Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Club for Growth, Dark Money, and an Orchestrated Supreme Court Coup

Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)

Governor Scott Walker
(R-Wisconsin)

By Elaine Magliaro

Mary Bottari of PR Watch wrote a report today about two court cases that have not garnered much media attention–even though the stakes “could not be higher.” She said the converging cases “will decide the future of Wisconsin campaign finance law, the independence of the Wisconsin judiciary and will impact the future of presidential candidate Scott Walker.” One of the cases is being heard in open court and the other is “being considered in silence behind closed doors.”

According to Bottari, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is slated to take up the “John Doe” criminal investigation of alleged coordination between Friends of Scott Walker and “independent” groups during the tumultuous 2011-2012 recall elections.

John Doe Investigation

Bottari:

The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has detailed the bipartisan state investigation into the Walker campaign and the secretive big money groups that bankrolled his 2012 recall victory. Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG), headed by Walker campaign manager R.J. Johnson and the “third Koch Brother” Eric O’Keefe, spent at least $9.1 million on Wisconsin’s unprecedented recall elections, and funneled almost $10 million more to other politically-active groups, including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Yet, WiCFG, which enjoys tax free status, told the IRS that it spent $0 in political activity during that period.

Prosecutors have alleged that Scott Walker had secretly raised millions for the Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) from “out-of-state donors like Donald Trump and Paul Singer, and allegedly coordinated with WiCFG in order to evade Wisconsin’s donor disclosure laws.” She said talking points that were prepared for the governor advised him to “stress that donations to WiCFG are not disclosed,” and to tell donors “that you can accept corporate contributions and it is not reported.”

Bottari said that the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) had argued in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the “dark money schemes left voters completely in the dark about who was truly influencing elections in the state.” She said that Wisconsinites were unaware “that a Florida-based mining company lobbying for a massive open pit mine in Wisconsin secretly gave $700,000 to WiCFG.” In addition, she said they did not know that “John Menard gave $1.5 million to the group, and in turn received at least $1.8 million in tax credits from Walker’s job development agency.” She added that the investigation into the schemes had “been halted by a passel of lawyers hired by the groups under investigation.” She said that “its fate now rests with the Wisconsin’s Supreme Court.”

Bottari said that “the court’s right-wing majority decided not to hear oral arguments, in order to protect the defendants against leaks, over the strong objections of the Chief Justice.”

According to Bottari, Eric O’Keefe, the leader of WiCFG, is constantly howling “partisan witch hunt” to the Wall Street Journal. She said he had “likened the investigation to being raped” despite the fact that the chief prosecutor in the case “is Francis Schmitz, a well-respected Republican anti-terrorism prosecutor who received the ‘US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service’ from Michael Mukasey’s Justice Department in 2007. She said that Schmitz had even admitted that he voted for Walker in the recall election.

Bottari:

Schmitz and his team took note that four of the right-wing justices were elected to office with huge expenditures by the very big money groups under investigation. He has demanded that these justices recuse themselves from the case, but the request has been ignored. 

In “hearing” the John Doe, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will consider not only the future of the investigation and the fate of Walker, but also the future of Wisconsin campaign finance law, and whether candidates (including the justices themselves, when they are up for reelection) will be able to coordinate with dark money groups whose job it is raise and spend unlimited dollars from powerful special interests.

Jay Heck, director of Wisconsin’s Common Cause, explained: “What is at stake here is the independence of the Wisconsin judiciary. The Wisconsin Supreme Court was once considered the model for the nation in terms of its impartiality and independence. That history could be wiped out by a single decision by this court to open up the doors to coordination with outside groups and effectively render campaign contribution limits meaningless.”

Scott Walker and Dark Money Allies Orchestrate Coup of the Courts

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In the second case, Bottari said that Governor Walker’s “big money allies are busily engineering a coup of the courts to strip the independent Chief Justice, Shirley Abrahamson, of her title and authority.”

Bottari:

Wisconsin elects Supreme Court Justices for 10 year terms. For 126 years under the Wisconsin’s Constitution, the title of Chief Justice has been given to the longest serving member, but sticking to that plan would leave critical thinkers in charge for decades to come. Abrahamson was reelected as Chief to a 10 year term in 2009 with 60% of the vote. After Abrahamson, Justice Anne Walsh Bradley, who has fought to keep partisan politics out of the courts, would be next in line.

As CMD previously reported the threat of having a Chief who was not under their thumb was simply too much for Team Walker and his dark money allies. The GOP controlled legislature urged on by WMC and the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity backed a constitutional change to strip the Chief of her title and authority and rushed to get it on the low-turn out spring ballot.

Bruce Murphy, a veteran Milwaukee journalist, said, “Proponents of the measure have said it’s about displacing seniority with democracy, but declined to make it effective in 2019, when Abrahamson’s term ends, leaving no doubt this was a get-Shirley amendment.”

Bottari suggested that people shouldn’t “forget the unseemly, undisclosed lobbying by other justices hoping to be Chief, including Pat ‘Patience’ Roggensack.”

Bottari:

To orchestrate a constitutional coup a phony “vote yes” group was formed by Rogensack’s former campaign manager and WMC piled on the cash in a $600,000 ad blitz saying it was all about “democracy.” In the final weekend before election day, the liberal Greater Milwaukee Committee fielded an extra $200,000 in ads, but it was too late to make a difference.

According to Bottari, if the WMC ads “had explained that they were unseating the chief and purchasing the best court money could buy,” the result of the election may well have been different. The Capital Times explained: “They secured a narrow 53 percent to 47 percent victory in a low-turnout election; barely 10 percent of Wisconsin’s voting-age population supported the deliberately confusing amendment.” Bottari added that court observers who were tracking the “We Hate Shirley” amendment “assumed that she would soon lose her title and her authority.”

John Nichols of The Nation wrote recently that Walker’s allies were “focused on securing control of the judicial branch of state government in Wisconsin.” He said that the “Republican Party of Wisconsin and groups that have consistently backed Walker’s agenda are leading the charge to oust a state Supreme Court justice who has championed judicial independence and to change the way in which the high court is organized—with an eye toward ousting another independent jurist from the position of chief justice.”

Bottari also reported a few weeks ago that Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), which is Wisconsin’s premier lobby for corporate tax breaks and low wage jobs, had “unleashed a $600,000 ad blitz to strip Wisconsin’s independent Chief Justice of her title” just as the court was preparing “to take up the ‘John Doe’ criminal probe of Scott Walker and the special interest groups that defended him against recall in 2012.”

**********

Click on the link to read Mary Bottari’s report Walker’s Dark Money Allies Orchestrate Coup of the Courts.

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Walker’s Dark Money Allies Orchestrate Coup of the Courts (Truthout)

WMC Spends $600,000 to Demote Chief Justice as Criminal Probe of Walker Campaign Looms (PRWatch)

CMD Files IRS Complaint Against Wisconsin Club for Growth (PRWatch)

Scott Walker’s Supreme Court Coup (PRWatch)

Prosecutor in Scott Walker Probe Asks Justices to Recuse (PRWatch)

In Wisconsin, Dark Money Got a Mining Company What It Wanted: An accidentally released court filing reveals how one company secretly gave money to a nonprofit that helped get favorable mining legislation passed. (ProPublica)

Investigation reveals influence of ‘dark money’ in Wisconsin against anti-mining senators (The Cap Times)

Scott Walker Controls Wisconsin’s Executive and Legislative Branches. Now His Minions Are Gunning For the Judicial. (The Nation)

 

 

This entry was posted in Campaign Finance, Corruption, Courts, Democracy, Government, Jurisprudence, Justice, Media, Political Science, Politics, United States and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Club for Growth, Dark Money, and an Orchestrated Supreme Court Coup

  1. rafflaw says:

    Walker is dirty and the court needs to spank him. Unfortunately, the decisions may have already been purchased.

  2. Mike Spindell says:

    Wisconsin is but the canary in the coal mine for how any possibility of democratic government is becoming lost in America. Scott Walker is one of this country’s highest paid prostitutes and has shown that he will go to any lengths to serve his masters and keep the money flowing. Sadly, this game is working in Wisconsin and elsewhere as the voters are uncaring, under-informed and worst of all cynical having been propagandized into a stupor by whores who would make Goebbels respectful of their ability to deceive.

  3. blouise says:

    Dark money, off the public record hearings, the rapers crying rape in their pet news outlets … sounds like Florida in 2000. All that’s missing are busloads of male republican operatives and staffers from D C rioting on the streets of Madison.

  4. Bob Stone says:

    While I don’t agree with the Citizens United ruling, I do know that prosecutors are bound to follow the law and may not use their office to harass the citizenry for political gain.

    Bottari makes mention of “dark money”; however, it appears that the money being spent here was on issue advocacy. So long as the money was spent on issue advocacy and not on advocating for a specific candidate, then it’s protected under the first amendment.

    Calling a legally protected form of speech “dark money” and thence predicating John Doe investigations into same simply to harass and intimidate political opponents, e.g. by storming into their houses in the middle of the night, confiscating their personal papers and effects while threatening them with prosecution if they even called a lawyer, is unforgivable.

  5. Elaine M. says:

    Secret $1.5 million donation from Wisconsin billionaire uncovered in Scott Walker dark-money probe
    By Michael Isikoff
    https://www.yahoo.com/politics/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-photo-charlie-114429739886.html

    Excerpt:
    John Menard Jr. is widely known as the richest man in Wisconsin. A tough-minded, staunchly conservative 75-year-old billionaire, he owns a highly profitable chain of hardware stores throughout the Midwest. He’s also famously publicity-shy — rarely speaking in public or giving interviews.

    So a little more than three years ago, when Menard wanted to back Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — and help advance his pro-business agenda — he found the perfect way to do so without attracting any attention: He wrote more than $1.5 million in checks to a pro-Walker political advocacy group that pledged to keep its donors secret, three sources directly familiar with the transactions told Yahoo News.

    Menard’s previously unreported six-figure contributions to the Wisconsin Club for Growth — a group that spent heavily to defend Walker during a bitter 2012 recall election — seem to have paid off for the businessman and his company. In the past two years, Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs, according to state records.

    And in his five years in office, Walker’s appointees have sharply scaled back enforcement actions by the state Department of Natural Resources — a top Menard priority. The agency had repeatedly clashed with Menard and his company under previous governors over citations for violating state environmental laws and had levied a $1.7 million fine against Menard personally, as well as his company, for illegally dumping hazardous wastes.

    “This, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with the dark-money world we live in,” said Bill Allison, senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based based nonprofit group that tracks the influence of money in politics. “Here’s somebody who obviously has issues before the state, and he’s able to make a backdoor contribution that nobody ever sees. My sense is [political] insiders know about these contributions. It’s only the public that has no idea.”…

    Nichol, a former Republican district attorney, was originally appointed to his post by Democratic Gov. James Doyle and was reappointed by Walker in 2012. He noted that his nonpartisan board voted unanimously in June 2013 to participate in the John Doe probe — and helped select a special prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, a former U.S. Justice Department national security lawyer — after being presented with the evidence about the close connections between Walker’s campaign and the outside advocacy groups. “This is a way of giving money to a campaign and not having it identified, and the amount involved,” said Nichol. “I find this disturbing to the system generally. I don’t care if it’s on the Republican or Democratic side. Both of them are now using this.”…

    The contributions that have gotten the most attention so far are $700,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth from a mining company called Gogebic Taconite, owned by Florida coal baron Chris Cline. At the time of the contributions in 2011 and 2012, Gogebic was aggressively lobbying the Wisconsin General Assembly for a controversial change in state law that would allow it to open an iron ore mining operation in northern Wisconsin — a proposal that was backed by Walker but drew fierce opposition from environmental groups and local Indian tribes.

    Dale Schultz, a former Republican state senator who once served as Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader, said he worked countless hours attempting to negotiate a compromise version that would satisfy all parties, only to have his efforts overrun by fellow GOP lawmakers who, with Walker’s support, enacted a version of the legislation drafted by the mining company’s lobbyists.

    When he later learned about the secret donations by Gogebic Taconite and other contributors to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, Schultz said in an interview, “I was heart-broken. I was crushed. All of a sudden, I saw something that had never happened before in Wisconsin. You had to go back to when the railroad barons bought the entire legislature during the Gilded Age.” (The mining firm last month announced it was shelving the project for now because of new concerns about federal environmental restrictions.)

  6. Bob Stone says:

    Elaine,

    You’re proving my point:

    “This, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with the dark-money world we live in,” said Bill Allison, senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based based nonprofit group that tracks the influence of money in politics. “Here’s somebody who obviously has issues before the state, and he’s able to [LAWFULLY] make a backdoor contribution that nobody ever sees. My sense is [political] insiders know about these contributions. It’s only the public that has no idea.”…”

    N.B. You’re lying to yourself if you think that it’s only the GOP that does this.

    Once again:

    Calling a legally protected form of speech “dark money” and thence predicating John Doe investigations into same simply to harass and intimidate political opponents, e.g. by storming into their houses in the middle of the night, confiscating their personal papers and effects while threatening them with prosecution if they even called a lawyer, is unforgivable.

    • Mike Spindell says:

      ” You’re lying to yourself if you think that it’s only the GOP that does this.”

      Bob,
      Where has Elaine ever said this? Rhetorical question…..Nowhere. You’re lying to yourself in becoming a Republican apologist by using the Grover Norquist approved tactics of answering damning charges by saying they all do it. Where have we seen that before? Hmm……..Oh yes I remember Richard Nixon using the same line multiple times on the Watergate Tapes. Now give me the line that the Watergate Tapes were part of a President’s private purview and the missing minutes were an inadvertent action.

  7. Bob Stone says:

    Donation to Clinton Foundation ‘looks like bribery’

    Excerpt:

    “You know, I’ve got to tell you, I was stunned by it. I mean, it looks like bribery,” he said while appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show. “I mean, there is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20 percent of America’s uranium production to Russia, and then, it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails.”

    “And you know, I presume we might know for sure whether there was or was not bribery if she hadn’t wiped out thousands of emails. But this is a very, very serious series of facts, and it looks like bribery,” he added.

    Romney was specifically addressing a Thursday New York Times story that alleged that investors in a uranium company donated to the Clinton Foundation before an inter-agency committee including Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the sale of the company to the Russian nuclear agency.

    The committee is led by the Treasury Department, but the Times reported that cabinet level officials can be involved in some of the decisions made by the body.

    Clinton’s presidential campaign and her allies have pushed back against the allegations, saying there is no evidence to suggest a link between the donations and the approval.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/239946-romney-clinton-donations-looks-like-bribery

    • Mike Spindell says:

      “Donation to Clinton Foundation ‘looks like bribery”

      There you go again Bob. Change the subject. What do you think about Walker’s actions. When has any writer on this blog defended Hilary Clinton. Why don’t you stop blowing smoke from your ass.

      “I oppose characterizing a legal form of speech as being unlawful”

      Thus you are in favor of money used to buy elections and support Citizens United as a free speech issue. Hence, you are in favor of the Constitution being subverted by Five SCOTUS Justices and would by you absolutist views aid the outright acceptance of the oligarchy. Any of your other pleadings about the Constitution, the Law and the principles of this Republic are merely the musings of someone who is unable to grasp the realities of the World outside of their own narrow and rigid intellectual spectrum. The issues of the day aren’t Republicans vs. Democrats because for the most part they’ve ALL sold out for the money. The issue is do we want this country to continue as a oligarchy, where the needs of the majority of the citizens are unheeded and uncared for? Some of us, perhaps yourself, are quite satisfied with this state of affairs, others such as Elaine and I, prefer to speak out against them and favor of at least a small return to the concepts this country was founded on. You pretend to support those concepts, but merely construe them through a narrow, self serving lens. I’d always thought you were better than that, but then I also felt Jon Turley was better than that too.

  8. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    “You’re lying to yourself if you think that it’s only the GOP that does this.”

    There you go again–jumping to conclusions! Have I suggested/implied/claimed that only the GOP does this? I was against the Citizens United ruling. I wrote a post about it for RIL. I’m aware the Obama got loads of money from Wall Street. That couldn’t be why the Justice Department under Eric Holder has gone easy on the banksters who were responsible for the financial meltdown?????

    I’d like to see “dark money” out of politics.

    *****

    Citizens United Ruling Brings on “Tsunami of Sewer Money”
    http://jonathanturley.org/2010/11/03/citizens-united-ruling-brings-on-tsunami-of-sewer-money/

    *****

    Once again, why don’t you write a post about the travesty of justice in Wisconsin that you keep bringing up?

    Am I to assume that you approve of what has gone on with John Menard and dark money in the state of Wisconsin?

  9. Bob Stone says:

    Elaine,

    I oppose characterizing a legal form of speech as being unlawful; especially when it’s done to justify or simply look the other way as innocent people are rousted from their homes in the middle of the night and have their lives turned upside down by politically motivated prosecutors.

  10. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    May I suggest that you might consider writing a post about Hillary and the Clinton Foundation for FFS too?

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,

    You can oppose anything you want. You can write a post about anything you want.

    You seem extremely upset about what happened to these folks in Wisconsin who were rousted from their homes. You appear less concerned about other folks who are rousted from their homes/killed by police in home invasions…and other individuals who have been killed by police.

    • Bob Stone says:

      “You appear less concerned about other folks who are rousted from their homes/killed by police in home invasions”

      Elaine,

      Perhaps if you were more concerned with ascertaining the truth than framing a particular narrative, you’d understand just how false that statement actually was.

      Remember the white hood you put over the head of Darren Wilson? Remember Mike calling me Bull Connor whenever I pushed back the specious allegations against him?

      Remember how you both said over and over you were interested in finding the truth; and yet I’ll bet anything neither of you ever read the DOJ report that exonerated Wilson completely — once again, because it didn’t fit your narrative.

      And yes, I’m opposed to militarizing police forces but I’m FAR MORE CONCERNED with addressing acts of tyranny (see John Doe investigations above) than everyday acts of simple negligence.

  12. Elaine M. says:

    National Review Waxes Melodramatic Over Walkergate
    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/04/national-review-waxes-melodramatic-over

    Excerpt:
    Keep in mind that none of these people were beaten, tasered or shot to death like so many, unarmed, innocent black people – whom this group loves to mock.

    Also keep in mind that the Walkergate proceedings have led to six convictions and revealed a vast criminal scheme of illegal politicking with Scott Walker at the center of it.

    Not only does French lay it on thick with the hysteria and melodramatics, but he plays loose and fancy free with the facts.

    For example, take the first story French regales us with regarding Cindy Archer, who was then Walker’s top aide as Director of the Department of Administration for Milwaukee County. After telling us of the horrors that this criminal was treated like a criminal, he writes:

    “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

    They wouldn’t let her speak to a lawyer. She looked outside and saw a person who appeared to be a reporter. Someone had tipped him off.

    The neighbors started to come outside, curious at the commotion, and all the while the police searched her house, making a mess, and — according to Cindy — leaving her “dead mother’s belongings strewn across the basement floor in a most disrespectful way.”

    Then they left, carrying with them only a cellphone and a laptop.

    Now the truth of the matter is that the raid was conducted by sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents. And they took boxes full of stuff from her home and the stuff she tried to pawn off on her neighbors:

    Archer’s neighbors said about a dozen law enforcement officers arrived Wednesday sometime before 7 a.m. One agent took photos of the house, and others wore jackets that said they were responsible for gathering evidence.

    Around 9 a.m., a reporter saw four FBI agents – two of them wearing latex gloves – talking in Archer’s backyard before going into her house. Later, one removed a large box and put it in the trunk of an FBI car. They left about 10 a.m.

    The FBI also seized the hard drive from a computer that a neighbor had bought from Archer six to eight weeks ago at a garage sale.

    Next-door neighbor Dale Riechers said he had never turned on the computer because he was planning to work on it later in the fall. He told the agents about the hard drive and they asked to take it, Riechers said.

    If one was wondering why the law enforcement officials were interested in the electronics, part of the reason is that a large number of computers and files came up missing when Walker left for Madison.

  13. Bob Stone says:

    Mike,

    Bend me, shape me, anyway your narrative needs me.

  14. swarthmoremom says:

    “You’re lying to yourself in becoming a Republican apologist by using the Grover Norquist approved tactics of answering damning charges by saying they all do it.” Mike S Always has been one as far as I can tell along with a defender of bigots and police officers that shoot black people. So one cannot criticize Scott Walker because of someone in a another party’s actions. Really?

  15. Bob Stone says:

    By the word “tyranny” I’m referring to:

    “As usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.” — John Locke

    To wit:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417155/wisconsins-shame-i-thought-it-was-home-invasion-david-french

  16. swarthmoremom says:

    Hear is to hoping Russ Feingold runs in 2016 and defeats Walker crony, Ron Johnson. Then in 2018 Feingold helps another democrat defeat Walker.

  17. Mike Spindell says:

    “When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.” — John Locke”

    An apt description of Governor Walker.

  18. swarthmoremom says:

    “Bob Stone

    Squeeky,

    I just think that an understanding of the lowest common denominator tactics of both sides might bring us back to the days when the halls of government weren’t filled with obstinate children refusing to listen to each other; back to the days when the adults ran things.

    I also think that such an understanding would clear the way for more meaningful political discussion.

    I’m really tired of people framing facts and opponents characters simply to fit their particular narrative.

    For example:

    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2015/04/24/scott-walker-the-wisconsin-club-for-growth-dark-money-and-an-orchestrated-supreme-court-coup/#comment-38459” ” Criticizing y’all on the Turley blog.

  19. elainemag46 says:

    Bob,

    I wasn’t just referring to the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer. You focus on one case and appear to miss the forest for the trees. I have written about more than one black man–and a young boy–killed by police on this blog…and about racism in some police departments. It appears that you think that racism is not a problem…that black men are targeted no more than white men by many police departments. You get your knickers in a twist because some Walker folks get rousted from their homes–not so much for black men who are killed by police. You go on and on about poor Darren Wilson–yet have few words to say about the injustices visited upon many black people in this country.

  20. Bob Stone says:

    SWM,

    You left out the context:

    =======================
    Squeeky,

    Question:

    If “the hyper-liberal-political-correctness-at-any-cost” individual represents the dark side of the left, what type of person would you say represents the dark side of the right?

    A man’s got to know his limitations.

    ===================================
    Bob Stone

    Squeeky,

    Impressive list.

    This is interesting.

    So, if the left has a proclivity for alarmism and lying, what would be the right’s counter sin?

    I’m thinking it’s the act of being overly dismissive of issues that demand attention.

    For example, because the left has been overly alarmist about global warming, demanding that everyone simply fall in line without question, it seems that the right has over-reacted by denying that any problem exists whatsoever. Rather than a normal thesis v antithesis = solution we’ve got a lot of non-communication cross-talk at the expense of ever finding a workable solution.

    So, what’s the right’s counter sin for lying and alarmism?
    =====================
    Bob Stone

    Squeeky,

    I’d put the teetotalers of the prohibition movement in the social conservative group of today.

    As far as being overly dismissive, I think a great deal of the dysfunction comes from the left providing too much reason for the right to be dismissive in a boy who cried wolf way.

    Here’s a paragraph that better describes the alarmist/lying theme I was getting at:

    “So the left specifically chooses to feature situations in which facts are under dispute. Then leftists claim that no one could reasonably dispute the facts; the only people who would dispute facts about the occurrence of an evil are those who sympathize with the evil. Leftists craft Americans who require evidence into victimizers, simply so they can portray themselves as heroes. If you wanted evidence of racism with regard to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, you were a fan of Bull Connor-style police brutality. If you wanted evidence with regard to Lena Dunham’s rape accusations, you stood with rapists. Leftists don’t require any evidence; they will take any allegations that support the narratives they desire at face value because that’s how seriously they take rape, racism, etc.”

    Then again, does this circle begin with the right being so dismissive that the left feels like it has little other options than to lie?

    ======================
    Bob Stone

    Squeeky,

    I just think that an understanding of the lowest common denominator tactics of both sides might bring us back to the days when the halls of government weren’t filled with obstinate children refusing to listen to each other; back to the days when the adults ran things.

    I also think that such an understanding would clear the way for more meaningful political discussion.

    I’m really tired of people framing facts and opponents characters simply to fit their particular narrative.

    For example:

    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2015/04/24/scott-walker-the-wisconsin-club-for-growth-dark-money-and-an-orchestrated-supreme-court-coup/#comment-38459

  21. swarthmoremom says:

    Bob, Don’t think what you did is very fair to the guest bloggers here. Since you are a guest blogger here one would think you would have some respect for the others and would not chose to play to Elaine’s detractors on the other blog as you did.

  22. Elaine M. says:

    swarthmoremom,

    I’m not interested in entertaining the truth, doncha know? Bob is the truth seeker on this blog…and Scott Walker is a man above reproach.

  23. swarthmoremom says:

    Bob, I don’t read many of Squeeky’s comments. She is a severe homophobic and bigot.

  24. Elaine M. says:

    sawrthmoremom,

    She’s also a racist. But over at RIL, it’s okay to post racist comments. Just don’t ever say anything about white privilege over there!

  25. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/in-iowa-scott-walker-raps-john-doe-connected-raids-on-supporters-b99488324z1-301309161.html “Waukee, Iowa — In a swing through the crucial presidential state of Iowa this weekend, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the rare step of lashing out at prosecutors who had probed his campaign by questioning whether their tactics were constitutional.

    In an equally unusual turn, prosecutors fired back by calling Walker’s comments inaccurate, offensive and defamatory — with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm suggesting Walker could be criminally charged for lying. They said Walker should call for the release of sealed court records so the public could know more about the investigation and raids on people’s homes, but Walker gave that notion little heed.

    The exchange came as the Republican governor visited Iowa with other likely presidential candidates for a faith event and spoke positively with reporters about approving a federal law to make all states subject to so-called right-to-work policies and amending the U.S. Constitution to allow states to ban gay marriage.

    His remarks on the investigation into his campaign were made as the Wisconsin Supreme Court mulls whether to let prosecutors revive their investigation.

    Prosecutors have largely been mum publicly about their probe of Walker’s campaign, and Walker recently has largely refrained from discussing the matter.

    That changed Saturday after Walker on Friday spoke to WHO-AM in Des Moines about a recent report in the National Review detailing a 2011 police raid on the home of Walker aide Cindy Archer and ones in 2013 on those working for groups supporting him.

  26. Mike Spindell says:

    “I just think that an understanding of the lowest common denominator tactics of both sides might bring us back to the days when the halls of government weren’t filled with obstinate children refusing to listen to each other; back to the days when the adults ran things.”

    Bob,
    You seriously need to take off your blinders and refresh your understanding of the history of this country.

    “Back to the days when adults ran things”

    Just when were those days and who were the adults? You statement is a hilarious example of an old man saying how much better things were in “the old days”. What is especially funny is that I’m older than you and that particular form of selective memory still hasn’t affected me.

    “I’m really tired of people framing facts and opponents characters simply to fit their particular narrative.”

    Oh you mean like calling the Ferguson protesters “mobs” and “outside agitators”? The “outside agitators” is why I referred to you as Bull Connor, because that was exactly the terms he used for Martin Luther King and the SCLC.

    Now your little interaction with Squeeky Fromm Girl Reporter becomes really funny because both of you were framing facts and opponents to fit your narratives. That the two of you ignorantly engage in the “Left/Right” narrative just indicates that neither has the ability to intelligently look at the political doings in our country today with any intellectual clarity. “Right/Left” are just the narrative hooks laid before the citizenry to avoid the real issue, which has always been class warfare waged by the wealthy and the privileged.

    The answer lies not in any political philosophy, it lies in actual maturity in understanding the fix that we’re in. In your reliance on people like Kant and Locke, you are as blind as any Marxist or Fascist. When Nietzsche talked of “the will to power” he was getting at what really motivates the political scene. Some of Freud’s analysis also leads there as does the work of Existential Psychology. It is all very simple at the bottom. The people who have risen up through the societal structure believe that they are the most fit to lead and that their desires trump everyone else. They further believe that everyone else are beneath them status wise and socially and thus are mere sheep to be shorn. This is true of those behind both Rightists and Leftists. This is the truth of our Country (and all others), all the rest is commentary, now go and learn.

  27. Bob,

    If you have a problem with a particular narrative, feel free to write a column about it. Contrast was, I remind you, one of the primary reasons you were asked to write for this blog. You won’t always find agreement and agreement is not required, but you have it within your power to present your case in full with any narrative you choose. You and I both know the utility and function of narrative framing and for people with our particular training to complain about its use in public discourse is more than a little ridiculous.

    However, this tack you’ve taken of micro-flame wars in the threads of other authors instead of presenting your narrative in full (and make no mistake – you like every other writer of opinion has a distinct narrative)? Reeks of tantrum. If you have a problem with the narrative of others you as an author here are free to write a counterpoint piece any time you like. I have never told you “no” when it comes to subject matter or presentation.

    I strongly suggest you exercise that right instead of your current tactic of choice.

    In the end, that is what distinguishes the trolls and trollish from the not: dubious tactics designed to derail or redirect discussion.

    Let me say this so that there is no misunderstanding: perpetually trying to deliberately change the subject in other author’s threads by a staff member is not something I’m okay with. Disagree with them all you like but attempting to change the subject to an argument of your choosing is inappropriate when you have the ability to fully make your argument of choice via longer form column(s). You as an author have a fuller voice than a regular conversation participant. Use it.

    If you have any problem with anything I have just said? We should continue the discussion via email.

  28. blouise says:

    Dark money is protected free speech?

    (See? Anybody can do it.)

    It’s all for naught anyway. Bush is the anointed one. Walker is just a sideshow to keep the fringe in the game and collect a few extra pennies from the Christian blackhats. I don’t know, maybe the dude actually thinks he’s a Reagan, Carter, or Clinton and has a chance of getting the nomination. He may even think he’s a Palin or Quayle and hoping to settle for the number 2 spot. He should call Michele Bachmann for pointers.

    We liberals get to point out things like dark money and the Koch boys and the very real facts about the sad state of affairs in Wisconsin thanks to Walker’s superlative governing skills.

    In the meantime Bush slithers around from one Republican pit to another cutting deals and making promises.

    Walker is a distraction. Bush is the real deal … dark money and secret agreements abound with that guy. He’s smarter than his brother and daddy’s final act.

  29. Bribery isn’t bribery if you call it campaign finance and buy into the false and faulty reasoning behind the notion that money is the equivalent of free speech (Buckley v. Valeo).

    Oooo. That is easy, Blouise. 😉

  30. blouise17 says:

    Gene,

    I’m a student of the Propaganda Series. :mrgreen:

  31. Mike Spindell says:

    “Bob, I don’t read many of Squeeky’s comments. She is a severe homophobic and bigot.”

    Bob,
    SwM’s comments on Squeeky are accurate she is homophobic and racist. This is not based on speculation but of her writings when she first appeared on the RIL scene. I hope this isn’t a birds of a feather situation?

    “As far as being overly dismissive, I think a great deal of the dysfunction comes from the left providing too much reason for the right to be dismissive in a boy who cried wolf way.”

    “Overly Dismissive?” Another frame by you Bob. You characterize some concerns like Cop murdering Black people as mere hysteria, but then use that to blame the Rights not being concerned about these issues on the Left for raising them, thus merely characterizing the Rights reactions as being basically unaware, rather than actively in defense. So Martin Luther King’s whole movement was so hysterical that the Right Wing discounted its truths and thus it was King’s fault. After all, from your perspective Jim Crow would have gone away in just a few more years if only the “adults” were in charge and those “moblike protests” would never have happened. For a smart man Bob, you have a quite simplistic way of viewing the world.

  32. swarthmoremom says:

    Blouise, Maybe Jeb could throw the evangelicals a bone and chose Walker as vp.

  33. Elaine M. says:

    Mike Spindell says:
    April 26, 2015 at 9:43 am
    “Donation to Clinton Foundation ‘looks like bribery”

    There you go again Bob. Change the subject. What do you think about Walker’s actions.

    *****

    Bob doesn’t want to answer that question. He’d prefer to change the subject. It matters not what Walker has done…because there are Democrats who may have done unethical things.

  34. Mike Spindell says:

    Bob,
    Just to underline what Gene said you have successfully hijacked this thread and made it about you. This is unfortunate since one of the reasons we welcomed your coming to FFS as an author was to have someone who would express different points of view and we knew you were eminently qualified to do so. However, as Gene and Elaine put it on this thread, you have chosen to hijack it, rather than merely writing your own piece highlighting your issues. You could have for instance written a piece titled “Why Elaine Got it Wrong in Wisconsin”. You know very well that unlike at RIL, a piece like that wouldn’t have been censored. I would guess that if one counted up all the writing you have done on this thread it would surpass at least 2000 words, which would be a good size for your own independent post. Why the hesitancy, afraid to argue your own case?

  35. Elaine M. says:

    From Common Cause:

    State Rep. Scott Walker Introduced Bill Requiring All Out-Of-State Groups to Report Source of Funds
    Posted on August 14, 2014
    http://www.commoncause.org/states/wisconsin/press/press-releases/state-rep-scott-walker.html

    Sometimes it’s good to be a pack rat. In sorting through the CC/WI office recently, we came across a press release from then-State Representative Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa) proposing that all out-of-state groups that spend money in Wisconsin elections disclose where those funds came from. He strongly supported the type of full disclosure of the donors of outside money that Wisconsin has needed for two decades.

    While back in 1997, State Rep. Walker strongly supported electioneering disclosure, Governor Walker has been much less supportive. In fact, he and his allies have been major impediments to providing information voters need about who is behind the millions of dollars being spent in Wisconsin elections – particularly in gubernatorial elections.

    Governor Walker could learn something from State Representative Walker.

  36. blouise17 says:

    SwM,

    I doubt Walker is VP material. The Republicans learned a hard lesson with Palin. Walker is a preening pretty boy who craves the spotlight. He wouldn’t be able to help himself in the same manner Palin couldn’t abide not standing in the center ring.

    They just don’t make them like Quayle anymore.

  37. “And now in the Center Ring for your amusement . . . the Impeachment Insurance!”

  38. I. Annie says:

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/scott-walkers-wisconsin-approval-rating-drops-in-latest-poll-b99482677z1-300128921.html?ipad=y

    “Walker’s approval rating dropped to 41%, down from 49% in the last poll on Oct. 26, just before he faced Democrat Mary Burke in his re-election race. The latest poll showed 55% of voters disapproved of how Walker is handling his job.”

    Some of us Wisconsinites knew this man was crooked from day one when he was the Milwaukee County Executive.
    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/02/10079/walkers-mo-and-past-privatization-disaster-revealed

    “In early 2010, when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, he fired 26 union security guards who worked at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. They were public employees and were represented by a union, but he fired them anyway, in favor of hiring private security guards. The county board opposed Walker’s security-outsourcing move, but he pressed ahead with it anyway, claiming the action was needed due to a budget crisis, to help ameliorate a potential 2010 year-end deficit of around $7 million. After firing the guards, Walker hired private security contractor Wackenhut G4S to provide security services at the Courthouse, as well as two other venues in the county, under a $1.1 million contract.”

    His approval rating is at an all time low, the people of Wisconisn are finally seeing the light, too late though, as we now resemble Mississippi.

  39. Elaine M. says:

    I.Annie,

    It doesn’t matter what Walker has done because…Hillary! Because…Darren Wilson! Because Democrats have done some bad shit! Because…because…because!

  40. I. Annie says:

    Elaine,
    Because ignorance and partisanship. That’s what happened when a majority of Wisconsinites voted for Walker. Now the damage is done and I hope Wisconsinites get back to our roots in Progressivism. Russ Feinglod polls wayyyy ahead of Ron Johnson. Wisconsin had to learn it’s lesson, I guess.

  41. Elaine M. says:

    I.Annie,

    What boggles my mind is why so many people in this country vote against their own best interests.

  42. I. Annie says:

    Elaine,
    Yep, that is a head scratcher alright. Stubborn idiocy?

  43. bron98 says:

    I think you guys are being quite unfair to Bob. In the other thread I brought up the damn article.
    I don’t think Wilson shot Graham because he was black, I am all for money in politics, if you want to support a candidate you have every right to do so. The problem is expecting quid pro for the dough. The problem isn’t the money its the POS unethical politicians we keep electing.

    god damn, cant people of good will have opposing views without being racist, sexist, homophobic? All that does is shut debate down. You nuck futs on the left might learn something if you would be willing to meet us hss aoles on the right half way. And vice versa.

  44. blouise17 says:

    Sorry, bron, I just can’t dumb myself down that much

  45. Elaine M. says:

    bron said: “The problem is expecting quid pro for the dough. The problem isn’t the money its the POS unethical politicians we keep electing.”

    We all know that the moneyed interests on Wall Street, the Kochs and Sheldon Adelson only contribute to political candidates out of the goodness of their hearts. They expect nothing in return–just like John Menard.

  46. I. Annie says:

    Sorry Bron, it doesn’t take but a few minutes of reading the swill Squeeky spews to know that she is a bigot of the lowest order.

  47. Bron,

    In re: Bob. Actually to my mind it’s a matter of manners and decorum amongst equals. If Bob has a different story he wants to frame a different way, as an author he should write that story instead of trying to hijack another author’s threads with it. Persistent thread hijacking can get a poster banned around these parts – it is not only a known troll tactic but simple bad manners – and to tolerate that kind of behavior from an author simply wouldn’t be fair.

    In re: quid pro quo. You are surely not so naive as to think that when you give someone a huge chunk of cash that you are doing it with no expectation of return on that investment, are you? If it looks like bribery and smells like bribery, it is bribery, even if the terms of the deal are not spelled out or the special consideration you’ve paid remains an unexercised option. You buy into the lie that is Buckley v. Valeo. Money is not free speech. It is money and it corrupts every decision and person it touches either directly or implicitly and indirectly. Should you be able to support a candidate you like? Sure, but there should be limits on that support and they should be limits that most citizens could reasonably run up against. Because the way human psychology works indicates that if Citizen A gives you $5,000 for your campaign, they are not going to curry as much favor with you as Citizen B who gives you $500,000 who in turn isn’t going to curry as much favor as Citizen C who gives you $5,000,000. One of the fundamental unspoken rules of politics is “dance with the one who brought you”. It didn’t become a truism for nothing.

    And who, I ask you, is responsible for the continuing slate of bad candidates? The big money backers and people like the Kochs who manufacture false grassroots movements (a.k.a. astroturfing).

    Also, it isn’t simple opposition alone that creates racists, bigots and sexists. Those are self-defining behaviors that are what they are and they are rooted in oppression and/or irrationality (including any position that is based in belief over reason). As the rules here note: “If it is an abhorrent position that causes recoil and/or social rejection, then the problem might rest with the position first and the holder as consequence. If one does not like the consequences of being seen in a negative light, one should revisit their position(s) or live with it.”

  48. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    You wrote: “god damn, cant people of good will have opposing views without being racist, sexist, homophobic? All that does is shut debate down. You nuck futs on the left might learn something if you would be willing to meet us hss aoles on the right half way. And vice versa.”

    Can you please explain what you meant by that? Who is being racist, sexist, or homophobic? I’m not a “nuck fut on the left.” Pray tell, what has anyone written here that has lead to you believe that we are?

  49. Elaine M. says:

    Money Trail Revealed: Did Eric O’Keefe Pay James O’Keefe for Hatchet Job on GOP Senate President?
    http://www.prwatch.org/news/2015/01/12714/eric-okeefe-james-okeefe-mike-ellis

    Excerpt:
    In 2014, as March drew to an end but the cold Wisconsin winter refused to let go, State Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) stopped at his favorite after-work hangout to relax after a long session in the Capitol. After a few drinks, Ellis was approached by what he thought were two young constituents and the veteran GOP lawmaker started holding forth, as he was wont to do.

    What he did not know, however, was that his new-found drinking buddies were not from his district or even from the State of Wisconsin. They were, however, on a mission to end his career. A few weeks later, the right-wing’s favorite attack dog for hire, James O’Keefe, released a video of the conversation showing an inebriated Ellis spinning a tale about setting up a “Super PAC” to run attacks on his Democratic opponent in that year’s election.

    If Ellis’ barroom boasts were actualized in the cold light of day, Ellis may have run afoul of state law prohibiting coordination between candidate committees and outside groups.

    “I guess I have to learn to put duct tape over my mouth because any time you’re out in public you’re fair game,” Ellis told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel when the story broke. As for his Super PAC idea, he explained, “I was informed that the described scenario would be illegal, and the idea went no further.”

    But the damage had been done. A few days later, the Senate President who was first elected to the Senate in 1982, announced that he would not be running for re-election. Ellis was an unabashed conservative, but he had split with Governor Scott Walker and his increasingly right-wing party on issues like school vouchers and the corrupting influence of big money in politics.

    James O’Keefe had gotten his man, but who bankrolled the hit?…

    Senate President Ellis, an Obstacle to Walker Agenda

    Known as an independent thinker and a curmudgeon, Ellis had a history of taking positions contrary to the party line. Ellis was not involved in the caucus fundraising scandal that rocked the Capitol in 2002 with the arrests of Assembly and Senate leaders. In the wake of the scandal, he helped lead a bipartisan effort to restructure the state elections and ethics agencies so that they were no longer under the control of a grid-locked partisan board, but instead led by retired judges appointed by the governor and approved by the legislature.

    The nonpartisan board “was his idea,” says Jay Heck, director of Wisconsin Common Cause. “Ellis consistently supported disclosure and public financing for campaigns, while Eric O’Keefe has opposed both.” Heck worked with Ellis and other legislators to set up the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, now under attack by Wisconsin’s GOP for its role in initiating the John Doe investigation.

    Ellis also had a history of failing to fall in line behind the Walker’s agenda.

    Ellis was publicly critical of Walker’s steep cuts to education and attempts to massively expand controversial voucher schools around the state, leading to embarrassing headlines regarding a GOP split.

    He also privately voiced concerns over the union-busting bill that became Act 10. Although he voted for it, Ellis would later claim that he was blind-sided by Walker and by ads paid for by the WiCFG pressuring him to fall in line after he had raised questions about the bill behind closed doors.

  50. swarthmoremom says:

    Elaine M. says:
    April 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

    sawrthmoremom,

    She’s also a racist. But over at RIL, it’s okay to post racist comments. Just don’t ever say anything about white privilege over there! She would make the Klan proud.

  51. swarthmoremom says:

    You have to hand it to Annie and Max for continually challenging squeeky. I don’t have the stomach for it.

  52. Elaine M. says:

    swarthmoremom,

    I posted comments quite regularly for a time at RIL after I left. I rarely go there these days. It’s near impossible to have an intelligent discussion there. Let the racists, bigots, homophobes, and far right-wingers spout their vile rhetoric at the blog. I really couldn’t care less.

  53. Re, Bron’s comment at 1:43 PM today:

    Wut?!?!?

    I don’t believe anyone has accused anyone on the so-called “right” of being a racist, etc, unless they actually were. All those things you mention have nothing to do with politics, but everything to do with bigotry, prejudice and ignorance. Anybody from anyplace on the spectrum can be a bigot. However, based on simple demographics and polling data, there are more bigots (about any number of things) among authoritarians than liberal thinkers.

    It is probably no coincidence that the manner in which the Republican party has currently aligned itself attracts authoritarians, whereas liberal thinkers tend to be repulsed.

  54. Bob Kauten says:

    squeeky’s quite something. She wrote the most disgusting, nauseating thing I’d ever read on RIL, describing gay sex.
    I told her that her comment was reprehensible, plus the above.
    She answered as if I’d simply expressed doubt on the veracity of what she said.
    My disgust went right over her head.
    We didn’t converse, again.

    Bron has gone off his meds, again.
    Are you folks really gonna put up with this nasty, stupid vitriol?
    “god damn, cant people of good will have opposing views without being racist, sexist, homophobic? All that does is shut debate down. You nuck futs on the left might learn something if you would be willing to meet us hss aoles on the right half way.”
    Fuck nuts and assholes, bron? Really? So you’re one of these people of good will?
    I have no banishing power on this blog, but I entreat you to please go away and do not return.
    I don’t want to see any more of your diseased spewings.
    Ever.

  55. po says:

    I would guess that if one counted up all the writing you have done on this thread it would surpass at least 2000 words, which would be a good size for your own independent post. Why the hesitancy, afraid to argue your own case?

    There you go, Mike! It is much easier to disturb someone else’s case than to present one’s own!
    Making his case would require Bob to have a case in the first place. Argumenting the unargumentable would take skills that even Bob doesn’t have.
    As the right has shown us, It does require first the ability/leisure to manipulate words to mean what they don’t mean (hence Frank Luntz and David Frumm), and secondly access to the masses through gatekeepers who have relinquished their duties (all of mainstream media).

    Walker has taken advantage of the same structure that enabled the Iraq war, and convinced populations across the country to vote no on knowing what is their food! Same structure 3.0

  56. Bob K.,
    I hope that was just drunkblogging; however, I suspect he is getting mojo from another site. I am sure there are wannabe troublemakers egging him on. Playing the victim is part of the ALEC playbook on trolling.

  57. Elaine M. says:

    Bob,
    SwM’s comments on Squeeky are accurate she is homophobic and racist. This is not based on speculation but of her writings when she first appeared on the RIL scene. I hope this isn’t a birds of a feather situation?

    *****

    Evidently Bob finds racist/bigot Squeeky more to his liking than someone like me. To each his own.

    *****************

    swarthmoremom says:
    April 26, 2015 at 10:14 am
    Bob, Don’t think what you did is very fair to the guest bloggers here. Since you are a guest blogger here one would think you would have some respect for the others and would not chose to play to Elaine’s detractors on the other blog as you did.

    *****

    It appears that Bob has chosen to commiserate with one of my detractors at RIL. Maybe he finds the crowd there more to his liking than the folks here. At least, he has made it clear how little respect he has for me.

  58. This double play goes out to my old friend Bron. He’s always . . .

    Which tends to make him an . . .

  59. pete says:

    Express an opinion that I dislike
    and on your petard I’ll hoist
    but tattoo a swastika on you head
    and boy you’ll make me moist
    ==============

    Simple rhymes aren’t that tough.

    Wonder what I shall name it?

  60. pete says:

    damn I’m a pirate, I forgot an arrr

  61. po says:

    speaking of squeek, you guys have known her longer, is she really a she? I am convinced she is a he! Considering the intense homophobia…must say something!

  62. Elaine M. says:

    po,

    Squeeky calls itself a girl reporter. You don’t suppose Squeeky is a hermaphrodite?

  63. Slartibartfast says:

    po,

    I was a regular at her blog until she stopped posting after pissing off most of her anti-birther readers with her take on the Trayvon Martin shooting and I’ve never had any reason to doubt she was a she. Apart from calling herself “girl reporter” she never really made an issue of it, so while I could be wrong, I’d be surprised if she was a he. And if Squeeky is a hermaphrodite I’m certainly fine with her referring to herself by whatever gender pronoun she feels is appropriate.

    On the subject of Bob, I think all of you should give him a break—after all, it is much easier to have a pseudo-intellectual discussion about hypothetical straw man liberals over on RIL with Squeeky than to actually address the merits of arguments made by real liberals on this blog. And it must be exhausting to maintain all of those double standards.

  64. Elaine M. says:

    Walkergate Prosecutors To Walker: Put Up Or Shut Up
    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/04/walkergate-prosecutors-walker-put-or-shut

    Excerpt:
    Over the weekend, Scott Walker was once again in Iowa, peddling the false pretense that he is a good Christian, when he went after the Walkergate prosecutors, echoing the fabricated narratives that has been bouncing around the right wing echo chambers. This time, though, the prosecutors aren’t just standing by. They issued a challenge to Walker to walk the walk and to go big and go bold by agreeing to release all of the John Doe documents which are currently sealed:

    Prosecutors have largely been mum publicly about their probe of Walker’s campaign, and Walker recently has largely refrained from discussing the matter.

    That changed Saturday after Walker on Friday spoke to WHO-AM in Des Moines about a recent report in the National Review detailing a 2011 police raid on the home of Walker aide Cindy Archer and ones in 2013 on those working for groups supporting him.

    “I said even if you’re a liberal Democrat, you should look at (the raids) and be frightened to think that if the government can do that against people of one political persuasion, they can do it against anybody, and more often than not we need protection against the government itself,” Walker told the radio station.

    “As (the National Review) pointed out, there were real questions about the constitutionality of much of what they did, but it was really about people trying to intimidate people…” Walker said.

    “They were looking for just about anything. As I pointed out at the time, it was largely a political witch hunt.”

    The raids were conducted as part of a pair of investigations led by Chisholm, a Democrat. On the second investigation, Chisholm was assisted by district attorneys from both parties and special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, a self-described Republican.

    “As to defamatory remarks, I strongly suspect the Iowa criminal code, like Wisconsin’s, has provisions for intentionally making false statements intended to harm the reputation of others,” Chisholm said in a statement Saturday responding to Walker’s comments.

    In a separate statement, Schmitz said he was surprised Walker would “speak publicly about specific issues which are now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a decision.”

    “His description of the investigation as a ‘political witch hunt’ is offensive when he knows that the investigation was authorized by a bipartisan group of judges and is directed by a Republican special prosecutor appointed at the request of a bipartisan group of district attorneys,” Schmitz’s statement said.

    He called Walker’s comments inaccurate but didn’t detail why.

    “I invite the governor to join me in seeking judicial approval to lawfully release information now under seal which would be responsive to the allegations that have been made,” his statement said. “Such information, when lawfully released, will show that these recent allegations are patently false.”

    Chisholm said he agreed with Schmitz’s statement.

    “Stripped of niceties, Mr. Schmitz is saying the governor is deliberately not telling the truth,” Chisholm’s statement said.

    “The truth is always a defense, so let’s get the truth out in a legal manner, not through lies, distortions and misrepresentations.”

    As one might expect, Walker dodged this challenge and refused to answer questions about releasing the sealed documents.

  65. Elaine M. says:

    Walkergate: How Partisan Is John Doe?
    http://crooksandliars.com/2015/04/walkergate-how-partisan-john-doe

    Excerpt:
    As noted earlier, Scott Walker and his right wing apologists are scared witless about an upcoming decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court about the ongoing John Doe investigations into Walker’s illegal collaboration with dark money groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth.

    In an effort to stem the bad press that will come with the court’s rulings, win or lose, the right wing has gone on the offensive to start the damage control and trying to control the spin. Among these propagandists is David French, who wrote some horrible dreck for the National Review. Besides the over the top melodrama and flights of imagination, French included another utterly false talking point from Team Walker – that the investigation and subsequent criminal convictions are the result of a partisan witch hunt:

    It all began innocently enough. In 2009, officials from the office of the Milwaukee County executive contacted the office of the Milwaukee district attorney, headed by John Chisholm, to investigate the disappearance of $11,242.24 from the Milwaukee chapter of the Order of the Purple Heart. The matter was routine, with witnesses willing and able to testify against the principal suspect, a man named Kevin Kavanaugh.

    What followed, however, was anything but routine. Chisholm failed to act promptly on the report, and when he did act, he refused to conduct a conventional criminal investigation but instead petitioned, in May 2010, to open a “John Doe” investigation, a proceeding under Wisconsin law that permits Wisconsin officials to conduct extensive investigations while keeping the target’s identity secret (hence the designation “John Doe”).

    […]

    At the same time that the public protests were raging, so were private — but important — protests in the Chisholm home and workplace. As a former prosecutor told journalist Stuart Taylor, Chisholm’s wife was a teachers’-union shop steward who was distraught over Act 10’s union reforms. He said Chisholm “felt it was his personal duty” to stop them.

    Meanwhile, according to this whistleblower, the district attorney’s offices were festooned with the “blue fist” poster of the labor-union movement, indicating that Chisholm’s employees were very much invested in the political fight.

    Unfortunately, French is just repeating misinformation that has been utterly debunked.

    The John Doe did not begin with Walker asking District Attorney John Chisholm to look into the theft of money from a veterans fund. The investigation started when Walker started to stonewall the investigation by refusing to release requested emails and documents.

    As far as the myth that the investigation and prosecutions were due to unionism, eye witnesses thoroughly discredited those allegations. On top of that, the supposed “whistleblower” whom French refers to was a disgruntled former employee who was suffering from PTSD and alcoholism and who had made death threats against Chisholm and his family.

    It later turned out that these accusations were nothing but a campaign gimmick to promote Walker’s name and set up the story line they are now using.

  66. Elaine M. says:

    Source who accused Chisholm of vendetta has troubled past
    http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/source-who-accused-chisholm-of-vendetta-has-troubled-past-b99350187z1-274905441.html

    Excerpt:
    The allegations are explosive.

    Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has used the power of his office to conduct two secret investigations of Gov. Scott Walker because Chisholm’s wife is a teachers union shop steward bitterly opposed to Walker’s anti-union policies. Right-wing talk radio quickly jumped on the story and ran with it for several days this week.

    The source for reporter Stuart Taylor Jr.’slengthy article in Legal Newsline: a “longtime Chisholm subordinate” who is now a “former staff prosecutor in Chisholm’s office.”

    Only those descriptions are not accurate. Not even close.

    No Quarter has confirmed that the source making the allegations is a figure well-known in Milwaukee’s legal community — but not for his prosecutorial record.

    Michael W. Lutz, 44, is a former Milwaukee cop involved in several high-profile incidents during his 17 years on the force who receives taxpayer-funded duty disability pay for post-traumatic stress disorder. He got his law license less than four years ago and is now a criminal defense attorney.

    But here is the shocker: Lutz issued a death threat, apparently during a drunken rage, against the prosecutor and his family last year — a charge not in dispute, though it was never prosecuted.

    On Thursday, Lutz dodged questions as to whether he was the anonymous source making the bold claims. He said by email that he wished “to stay out of this firestorm,” even if he helped create it.

    Later, at his house, Lutz said he couldn’t talk because Chisholm would “destroy” him. Asked if he was denying that he talked with Taylor, Lutz said, “No, I didn’t say that.”

    Taylor declined to identify his source “unless and until he releases me from my promise of confidentiality.” Late Friday, Richard Miniter, CEO of American Media Institute — which commissioned the story — acknowledged that Lutz was the anonymous source.

  67. Bob Kauten says:

    Chuck,
    You may be right. Drunk blogging by an intelligent person is embarrassing and sometimes dangerous.
    Drunk blogging by a stupid person is a guaranteed catastrophe.

    We do have people here that are encouraged by the teabillies at RIL.
    I view giving those RIL troglodytes fresh meat, in the form of links to articles here, as an act of hate toward the writers at FFS. I haven’t quite come to terms with my feelings about such an act, beyond regarding the perpetrator as mentally ill. That’s been obvious for some time, now.
    Some of us are here to avoid interaction with vicious people at RIL. Those people are free to wander over here, to make whatever mischief. I prefer that they do that on their own initiative, rather than having a deranged writer at FFS recruit them.
    Have I said too much, gone too far?
    Good.

  68. swarthmoremom says:

    Bob K, It is not as if the blogger is just a commenter as we are. He is listed as a guest blogger. His action bothered me so much that I re-posted it here.

  69. Mike Spindell says:

    “Taylor declined to identify his source “unless and until he releases me from my promise of confidentiality.” Late Friday, Richard Miniter, CEO of American Media Institute — which commissioned the story — acknowledged that Lutz was the anonymous source.”

    Elaine,

    How Liberally unfair of you to attack a former police officer when everyone knows they are always above reproach even if the murder and steal? If you “lefties” would only take your cues from the real intellects at RIL, then you would understand the world.

  70. Bob Kauten says:

    swm,
    Thanks for posting that. Yes, it’s a writer from this blog, taking direct action against another writer, one that I admire. I was perturbed by the complete lack of collegiality. From the wikipedia entry on ‘collegiality’:
    “Colleagues are those explicitly united in a common purpose and respecting each other’s abilities to work toward that purpose.”
    I don’t see that happening, here, at all.
    No respect. An effort by one sociopathic writer to enlist the aid of more outside sociopaths in condemning a “colleague.” No, I’m not a sociologist. It’s just my unprofessional use of a word, that I think fits.
    I think it’s obvious that I’m having difficulty understanding what is going on here.
    Anyone care to explain?
    My very first comment to Bob Stone’s initial dog-and-mob show asked what planet this happened on.
    The question still stands, modified to, “What world are you living in?”
    Must be ugly, in there.

  71. The situation amongst the authors is being addressed. “Collegiality” was not the explicit word in use, but it is the idea at the heart of the matter. Questions have been asked. Answers will be had. Decisions will be made. Until the matter is resolved though, further discussion of the matter here is not bringing further probative value.

  72. swarthmoremom says:

    Bob K, I have always found him to be mean spirited. …….

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