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This is Ron Schneider, owner of Leon’s Frozen Custard. Today…

La Importancia de Seguir Nuestros Estudios Universitarios Hola que tal…

UWM graduate hopes to help other families living with disabilities…

Hoy Wisconsin Today Hola que tal soy Mariella Godinez-Muñoz presentadora…

Milwaukee a la Mexicana Por Yesenia Lira Durante los ultimos…

takingsidesOnce again Wisconsin is the focus of negative national attention. Once again Scott Walker proves his critics right who say he is an incompetent and unfit individual to be Governor of Wisconsin. Once again Scott Walker’s hypocrisy exposes itself to the public reminding us of how strongly he and the Republicans criticized Jim Doyle for playing gimmicks with state money to balance the budget, and how he, Scott Walker that is, would follow GAAP or Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, to make sure his administration would be one of superb transparency, honesty, and faithful steward of taxpayer money. Remember that gobbledegook Republicans?  Recall before the days of Trump and Cruz, those glorious days when people thought the Republicans had learned from past lessons and would not drink the Kool-Aid out of the Cup of greed when they get in power and protect the people’s money?

Well, look what happened here. Not only did the GOP drink the Kool-Aid you mutha-flowers have given Wisconsin a governor who is now postponing a $101 million debt payment, indicating once again the Governor’s and the Republican legislature’s incompetence and lack of economic vision.

Of course you establishment Republicans know that all of this is rooted to the bad decision that Walker and the Republican legislature made in past years. You loyal GOP players know what they did! Walker and his loyalists changed the agenda from creating 250,000 jobs in 2010 to one of union attack and gerrymandering the voting districts, they allowed the waste of $140 million of tax credits wasted in corruption at WEDC, they gave Wisconsin businesses unrestricted 6% tax credits and they did not expand business operations so as to increase tax revenue (that could have been used to pay the debt). These tax credits were mere payoff to donors than anything else, and we least not forget, Walker attempted to change open records law to hide the secret shenanigans he and his gringo cartel played against the Wisconsin taxpayer…need I say more?

So, now that Scott Walker and his gringo cartel postponed paying on the debt, do Republicans still believe the current Republican legislature is good for Wisconsin?

So…is Scott Walker and the current Republican legislature good for Wisconsin? They may be good for the Waukesha, Racine, and Kenosha business owners but not for the rest of Wisconsin. Could it be that these business owners are subcontractors of the Koch Brothers? Maybe they should be investigated for secret bank accounts like the one discovered for the Kock Brothers in Switzerland in the Panama Papers.

Now you have proof why Republicans across the state and nation -except Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha- so strongly rejected Scott Walker. He, the Republican legislature, Reince Priebus, and Paul Ryan are under the direct controll of an establishment of business elites that keep them serving their needs by keeping Walker and his gumba cohorts under their control. Walker is a loyal servant to his corporate masters. Walker could careless about the people of Wisconsin who voted for him.

So keep making Wisconsin look good, Scooter. Soon we should be ready to default on the debt at the rate Walker’s administration is going.

HRC Supporters in Fantasy World

HRC supporters argue that Bernie Sanders remaining in the race is suppressing Clinton’s results in the national polls against Trump. This is the argument of braindead people stuck on a notion told to them. Their inability to think critically explains their unwillingness to test the validity of this argument. This is a level playing field and if HRC was as competitive, she would equal Sanders in these national polls. So the real question is, how much further ahead would Sanders be of Trump without Clinton in the race?

By landslide margins is the answer, and both Clinton and Trump know this.

I do wish that HRC supporters would cease their chatter about how many more votes she has won than Sanders. These results are limited to Democrats, and do not factor in the independents and republicans of the general electorate.

She has received 5% of the national vote, in a party that heavily favours her and represents only 29% of the electorate.

She has been running against an opponent who came from nowhere, starting with no money or organisation and who has accepted no funds from corporate America or special interests.

As a household name and with the entire DNC establishing backing her, along with wealthy and powerful donors, and the liberal media behind her, she has had every advantage.

When she has employed election rigging, voter fraud and suppression, illegal fundraising, a network of surrogates in the DNC establishment and media, a strategy of misrepresenting her opponent to distort the truth, and she has to copy his campaign themes and personality to boost her own popularity, the only place these results are only valid is on paper.

The true metrics are Bernie Sanders $200 million in small donations from 2 million donors making 7 million contributions, a network of 9 million volunteers (without a single paid troll), 1.2 million people attending Sanders rallies, with attendances in excess of 27,000 at single events, and his leading her for months in every poll against Trump.

She can only dream of such enthusiasm and passion from her base. This is the false picture that is painted when the hand of corruption controls the strokes of the brush.

The problem with Clinton’s poor favourability has nothing to do with Bernie Sanders. It is her own past wrong doings catching up with her.

It’s starting to sink in with her campaign and the Clinton media, Trump is going to be harder to defeat than they thought, and they are going to make a scapegoat of Bernie Sanders, the stronger prospect, to hide her weakness.


A recent report published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel informs us that Milwaukee bureaucrats are busy seeking a $20 million dollar federal grant to expand the Milwaukee downtown streetcar, so that it can provide service to the New York billionaire Milwaukee Bucks owners new sports arena.

“The idea all along has been that the original route needs extensions to make the streetcar route more successful and efficient. And this is the first next step in terms of having a meaningful extension to add to the success of the streetcar increasing connectivity downtown,” said Ghassan Korban, Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works commissioner.

Notice that Korban said “increasing connectivity downtown”.  It would be interesting to hear from the commissioner of public works, or from Mayor Tom Barrett, how “increased connectivity downtown” translates into safer Milwaukee neighborhoods, increased access for black-owned restaurants or other retail establishments into the downtown financial networks and increasing revenues to pay towards lead service line removal for over 70,000 homes who’s children risk being poisoned by lead laterals drawing water from the city’s water main.

The consummate and feverishly loyal bureaucrat, Ghassan Korban, states that if the city receives the $20 million federal grant, the grant will cover about 50% of the estimated costs for the Bucks downtown streetcar extension. The city will then cover the rest of the cost by once again using a tax incremental financing (TIF), which defers revenues away from public education throu050416-taking-sides-pix-1gh the use of “Donor Tax Incremental Districts” in particular, like it did to finance the early stages of the streetcar development. See graphic illustration below:

Milwaukee has subsidized economic development for the financial sector of downtown while at the same time nurturing austerity and neglect to the central city for the better part of the last 20 years.  For 20 years we’ve been told that an economically developed downtown would be good for Milwaukee neighborhoods and yet 20 years later, the only neighborhoods seeing improvement are those being gentrified nearest to the downtown district. All other neighborhoods continue to experience severe neglect from elected leaders.

This is why neighborhoods in the city of Milwaukee are crumbling. Milwaukee bureaucrats and elected leaders shat on spending money to remove lead pipe laterals because it’s too expensive, yet cheer spending hundreds of millions of dollars for downtown development, and immediate surrounding areas; feeding downtown growth for the wealthy.

If Milwaukee’s Camelot continues to bring economic growth because of the investments made there, why then are the central city neighborhoods not benefiting from the riches achieved? Why is there no money to remove lead pipes that are potentially poisoning the children of Milwaukee without having to raise water rates by 10%?

Is this the standard for our community these days? Prioritize hundreds of millions of dollars for the wealthy financial districts while at the same time refuse to fund and resolve the hazard lead pipes present to the lives of Milwaukee’s infants and toddlers?

There is a need to push even harder for fundamental change in our moral priorities in Milwaukee.

When news of the poisoned water crisis in Flint reached a wide audience around the world, it was revealed that when the governor’s office discovered just how toxic the water was, representatives of his own administration decided to keep quiet about it and covered up the extent of the damage being done to Flint’s residents, most notably to the children, causing irreversible and permanent brain damage.

Citizen activists uncovered these actions, and the governor now faces growing cries to resign or be arrested.

Milwaukee officials haven’t gone to this level of criminal behavior,  but it is clear that Milwaukee elected leaders of the Common Council and Mayor’s have known of this dangerous toxic issue for many years.

Which means that, while the children of Milwaukee continue to drink water flowing through potentially poisonous lead-pipes, the Bucks will draw clean water from Milwaukee’s clean lake and lead free pipes and people with money to spend get to ride to those Bucks games on a downtown streetcar courtesy families living with having to deal with a dangerous hazard threatening their water and infants.

takingsidesWalker’s Lincoln Hills Scandal

The recent dismissal of former corrections secretary Ed Wall from his new position at the Wisconsin Department of Justice has provided some interesting insights into the shadowy and shady world of the Walker administration.

Wall exposes for us the fact that Walker’s administration instructs its secretaries to work on matters of state in a secret fashion: limit all documentation by NOT putting things in writing through public mail or email etc — as evident by this statement Wall wrote in a letter to Walker Chief of Staff Rich Zipperer:

“I know that you didn’t want me sending this electronically or to the office because of the (open) records issue, so I elected instead to send it to your home in writing and would ask that you feel free to shred it once you’ve looked it over,” Wall wrote to Zipperer. “Nobody will know that I sent it and this is strictly between you and me. I understand the concern the administration has over creating records, Rich, but I can’t let that harm me or my family worse than we’ve already been harmed.”

For some excerpts from that letter:

It’s interesting that Walker’s Chief of Staff would instruct Wall not to email items like this, but then turn around and report Wall for sending that letter to Zipperer. Did Wall get set up? Why tell Wall not to send information electronically, then turn around and throw Wall under the bus for sending the information to his home via mail? Wall is no innocent spring chicken here. It seems he was trying to leverage something for himself.

Still, no matter what comes from Wall’s firing and actions, the effort by the Walker administration to act has if Walker did not know what his secretaries are doing is pathetic.

Isolating Walker from responsibility for not taking action regarding Lincoln Hills is the political play his team is trying to achieve.

However, Walker can’t play that game because it is his responsibility to direct his secretaries to report to him all matters that are serious and that have escalated and will affect the state adversely. Did Walker not give that directive to his secretaries?

Walker’s “I did not know” defense is a sham. It’s Walker’s responsibility to know. Walker just wants deniability. If Walker did not direct his secretaries to report all matters of great importance to him, then Walker is incompetent or setting up his secretaries to be scapegoats for his negligence.

Wall is guilty, like Reed Hall (WEDC), of inaction.

Walker’s efforts to move public attention away from his own inaction works only for his base. The rest of us can see what he’s attempting to do with Wall.

Walker should be criminally liable (or civil) for not being alerted—if that is what he is implying about the tragedy at Lincoln Hills. The idea of trying to make Wall the scapegoat is working only for the Walker sheep.

Republican Congressman Admits Voter ID Helps Suppress Votes

After the election on April 5th during a Republican Election Night party, Congressman Glenn Grothman was interviewed by a television news network and without hesitation bellowed out that Republicans would win Wisconsin in the upcoming elections because as he put it, “…we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference as well.”

I thought to myself NO KIDDING!

In a moment of extraordinary honesty, GOP congressman Grothman said the new voter ID law will help enable Republican candidates running for office beat Democrats in the November elections.

The statement made by the Congressman didn’t surprise me. For years it has been argued that voter ID would suppress enough Democratic votes to enable Republican candidates running for office greater odds at beating Democrats in a election. To actually say it out loud… to a reporter… on camera, was arrogance on his part.

Rep. Glenn Grothman’s statement was made in response to questions about the primaries in Wisconsin. His statement gave credence to arguments that voter ID laws are tools used by conservatives to disenfranchise the poor and minorities, many of whom vote for Democrats.

An estimated 300,000 registered voters in Wisconsin, 9 percent of the electorate, were considered at risk of being disenfranchised during the primaries. The law in Wisconsin, and in other states with similar rules on the books, predominantly affects groups such as African-Americans, the poor, elderly individuals and students.

Grothman said something similar in 2012, when he was minority assistant leader in the state Senate. At that time, he said the law, which he helped to pass in 2011, could help GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney if it were in effect for the November election then, because “people who vote inappropriately are more likely to vote Democrat.”

Conservatives often defend the laws as tools to guard against voter fraud, promoting voter integrity and even increasing turnout. However, there is almost no evidence that in-person voter fraud is a widespread issue. Conservative Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit bluntly characterized Wisconsin’s law as a “poll tax.”

“There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud,” he wrote in an opinion for a case addressing Wisconsin’s law, “and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.”

The law contributed to hourslong lines at polling stations for the state’s GOP and Democratic primaries, which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won, respectively.

Congressman Glenn Grothman, the man who stood against establishing Cesar E. Chavez day in Wisconsin, and used to make his state legislative staff work on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and puts out press releases complaining about Kwanzaa, now admits voter ID was designed to limit the ability of Americans to vote.

Clearly, Republican values are uncivilized.   

takingsidesScott Walker’s Endorsement of Ted Cruz Serves Koch Brothers – Helps Position Paul Ryan for Presidential Run

Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz has to be feeling pretty good about his campaign these days.

He got the endorsement of Koch Brothers front man, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and he’s threatening Donald Trump’s attempt to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

Also feeling pretty good about things have to be the Koch Brothers, who initially suffered a set back after their boy Scott Walker was defeated in his attempt to win the White House, but now suddenly find themselves back in the drivers seat after Scott Walker was able to seal the deal with Cruz.

But the Koch Brothers aren’t taking any chances this time around, they’re not about to let Trump win if Cruz doesn’t come through. The Koch Brothers have taken out an insurance plan to win the White House this time.

That insurance plan comes in the form of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Wisconsin Republican the Koch Brothers recently recruited to step in if Trump is able to beat Cruz.

The Koch oligarchs are manipulating the puppet strings of the Wisconsin Republican Party in order to defeat Donald Trump, their biggest threat preventing them from having control of the White House.

There are a few articles alleging that the Koch oligarch network “is quite confident” that the party establishment will be able to thwart the will of conservative voters and hand the nomination to their chosen champion, House Speaker Paul Ryan.”

This is the Koch Brothers insurance plan if Cruz is unable to pull through.

Ryan’s rise will take place at the national Republican Convention. Walker’s deal with Ted Cruz erases any concern the Koch Brothers may have with Cruz’s obnoxiously smug self-righteousness. For the Koch Brothers, defeating Donald Trump is top priority.

For the Koch Brothers, Cruz will be the most likely candidate who will support efforts to protect oligarch off-shore banks and shell companies from government accountability and taxes. But in case Cruz doesn’t make it, plan B will be Congressman Paul Ryan, who will be paraded onto the GOP convention floor as the alternate choice if Trump prevails during the GOP primaries.

For the Koch Brothers, having control of the White House protects their wealth and ensures pushing for tax laws that will further their efforts to avoid paying taxes legally.

The Wisconsin Republican Party establishment has proven to be nothing but a shill political party for the Koch oligarchs. Wisconsin Republicans under Walker’s control have no interest in playing by the rules in order to win the White House for the Koch Brothers.

If Cruz isn’t able to pull off a delegate victory over Trump, Charles Koch feels certain that his boy, Speaker Paul Ryan can sway the Republican National Convention to make him the party’s nominee if Donald Trump fails to win enough delegates.

No matter what the outcome is, what is certain is the fact that the Koch Brothers have much to gain if they control the White House.

takingsidesMyron Buchholz is no Ron Kind

Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District will have the chance to vote for change during the Congressional Democratic Primary.

Establishment Democrat incumbent, Congressman Ron Kind has a challenger by the name of Myron Buchholz, who is looking to dim the light of a leading Wall Street democratic point of light.

There’s a saying in the Latino community, “Dime con quién andas, y tediré quién eres” (Tell me who you walk with, and I’ll tell you who you are).

Congressman Ron has been walking with the wrong KIND of people, says Buchholz.

In fact, Myron Buchholz says that Kind has lost his way. Buchholz says that Ron Kind has turned away from being a good steward of the people, to being just another Wall Street rubber stamp.

Myron Buchholz is a retired high school history teacher and Eau Claire resident looking to change the direction that Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District has been heading under Ron Kind, who has held his congressional seat since 1997.

Dime con quién andas, y tediré quién eres, Buchholz says as he walks not only with anti-war activists seeking peace, and anti-oligarchs fighting against Wall Street control of Washington, he walks with the spirit of his loving wife who passed away. He says she keeps him focused and on the right path.

Buchholz says he was motivated to answer the “call” to take part in the political revolution that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders started: “The time to step up and take our government back from the billionaire class has arrived,” said Buchholz.

Buchholz said, “The Trans Pacific Partnership is just another give-away of power to corporations. TPP is no benefit to the working class….we know from past experience these trade policies do nothing but destroy our community after factories close and move out to other countries where governments allow the corporations to exploit workers.”

Dime con quién andas, y tediré quién eres! Myron Buchholz walks the walk of the people. He clearly is no Ron Kind.

takingsidesLead Pipe Hazard is Not Priority of the Mayoral Candidates

During a recent debate of the mayoral candidates hosted by the Public Policy Forum, mayoral candidates Tom Barrett and Bob Donovan, when asked what would be their priorities if elected mayor; both men declared that in the first 100 days in office the top three priorities will be:

Mayor Barrett:

1. Re-energize efforts to get the Century City successful

2. Push summer Earn and Learn Program

3. Work on city fiscal stability

Mayoral Candidate Donovan said:

1. Public Safety

2. Jobs

3. Education

Donovan’s public safety response could be interpreted to mean that he will be working to keep our children safe from lead hazards in our water, but his answer most likely dealt with crime fighting instead of fighting lead poisoning.

Unless Donovan clarifies his public safety stance, it is fair to say that safe drinking water will not be a priority issue for either candidate to address in their first 100 days in office.

Clearly, lead lateral removal is not Mayor Barrett’s priority — why shouldn’t that be a surprise? It was never a priority of his 12 years in office.

It’s sad that our Mayor can’t see the forest before the trees, leaving to chance that lead water leaching in 70,000 pipes will not be a serious matter anytime soon. He takes that chance at the risk of our children’s lives and the future of our city’s competitive edge.

Of course, the sense of urgency to do something about this ticking-toxic-time bomb flowing in lead infested pipes underneath the ground of homes in mostly Black neighborhoods is set aside. For the current mayor, it’s more important to count the money in the city’s coffer for safe keeping, than to set aside money to advance planning stages to remove the pipes that literally threaten our children’s development and future.

Let me be clear: There are thousands of lead service lateral lines buried underground delivering water through lead infested lateral pipes in our city, which could release unhealthy doses of lead into the water of 70,000 homes in Milwaukee, and neither candidate has this as a top priority to address?

Is this not the “Freshwater Capitol” of America? How is it that any mayor can claim to be “Freshwater Capitol,” yet is unable to provide fresh, hazard free water to children?

Whatever the outcome of the mayor’s race in the coming week, I hope that whoever prevails will reconsider their top three priorities and at least make safe water the top priority.

takingsidesMilwaukee’s Lack of a Strategic Plan to Remove Lead Pipes, Indicates Indifference

When a government struggles with an issue, it usually means the government has no plan in place to deal with the issue, thus government appears to be floundering in its attempts to be successful.

Arguably, a leading cause of government failure is in part, not having a strategic plan in place to deal effectively with issues that fester.

If a government has little idea where it is headed, it will wonder aimlessly and priorities become confused and its purpose become suspect as it chases strategies that have little or no meaning for the whole of the city.

Milwaukee’s failure to prepare a comprehensive strategic plan designed to create a road map for removing 70,000 lead pipe laterals has left a leadership vacuum that should be addressing the removal of hazardous lead pipes that bring water to these homes.

To be sure, at a minimum, Milwaukee needs to develop a strategic plan that:

– Establishes clear and specific goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics to remove lead pipe laterals

– Define strategy that allows the city to seek funding and test children in affected areas for lead

– Removes uncertainty and daunting out-look of removing lead pipe laterals

– Provides clear direction and focused attention to the removal of lead pipe laterals

– Moves the city to align people, departments, organizations, etc. to a common goal of removing lead pipe laterals

– Defines specific actions for seeking funding and establish an action plan for effective implementation

As mentioned above, a strategic plan would help city efforts towards achieving drinking water free from all known hazards. But perhaps most importantly, the strategic planning process for getting to that end first must be established.

For decades Milwaukee’s elected leaders have failed to make that happen, with respect to the 70,000 lead pipe laterals that present a clear danger to the health of our children.

Not setting this as a top priority indicates indifference on the part of City Hall.

Milwaukee bureaucrats and elected leaders must develop a comprehensive strategic plan in order to effectively remove these lead lateral pipes. Without a plan, there is little or no alignment with common goals and strategies to achieve this.

The notion that strategic planning has to be a long arduous process to be successful is complete nonsense. In fact, when the plan is completed without a lot of “bureaucracy” and extraneous analyses, the experience for everyone is short lived and accomplished.

takingsidesTrump Ignorance of Islam is Dangerous for the World

Donald Trump’s rise to power in America to become the Republican presidential nominee should worry governments around the world.

A Reuters’ article pointed out that foreign diplomats in Washington have shown serious concern over Trump’s foul mouth, ignorant rants and vitriolic language about Muslims and Islam.

The greatest example of Trump’s ignorance is his constant attacks against Islam. Trump speaks of Islam as if Islam is a country and Muslims are a race.

Trump considers Muslim immigrants to be intruders operating to undermine America. He projects to the poorly educated American that the country of Islam is attempting to control the American people.

Obviously his ignorance further polarizes America against Muslims as he fuels hatred against Muslims by stating that “Islam hates America,” once again injecting into the minds of poorly educated Americans the idea that Muslims come from a country called Islam.

What Trump fails to understand is that Muslim terrorists have incorrect assumptions about the religion of Islam. Instead, Trump thinks that Muslim terrorists are acting in the political interest of a nation called Islam.

Trump’s demagoguery detracts, blurs, and puts negative spin in the minds of America’s poorly educated class, which he caters to, by claiming that Muslim radicalism and terrorism are supported by a nation called Islam. The poorly educated in turn respond by thinking that they are about to go to war with a country called Islam and that Muslims come from that country.

Trump speeches do nothing but polarize people against each other, and secure hatred against Muslims.

Let’s be clear. Islam is a religion, not a country. Muslims are believers of Islam, much like Christians are believers of Christianity. There is no country called Christianity, like there is no nation called Islam. These are religions.

As for Trump, the trumpery Trump era has begun and America will be all the more ignorant because of it.

Plenty of Money for Downtown Development – Lead Free Water

A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article revealed that residential property owners in the City of Milwaukee face over $500 million dollars in costs to remove all lead pipes delivering drinking water to 70,000 residential properties in the city.

Realizing the seriousness of this, city officials at the Milwaukee Water Works canceled water main replacement projects in residential neighborhoods with older homes, because of fear of spiking up the level of lead being delivered in drinking water to homes in these areas.  The cancelation is intended to eliminate the risk of contributing to higher levels of lead contaminating tap water with the toxic metal.

Lead poisoning has been linked to learning and behavioral deficits later in life, aggressive behavior that some have linked to juvenile delinquency and even criminal behavior. Lead has also been found to be linked to poor performance in schools as evidenced by test scores and suspension rates, according to city officials.

Lead poisoning is of particular concern with children who are more susceptible because of their metabolic rates.

Recently, Milwaukee City Treasurer Spencer Coggs issued a news release informing Milwaukee residential property owners that cost related to replacing laterals in most of the city’s older homes will be allowed to be abated for six years by the city.

In other words, residential property owners will pick up the cost to change laterals on their property delivering lead water caused by city water main which are spiking the lead in the water of older homes in the City of Milwaukee–mostly located in the north side and parts of the south side.

Such absurdity needs to be pointed out. The City Treasurer and the Mayor of Milwaukee telling residential property owners to pay out of pocket to replace laterals that receive water from city pipes that deliver city water carrying minerals that contribute to the growing level of lead found in these laterals, and they expect property owners to pay out of pocket?

Let’s be clear here. The lead in our water spikes when pipes are disturbed for things such as “water main replacement, main breaks, or service line leaks” releasing more lead into the water we drink. Yet, property residential owner must pay out of pocket to replace laterals contaminated because of antiquated pipes the city should have replaced years, if not decades ago?

Well, isn’t that the cat’s meow!

Mayor Barrett and the Common Council can find tens of millions of dollars to give to New York billionaires for a new Bucks arena to pipe in water and they spend tens of millions of dollars to rip up electrical piping so a downtown streetcar can fill up downtown bars and local eateries, but they cannot find money to assist residential property owners to repair lead infested pipes forcing taxpayers to pay out of pocket for laterals if they want to drink clean lead free water.

What are these elected officials priorities? Who are they truly representing? It obviously is not their constituents!

Once again, the kneegroes in the Common Council, under the guise of their feckless leader Mayor Tom Barrett, simply sit in office looking like a deer in headlights about to get plowed over.

takingsidesTurkey Should Scrutinize Trade With Governor Scott Walker

Editor’s Note: The following article was published a couple of days ago by Yeni Asya News based in Istanbul, Turkey. Robert is a weekly columnist for the daily national publication for the last five years.

Recently, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former candidate for President of the United States of America, met with the General Consul of Turkey, Umut Acar, to begin talks to improve trade relations between Turkey and Wisconsin.

The government agency in Wisconsin charged with leading this effort is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The department is chaired by Dan Ariens who is also President and CEO of the Ariens Company.

The WEDC views Turkey as an important commercial link between East and West, which has evolved into one of the world’s newly industrialized economies. Governor Walker wants to pursue trade talks with Turkey because it presents Wisconsin companies looking to export goods with great opportunities.

Establishing trade opportunities between Turkey and Wisconsin is a great idea. However, it must be noted that engaging in talks with WEDC chairman Dan Ariens should be looked at closely as he recently made national news in America implementing a policy that has negatively impacted Muslim prayer in the work place.

Governor Walker’s representative, Fan Ariens, changed his company’s prayer policy to prevent dozens of Muslim employees at his company from worshiping on the job – and he threatened to fire them if they didn’t like it, Muslim workers at the company reported to American media.

Ariens Company used to allow over 50 Muslims who work at his business take two breaks a day – for five minutes at a time – for prayers.

That all recently changed abruptly when the company sent out a statement saying it “does not allow for unscheduled breaks in production” – even for prayer.

Muslim employees said that when they complained they were issued unemployment papers, which indicated that they leave the company.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations called for Ariens to compromise, stating: “We ask Ariens to revert to its previous policy allowing religious accommodation until a resolution can be reached that allows the workers to practice their faith and permits an efficient manufacturing process.”

But the company has not changed its policy.

Muslims have stated that, before the policy change, “undue hardship” to the company was avoided because other employees took over their tasks during prayer.

In addition, Governor Walker is reportedly ready to sign several laws that many in Wisconsin feel discriminates against immigrants-including Muslims.

The laws range from preventing immigrants from being given government identification cards that would allow them access to government services and health needs.

The laws recently were protested by over 50,000 people, who surrounded the Wisconsin State Capitol and called the laws inhumane.

These laws will negatively impact mostly Hispanic immigrants in Wisconsin, and will certainly negatively impact Muslim immigrants as well.

Governor Walker should use his influence and ask his WEDC chairman, Ariens, to reconsider his position regarding Muslims praying at his company in order to prevent precedent that would give other companies in Wisconsin motivation to enact similar policies preventing Muslims from meeting their obligatory prayers.

Governor Walker should also refuse to sign the anti-immigrant legislation that oppresses immigrants in Wisconsin as well.

Turkey should scrutinize Wisconsin’s motivations before engaging in trade with a state that is intolerant of Muslims and immigrants.

takingsidesGovernor Walker’s Former Secretary of Workforce Development Perez Asks Walker Not To Sign Anti-Immigrant Bills

Former Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Manny Perez responded to questions asked of him by Latino community blogger H. Nelson Goodson, of the Hispanic News Network-USA (HNNUSA)-the questions were posted on the HNNUSA Facebook page this weekend.

Perez was asked whether he supported or did not support the current Republican sponsored anti-immigration bills now being debated at the Capitol.

Former Secretary Perez responded to the questions by stating the following:

“As Walker’s first Secretary of Workforce Development and a moderate Republican, I formally ask Gov. Scott Walker not to sign these bills and of Scott Fitzgerald and Republican Legislators to block and put a stop to this legislation. The public perception is that of an anti-immigrant and anti-worker posture when, in fact, undocumented workers are present because companies are hiring them, because they are good workers seeking to feed their families here and in other countries, and when in fact both Democratic and Republican administrations have contributed to the existence of undocumented workers. Workers are not terrorists; they are here as a result of many factors that include corruption and lack of jobs in developing nations and US International policy and more.

“A framework for immigration reform was presented by me in 2014 to both Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson. It is sound and most certainly can be improved upon. I ask that, instead of Republican and Democratic representatives passing resolutions exerting tremendous pressure on the federal government, they should undertake immigration reform that tackles the ROOT causes of immigration without making the workers and private sector that hire them the scapegoats for failures of past Republican and Democrat administrations because they will – without doubt – both suffer. It is time for all Wisconsinites to go beyond a myopic and parochial view of labor, and of international flows of labor when in fact there are many geopolitical and international trade US policy issues that contribute to illegal immigration,” Perez said.

In addition to his statement, former Secretary Perez released a copy of his recommendations for resolving the immigration question.

Former workforce development secretary suggests:

Perez stated that,”With great concern, I have seen the approval of laws being perceived as anti-immigrant in the State of Wisconsin, which in my opinion does not reflect that a careful analysis of the economic and geopolitical realities has taken place.

“Two years ago, August 2014, I presented the framework outlined below to Sen. Ron Johnson and Congressman Paul Ryan. Senator Johnson and Congressman Ryan initially supported my proposal. I am presenting this proposal to the public in the interest of moving forward in order to resolve this matter,” continued Perez.

Former Secretary Perez Immigration Reform Proposal:

1. US must change its foreign relations policy towards Latin America via the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to tie development loans to actual, measurable, sustainable employment outcomes and increases in purchasing power. OBJECTIVE: Lower the supply of labor to the US via increased employment in Latin America, increased consumption in Latin America and aggregate demand for US products and services; reduce corruption in Third World government/nations, maximize use of US taxpayer funds;

2. Protect the border with increased security OBJECTIVE: Lower supply of undocumented labor to the US while increasing security; act in unison with the rest of these measures;

3. Implement MANAGED LABOR FLOWS approach/Temporary Guest Worker Program to existing UNDOCUMENTED workers in the US and overseas; consider granting temporary work permits to existing undocumented workers. OBJECTIVE:Meet labor demand needs on understaffed positions, or positions where skill is needed, or seasonal employment;

4. Standardize E-Verify across the US and penalize US employers and workers who violate the law. OBJECTIVE: Increase security, ensure workers are protected under labor laws, ensure proper accounting for taxes paid;

5. Establish comprehensive economic development and workforce development strategies at the national level as opposed to hodgepodge or reactionary initiatives.

OBJECTIVE: Provide a stable, flexible economic development and workforce development framework for the states to use to maximize outcomes and train the local workforce, yet achieve aggregate results;

6. Ensure all nations adhere to accepted WTO labor standards OBJECTIVE: Ensure that all nations play under the same rules, protect workers’ rights and safety, and ensure a stable labor force for business.

7. Focus on measurable results and outcomes. OBJECTIVE: Stop heated rhetoric and politicking and maximize benefits to the citizens and the nation

takingsidesWalker’s Workforce Development Debacle

Scott Walker has named yet another Secretary of Workforce Development, replacing Reggie Newson.  This is the third Secretary of Worforce Development since Secretary Manny Perez resigned in May 2011.

Before Secretary Perez left DWD, Wisconsin’s employment ranking was 17th in the nation. Since then, Wisconsin has dropped to 34th, according to the latest job report.

So, what happened at the Department of Workforce Development?

The DWD suffers from untrained and unqualified leadership being placed at the helm of the organization for political expediency. The difference between Secretary Perez and every DWD appointee after him, is that Perez has had private sector employment development experience, actual knowledge, and proven ability to achieve results; he understands the needs of business and workers and he cared for the wellbeing of Wisconsin.

Secretary Newson replaced Scott Baumback after it became fairly clear that there was a questionable relationship between him and Division Administrator Allison Rozek on October 2011.

This occurred after emails from Rozek were made public in which she revealed her “current relationship” with Atty. Scott Baumback, a revelation made after she had “filed” a harassment complaint against Secretary Perez. Her allegations against Perez were never filed and DWD sources say there was no harassment by Perez.

After some time elapsed, sources at DWD tell me that the harassment accusation against Perez was nothing more than dirty politics being played and that the governor did not do right for himself or Wisconsin accepting Perez’ resignation even though in that short period of time Perez achieved extraordinary workforce development results. In fact, sources at DWD tell me that Perez was strongly opposed to any employee having inappropriate relationships.

Since Secretary Perez’ departure from DWD, each Walker appointee at the Department of Workforce Development has failed, causing a great deal of damage to Wisconsin’s economy and Walker’s reputation and credibility.

Certainly, Walker’s abandonment of his promise to create 250,000 jobs is fresh in people’s minds. The inexperienced Secretary Newson replaced Scott Baumback after it became clear that there was a questionable relationship between him and Division Administrator Allison Rozek in October 2011.

The newly appointed Secretary of DWD, Ray Allen, has 18 years of experience in the Department of Financial Institutions and hence has no workforce development experience. Is he being brought in to clean up a financial mess, or to advance workforce development?

It is widely recognized that, in accepting Secretary Perez resignation, Walker shot himself in the foot. Sources very close to the Secretary’s office at DWD indicate that Secretary Perez “did in 5 months” more than had been done at DWD in the 5 years since his departure.

What did Perez do? First, Perez implemented a very robust system of financial controls and checks that require agency wide approval. He also deployed a system of internal audit procedures agency wide as a preventive measure to ensure compliance at all times. Furthermore, in 5 months under Secretary Perez’ leadership, the Wisconsin job ranking moved from 20th at the end of Doyle’s term to 17th.

Wisconsin placed an average of 6000–7000 workers per month for 24,000 jobs in just 4 months with worker wages starting to increase. In fact, in 5 months under Secretary Perez’ guidance, DWD placed the same number of workers that DWD placed in 12 months from 2014 to 2015. The December 2015 jobs reports cites, “Wisconsin added a statistically significant 23,600 private sector jobs from December 2014 to December 2015.”

Sources tell me that Secretary Perez aligned the labor market to economic development and that he had the confidence of Workforce and Economic Development Directors statewide. This is significant because most of the directors had democratic leanings at the time.

Sources also say that Secretary Perez was well on the way to making DWD help achieve the 250,000 jobs promised by Walker. But Walker let him go.

Perez Arrives At

Esperanza Unida

When I was hired to be Director of Esperanza Unida, I took on the challenge to restore a financially ruined agency. With over $750,000 in illegal loan debt, in addition to toxic debt of over $250,000 in expenses and another $500,000 in restoration and repairs needed at the two Esperanza Unida facilities, I implemented a plan that would have infused much needed revenue to the agency. The plan was an international manufacturing trade, job creation and training agreement between Esperanza Unida, MATC, Bucyrus International corporation and the country of Turkey.

The effort however was defeated by so-called progressive members of the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) Board of Directors led by labor lawyer Peter Earle and former State Representative Pedro Colon with the help of Voces de la Frontera Director, Christine Neumann Ortiz in 2007.

For several years, the agency struggled to stay afloat. In 2012, I had the opportunity to see Secretary Perez in action when I hired him to restructure the agency. After he confirmed that the organization’s board prior to my arrival had taken inappropriate loans using the 611 West National Building and 1329 West National Building as collateral, he went to work with the City of Milwaukee and the Federal Government to correct this situation, but conditions were not conducive.

Secretary Perez improved the 611 Building, found a buyer (Keystone Development), collaborated with the City of Milwaukee and the Federal Government EDA to allow a foreclosure of the building and perform an inmediate sell to the buyer. This saved the City of Milwaukee $700,000 in federal penalties and extinguished the $1.3 million in debt associated with the building. To derail Perez’ efforts at Esperanza Unida, Irene Correa made false allegations of harassment against Perez. Perez took her to court where her allegations were found to be baseless and were dismissed.


Pattern of Failure

Scott Walker has a habit of appointing people to key positions who are unqualified for the job and then blaming them for the failures of the agency. He also consults with people who appear to be his “friends,” but who feed him bad advice.

Examples of these are Mike Huesbch who – with Walker’s approval – pressed former Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) CEO Paul Jadin to give fraudulent loans to a company. There are those in Madison who say that, as soon as Jadin left WEDC and Perez left DWD, Wisconsin’s jobs future went with them.

Tim Murray basically destroyed WEDC. Former WEDC CEO Reed Hall had no knowledge of economic development. Marc Hogan, the new WEDC CEO, has no economic development experience.

Keith Gilkes, sources in Madison say, was a very bad Chief of Staff.

Scott Baumbach, Reggie Newson, and Georgia Maxwell at DWD are said to not have a basic understanding of or relevant experience with labor markets.

Of course when things go awry, Walker blames the agency or the Secretary in a feeble attempt to misinform the public, when in fact he himself is responsible for what happens under his watch.

My suggestion? Scott Walker do yourself and the people of Wisconsin a favor, consult and accept guidance from those people – such as Secretary Perez and many others – who have both the knowledge and successful experience in their field of expertise.

takingsidesRecent act of vigilantism took place in our community

The violent beating of a teenager accused of attempting a carjacking who then tried to flee the scene — only to be caught by a group of men, is the talk on social media this week.

The teenager was dealt some street Justice according to witnesses in the south side after he was caught.

A photo of the boy left lying on the snow after being beaten by a group of men has gone viral.

The photo has many people in the south side community wondering if he deserved it.

Milwaukee police are investigating the incident and released this statement to FOX6 News on this incident:

“Milwaukee police are investigating an attempted auto theft that happened on Monday, February 8th, around 1:50 p.m. in the 3200 block of W. Madison Street.  The victim observed two suspects in his vehicle attempting to steal it.  He confronted the suspects who fled.  The suspects attempted to enter a get-away vehicle and one of the suspects was successful.  The second suspect was confronted and punched by the victim.  The second suspect continued to flee on foot.   A witness attempted to detain the second suspect, grabbed him by the pants, pulling them off, as the second suspect climbed a fence and continued to flee.  Shortly after, an unknown person battered the second suspect, took a picture and posted it to Facebook.  MPD is working to determine who battered the second suspect.

“The second suspect, who is a 15-year-old Milwaukee male, has since been arrested and suffered a minor injury during this incident.  Once the investigation is complete, the case will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office for charges against the 15-year-old for attempted motor vehicle theft, and the person responsible for battering the suspect,” Police said.

Witnesses say that a young man was slammed to the floor and then surrounded by a group of men who started kicking and punching him for his attempted carjacking.

“They started tugging on his jacket, shoes and pants,” a witness told police. “As he was laying there practically naked, they still kept beating him and laughing at him.”

When the group of men left the teen, who was disoriented and laying on the snow, confused, the injured teenager tried standing up, but fell right back down in a pile of snow.

The photo of the boy lying in the snow was posted on Facebook.

This incident is a travesty. When people take the law into their own hands, they’re no different than the thugs that commit crimes against our community.

The Law and Justice

Dishing out punishment is not Justice. People can’t be taking justice into their own hands. When a criminal is caught, beatings and summary executions are not the manner in which criminals should be addressed.

In the 1930s, crime was out of control. Mobs did drive-byes with Thompson machine guns killing innocent people on the streets. Law enforcement eventually got a handle on things. This is nothing new. Crime is nothing new. The law is what matters. We must work with it to be effective.

Teenagers engaging in criminal activity do so because of failed parenting, schools and the economy. Truly, it’s up to parents to teach the children. When parents act like parents to their children instead of trying to be their friend, things change for the better.

As for the vigilantes who took Justice into their own hands, they must be punished for unjustly being prosecutor, judge and executioner.

Street Justice is not the way Justice is served.

takingsidesWisconsin Working Families Party Could Face Legal Challenge for Late Filing

The political season brings with it many opportunities and many challenges.  So when groups show up in the African-American and Latino communities in Milwaukee to announce they’re going to be organizing to run candidates under a “fusion voting” model and seeking political alliances with communities to get candidates they endorse elected, these groups should be vetted, and they should be familiar with state laws regulating their political activities—especially laws that relate to finances being obtained or spent.

Wisconsin State Legislature Chapter 11 Campaign Financing

11.05 Registration of political committees, groups and individuals

Committees and groups. Except as provided in s. 9.10 (2) (d), every committee other than a personal campaign committee which makes or accepts contributions, incurs obligations, or makes disbursements in a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, and every political group subject to registration under s. 11.23 shall file a statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). In the case of any committee other than a personal campaign committee, the statement shall be filed by the treasurer. A personal campaign committee shall register under sub. (2g) or (2r).

On July 15, 2015, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel announced that the Working Families Party was going to start a chapter here in Wisconsin. On July 31st, the Wisconsin Working Families Party (WWFP) announced that Sup. Marina Dimitrijevic was stepping down as Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board to become State Director of WiWFP. On October 20, 2015, the WWFP officially opened their headquarters in Milwaukee by throwing a “big party,” which asked party goers to purchase tickets at $50 and $25 or to become a “sustainer” by making donations on a monthly basis to Wisconsin Working Families Party and then they would receive a ticket for “free.”  Donations have been available on the WWFP website in denominations ranging from $3 to unlimited since the website was active.

With all of the WWFP activity that we know of, it is impossible to believe that during the period from which it was announced that the WWFP, which launched on July 15, 2015, and stayed active through December 31, 2015, did not accept contributions, incur obligations, or make disbursements in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, which requires the WWFP to submit their Campaign Registration Statement in 2015 and file a campaign finance report by January 15, 2016.

The law allows for WWFP to not have to report who their contributors and donors are as an independent expenditure committee, which they did not file until January 20, 2016; however, the law is very clear that WWFP should have reported their expenditures once they received, spent, or incurred obligations of $300 or more.

By not filing their Campaign Registration Statement in 2015 and subsequently their campaign finance report, in particular the 2016 January Continuing Report, they appear to have violated Wisconsin State Election Law, unless they did not “receive, spend, or obligate” $300 or more.

Even if everything the WWFP had received or given away was donated, those donations would be considered as “In-kind” donations and would require WWFP to file their Campaign Registration Statement after the $300 threshold in 2015, thus triggering submissions for a campaign finance report.

WWFP is not being transparent

WWFP made transparency one of their main objectives, especially as they contrasted themselves to Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. However, to date, WWFP has proven to be less transparent than Walker and Abele. At least the Governor and the Milwaukee County Executive filed their campaign finance reports.

At the very least, WWFP appears to be intentionally delaying reporting where their funds have been spent until after this upcoming election cycle, as reports do allow for amendments to correct “mistakes.”

Once again, does this not warrant some kind of investigation?

takingsidesIs Wisconsin Working Families Party Gaming Milwaukee Elections?

Recently revealed documents have shed light on the lack of transparency practiced by the Wisconsin Working Families Party (WiWFP).

In particular, the recent Campaign Registration Statement filed with the Milwaukee County Election Commission exposed that the WiWFP is not a political party as the public believed, but are in fact an Independent Expenditure Committee, similar to that of a Political Action Committee (PAC).

This form also reveals that this initial filing was submitted on January 20, 2016; several months after the announcement of the “party” being formed in Wisconsin and the hiring of its state director, Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrejevic. It was further revealed that the required Campaign Finance Report filing deadline for expenditures from July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 was not met by WiWFP either.

Though it is understood that registering as an “Independent Expenditure Committee” means WiWFP does not have to disclose their donors and contributors, similar to right wing Political Action Committees like Americans for Prosperity or Club for Growth when they receive money from the Koch Brothers or other right wing funders; those groups and WiWFP are still responsible for reporting their expenditures or costs.

The fact that the Campaign Registration Form was filed late and no Campaign Finance Report was filed by WiWFP, an eyebrow of concern has been raised and questions about why WiWFP registered so latemust be asked.

State Director of WiWFP and Milwaukee County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrejevic is an experienced politician who has submitted dozens of financial reports in the past. Surely she didn’t forget to register the “party” or file financial reports. In fact, she filed her own campaign finance report on time and in accordance with election law this month.

Benefits of registering late

Campaign finance reporting deadline was January 15, 2016. WiWFP submitting their registration late (January 20, 2016) and not submitting financial reports appears to have been done intentionally to avoid reporting all expenditures incurred between July 1 and December 31, 2015.

The next campaign finance reporting deadline is not until July of 2016, well after the up-coming April 16th City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County spring election. WiWFP has endorsed candidates for Milwaukee County Executive and Supervisors along with Milwaukee Common Council.

So in essence, the voting public will not know who is funding or partnering with the WiWFP because of how they filed the organization as an “Independent Expenditure Committee” and we will not know who WiWFP spent funds with or entered into contracts with until after the next election because their failure to submit financial reports.

Lack of transparency illustrates hypocrisy

The bottom line is that WiWFP lacks transparency no matter which way you cut it. Their failure to be transparent flies in the face of accusations charging Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele for not being transparent.

WiWFP has not been transparent with voters about them being a “party”, they are an independent expenditure committee; they have not been transparent with donors and contributors about who their financial backers are and how they have spent those funds, they have submitted no campaign finance reports; they have not been transparent with election governing bodies about filing registration and campaign finance reports in a timely fashion or submitting forms at all.

The next question that must be asked is whether or not WiWFP has violated some election law? Does this not warrant some kind of investigation?

Further, has the WiWFP been transparent with their own endorsed candidates as to who their funding and strategic partners are? Those candidates include Rep. Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive; Sequanna Taylor, Marcelia Nicholson, and Martha De La Rosa for Milwaukee County Supervisor; and Chevy Johnson and County Sup. Khalif Rainey for Milwaukee Common Council.

Most surprisingly, WiWFP has not been transparent with their own supporters and members, not mentioning once that the Working Families Party endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. WiWFP opted instead to announce on social media the endorsement of candidates WiWFP selected for Milwaukee County Executive, Milwaukee County Supervisor and Milwaukee Common Council.

Brenda Bell-White, co-chair of the Milwaukee Coalition for Justice stated, “This matters because we deserve transparency and truth about organizations…I for one appreciate having this information, this helps to explain why we haven’t heard an endorsement for Bernie Sanders from the Wisconsin Working Families Party

takingsidesWisconsin’s Economy Damaged Because of Governor Scott Walker

This past year Governor Scott Walker used the power of the governor’s office to enact policies negatively impacting Wisconsin’s working families. His actions not only have caused hardship on families, they have hurt Wisconsin’s ability to produce a competitive workforce and lead the nation in innovation.

Walker’s massive $250 million budget cut from the University of Wisconsin and the decimation of K-12 public schools funding is another factor, in part, contributing to the exodus of corporations from Wisconsin.

Walker’s actions seem to show a blatant disregard for Wisconsin’s economic future. Walker dismissed State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers’ public call to Walker to veto more than 20 education measures he supported that would undermine the state’s public schools.

Going along with his own plans he laid out for Wisconsin, Walker saw to it that the majority of public school districts in Wisconsin received less funding, and he left school districts at the mercy of inflation by not providing state cost of living support to school districts.

After signing off on his destructive budget for Wisconsin, Walker then proceeded to run for President of the United States, only to fail and return to Wisconsin in debt to administer over a crumbling Wisconsin economy and infrastructure.

Walker’s actions against public education have hurt Wisconsin’s future ability to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being.

His actions have further hurt the notion of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization that would significantly raise Wisconsin’s employment and economic standing.

Because Walker took money out of the University of Wisconsin, small-scale industrial and other enterprises will look at Wisconsin and come to the conclusion that our state’s ability to produce innovation has been hampered. Because of this, our state’s infrastructure and our ability to retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes will lag behind other states.

Walker’s actions impact negatively our state’s efforts to enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of Wisconsin industries that encourage innovation and substantially increase research and development in public and private sectors.

Indeed, Walker’s lack of support for domestic technology development, research and innovation is greatly impacting whether companies move out, stay or move into Wisconsin.

Walker has failed to advance equal opportunity and economic empowerment for Wisconsin’s communities. His policies have hurt our economy and restricted growth. Divesting the public education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research that create innovation and more good jobs and new wealth for us all has derailed Wisconsin’s economic growth for years to come.

takingsidesWalker’s Workforce Epiphany

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is making it clear that he will move to get the nomination of his party to seek a third term when reelection time comes around.

During a recent interview, the governor seemed to have experienced an epiphany in which he realized that workforce development goes hand in hand with economic development and are equally key to Wisconsin’s economy. Why is Walker all of a sudden trying to reverse course?

If he truly understands how important it is for workforce and economic development to go hand in hand, why did Walker allow dirty politics and corruption to fester within Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) when Paul Jadin was WEDC director and Manny Perez was DWD secretary? The scuttlebutt is that both individuals had sound plans in place and Wisconsin was moving in the right direction under their leadership.

Now that the governor’s failed economic policies were thoroughly vetted by his own party during his failed presidential effort, the time to repair some of the scorched Wisconsin economy policies he put in place comes at a time he is realizing he has no other place to go. So his workforce epiphany is not something he wants to do because it’s the right thing to do, it’s the prudent thing to do to attract much needed funding to pay off his presidential debts as he campaigns to seek his third term as governor.

But Walker’s scorched Wisconsin actions have cost Wisconsin dearly. Our state is hemorrhaging jobs, and in the last two years, Wisconsin has lost over 16,000 jobs, 10,000 after passing Right to Work, according to the NH Labor News. This is indeed a far cry from creating 250,000 jobs.

Indeed, out of desperation for money to pay debts, Walker is trying to make it look like he sees the light.

Sources at DWD and WEDC state that tens of thousands of jobs could have been created in Walker’s first term and that, during this jobs spurt, innovation and economic development would have been stimulated.

But rather than focus on a vibrant Wisconsin, our governor decided unilaterally to change his promise to the electorate and aimed his entire administration at attacking public employees and the unions.

His shift in policy and campaign pledge caused a shock in all of Wisconsin’s industries (not to mention the overall economic environment i.e. consumption, etc.); no one was prepared for the fallout. Without consideration to the potential economic negative impact on Wisconsin, Walker’s decision hampered WEDC and DWD’s ability to bring workers to work and work to workers.

Delusional ambition & Koch brothers

Walker’s delusional ambition to become a puppet president of the Koch brothers in the White House wasted years of recovery in workforce and economic development for Wisconsin. In doing so, Walker has lost credibility with Republicans outside of Waukesha.

Now Walker says he will seek to be governor for a third term and that Wisconsin should believe anything he says. How can Wisconsin families and businesses trust him or anyone working for him in this administration?

If Gov. Walker sincerely cared to fulfill his promise of generating 250,000 jobs, he would have never implemented ACT 10 and allowed Wisconsin to become a Right to Work state. If the governor truly cared for the people of Wisconsin, he would have never allowed dirty politics and corruption at WEDC and DWD.

Finally, if Walker is serious about workforce development, he should implement at least half the proposals advanced by State Representative Peter Barca, and consult with the people who have actually been successful in workforce development.

He should move to restructure the DWD, replace the Secretary with someone who refuses to just be a figurehead with someone experienced and knowlegable, and clear out the Department of Workforce Development of all the yes people currently appointed there.

Republicans in Wisconsin created this mess. Republicans in Wisconsin need to replicate what Republicans across the nation did so clearly: see Walker for what he is and reject him!