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takingsidesBen Carson’s Fear of Muslims Shows No Faith in America

Asked by Chuck Todd on the American news show “Meet the Press,” whether he could support a Muslim for president, former neurosurgeon and current Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson replied, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

The following week, speaking on Phil Hemmer via satellite on Fox News’ Happening Now, candidate Ben Carson stood firm on his position that a Muslim should never be president of the United States.

Continuing his crazy idea Carson went on to say “I’ve worked with Muslims, I’ve trained Muslims, I’ve performed brain surgery on Muslims. I can tell you that, anatomically, a Muslim’s brain is wired differently than ours.”

Yes! An American trained neurosurgeon running for president of the United States said “… a Muslim’s brain is wired differently than ours.”

Carson was not out of the studio before the airwaves were filled with denunciations, and rightly so. Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said CAIR is calling on Carson to “withdraw from the presidential race because he is unfit to lead…”

Mr. Carson said the only exception he’d make would be if the Muslim running for office “had undergone corrective brain surgery and had also publically rejected all the tenets of Sharia and lived a life consistent with American values and the Constitution.”

For Ben Carson to be able to stand in front of millions of people and state with a straight face that the brain of the Muslim is different than the brain of any other human being, clearly is evidence of America’s dysfunctional  system of education. To advance the notion of Muslim paranoia growing among the ignorant class in American society is evidence of a man who has not only betrayed decency, but who has also betrayed himself.

Ben Carson is a shameful example of the ignorance the American people are subjected to by leaders without morality and integrity.

Fortunately most Americans do not adhere to the crazy talk of leaders like Ben Carson. There are however a large number of Americans who do support Carson and his wrong way of thinking.

These Americans follow leaders like Carson because they are uneducated and lack common sense.

Indeed, it’s easy to drag such low-life thinking through the dirt. But rather than defame and ridicule, to defeat this kind of ignorance, Muslims turn to education.

A man’s religion is a part of who he is. While not an infallible guide to what he will do, it is often a reliable road map.

Islam means “submission.” And a believing, practicing, devout Muslim believes in submission to the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH).

Carson is not a devout Christian. He does not practice the teaching of the prophet Jesus. His statements reflect a lack of faith in his own religion.

That is what’s so troubling about Carson’s statement that a person’s faith makes them unfit for office. He not only diminishes the faith of other people, he demonstrates shockingly little faith in America as well.

takingsidesDowntown Streetcar Election Nightmare
Last week, news started to spread that the construction of Mayor Tom Barrett’s $124 million taxpayer funded three mile long Milwaukee Downtown Streetcar, which was supposed to begin this October, will be postponed until next year; most likely after the upcoming spring primary election in February and general election in April. The postponement was briefly mentioned in a WUWM article published earlier this month.
This began a discussion as to why would the robber barons and their kleptocrats down at city hall want to delay the construction of this boondoggle?
According to Ald. Bob Donovan, “Mayor Barrett and streetcar aldermen want to get themselves reelected without facing a significant anti-streetcar uprising from Milwaukee voters.” In order to do that Donovan asserts that, “streetcar supporters have delayed construction to keep the potentially multi-billion dollar project out of sight and, they’re hoping, with fingers crossed, off the minds of voters.”
The Mayor and the “streetcar supporters”, as Donovan calls them, may have some legitimate reasons to be concerned about this upcoming election cycle. Who are the “streetcar supporters”? The “Underboss” is President Michael Murphy, the “Caporegimes” are Aldermen Bob Bauman and Nik Kovac, the “Soldiers” are Aldermen Ashanti Hamilton, Milele Coggs, Willie Wade, Jose Perez, Terry Witkowski, and Russell Stamper.
Another possible concern, in particular for Aldermen Bob Bauman and Nik Kovac, could arise if the construction of the streetcar, which will require tearing up busy downtown and east side streets, sidewalks and bike pathways to move utility lines and other infrastructure, is significantly increased traffic congestion which might not sit well with voters that live in those districts and may negatively impact their chance of getting reelected.
Let’s not forget that with winter around the corner, those infamous Milwaukee snowfalls on top of road construction could be disastrous on commuters travelling between downtown and the fashionable east side. Commuters that vote!
Lastly, the “streetcar supporters” that represent the north side might have a difficult time explaining to their constituents, most of which are suffering from record high unemployment, poverty and crime according to just about every study and social indicator, why they voted for funding the streetcar that does not include their neighborhood and does absolutely nothing to address the issues that impact them the most.
The current proposed route does not go to any of the north side communities, it does not connect communities of high unemployment with areas where there are jobs, there are no guarantees on hiring from these communities, simply put there is nothing in it for those constituents, so why did their elected representatives support it? Who are they representing?
This almost sounds like taxation with no representation? This topic might come up during the next election. In fact, we guarantee it will!
If history repeats itself, the African American community will not benefit from the streetcar
Between 2009 and 2012, the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM) was awarded $60 million in construction and other contacts for the Westlawn Redevelopment Project (Westlawn Project) from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). One of the requirements in receiving these funds was that HACM was to recruit, hire and train “low income individuals” and people that lived in and around Westlawn “to the greatest extent feasible”. This is part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1968, Section 3. It is the law.
It was discovered in an audit conducted by HUD in 2013 that the Westlawn Project was “Noncompliant” in training and hiring in accordance with Section 3. The agency that was contracted to train individuals to work on the Westlawn Project was an organization named Big Step and the President was Earl Buford. Big Step admitted in the audit that they had no record of training one person for the Westlawn Project. The company that was contracted to oversee the Section 3 compliance for the general contractor, Hunzinger Construction Company, was Randy Crump of Prism Technical and Marketing Services LLC.
It came out in the audit that not one resident from Westlawn Housing was hired, and in fact, not one HACM resident was hired on the entire project, which is the exact opposite intent of the Section 3 laws.
So, who did the city contract with to oversee the training of new workers and diversity compliance on the Downtown Streetcar project? No other than Earl Buford, who Mayor Barrett appointed as president and CEO to the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership along with Randy Crump of Prism Technical and Marketing Services LLC.
The two very people that were responsible for training and diversity participation on the Westlawn Project, which was found to be “Noncompliant”, are the same duo that Mayor Barrett put in charge of overseeing training and diversity on the Downtown Streetcar. How do you think that is going to turn out?
Once again, Mayor Barrett and the “streetcar supporters” are going to have to explain to the African American community why during a time of record high poverty, as recently described in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, and unemployment they are engaging in the same old “business as usual” that has not benefitted all of Milwaukee; just a hand select few downtown and on the east side.


takingsidesScott Walker: The Great Bamboozler

How did Scott Walker bamboozle Wisconsin Republicans? By now Wisconsin Republicans are asking themselves, what did their Brethren Iowa Republicans see in Scott Walker that they did not see in Wisconsin?

The simple answer is that Iowan Republicans know a thing or two about identifying a snake oil charlatan.  Walker was subjected to questions he normally would not have to address in Wisconsin. When he could not answer the questions the Republicans in Iowa asked him consistently and honestly, well, you know what happened.

Scott Walker promised he would not drink the establishment Kool-Aid, but not only did he drink the Kool-Aid, he mixed it up with a witches’ brew of rats’ lies, bats’ shenanigans and a smidgen of snakes’ forked tongues.

Just how smart is WI GOP?

Walker got Wisconsin Republicans united, marching door to door, telling voters that he was going to create 250,000 jobs.  But instead, what Walker did in the first quarter of 2011 was to change the entire agenda from jobs creation to attacking the unions.

His action caused an economic shock to the labor and economic environment. Did he consult with the Republican base that broke their backs to get him elected? No.

Whom did he consult? The highly paid corporate consultants and Walker’s big donors, that’s who. Why? So he could become famous and run for the presidency.

Did Walker consult with the Republican base about allowing fraudulent tax credits and loans to primarily corporate donors? Do you seriously believe that Walker did not know about the WEDC loans? Be serious. Walker expects us to believe his innocence as if we believe him when he says he did not know about the secret email system at his Milwaukee County executive office.

Did Walker consult with the Republican base in Wisconsin about changing the open records law, which would have allowed even more corruption to grow?

The buck stops with him.

Did Walker consult with the Republican base in Wisconsin regarding the ethical consequences of selling DNR land to a major multi-million dollar donor?

Republicans are supposed to stand for good, responsible government. Economic efficiency and fair opportunity for all. Instead, Walker serves the big mega donors masquerading as a sole kind of man doing an average man’s work.

He is a snake oil charlatan. Republicans across the nation saw it and they withdrew their support…it is time that Wisconsin Republicans take control of the Wisconsin GOP away from Walker and his bamboozling cohort.

How did Scott Walker bamboozle Wisconsin Republicans? By now Wisconsin Republicans are asking themselves, what did their Brethren Iowa Republicans see in Scott Walker that they did not see in Wisconsin?

The simple answer is that Iowan Republicans know a thing or two about identifying a snake oil charlatan.  Walker was subjected to questions he normally would not have to address in Wisconsin. When he could not answer the questions the Republicans in Iowa asked him consistently and honestly, well, you know what happened.

Scott Walker promised he would not drink the establishment Kool-Aid, but not only did he drink the Kool-Aid, he mixed it up with a witches’ brew of rats’ lies, bats’ shenanigans and a smidgen of snakes’ forked tongues.

Just how smart is WI GOP?

Walker got Wisconsin Republicans united, marching door to door, telling voters that he was going to create 250,000 jobs.  But instead, what Walker did in the first quarter of 2011 was to change the entire agenda from jobs creation to attacking the unions.

His action caused an economic shock to the labor and economic environment. Did he consult with the Republican base that broke their backs to get him elected? No.

Whom did he consult? The highly paid corporate consultants and Walker’s big donors, that’s who. Why? So he could become famous and run for the presidency.

Did Walker consult with the Republican base about allowing fraudulent tax credits and loans to primarily corporate donors? Do you seriously believe that Walker did not know about the WEDC loans? Be serious. Walker expects us to believe his innocence as if we believe him when he says he did not know about the secret email system at his Milwaukee County executive office.

Did Walker consult with the Republican base in Wisconsin about changing the open records law, which would have allowed even more corruption to grow?

The buck stops with him.

Did Walker consult with the Republican base in Wisconsin regarding the ethical consequences of selling DNR land to a major multi-million dollar donor?

Republicans are supposed to stand for good, responsible government. Economic efficiency and fair opportunity for all. Instead, Walker serves the big mega donors masquerading as a sole kind of man doing an average man’s work.

He is a snake oil charlatan. Republicans across the nation saw it and they withdrew their support…it is time that Wisconsin Republicans take control of the Wisconsin GOP away from Walker and his bamboozling cohort.

takingsidesWalker’s WEDC is Nectar for The Corporations

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Wisconsin’s state-run jobs-center (DWD) lists 86,000 unfilled jobs. This does not fare well for either Secretary Reggie Newson or Georgia Maxwell, the newly appointed Deputy at DWD, and it sure does not help Governor Scott Walker sell his lies as he waltzes around the country telling the nation how he single-handedly saved our state from being ruined.

But there are some questions that should be asked. Is it true that DWD has 86,000 jobs listed? And if this number is true, why hasn’t Reggie Newson or Georgia Maxwell exerted the right leadership and rallied Wisconsin workforce development organizations to fill these jobs with qualified people in the last three years? Even if the reported number is not accurate and there are let’s say 60,000 jobs — Why hasn’t DWD filled those positions?

And let’s say that the number is not accurate, which would be something Walker’s people would most likely say, then why is it not accurate? Why hasn’t Director Reggie Newson and Deputy Georgia Maxwell implemented the appropriate systems so as to have reporting done properly? Let’s roll back to a few weeks ago when it was reported that the Walker team wasted $1 million dollars to produce workforce data, but all was shut down because the system was not producing the kind of data the Walker team wanted, yet Georgia Maxwell justified the waste of money despite having no final results.

It’s no wonder why Wisconsin’s job creation record has fallen from 20th in 2010 to 38th under Walker’s leadership.

First, Wisconsin has a corrupt governor who is now mimicking the role of an absentee landlord. Second, CEO appointments at WEDC supported incompetence and corruption and the new CEO at WEDC, Mr. Hogan, is actually the former head of the failed M&I bank credit risk department. Really! The new CEO of WEDC is the same guy who put M&I bank under a boulder because he had approved risky loans.

Wow! With a couple of notable exceptions, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has been run by incompetent individuals. Reggie Newson operates as if he has no labor experience coming from transportation. New deputy Georgia Maxwell came from financial institutions; she has no operational experience in labor, and her only credential is being a close friend of Tonnete Walker. Scott Baumback, it’s been whispered by sources at DWD, had no knowledge of operations and workforce development and was apparently involved in an inappropriate relationship with his administrator that was opposed by former Secretary of DWD Manny Perez in 2011.

Wisconsin’s Tragedy is Walker

The reality is that, under Walker’s leadership, Wisconsin’s economic performance is dismal, job creation has been poor, and corruption has been welcomed at WEDC. He has tried to hide corruption by hijacking the open records law with Robin Voss, Scott Fitzgerald and Rebecca Kleefisch, who as Lt. Governor, still remains silent about the ethical violations at WEDC.

Truth be told, the dysfunction of WEDC and DWD is a tragedy for Wisconsin. It’s a tragedy because the Walker team failed to ensure WEDC and DWD were coordinating to make sure jobs were being created and workers were being trained to fill those jobs.

But instead of doing that, WEDC turned into a cash cow for corporate CEOs who donated the right amount of money to Walker’s campaign in exchange for WEDC nectar.

takingsidesNew WEDC CEO Hire is Governor Walker Message: To Hell with All of You

Scott Walker appointed retired M&I banking executive and long-time political supporter Mark R. Hogan as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

The Governor did this without WEDC board review, proper candidate vetting by the WEDC board or an independent company, and without consideration to mention in the last WEDC board meeting that such a hire is coming. What Walker did is legal under state law however. Still, the hire needs to be approved by the senate.

“Mark Hogan is a proven and respected leader in finance and business, and we are honored to have him as a partner in our efforts to grow the economy, create jobs and keep Wisconsin heading in the right direction,” Walker said in a statement. “Mark’s experience will be invaluable as WEDC continues to reform and improve processes to best serve the citizens of this state in developing economic opportunities for families all around Wisconsin.”

News reports point out that Hogan has contributed nearly $25,000 to Walker’s political campaigns going back to 2005 and he has most recently given $10,000 to Unintimidated PAC, the Super PAC supporting Walker’s presidential candidacy that can receive unlimited contributions.

As head of the M&I bank credit risk department, Mr. Hogan is the person who should have put a stop to the risky loans the bank was making, and which caused its failure.

Hogan will be paid $195,000 annually, and he will likely start in October, Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said.

Walker removed himself as chairman of the WEDC board in the latest state budget, but still appoints the CEO.

Walker sends

in “cleaner”

Walker should have recused himself from the hiring process and committed to no contact direct or indirect with the hiring committee to ensure that the CEO hire not be a Walker puppet coming in to cover up for Walker; so should Dan Ariens, because he is a Walker donor.

In addition, Walker should have known that anyone appointed by him or Ariens will be perceived as a Walker puppet and will be viewed as coming in to cover up for Walker. WEDC needed a person who will be viewed as an independent professional, even if Republican. What we have now is a cleaner.” Someone willing to hide the corruption.

Given the lack of a professional hiring process exercised by Walker and the fact that his two CEO appointments have resulted in complete failures in the past, we, the public, are left to conclude that Mr. Hogan’s job is to continue covering up the scandal left by Walker at WEDC, supported by the current chair Ariens.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said in a statement that he’s disappointed that the Hogan hire, other potential candidates or the selection process, weren’t discussed with the WEDC board at a meeting last week.

What else is hidden that Walker needs a puppet from a failed bank at WEDC? We should demand that the Hogan appointment be rescinded and that a formal hiring process be initiated without influence from Walker. Hogan is an expert in relaxing the rules and allowing risky business loans.

“A change of leadership was desperately needed at this agency but unfortunately, there are persistent problems with the structure of WEDC,” Barca said. “We hope that newly appointed Secretary Hogan will work with us on this process.”

The optimism expressed by Barca, while intended to be diplomatic, clearly is being wasted on a governor who clearly is sending us all a message: To hell with all of you.

takingsidesBernie Sanders Deserves Latino Vote

Hillary Clinton defended her call to deport children from the U.S. who are fleeing violence in Central America.

Clinton, without any hesitation, abandoned migrant children seeking safety from violence. Her action has demonstrated for Latinos why we must not be tricked into voting for her.

Clinton said, “U.S. immigration authorities should focus on expediting the deportation cases of children and people locked in family detention.”

Clinton is pandering for the crazy people vote. She wants to show these people, most of whom want a wall built on the border, that she can be just as nasty as Donald Trump.

The Huffington Post, which notes that unaccompanied minors are generally not even placed in the detention centers Clinton is so concerned about, cites pro-immigrant non-profit RAICES, which likewise blasts Clinton for her call for expedited deportations of illegal minors.

Raices Executive Director Jonathan Ryan told HuffPost. “Whether it’s [Republican presidential candidate] Mr. [Donald] Trump or Mrs. Clinton, these knee-jerk statements don’t do anything to protect children, and they certainly don’t do anything to protect vulnerable refugees.”

Raices revealed that virtually every illegal immigrant minor they have represented (98%) were granted asylum by immigration authorities.

Well, I got news for Hillary Clinton, when the time to vote arrives, at the ballot will be Latinos voting for justice.

Yes! Vote Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary.  What better way to show Clinton that we are strong and united against anyone who dares to use our community as a political tool or as a source of hatred.

Why Bernie Sanders?  Because he was part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Latinos without a doubt, benefited from this movement.

Bernie Sanders has always been consistent, making right choices that protect humanity and preserve democracy.

Bernie Sanders has been consistently championing for issues that directly affect the Latino community.

With Bernie Sanders as president, America will once again understand that the president is elected to serve the people, he is not there to fall down to his knee first in front of corporate CEOs and begin licking their boots.

Bernie Sanders serves the people. He’s not about helping mega-corporations that don’t need help. Sanders does not pander to ignorant racist and he is not one to be hoodwinked either.

The challenge for the candidates is to strike the right balances between humanity and the rule of law. Bernie Sanders understands this better than all the other candidates running for president.

takingsidesShades of Ross Perot Shadow Trump and His Threat of Third Party

The 1992 presidential election comes to mind when thinking about our current presidential campaign. Back then George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton had to deal with a wacky uncontrollable billionaire by the name H. Ross Perot.

Perot then, much like Trump today, conducted unscripted rants that changed the nature of the campaign.

Ross Perot entered the race in February 1992. After leading through the entire month of June, he dropped out, dropped back in, and ultimately received the highest third-party vote share since 1912: a stunning 18.9 percent of the presidential vote.

Perot’s campaign set the tone for what will be debated. In setting that tone, Clinton and Bush were forced to address issues like the federal budget deficit — n issue they might not have discussed.

Because of Perot, Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich proposed the infamous Contract With America, a policy platform that ignored social issues in favor of political reform, including the sweeping changes to congressional process.

But, contrary to popular belief, Perot was not responsible for Clinton’s victory. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone, Perot’s appeal was nonpartisan. Voters flocked to him because he promised to fix the budget deficit both major parties got the country into, in addition too lost manufacturing jobs and a political process reserved for wealthy lobbyists. Sound familiar? Kind of sounds like Donald Trump, huh?

I see Trump, like Perot, as an equal-opportunity basher. After initially attacking immigrants, Hispanics, Wall Street, and his once favorite television network: FOX NEWS, Trump has been bashing women with just a much ignorance.

A recent Washington Post/ABC poll shows that in a three-way race, Trump increases Hillary Rodham Clinton’s edge over Jeb Bush to 16 percentage points from 6 percentage points in a two-way race.

And according to a recent Rasmussen poll, 1 in 5 Republicans say they are “very likely” to vote for a Trump-led third-party effort, while less than 10 percent of Democrats say the same.

Trump creating a third party is very likely if he does not get the GOP nomination. A Trump independent candidacy will hurt Republicans more than Democrats.

Trump’s signature issue is immigration. He, of course, favors a hardline approach, insisting without evidence that the Mexican government is sending criminals across the border. Unlike Perot’s emphasis on trade and the deficit, which drew support from both Republicans and Democrats, Trump’s talking points exploit a deep division not only within the Republican Party, but also within the nation on immigration.

Various news reports indicate that a third of Republicans, and half of the most active Republicans, do not support any path to citizenship. A comprehensive immigration reform bill (which has passed in the Senate and which Speaker John Boehner says is a top priority for the House) would further alienate anti-immigration Republicans from their party and further reinforce Trump’s appeal to the anti-immigrant conservative base.

With eight to 10 states up for grabs, and the Republican candidate quite possibly tethered to a comprehensive immigration reform bill — either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio would have trouble shedding a pro-immigration reform reputation — a Trump independent candidacy could do real damage to the GOP. If Trump attracted even 5 percent of the vote, he could decide the election in Clinton’s favor. No wonder Republicans are worried.

Governor Walker Continues Deception and Obfuscation of Record

In recent articles, Scott Walker made the statements that, if elected, Hillary Clinton would be the “great deceiver” and that she can not be trusted.

Governor Scott Walker attempts to shift public attention from his deceptions, verbal manipulations and mismanagement of government. His actions have negatively affected Wisconsin.

What moral or ethical authority does Governor Scott Walker have to call someone deceptive when his behavior clearly shows that he continues to practice deception, corruption, and wrongdoing? Here are the examples — you judge for yourself.

1. Secret email system in Scott Walker’s office as Milwaukee County Executive. Walker says he never knew about its existence. Do you seriously believe that Walker did not know the existence of the secret email router in his office as Milwaukee County Executive during the 2010 gubernatorial election? Do you seriously believe that an IT audit of the Office of the Milwaukee County Executive Office never took place?

2. Promising 250,000 jobs as the main platform of his campaign for governor, but after becoming governor, changing the priorities to attacks on collective bargaining. Walker was able to gather support from many voters via continuously pledging his commitment to focus on generating 250,000 jobs in his first term as governor. The unions had already agreed to have the workers pay more for their HEALTH INSURANCE. Therefore, there was no need to tackle collective bargaining, since that was not a fiscal item. Two weeks after becoming Governor, Walker changed the entire agenda from jobs to curtailing collective bargaining for the specific purpose of achieving national notoriety, which shifted all focus away from job creation. The result? Wisconsin fell from 20th best in the nation to 40th worst in the nation — the fastest shrinking middle class in the nation; used $140 million to give to donors via Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the corrupt and mismanaged agency he created.

Do you really think that Governor Scott Walker did not know prior to becoming elected that he would change the agenda from jobs creation to achieving national public notoriety by attacking collective bargaining?

3. About that $140,000 million give-away to donors via WEDC: Scott Walker says he did not know about this. Do you really think Scott Walker did not know about how the loans and TAX credits were being given in a fraudulent manner when he was the Chair of the Board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, when he named the CEO and the members of the executive team, and when he had specific members of the governor’s office appointed to the WEDC office (Murray)?

4. Clear participation and lies in an attempt to GUT the Open Records law in Wisconsin: A public outcry prevented Walker and his fellow Republicans from gutting the Wisconsin Open Records Law to prevent public access to information, loans, emails, etc. He publicly indicated he was not involved,only to find out via that same law, which could not be changed, that Scott Walker and his office were seriously involved in the drafting of this attempt to GUT the Open Records Law. Can you still doubt his clear desire to cover corruption and wrongdoing in WEDC and other departments in government?

5. Bill Kramer’s sexual assault and pattern of drunkenness and abuse to WOMEN: For many years, Bill Kramer has been close to Walker and the Waukesha GOP establishment. Walker says they did not know about Kramer’s behavior. For a very long time, and WELL before the sexual assault incident occurred, it has been widespread knowledge in the Waukesha GOP about Bill Kramer’s pattern of drunkenness and open sexual innuendos towards women. Governor Scott Walker has known Bill Kramer for many years and had to have his support to rise in the Republican assembly. As a reasonable person, Do you really think that Walker was not aware of Bill Kramer’s behavior towards women?

Even over-extending all courtesies to Scott Walker, it becomes painfully obvious to a reasonable person that Walker not only knew about, but also that he has been involved directly in all of these corrupt activities. Walker has taken advantage of the goodwill of the people of Wisconsin via sophisticated deception, lies, corruption, and wrongdoing, and now he wants to bring this behavior to the national level. Is this the person that should be President or even continue to serve as Governor of Wisconsin?

Moderate Republicans, Independents, even hardline Republicans need to ask themselves these questions. It is clear that there is something seriously wrong with Walker’s thinking that deception, lies, corruption and wrongdoing at the expense of the Wisconsin family are right for all Americans.

takingsidesWalkernomics Won’t Work for USA, Either

Time Magazine 8/6/15 Fox News debate in Cleveland transcript below illustrates clearly the pipe dream that is Walkernomics:

CHRIS WALLACE: Governor Walker.

(APPLAUSE) Governor Walker, when you ran for governor of Wisconsin back in 2010, you promised that you would create 250,000 jobs in your first term, first four years. In fact, Wisconsin added barely half that and ranked 35th in the country in job growth. Now you’re running for president, and you’re promising an economic plan in which everyone will earn a piece of the American dream.

Given your record in Wisconsin, why should voters believe you?

SCOTT WALKER: Well, the voters in Wisconsin elected me last year for the third time because they wanted someone who aimed high, not aimed low.

Before I came in, the unemployment rate was over eight percent. It’s now down to 4.6 percent. We’ve more than made up for the jobs that were lost during the recession. And the rate in which people are working is almost five points higher than it is nationally.

You know, people like Hillary Clinton think you grow the economy by growing Washington. One report last year showed that six of the top 10 wealthiest counties in America were in or around Washington, D.C.. I think most of us in America understand that people, not the government creates jobs. And one of the best things we can do is get the government out of the way, repeal Obamacare, put in — reign in all the out of control regulations, put in place and all of the above energy policy, give people the education, the skills that the need to succeed, and lower the tax rate and reform the tax code. That’s what I’ll do as president, just like I did in Wisconsin.”

First, Walker won his recall because the fundamental idea of a recall is to remove elected officials from office who committed acts while in office that are corrupt.

For example, recalling Alberta Darling and her accomplices Vos and Fitzgerald for their attempt to gut open records would be an appropriate recall action.

Doing a recall against an elected official because you do not agree with his or her policy is not an effective recall action. Walker was able to win because many of Wisconsin’s voters did not agree with the notion that recalling Walker for implementing ACT 10 was justification for his removal.

Second, Walker won his election over Mary Burke because Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) under former chair Mike Tate did not do the best job of getting out the vote, and because Tate rammed Burke as the Democratic candidate, ignoring the democratic process.

Tate failed because he caused many to question the manner in which Burke was chosen to be the Democratic contender, causing many voters to turn away from supporting her. He also failed to use DNC resources effectively to help get out the vote. DNC could have come to Wisconsin in full force to beat Walker, but did not. Why not?

Third, Walker has demonstrated clearly that tax breaks and deregulation do not work under Walkernomics.

Walker was just giving away money to corporations that were dying and had no commitment to creating new jobs.

His failure is simple. When providing grants or loans to corporations, Walkernomics failed to establish strong connection to innovation and job creation.

The money should have been tied to internal company alignments that ensured innovations led to the creation of new jobs. None of that was done.

Finally, obfuscation plays a big role in Walkernomics. What Walker fails to say is that, by definition, the unemployment rate does not count people who have given up looking for work, people who return to college or education or people who simply left the labor market. If all of those people were counted in the present stagnant job growth in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin unemployment rate would likely be higher.

Walkernomics is all about sophistry, obfuscation, policies of tax breaks, deregulation and corporate welfare, all ingredients that would destroy America’s economy.

takingsidesGOP has lost its foundation and standing

As more and more information comes forward regarding Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), it is without question that Walker’s allies continue to look for ways to stop the bleeding and embarrassment that WEDC has caused.

The GOP once touted its resolve to be a fighter and protector of taxpayers. They vowed to fight against waste, fraud and corruption in government. But after news reports of WEDC loans being given without proper oversight, companies using those loans to buy luxury cars, companies receiving WEDC support while shipping JOBS OVERSEAS, and companies going under yet given loans anyway, in addition to companies failing to produce JOBS after receiving WEDC money, Republican leaders have resorted to desperate attempts to stop the political damage by initiating an effort to change the open records laws, and are now trying to remove elected representatives from being members of the WEDC board of directors. Clearly they have something to hide.

A corrupt core of GOP leaders have taken the GOP away from its marketing brand of being professionals who can balance the budget to create jobs, to prevent tax increases and to give tax breaks aligned to job creation for the purpose of CREATING JOBS. Obviously, these goals are no longer are the creed of the GOP.

Fat Cat Wannabes

What they have become is what Walker has created. A mob of fat cat wannabes waiting their chance for a fat PAYCHECK. And they’re perfectly happy to allow Walker to do what he’s done to Wisconsin to be replicated to the rest of the nation.

Walker’s failure to create prosperity, jobs and government accountability in Wisconsin is to be rewarded by placing him in the running for president of the United States?

Do the GOP principles as interpreted by Walker meet the GOP cornerstone of prosperity? No! Did he increase the middle class? No. He failed.

He failed because he did not work for the citizens of Wisconsin. He worked for himself and he used all of us in the process.

From scrapping light rail to backstabbing the Kenosha CASINO deal, Walker has been working for Walker at the expense of Wisconsin families.

Is this truly what the GOP stands for? Killing prosperity? Killing jobs? Killing Wisconsin’s middle class?

It is clear that the GOP vision for Wisconsin is not a vision created by Wisconsinites, but more of a vision created by American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

ALEC is imposing their vision of our future on all of us. Walker works for ALEC. Walker and his allies do not work for Wisconsin. If they did, they never would have thought to destroy our state resolve to keep government accountable by attempting to GUT our open records law.

The Republican Party is awash in self-serving, anti-Wisconsin moneychangers who are only interested in their individual future, not our children’s, our families’ and our state’s.

takingsidesWisconsin on the losing end!

As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seeks the GOP nomination for President of the United States, he would like to use what he has done in Wisconsin as a real example of what he would do as President. But what Walker wants to show you, and what Walker has done, are two entirely different things.

Walker’s ECONOMIC SECURITY plan fell apart when he decided to follow political agendas that do not generate JOBS, increase incomes or expand the middle class.

Ask yourself: “Is this the person you want in the White House?”

The facts:

1. WISCONSIN EMPLOYMENT 38th WORST IN USA IN 2014 — WAS 20TH BEST IN 2010: Walker not only failed to fulfill his promise of creating 250,000 JOBS IN his first term, Wisconsin now ranks 38th worst in the nation and last in the Midwest.


Question: Do you really think that, under Walker ‘s leadership, the US will have more jobs for its people?

2. INCOME FALLS FOR AVERAGE WISCONSIN HOUSEHOLD AND WISCONSIN MIDDLE CLASS SHRINKING FASTEST IN NATION: July 21, 2015, Walker claimed that Wisconsin’s median household income was +2.7%. This was rated MOSTLY FALSE by PolitiFact: The reality is that the figures show that, under Walker’s leadership, state household incomes have fallen, even after accounting for inflation.

QUESTION: Do you seriously think that under Walker’s leadership the US will experience rising incomes and better quality of life for its people?

3. WALKER SUPPORTS CORRUPT AND SHADY PRACTICES AT WEDC: Since 2011, the Wisconsin Economic Development Agency (WEDC) created by Walker, chaired by Walker, and run by Walker’s key executive choices working at his pleasure, has squandered at least $140 million in loans and tax CREDITS to many companies — including donor owners, without following even the most basic underwriting rules and WITHOUT CREATING JOBS. One former donor used the money to pay off a Maserati. No wonder Wisconsin ranks 38th worst in the nation in JOB CREATION. Walker now wants to distance himself from the agency by having the legislature remove him as the chair.


QUESTION: Do you seriously think Walker did not know about the inappropriate loans and credits going out to donors when everyone reports to him and his appointees? Who knows what other things the public does not know? The standard should be that, if you did not know, you should have known…hence no matter what, Walker is responsible.

4. WALKER’S MEDIOCRE ECONOMIC POLICY: Walker’s economic policy is mediocre at best. This is because:

a. General tax breaks were approved without conditions or alignment to job creation in the hope that the private sector would generate jobs that were NEVER REALIZED (Wisconsin 38th worst in the nation in job creation)

b. WEDC approved loans without following underwriting guidelines and with corrupt and shady practices

c. Complete lack of alignment between WEDC and Workforce Development, Transportation, Housing, Social Services, etc.

d. Property tax reductions had minimal impact on households and on increased consumption ($300m total — about $10 per household)

e. Lower revenue collections due to unmet JOB CREATION goals

f. Walker has postponed debt payments in the amount of $300 million so he can BALANCE the latest budget..leaving the people in Wisconsin holding the bag!

g. Lack of understanding that a strong economy is a matter of economic SECURITY

h. At the root is Walker’s PERSONAL AND MENTAL inability to focus on the right priorities instead of following political agendas that SHOULD have generated JOBS, increased incomes and expanded the middle class



QUESTION: Do you seriously think that under Scott Walker’s leadership the US will experience rising incomes and better quality of life for its people – business owners, middle class or workers?

QUESTION: Do you really think that under Scott Walker‘s leadership the US will have more JOBS for its people — business owners, middle class or workers?

Do you think that Republican values as applied by Walker will generate jobs, prosperity, safety and security?

takingsidesWEDC Investigation Is Needed

As Scott Walker announces a run for the White House, the sleaze and incompetence of his office have become obvious to the public, causing many questions to arise.

The Republican Party’s open records tampering failed. The failed initiative was followed by another taxpayer give-away article published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the hands of Walker’s corporatestein monster, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

The corporate monster WEDC took another hit after it was reported that WEDC lent $1.2 million to a businessman who had a history of troubled finances.

Just last week, Scott Fitzferald stated to the media that Walker and his office were directly involved in the drafting of the proposed changes to the Open Records Law. But Walker is not one for taking a fall. To take focus away from his own reason why he would like to see the Wisconsin open records law changed, Walker told conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes on WTMJ-AM that the idea didn’t come from him. Interesting. Walker did not initiate the removal of the open records changes from the budget until all hell broke loose from the political left and right.

What many people have not realized is that, if the changes to the Open Records Law had taken place, information pertaining to the corruption and incompetence at WEDC would have been difficult if not impossible to obtain. Could the WEDC information still criminally implicate Scott Walker? For sure it will be a topic of discussion among the GOP presidential candidates. Unfortunately for Walker, his hope to keep WEDC secrets secret slipped past him shortly after the effort to change the open records law was exposed.

The timing of this attempt to overhaul Wisconsin open records law, it can be argued, was about slowing down that WEDC avalanche now picking up steam and threatening his presidential aspirations, and potentially implicating him in corruption practices.

The twists and turns and the finger pointing around the open records story clearly indicate positioning by those in the know that a WEDC explosion is coming, and they all want plausible deniability from its backlash.

Since its inception, and until recently, Scott Walker had been the Chairman of WEDC Board; he named the CEO, and the key executive team, and it was pretty clear that as far as WEDC, not much got done in the Walker administration without first being vetted and approved by the Scott Walker team.

The tampering of open records appears to be an effort to ease the anxiety of officials caught in the middle of the WEDC mess. But it failed and now fellow Republicans are trying to distance themselves from being labeled conspirators in an attempt to keep the truth about WEDC from the public. What the public does not know is that those legislative changes do not even take place without being first approved by the governor. But the public outcry and appearance of corruption was too great for Walker to ignore.

Prior to the new WEDC loan development reported recently in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Walker was telling a different story about how the idea of changing Wisconsin’s open records law came about. His administration’s attempt to point at others flew in the face of the fact that it was reported that a Walker spokeswoman stated the governor’s office was involved in the open records overhaul effort. But all that seems to not matter as the governor’s posse pointed out that a number of Republican legislators came forward with the idea and asked for the governor’s involvement.

According to the former WEDC chief, Paul Jadin the agency was a mess.

Jadin said in an interview with Madison WTAQ 1360 radio in May of 2013 that “All of the processes, particularly underwriting and tracking (were a mess). As we started to receive these internal reviews, we learned what we were doing was not acceptable and obviously that had to change,” said Jadin. “We knew there was an issue. I asked just about every week, ‘Bring me the loan portfolio. Bring me our balances on economic development tax credits, job tax credits’; I’d get assurances that that information was coming. And instead of getting a report when I demanded it, I’d get a resignation from a comptroller.”

Paul Jadin left WEDC in November of 2012 to take on a position as President of Thrive, an eight-county regional economic development partnership in south central Wisconsin. He may have left WEDC a couple of years ago, but recent reports by the Wisconsin State Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel regarding suspicious WEDC LOANS have revealed that loans to suspect corporations were approved during his time as the agency CEO under Scott Walker’s oversight.

Who authorized the release of these loans and why, were the questions I posed to Paul Jadin by telephone. My interview with him was brief, but that was only because I had specific questions I wanted a yes or no answer to.

Asked was why WEDC released $500,000 to a company that showed no solvency, Jadin’s response was telling. He said that he recalled that former Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch and Former Chief of Staff Keith Gilkes approached him seeking to get $3.8 million dollars on top of the $500,000 for the Building Committee, Inc. When pressed to explain why Huebsch sought the extra millions of dollars, Jadin responded by simply saying Huebsch would have to answer that question.

Jadin said for his part, he was against the request, but would not elaborate any further. What people may not be aware of is that actions by Mike Huebsch and Keith Gilkes, as the righthand of the governor, are assumed to have the approval of the governor, so it stands to reason why Jadin let the loan fly.

Ex-WEDC chief Paul Jadin told me: “I have no recollection speaking with the Governor about the Building Committee, Inc.” I then asked Jadin if he was ordered by the governor to release the loan to the Building Committee, Inc. Jadin said that he and the governor would speak about loans to corporations totaling more than a million dollars, but that he did not recollect a discussion with the governor about the Building Committee, Inc. Hmmm…

Governor Walker and Jadin knew WEDC was already a mess…Why did Walker allow funds to be released to these companies in the first place? Especially to those recipients who were/are campaign donors of his.

Scott Walker will most likely attempt to portray to the public that people at WEDC were acting unilaterally without his knowledge, just like he’s using the legislators in relation to the changes to the Open Records law. And the same kind of response he made to the public about a secret email system in his Milwaukee County office. At the very best, it is all incompetence by Walker and, at worst, there may be criminal behavior by him as the person in charge and his subordinates acting under his direction, using WEDC to leverage political support.

Nevertheless, like the outcry that occurred which prevented the open law records changes, the public must demand a full criminal inquiry into WEDC and hold Scott Walker acountable for its mishaps. In all likelihood, the irregularities about the Building Committee, Inc. and other corporations at WEDC are just the tip of the iceberg.

takingsidesMajor WEDC Issues & Timeline

The Mother Jones report: “Scott Walker’s Office Was Part of a Sneaky Effort to Keep His Records Private” link is below. It seems clear that this action, to tamper with Wisconsin’s open records law, comes on the heels of several news reports published in media outlets all over Wisconsin highlighting a loan given to a failing corporation without staff review. Reports indicate that taxpayer money was used by the Building Committee Inc. to pay for luxury cars including a Maserati.

The link below is to an article in which it gives a quote by Paul Jadin, once a key WEDC administrator who left the agency not long after its creation.

The quote is clearly a smoking gun statement directly from Jadin’s mouth.

“All of the processes, particularly underwriting and tracking. As we started to receive these internal reviews, we learned what we were doing was not acceptable and obviously that had to change,” said Jadin. “We knew there was an issue. I asked just about every week, ‘Bring me the loan portfolio. Bring me our balances on economic development tax credits, job tax credits’; I’d get assurances that that information was coming. And instead of getting a report when I demanded it, I’d get a resignation from a controller.”

Clearly Jadin must be brought to a state hearing and asked directly whether or not he was ordered by Governor Scott Walker to give the Building Committee, Inc., or any other corporation (s) loans without staff review/underwrite.

The timeline below was provided to me by State Senator Lena Taylor, who released it upon my request. It is telling indeed and clearly shows WEDC operated without financial protocols. The fact that no financial checks and balances where established put WEDC staff at risk for releasing funds without proper authority and protocols, freeing Walker of responsibility.

Only Paul Jadin can tell us now why was the loan released and if he was ordered by Walker to release the loan to the Building Committee, Inc., and/or to any other corporation (s) in similar circumstances.

Timeline of major WEDC issues:


May- A Wisconsin State Journal investigative report finds:

Serious open records concerns with a Building Committee Inc. loan… The required loan paperwork appears to be missing or never existed.

Potentially fraudulent actions on the part of the business owner who appears to have falsified forms in order to SECURE a state loan.

Serious questions about the role of some of Governor Walker’s top advisors – then-DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch, Governor Walker’s campaign manager Keith Gilkes, and others who may have influenced WEDC to give out a loan to a major campaign contributor.

Rep. Barca and Sen. Lassa ask U.S. Attorney General to investigate violations of federal law including fraud, pay to play, contributions in the name of another and theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

May- The Legislative Audit Bureau issues another scathing report that indicates:

WEDC did not consistently follow state law or its own policies when making awards.

WEDC did not require grant and loan recipients to submit information showing that jobs were actually created or retained.

WEDC maintained a $15.6 M unassigned fund balance, which was larger than necessary.

WEDC awarded tax credits without verifying the accuracy of information submitted by businesses.

WEDC did not report clear, accurate and complete information on numbers of jobs created and retained as a result of its programs.

WEDC amended loan contracts to defer loan repayments, wrote off loans, and forgave loans, which reduced its potentially uncollectible loan balance in 2014.

April- Outsourcing: Eaton Corporation (a global power systems management corporation) announced layoffs due to outsourcing—twice—after receiving taxpayer help from WEDC. It received nearly $370,000 in tax incentives from WEDC since 2012 and is shipping jobs from Wisconsin to Mexico for the second time in three years.


September- Personnel WEDC’s VP of Business and Industry Development resigned saying COO Ryan Murray is “causing deep and lasting harm” at WEDC. The VP, Lee Swindall, rescinded his resignation a couple days later.

WEDC has had problems with turnover of top staff. Had Swindall left, he would have been the third VP to leave this year.

WEDC’s own internal reports found a 25% turnover – three times higher than other state agencies (versus 7–10% at the State of WI overall) WEDC’s consultant found that the #1 cause of turnover is inconsistent messaging and management style.

May- One Wisconsin Now reports that nearly 60 percent of the FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE money awarded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has gone to businesses whose owners or employees have donated money to the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) or the Republican Governors Association (RGA).


May- The Legislative Audit Bureau issues a startling report that WEDC violated state law in at least six ways including making awards to ineligible recipients for ineligible projects and for amounts that exceeded specified limits. It unveiled a huge range of issues including WEDC had no policies for handling delinquent loans, no policies for employee purchases and did not have adequate records to assess its effectiveness in creating jobs.

October- A national report by GOOD JOBS First sites WEDC as an example of the problems that have been caused around the country by quasi-private economic development corporations and that oversight of taxpayer resources in an inherent problem with this model.


June– During the bidding process for a statewide computer system, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) found out that WEDC pre-empted the process by making a “soft offer” for tax credits to a business. Upon discovery, DOA had to suspend the bidding process and WEDC had to rescind the TAX CREDIT offer as it violated what should be a fair and competitive process.

July– The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that WEDC was projected to spend $14 million more than it was allotted, creating a deficit in the agency.

August– The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development criticized WEDC for not following federal laws and state policies, when it gave out $9.6 million in grants. The situation intensified as WEDC’s board and the public were not told about the condemning letter causing one of the board members to threaten resignation.

September– After the Governor appointed his young aide Ryan Murray, a Republican political operative with no private-sector or economic development experience, as Deputy Secretary and COO, WEDC’s CEO and Secretary Paul Jadin announced his resignation.

October– WEDC announced after a Joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing that it had lost track of $69.3 million in loans, at least $9 million of which were overdue. Because of the hasty transformation from DOC to WEDC, no one was assigned to tracking this huge loan portfolio.

December- Schenck Audit shoes financial transactions were either not recorded or improperly recorded throughout the year and went undetected by WEDC

December- the Financial Institutions Products Corporation (FIPCO) Report says WEDC was “created quickly with an incomplete infrastructure.”

Source: Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor

Was the attempt to tamper with the open records law a diversion to pass other laws? Or was it a real effort to prevent more information about WEDC from coming out? Who gave the order to Jadin to release $500,000 to the Building Committee, Inc.?

takingsidesLast Minute Effort By Governor Walker Posse to Undermine Open Records – Democracy

What does Governor Scott Walker and his posse have to worry about? What are they trying to hide?

This past week the State Republicans tried to sneak in a rider amendment to gut Wisconsin’s OPEN records law as lawmakers prepared to pass the biannual state budget. The rider amendment basically would have prevented the public from accessing documents the public is entitled to review to ensure our government is operating cleanly.

The last minute effort was thwarted however when grass roots groups from liberal and conservative sides of the political arena raised objection in unison. Not only did the public come out in force to stop this sneaky anti-democratic action, Republican law makers and Wisconsin’s Republican attorney general cried foul.

Who introduced this rider? Turns out that was a secret as well. Apparently, no one wants to claim authorship of this attempt to block the public from obtaining documents from the government.

Since the public outcry coming from the political left and the right scared boss Walker and the rest of Wisconsin’s Tammany Hall bunch, boss Walker was forced to come out publicly and declare that the rider was pulled from the budget legislation and no longer will the open records law be tampered with.

But this should not be the end of this matter. Not by a long shot.

It seems to me that time has come to turn up the heat on the WEDC scandal and put some focus on the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) as well.

First, the WEDC wound needs to be poked so that the pain from the puss underneath the surface of that agency’s obfuscation can be felt by boss Walker and his cohort. I’ve said before, going after former WEDC director Paul Jadin and making him appear at a hearing to ADDRESS questions under oath should be pressed for aggressively. He is key to informing the public if boss Walker or Straw boss Mike Huebsch, former Secretary of Administration, gave the order to release $500,000 to the Building Committee, Inc., or to any other undeserving corporations.

A review of the checks and BALANCES procedures/protocols focusing on who signs off on WEDC checks and releases them for approval should be reviewed or audited. Were sound financial protocols in place that could have prevented the release of tens of millions of tax dollars in LOANS etc., to suspect corporation(s)?

Second, WEDC and DWD should have been aligned to support each other to produce the kind of jobs creating pipe dream boss Walker promised. Were these two jobs agencies even coordinating together?

Where did all the money go that DWD received to TRAIN workers and then land them jobs?

Wisconsin’s poor jobs creating performance clearly demands that a comprehensive audit of DWD be conducted to account. The poor jobs showing for all that money spent at DWD and the questionable WEDC loans to companies that were supposed to create jobs is at best poorly managed or at worst orchestrated for the enrichment of greedy CEO’s

The attempt to undermine Wisconsin’s open records law is clearly an act of desperation.

The question is whether this action was done to limit the political damage Walker will face during his run for president of the United States.

Clearly Walker’s political allies are not happy with this attempt to wipe out the open records law. Even Republican Representative Joel Kleefisch, husband to Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, took offense to this latest effort to attack democracy.

Governor Walker knows the magnitude of his administration’s CORRUPTION and committed an act of desperation to curtail the damage by attempting to change open records.

WEDC, DWD, DOC and other state agencies that contract out have a story to tell that Walker does not want told.

Who are the corporations getting those contracts? Is there a pattern where these corporations benefitted from their contributions to his campaign? Are there other Building Committee, Inc., examples? Walker knows he has to stop the facts from getting out during his presidential campaign.

WEDC is Walker’s Achilles heel. It is the STEPPING stone to getting these facts. It is the starting point from which Wisconsin can save itself and at the same time maybe prevent the world from inheriting our ghost.

takingsidesGovernor Walker: Hey! Don’t Worry About It!  WEDC Shame

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has a hot mess on his hands. His signature jobs making Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC, has become an albatross riding along a repo man sought Maserati.

But before we indulge on the notion that we too can possibly have Wisconsin taxpayers buy each of us a Maserati, allow me to bring you up to speed on what WEDC is and why you should PAY attention to what can be potentially Governor Scott Walker’s biggest scandal to date.

WEDC was created in 2011 by Governor Walker who decided to replace the Wisconsin Department of Commerce with the WEDC. Why did he do this? Well, Walker, who promised that he would create 250,000 jobs in the state his first term in office, created WEDC to HELP him achieve that lofty goal.

But as anticipated by those who saw Walker’s action as nothing more than a pipe dream, Walker did not reach his goal of 250,000 promised jobs.

However WEDC, the agency that was supposed to help Walker create jobs instead created a hot mess for Walker I had previously hinted at.

What did Walker’s WEDC achieve, well in May 2013 an audit from the Legislative Audit Bureau reported at the time that WEDC had troubles it could not ignore. The audit found that between 2011 and 2013, WEDC gave out $124.4 million in awards to various corporations without a formal review by staff or underwriters.  Underwriters? You know, the people you wait to hear from that tell you to either hit the road or welcome to the party after you apply for a HOME LOAN.

But don’t get your undies in a bunch. Walker it seems was clever enough to not set up fiscal checks and BALANCES procedures when he created WEDC. Checks and balances?! Who needs stinking checks and balances!?

Indeed, our Governor had things set up so nicely that at the time WEDC was christened, WEDC didn’t mandate staff reviews of awards it was giving out because the awards it seems were all approved by the agency’s bipartisan WEDC board of Directors.

Hmmm….you say! Yes, I say.

This amateurish administrative blunder allowed for awards to go to companies that sat on the brink of ruin. For example, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) reported that a Milwaukee based company called Building Committee Inc. got a $500,000 loan after falsely saying it hadn’t been sued for five years. The MJS found that this company did default on a loan and later dissolved. But here’s the nugget that caught the attention of political pundits who don’t SUPPORT Walker, the company’s owner had given $10,000 to Walker’s first gubernatorial campaign. BINGO!

But wait a minute! This rabbit hole gets even more interesting. Turns out that Walker’s team pushed very hard to get the Building Committee, Inc. this loan so that the owner of the company, the guy who gave Walker $10,000 campaign donation, can keep his precious Maserati and several other luxury cars.

Since this revelation, reports from newspapers all over the state have published that WEDC did not formally review over 25 other loans totaling over $123 million dollars. Wow!

Imagine you being able to walk into a BANK. No money. In bankruptcy. About to go under. You then see an opportunity. Find $10,000 (LMAO). Donate that money to Scott Walker’s campaign for president and WHAALA! You’re approved for a WEDC loan to spend the money as you please. Oh! By the way! That string tied to the loan reminding you that that money is supposed to be for creating jobs, well, that’s just a technicality.

Hey! Don’t worry about it!

Well, lucky for Wisconsin taxpayers two Democratic members of the WEDC Board of Directors are not biting the line–“move on folks! There’s nothing to see here”.

In fact, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) called for a full investigation at WEDC  and have requested the assistance of Attorney General Brad Schimel in facilitating the release of full records and documentation on any unsecured WEDC loans, WEDC loans issued over concerns of underwriters, or WEDC loans where underwriting documentation is missing or was not complete.

Scott Walker’s failed flagship jobs agency gave out over $123 million worth of taxpayer-funded economic development assistance without review or approval of an underwriter.


And what did Wisconsin taxpayers get BACK for the Building Committee, Inc.  and all the other companies who received loans without and formal review?

A lousy 2,100 jobs, were actually created as a result of the awards provided to the over 24 companies that got $124 million dollars curtesy of Walker’s corporate welfare PROGRAM known as WEDC.

Pathetic puts all this mildly.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) released a statement that concluded:

“Instead of again misleading the public, we would rather WEDC and the Governor focus their energies on quickly getting us all the records we requested – including any awards they made over the objections of underwriters, Community Development Block Grant ACTIVITY under WEDC and now the Department of Administration, and details of loans under $200,000 that were approved without staff review.”

Hey Governor! We are worried about it!

takingsidesEnding Chronic Homelessness Good Cause if Racial Parity Achieved

A few weeks ago Milwaukee media blew up the town with news reports bellowing the narrative that a plan eliminating chronic homelessness in Milwaukee County in three years is being implanted by our local government officials.

Some call the plan “ambitious” and some label it “fantastical”, the goal to coordinate a collaborative strategy by county and city officials is sound and should be supported by the community, especially the business community.

I met with Health and Human Services Director for Milwaukee County, Hector Colon to talk about the plan.

Our meeting came about after a few Facebook exchanges highlighting what I felt was a flaw in the plan.

After reading a report published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS), this part of the story raised a red flag I could not ignore.

The MJS report stated: “The community prosecutor would help identify homeless people and panhandlers in downtown and differentiate between those who need help and those committing criminal activity, said Kent Lovern, Milwaukee County chief deputy district attorney”.

After agreeing to meet with me I met with Colon at his office where he shared information regarding not only what he was doing to end chronic homelessness, and also what was going on at the Health and Human Service.

Colon is without question enthusiastic, knowledgable and ambitious. I mean that in a good way.

Colon’s work at HHS is guided by the influence of the Milwaukee County Executive. As long as Colon moves forward with Milwaukee County Executive Abele vision, Colon should have no trouble being successful transforming HHS into a top rate quasi-government operation over seeing much of the services its corporate and non-profit partners will be contracted by the County to do.

Getting back to the proposal to end chronic homelessness. Colon informs me that he is tasked with ensuring that 300 individuals defined as “chronically homeless” are no longer chronically homeless. He said it’s the moral thing to do and it saves the County money and resources. Good cause for getting people off the street who have been homeless for a long time.

Colon stated the annual $1.8 million cost of the program would come from reallocation of already existing funds, largely rental assistance funds, which includes $900,000 from the county and about $900,000 from the city and its Housing Authority.

I get it. Yes, the plan is sound and doable. However, that part where “…The community prosecutor would help identify homeless people and panhandlers in downtown and differentiate between those who need help and those committing criminal activity…” still troubled me.

I asked Colon what did the plan have in place to prevent a racial disparity gap between those who got help, and those being sent to jail. Was there any data being gathered? What internal check and balance was being employed to ensure racial parity?

Colon assured me that data gathering was being developed in order to prevent such issues from happening.

Colon went on to say that collecting such data is important to be able to identify if in fact homeless people are being treated differently based on race when their circumstances appear similar.

Well, this is Milwaukee where racial inequality, racial profiling, black unemployment is double white counter-parts, the jail and House of Correction is housing more blacks and Hispanics and blacks are the most disproportionately counted as homeless in the county, leads me to be skeptical.

But without real data in hand, all one can do is highlight this concern to the people behind this plan and wait to see if in fact they collect the data and truly seek to achieve the racial parity that is needed to make this a truly successful effort.

Indeed, there is a real effort on paper to help our most needed. There is a commitment by County Executive Abele, Dir. Hector Colon and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to do the moral right and improve the quality of life for many of the homeless in this community.

Nevertheless, the jury is still out on whether or not this is going to be a round up of black and hispanic homeless people ending up in the big house, instead of their own house.

takingsidesWalker’s WEDC Debacle Needs Aggressive Pursuit for Accountability

This past week, newly elected Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairwoman Martha Laning stepped into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) imbroglio by sending a letter to Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel officially asking that he do his job and release the official WEDC records in order for the public to see firsthand what damage has been done to the wallet of Wisconsin’s taxpayers.

The letter by Laning is the first real aggressive action DPW has initiated against Walker, who has enjoyed cupcake responses by DPW in the past few years, for his administration’s destructive policies that have sent Wisconsin into a whirlwind of debt, which Wisconsin’s children and grandchildren will have to pay unless more actions like this continue.

Laning’s letter follows the demands by Democrats State Representative Peter Barca and State Senator Julie M. Lassa, both members of WEDC board, who acted responsibly to demand WEDC records but have yet to have their demands met. Why? What is Governor Walker hiding?

WEDC, a state corporate welfare agency in Wisconsin created by Scott Walker and supported by Republicans of the Wisconsin State Legislature, has repeatedly been in the news giving corporations LOANS to support CEOs who clearly should have not received WEDC LOANS that Wisconsin taxpayers will sooner or later have to pay for.

Laning is now putting pressure on the Walker administration, and it’s about time.

Clearly Wisconsin taxpayers are experiencing an injustice if Schimel ignores Laning’s letter and refuses to comply with federal and state laws.

In addition, why not demand a letter from former Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch stating that, during his tenure as SOA, under no circumstances, was there any malfeasance on his part to provide loans to failing corporations, including “The Building Committee Inc.”

As stated in an article published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Paul Jadin, the former head of WEDC, said Minahan and then-Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch pushed for a $4.3 million LOAN, but the agency couldn’t justify more than $500,000 — which Jadin said he considered ‘fairly risky.’”

Paul Jadin it seems would be a likely individual to bring to a legislative committee to further inquire as to whether or not Jadin was directed to provide a WEDC LOAN to The Building Committee. In fact, Jadin, during such a legislative committee hearing should make it clear as to whether or not he was directed by Governor Walker or Walker’s appointed administrative watch dogs, former SOA Mike Huebsch and his Chief of Staff Keith Giles, to provide any other corporation a WEDC loan under similar nefarious circumstances.

Further, an independent audit should also be requested by the Department of Workforce Development focusing on the number of jobs created and how many have been made permanent.

Finally, former SOA Mike Huebsch should resign from his current post at the Public Service Commission (PSC). His abrupt exile as SOA to the PSC raises an eyebrow of suspicion as to why he was demoted by Walker. Clearly WEDC has more CORRUPT pieces to the puzzle than what has been reported so far. Having Mike Huebsch continue on as a member of the PSC taints the position he currently holds.

To be sure, this is Wisconsin! There is no room for Tammany Hall like politricks at our state Capitol. Schimel must do the right thing. He must do his duty and force the release of WEDC PUBLIC RECORDS so that the full facts of what has taken place at WEDC can be known. In doing so, the wheels of justice can turn so that the mistrust and bitterness many of Wisconsin’s taxpayers have for our government can finally be reversed.

takingsidesStraw Poll Showing at DPW: Things That Make You Go, Hmmm…

The Wisconsin Democratic convention was held this past weekend. The biggest excitement for the Democrats was the election of a new leader to step in and steer the party towards a new path that would lead to victories in the Wisconsin Assembly, Senate and reclaiming the Governor’s office.

This year Democratic Party delegates voted for Martha Laning to lead the party forward. Laning of Plymouth received just over half of the voting delegates’ votes. She will be in this position for the next two years.

During the convention a gubernatorial straw poll was featured. The straw poll revealed over twenty six candidates receiving votes from 511 individuals who decided to participate in the straw poll. The straw poll is an informal unscientific poll which asked Democrats attending the convention who would they like to see run for governor. The straw poll was conducted by

The winner of the straw poll was State Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma, Wisconsin receiving 149 from the 511 individuals who decided cast a vote (29.16%).

Those who came in second and third place were: State Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse – 89 (17.42%) and 3rd – U.S. Representative Ron Kind of La Crosse – 85 (16.63%).

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a former candidate for governor received one (1) vote. To be fair, there were others who received 1 vote including Congress Woman Gwen Mooreand Mayor John Dickert of Racine. In all, a total of 11 of the 26 potential candidates received one vote.

The Democratic nomination for Governor of Wisconsin will not be in effect for at least another three and a half years, which is a good thing for Mayor Barrett if he’s seriously thinking of running for governor again.