbes is not aware of?”
UPDATE: GeoffT offers some further debunkery of that ad in the comments.