Monday, July 28, 2014

The Many Levels To Wrong-Way Walker's WEDC Scandal

It seems today that Governor Scott Walker and GOP gubernatorial re-election candidate Scott Walker had a discussion with WEDC/jobs' agency Chairman Scott Walker and now wants Walker Walker Walker to stop lending state money or giving tax breaks to companies that are sending jobs to other countries on the Walkers' watch.

The message seems to be: Hey, cut it out - - you're making all of us look bad.

So to bring you up to date - - and here is one summary post - - It has been established that the job-creation agency Walker founded, touted and chairs (The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, or WEDC), has been subsidizing with public money some big Wisconsin businesses that have been sending jobs overseas.

At the very time that Gov. Walker is only about 40% towards meeting his now-unattainable, signature 250,000 new-jobs' pledge, and also while the state's job-creation ranking under the various Walkers trails the rate of growth in most of our neighboring states' and has fallen nationally to 37th.

And while executives of some of those companies who are taking state subsidies on Governor and WEDC Chairman Walker's watch while also outsourcing jobs made big donations to candidate Walker's campaign treasury.

Creating so much political blow back that Gov. Walker today is saying that the WEDC run by Chairman Walker should stop lending public money and giving tax breaks to outsourcing businesses.

And while you are wondering how it was that Walker the Governor didn't know about these lending practices, or didn't care about them, or see anything sleazy or counter-productive about what was happening under agency chief Walkers' nose while candidate Walker was flailing about hypocritically for days attacking his opponent for overseas production at a Wisconsin company she left in 2004-'05...

Let's see if we can find a comparison?

Suppose after a search you hired a mechanic to fix the truck you use for business.

You hired this particular mechanic because he had convincing advertisements and recommendations in your local newspaper and he convincingly promised to make your truck run better, and more profitably, by adding new parts that would go on your tab.

As part of a bigger plan to help your business and everyone else's, too.

You said, well OK, that's a good use of my money - - to make my truck run better and my business more profitable and make the big picture even brighter.

So how would you feel if your truck kept stalling and you discovered by reading in the newspaper that the mechanic had actually been shipping those truck parts to competitors, and some of them were sending your mechanic thank-you checks, too.

If you had any chance of overcoming the mechanic's double-dealing you'd fire him and demand a refund for the money you'd made available for better parts and that overall, big picture plan.

And if the mechanic came around again looking for more work, you'd say "no way."

Because, really, how else are you going to stay open for business?

Originally posted at Purple Wisconsin.

Oh, I See...The Walker/WEDC Outsourcing Scandal Is Expanding...

...So Hat Tip To WKOW-27 TV for revealing that more companies were getting funded by Walker's WEDC while outsourcing jobs away from Wisconsin, thus explaining Gov. Wrong-Way's complete flip on the issue and pledge to stop the funding.

Funding from an agency he created and chaired. Does he read the minutes? See the loan and tax break proposals and decisions?

As chair, does he sign them, or is he mailing it all in, literally, figuratively, ethically?

These companies are being subsidized with public dollars to send jobs overseas - - so no wonder Walker's 250,000 new jobs' pledge is stuck at 41%, and no wonder also that Wisconsin's job-creation rating has fallen to 37th, behind national trends and gains in other Great Lakes states - - though Walker's campaign treasury has grown with donations from some of these out-sourcing business's officials.

He's presiding over the removal of Wisconsin jobs, and paying his friends to do it, with our money, to boot.

A variation on pay-to-play?

What a scandal.

What a hack.

Walker Completes Flip-Flop On Jobs Outsourcing, His Role In It

[Updated, 3:30 p.m.] I'm guessing his overnight polling is so bad that Gov. Wrong-Way now says no more state money shoveled from the state failing jobs' agency he created and chairs to businesses that send jobs overseas.

In other words, Gov. Walker is telling WEDC chairman Walker - - Hey, don't do that again - - you're making both of us look bad.

We'll see if he asks for the return of any of the money, especially from businesses which also sourced his campaign with donations.

More, here.

And you're wondering: how could he turn on a dime like this - - go from bashing Trek and Mary Burke (gone from Trek since '04-05) for outsourcing to cutting off from state funding other businesses outsourcing right now?

Two reasons:

His inner circle told him - - Look, cut your losses. It's still July. This will pass. Let's get if off the front pages and Internet. Now.

Second reason - - Walker and the Team don't believe in anything except the overnight polling and the long-term ballot-box prospects.

Principles? A track record?

Forget it.

Even Radio Rage Can't Get Ald. Donovan Elected Milwaukee Mayor

We'll know tomorrow if he's running for Milwaukee Mayor or dipping his toe in the water, or what, but there's no way that perpetually angry South side Alderman Bob Donovan can win a city-wide election.
Alderman Donovan

In some Milwaukee-area suburb or smaller town, maybe, but Milwaukee - - even with endless promotion for Donovan by across the AM dial by right-wing, anti-city talk radio -- -  is not going to put a GOP-watter carrier and Walker clone on steroids in the Mayor's office.

Walker Treks Down Rabbit Hole

Wrong-Way Walker canceled Amtrak train line construction and train-assembly jobs, and oversaw state payments through WEDC - - which he chairs - - to businesses that shipped jobs overseas - - and led the state downward in national job-creating rankings to #37.

Yet he has managed to shift the debate over jobs, even as his own 250,000-new-jobs pledge is unattainable - - to opponent Mary Burke and Trek Bicycle Co. - - a private, successful Wisconsin company her father founded and that employs 1,000 people in Wisconsin.

And whose payroll she left in 2004.

Crafting ads and releases to slip past his own failures and distort Mary Burke and Trek into the problem is some big-time political evasion that informs us about the desperation of Walker's campaign and character.

Warning Against Ignoring Climate Change Ignored By WI DNR

When it comes to climate change and the administration of Wrong-Way Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, ignorance is both bliss and policy:

A key US business and diplomatic figure pens a strong warning against ignoring the climate change issue.

And as I have noted more than once on this blog, a key climate change web page put up by the Wisconsin DNR has not been updated since June, 2012.

Worse, some information was scrubbed after Walker's inauguration and installation atop the DNR of bis chamber of commerce mentality because the citations had been posted during the previous administration when some planning on climate matters was being undertaken and distributed.

Finally, Wrong-Way Walker, along with other Wisconsin GOP 'leaders,' [Sic], have signed a pledge against climate change actions.

With the Walkerites, no-change is the preferred answer to climate change.

One Question For The M-7 On Advocacy For SE WI Jobs

The seven-county regional public-private group says no jobs should be left on the table.

Good point.

I don't recall hearing anything from the group about losing years of Amtrak work, the Talgo-train assembly factory in a hard-hit Milwaukee neighborhood, and all the spin-off employment and development swept off the table when Wrong-Way Scott Walker blocked $810 million in federal Madison-Milwaukee Amtrak rail construction that was already underway in 2009-2010.

A detailed, archived account of what was the loss of an entire new industry here with future growth benefits, here.

Separately, here are links to statements and rationales offered by a Milwaukee business leader, Walker backer and M-7 mover-and-shaker who denigrated the Madison-Milwaukee train project after Milwaukee business leaders at an M-7 meeting initially helped laud and introduce the train line.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wisconsin's Sad Lexicon - - Walker To Grothman To Vos

Just like Tinker to Evers to Chance, (and yes, as the poet wrote in "Baseball's Sad Lexicon - - 
"Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble"
- - this blog featured a sour trifecta this weekend with names as we see it that are also heavy with trouble  - - Walker to Grothman to Vos - - and did they ever make Bucky look bad and sad!

Quick Quiz: When A Thought Includes "Walker" And "Drain The Entire System"...

Do you think it's a reference to:

Wisconsin's credibility? Our 37th-place job ranking? The WEDC's overall performance? 


It would be Walker's phony fears about housing and saving immigrant children, as...horrors...50 might be headed to Wisconsin, where Robin Vos has already told them they are not welcome.

Walker explained during, what else, a campaign stop how it is that Wisconsin, open for business, is closed to homeless, destitute, threatened children:
Walker said he is concerned about the risks children face in traveling many miles to the United States and the cost of dealing with them once they are here.
The Republican governor says if the children aren't sent home quickly, they will likely blend into communities and "that's going to have costs and drain the entire system."

Key Items For Your Walker/Doe 'Who-Knew-What-When' File

I'd say these tie the whole Walker/Doe/money coordination thing together.

*  About prevailing law:

Gov. Scott Walker, allies knew prevailing interpretation of state law
*  About the Walker/interest group coordination:
History Of Right-Wing Coordination For Walker Disclosed
*  About sending in the cleaners to fix the mess:
*  About excuse making:
New John Doe Or Old, Walker Will Know Nothing

As I Was Saying About Congress Being Devalued...

A Glenn Grothman Congressional victory would fit Right into a US House of Representatives where a Florida Republican who later claimed he hadn't read briefing papers closely enough assumed two senior Obama administration officials - - American citizens without Anglo-Saxon names - - were testifying before his committee representing a foreign government.

The Congressman, Tea Party-backed Curt Clawson, had replaced another GOP House member who was forced to resign after a cocaine-buying scandal.

Glenn Grothman Could Be The Next Michele Bachmann

Wisconsin GOP State Senator and Michele Bachmann understudy Glenn Grothman has been speaking falsely about his fund-raising strength as he campaigns for a Congressional seat.

Hardly shocking, given how Grothman rolls. One item of explanation from this blog, among many is here; reports about the desultory Congressional race to replace the retiring/forced-out-by-the-Tea Party Tom Petri, (R), here and, here.

The Aug. 12th primary winner from among three safely-gerrymandered Wisconsin right-wing GOP state legislators is basically anointed the next member of Congress in a safely-gerrymandered GOP district - - at Big Government pay nearly quadruple Wisconsin's paltry offering.

$174,000 per year and perk-filled goody bags bigger than what Oscar nominees lug home will buy a lot of tea, Right?

So "US Congressman Glenn Grothman" is a real possibility, preposterous as that sounds, though since the US House of Representatives is so deeply devalued and dysfunctional, Grothman would fit Right in and feel Right at home.

As Charlie Sykes says, Grothman is a "warrior" for conservative issues, with unmatched "depths."

And with Bachmann departing, Grothman could fill her shoes, inherit her go-to Fox News slot and be a one-two Punch-and-Judy letter "G" tea partying voting bloc with Texas fringemeister Louis Gohmert.

Don't laugh: Gohmert and Grothman have plenty in common.

Take, for example, Gohmert's interest in certain lizards and insects, along with Grothman's obsession with snakes.

Vipers, too - - though as he did with the fund-raising example in our morning lede, above, Grothman got that one wrong and spoke falsely about it, too - - so people of the 6th Congressional District:

You've been warned.

One potential downside to a Grothman ascension to real power: Bridge repairs nationwide would take a budget hit if Caulk-Happy Glenn gets a seat on the House Transportation Committee.

Common Core, Uncommon Ironies

It's not an accident that Wisconsin Republican State Rep. and Congressional candidate Joe Leibman earned a "False" rating about the Common Core education issue - - wholly manufactured by an increasingly desperate Scott Walker and a handful of right-wing propagandists - - and stumbled when trying to appear farther to the right than fellow rightist state legislator and Congressional candidate Glenn Grothman in a conservative district primary August 12th.

The winner is the likely next Congressman for a long, long time; state legislators running for the office would nearly quadruple their salaries and walk off with gobs of benefits and perks, including a much better pension.

So there is a lot at stake, and risks will be taken to win the prize - - but occupying territory farther right than Glenn Grothman is factually-risky business, and certainly no place to debate and fumble education, where facts pretty much tie the whole thing together.

Final thought:

Right-wingers like Walker and Leibman have an easy time demonizing and misrepresenting to voters a plan with the word "Common" in the title.

Reaganesque/Marlboro Man/Fantasy-Self-Reliant Righties do not like the appearance, sound and implication of that word.

That's what concealed carrying and home schooling and transit bashing and survivalist planning are all about.

Maybe if the math and reading program called Common Core program had been titled Liberty Values - - since its adoption is a voluntary state action - - or Exceptional Goals, or American Core we wouldn't be having this nutty, politicized conversation by people and politicians who do not know the facts or are willing to distort them.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Petition Vs. Golf Course In/Along Lakeshore State Park At 4,000+ Names

Sign it. Post it. Email it. Talk it up.

There is substantial Lake Michigan shoreline, plus a nature preserve and an already-impaired river at stake.

The Wisconsin DNR must deny Kohler Company the use of  public State lands for their private profit. The role of the WDNR is to protect the environment...not work for developers.

The Wisconsin DNR must deny Kohler Company the use of public State lands for their private profit. The role of the WDNR is to protect the environment...not work for 

Vos: 'Do Not Let The Children Come Unto Me.'

Picture of Rep Robin Vos
Wisconsin State GOP Assembly Speaker and Selfishness Avatar Robin Vos
sees destitute, homeless immigrant kids, immediately forgets a basic admonition and declares that Wisconsin is not a heavenly spot: 
Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
- King James Bible "Authorized Version", Cambridge Edition

Race To The Bottom Winner Alert

Just give him the award:
Gun-rights activist shows up for Tonette Walker event with AK-47, Glock and Ruger

Ted Nugent, and "Vermin." A Righty Meme

Yes, Righty rocker and infamous Barack Obama insulter Ted Nugent called his Wisconsin critics "vermin."

Let's see..."vermin"...sounds familiar.

Oh, I remember. It's a dehumanizing insult favored by Righty radio hater Michael Savage, too.

Again. And, again, here.

I'd noted it on this blog back in 2007 when I was hoping that AM 620 WTMJ radio would dump (and it eventually did) the Savage show from the station's overnight slot:
Host Michael Savage is meaner and farther to the Right than Rush Limbaugh, often calling his targets "scum" and "vermin," seditious and worse. 
Maybe Nugent is a Savage savant.

History Of Right-Wing Coordination For Walker Disclosed

[Originally posted, March 10, 2014, but is seeing a burst of readership today, blog data show.] 

This blew me away:

Leading national right-wing strategists proudly disclosed at their annual gathering last week that coordinated work with and for Scott Walker had begun in 2007 -- or three years before his election: 
[National GOP chair Reince] Priebus made his comments on a Saturday morning CPAC panel addressing how conservatives could fight and defeat organized labor state by state,..
“How did we do it in Wisconsin?” RNC Chair Reince Priebus asked Saturday morning. “The simplest way I can tell you is we had total and complete unity between the state party, quite frankly, Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party groups, the Grandsons of Liberty. The [Glenn Beck-instigated] 9/12ers were involved... 
Panelist Luke Hilgemann, the current Americans for Prosperity COO who formerly led the Koch-backed group’s Wisconsin efforts, told the crowd that the 2011 victory “started back in 2007 on the shores of Lake Michigan,” at a meeting of fifteen intrepid activists who’d “had enough of government overreach,” including then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Priebus, a former Wisconsin GOP head, credited the ability to pass Walker’s reforms in part to the party and Tea Party activists unifying well before the 2010 primary...
CPAC guru Grover Norquist later praised Walker as an electable Presidential candidate.

The focus on the Right's carefully-laid anti-union plans for Wisconsin on Walker's behalf puts into bolder relief Walker's false claim to having openly campaigned on his union-busting scheme.

So since a few chosen people apparently did know and helped craft the Wisconsin/Walker/union-busting blueprint, let's ask:

Who was there at the pivotal meeting disclosed at CPAC?

I didn't pay enough attention to Walker's brag to CNN before the 2010 election that he was the "original Tea Party in Wisconsin."

And when this blog noted Priebus was openly praising the Tea Party at a 2012 recall rally for Walker, I didn't grasp how deep the coordination had been for perhaps five years.

Mea culpa.

Busting Myths About The Wisconsin Wolf 'Harvest,' Other Practices

Let's do some truth-telling about an issue that encapsulates the Walker administration's disdain for science, fair play and citizen participation in policy-making.

*  From time to time you will hear Wisconsin wolf-killing advocates suggesting that their hunt is about honoring or serving the fur trade.

gray wolf
Let's bury that myth, as we note in hunter/trapper survey results referenced in the posted minutes of the April meeting of the DNR's pro-hunting/trapping Wolf Advisory Committee, page four:
Most kept the pelt for taxidermy/tanning; few entered the fur trade in Wisconsin.
Other myths that should also be buried:

*  That the annual wolf killing legalized by the 2012 Legislature in thrall to special interest hunting, trapping and gun interests is a "harvest." Let's stop sanitizing it. We're not talking reaping the amber waves of grain here.

 Two-thirds of the 257 wolves killed in last year's hunt were killed by trappers. The typical outcome for the wolf after being caught in a leg trap is a fatal gun shot. 

*  That Wisconsin is embarking on a new wolf "management" plan.

Yes, a plan is afoot, but "management" is another sanitizing euphemism. It papers over a process led by the DNR and its newly-reconstituted pro-hunting/trapper 'advisory' committee to eventually legitimize and authorize the killing of hundreds of additional wolves in upcoming years.

*  That Wisconsin is a place where domestic animals and wildlife are respected.

Yes...the state was in an uproar a few months ago when dairy workers were videotaped abusing cows, and, yes, a Milwaukee judge is sending a man to prison for organizing dog fights - - all to the good because those animals, like others, had no say in choosing which humans were in charge. 

But Wisconsin hunters and related interests are exempted from similar penalties and disdain.

* The DNR hands out licenses to facility operators who are allowed to buy or trap wildlife - - from rabbits to foxes to bears and more  - - keep them caged and expose them to hunting dogs as part of the dogs' training. 

Here are the DNR's rules and procedures. Would you want your dog or cat to be treated the way these caged animals - - as live bait, really - - are being used?

*  Moreover, Wisconsin is the only state that allows hunters to let loose their dogs to 'train' against wolves and other wildlife before the start of the hunting seasons; if a wolf kills a bear hunter's dog during such training, or during the bear hunt itself - - even if the dogs are allowed by the hunter to run in area where the DNR has said wolves are active- - the state will pay that hunter up to $2,500 for the loss of the dog.

Total payments to hound owners, according to a recent DNR spreadsheet that is not up-to-date: $497,000+.

A bear hunting dog in training was killed by a wolf as recently as July 22nd, in Jackson County, in a known wolf depredation area, according to this DNR webpage.

And, as noted in a Facebook report from the most recent DNR Wolf Advisory Committee by an observer and previous blog guest Rachel Tilseth of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, some wolf hunting supporters seem oblivious to these risks:
The majority voted to recommend training dogs to hunt wolves beginning after deer gun hunt season closes through February. One biologist advised against chasing wolves with dogs during breeding season because wolves are very territorial and protective at that time. It's certain that conflicts between dogs and wolves will occur. 

But 3 pro wolf hunt committee members insisted this will not happen. I wonder what fairy tale these 3 "extremist fringe wolf killing" committee members believe in? Because since 1985 almost HALF MiLLION DOLLARS has been out for hounds lost to wolves. 

So in Wisconsin, it is legal, even profitable, to endanger one's dogs - - and dogs are allowed to traumatize other animals in the wild, or in cages,  in the name of 'training.'

What kind of animal management is that?

Harvest of shame.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wrong-Way Walker's Tax 'Reforms' Were So Radical...

That even Paul Ryan is running in the opposite direction on one key item:

Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, a deduction from tax payments that disproportionally hit the working poor in the pocketbook and act as a disincentive to get into the work force and earn a paycheck.

The reduction in tax payments thus raises take home pay.

Pretty basic Republican, pro-workforce conservative economics, right? And aren't the US and state tax codes replete with advantages for upper-income earners and businesses, so how about one for those at the bottom?

Ryan, with a new anti-poverty proposal, is now in favor of expanding the credit, known as EITC: 
His poverty plan, full of policy detail and scholarly citations, is the culmination of more than a year of hearings and personal visits to poor urban areas around the country.
It features a few pillars that have Democratic support: expanding the subsidy to the working poor known as the Earned Income Tax Credit...,
But cutting the EITC and thus reducing working poor' take home pay was among Wrong-Way Walker's first round of tax increases, as I noted in March, 2011, despite his denials proven false by independent analyses that he had ever raised any tax.

As PolitiFact noted:
But what about his 2011-"13 budget?
It included some tax cuts, but also tax increases.
That"s according to the nonpartisan state Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which both parties have long cited as a neutral scorekeeper on budget matters.
The bureau determined that Walker included three tax increases in the budget totaling $49.4 million over the two-year period.
The largest involved a reduction in a state tax credit for low-income working families, known as theearned income credit. A tax credit reduces the amount of tax you owe.
In this case, the earned income tax credit is in place for both state and federal taxes. It"s refundable, so individuals with little or no income tax liability may still receive the credit.
Walker"s plan would decrease the tax credit for families with more than one child, allowing the state to collect an additional $41.3 million in taxes over two years from those families. (The credit would actually go up for families with just one child.)

Poor Shut Off From Water, Cross-Border Neighbors Truck In Supply

So you think, what, somewhere in Central America, or Africa, or East Asia where drinking water is so precious that one country with available water must rescue its neighbors from their thirst?

Nope. A violation of the human right to water is closer than you think.

Seems some kind-hearted Canadians responded with truckloads of bottled water to an unbelievable situation in Detroit, where big users can withhold their payments with impunity, but destitute everyday residents get shut off when falling behind on the water bills.

Note also that Maude Barlow, the activist who led the water convoy, made an appearance in Milwaukee last year.

Only Possible Response To Latest Walker/Trek FUBAR

With Walker's ineptitude already on embarrassing display in a campaign trek to irrelevancy...and then you read this...
The Wisconsin Republican Party outsourced part of an advertisement against outsourcing jobs.
The party bought space on several billboards throughout Wisconsin criticizing Democratic gubernatorial challenger Mary Burke for outsourcing jobs to China while she was an executive at Trek Bicycle Corp., her family's business. The billboard features a picture of a coal miner, inside the shape of the state of Wisconsin, with an arrow pointing to China... 
But BuzzFeed reports that this miner is neither Wisconsinite nor Chinese immigrant — the photo is a stock image from Russian photographer Andrey Bortnikov, whose personal page identifies the miner as a current Russian citizen.
There's only one way to respond. Get yourself one of these: 

Only In Wisconsin: $2,500 State Subsidy On Tap To Clueless Hunter

He let his dog 'train' off-leash for bear hunting where there can be wolf activity, and when wolves killed his dog - - as wolves will do to protect their territory and pups - -  the hunter became the latest eligible for an only-in-Wisconsin public funding reimbursement of up to $2,500, according to the state hunter banking Department of Natural Resources.

Payments have even been made to hunters with hunting or gun law violations on their records.

Subtext: the hunters/sportsmen's' [(sic] lobbies really know how to work the Legislature.

This from the DNR'e email alerts:

Bear hound killed in Jackson County

On July 22, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed a 5-year-old plott bear hound while training in Jackson County. More information and a caution area map are available on the gray wolf webpage.

Hunters are reminded to use the caution area maps on the DNR website (, keyword "wolf management") to help reduce conflicts during this year's bear dog training and hunting season.

And this from the maps provided through the DNR site to Jackson County:

Jackson County
On July 22, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed a 5 year old Plott bear hound. The attack occurred in the Town of Knapp, Jackson County. The caution area shown on the map below is comprised of a four-mile buffer around the depredation site.
Click for a printable caution area map

Thursday, July 24, 2014

There Are TWO Walker/WEDC Videos Touting Trek

Before Wrong-Way had to hate on Trek because the founder's daughter Mary Burke had the temerity to run for Governor against the Unintimidated One, WEDC - - the troubled jobs agency that Walker created and chairs to bring jobs to Wisconsin - -  produced and posted two videos touting Trek as a Wisconsin success story. Check out videos before they get deleted (as have other things, like this one, also).

Video A. (Walker delivers the intro. Trek is at the 2:03 minute mark).

Video B. All Trek, cited by WEDC.

When Walker Says He Doesn't Know - - You Know He Does...

And it also means Gov. Wrong-Way has something inconvenient to hide or live down, making him sound like a 17-year-old in front of the bathroom mirror rehearsing an awkward breakup.

He's at it again, dissing the bike maker Trek with his signature, ignorance-feigning shrug of the shoulders, and carelessly (arrogantly?) calling attention to his habitual memory lapses, double-talk and signature, defining absence of credibility - - "False" is his #1 PolitiFact rating..

If he doesn't have enough information to say if Trek is good for Wisconsin - - preposterous on its face - -  then let's go to the tape and record and ask:

Why did the economic development agency he created and chairs, WEDC), laud Trek in promotional videos and print ads designed to encourage other business to relocate here?

Was Walker faking it then, or faking it now?

Spoiler alert: He's faking it now, because anything positive he says about Trek underscores the political value and business bonafides - - the very resume detail and training-for-leadership traits - - which career politician Walker lacks that held substantially by gubernatorial opponent Mary Burke, a former Trek official.

And we've seen this pattern of Walker's dissembling before - - even though it's a self-defeating personal reflex and political tactic that illuminates whatever petard Walker chooses to mount to his discredit at the time.

Caught in a contradiction or moment of embarrassment, Walker will say 'I don't know,' or 'I don't remember' - - dating back to evading responsibility for ('no knowledge of)' his messy defeat for student body president at Marquette University in 1988 - - and all the way forward to its latest iteration - - his two-faced, leadership shunning approach to same sex-marriage - - 'it doesn't matter what I think.'

After years of working to ban same-sex marriage, and finally joining the ongoing and wasteful lawsuit to reinstitute the ban struck down in Federal court, as is happening in courts all around the country.

These are all self-inflicted wounds that wouldn't encourage a CEO to think about moving or expanding in Wisconsin.

Walker's Campaign Should Get Its Training Wheels Back On

Our Wrong-Way Governor says he doesn't know if Trek is good for Wisconsin.

So what exactly does he know about Wisconsin?

Do you think the Governor of Minnesota would say the same about Honeywell?

Maybe Wrong-Way should tour Trek's world headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, and ask a few folks in town what they think of the innovative, efficient, worker-friendly, world-renown company.

Or watch the laudatory promotional video that the Walker-created-and-chaired Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, (WEDC),  posted about Trek to help draw business relocations here  - - and how much the firm loves and identifies with Wisconsin, having begun with just three employees in 1976 hand-making bikes in a barn.

To more than 1,000 employees here now, many of whom were drawn to Wisconsin by Trek and the Wisconsin lifestyle.

And, no, don't take a state plane on another of your energy-wasting short hops.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Huge Walker Flip-Flop On Trek

Our Wrong-Way Governor, so desperate to denigrate opponent Mary Burke to beat her in an election that's slipping away, now says he won't say whether he thinks that Trek - - the iconic major Wisconsin corporate employer and success story - - is good for the state.

Really? Throw Trek under the bus, for personal, partisan gain? Because Mary Burke worked there - - the company her father founded and which is beloved in Wisconsin, and worldwide for quality bikes and a liberating lifestyle they support.

The same Trek which Walker featured in a state promotional video posted last year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation - - which Walker created and chairs. In which Walker urges prospective Wisconsin businesses to get to know a few Wisconsin winners - - like Trek?

This is one of the most bizarre flip-flops in state political history.

Tees-Printing Out, Target Shooting In At WI DNR/State Fair '14

What's out at the DNR center for kids this year at State Fair?

T-shirt making.

What's in?

Bows and arrows, says the DNR: 
There is an expanded area for archery enthusiasts or those who are just interested in giving it a try and a laser shot activity center. There is a technology area where Department of Natural Resources staff will help visitors download handy apps and assist with QR codes.
There are also big changes at the park this year. The non-profit group, Interfaith, which ran the t-shirt printing tent chose to not return this year so there will be no t-shirt printing available. Instead, visitors will find the largely expanded National Archery in the Schools Program tent and get an introduction to target archery from a trained warden.

WI DNR Asking For EPA Help On Waukesha Diversion Plan

Not only is the DNR looking for more information from Waukesha about the city's stalled siversion application for Great Lakes water - - the DNR is looking for guidance from the US EPA, too, this recent letter shows.

The involvement of multiple agencies and levels of government is just a hint of what is coming for Waukesha when the seven other Great Lakes states, two Canadian provinces, and perhaps tribal bodies in Canada have their own sets of questions and concerns.

Facing Bad Polling, Walker, Allies Will Slime Burke And Wisconsin

Wrong-Way Walker - - his wrongs catching up to him and to voters' perceptions, too - - will back up the attack ad slime trucks and dump their loads on to the Wisconsin airwaves.

Walker probably has 100% name recognition, unlike Burke, and the more people follow Walker's failing jobs' performance and extremist views, the more they realize Walker has to go.

DNR Says Waukesha Faces More Work On Stalled Water Diversion

Waukesha is way past it's drop-dead start date for beginning to build the infrastructure it will need to guarantee that its approximately $200 million Great Lakes water diversion system will meet a court-ordered deadline.

And while the application for the water has been stalled for years at the DNR - - no hearings, no environmental impact statement produced, and no reviews as required in seven other Great Lakes States states and anticipated from two Canadian provinces - -  because of inadequate data, the agency has just raised with the city a new set of issues and questions related to the return flow scheme envisioned for the Root River as it flows through the City of Racine - - where officials have strongly objected to the wastewater flow and dumping into its harbor.

You can access a very recent letter about all this from the DNR to Waukesha, here.

Journal Sentinel Jumps Gun, Endorses Lakeshore Golf Course

Very disappointing that the Journal Sentinel editorial board would endorse the building of yet another high-end golf course - - with fees that will be way beyond the reach of most Wisconsinites - - in a nature preserve that literally abuts Kohler Andrae State Park on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Sheboygan County.

The plan will require the transfer of some state park land to the golf course owner for a road, a maintenance building and perhaps other permanent structures.

Public land, mind you. Who gets to own state park land for private purposes?

The construction will result in the filling of wetlands - - how much is yet to be known - - the cutting of large amounts of timber, the additional of added phosphorous pollution and other runoff chemicals into the already-impaired Black River on the site, or on to the dunes or into Lake Michigan - - with other public and environmental impacts yet to be determined, and still the newspaper gets on board.

There isn't even yet a final plan to be run past the Town of Wilson and its approved master plan, let alone the DNR and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The editorial board should tell us what the acceptable thresholds are for selling off, filling in or otherwise degrading waterways and their related acreages, especially since the State Constitution in Article IX, the Public Trust Doctrine, says the people's access to and enjoyment of these resources is a citizen's right, not a privilege or commodity to acquired by the highest, most powerful or well-connected bidder.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

One Question On Walker's $1 Million+ Legal Fees

More, or less, than Chris Christie's tab?

I think Walker is still #1.

Why Does Righty Talk Radio Hammer Fast Food Workers?

If you listen to the righty morning talkers on AM 620 WTMJ, you'll catch their repetitive bashing of the McDonald's near the station on W. Capitol Dr.

Seems that there's often something wrong with the talkers' orders, or the service.

I've noted here before - - here - - and more recently here - - that right-wing talk show hosts seem to have a problem with urban or immigrant workers who apparently have been put on this earth to bring the talkers their morning radio fuel, wirh absolute perfection, from a dollar menu.

A couple of observations about the talkers' deep, unattractive elitism:

*  I don't eat burgers at McDonald's or anywhere else anymore, but I've driven through or stopped at that McDonald's for coffee many times over the years, and I've never had an unpleasant experience. I will say that it can be a busy place to stop, but I never got the feeling that people were out to serve me the wrong item, or otherwise ruin my fast-food moment.

What I do see there are people working like demons, and for low wages.

*  I've been chatting up total strangers in line or behind the counter in businesses since I was a small kid, or so my parents and grandparents told me, and I think you get back the attitude you project or the outcome you anticipate. "How you doin," or "Thank you very much" are still returned in kind.

*  One more thing. If I were McDonald's, I'd yank every dollar from Journal Broadcasting until the talkers stopped scapegoating that store.

Daykin, On North Ave. Development; An Urban Primer

Great reporting by Tom Daykin about what makes cities tick. 

And about how cities like Milwaukee regenerate and prosper through innovation and hard work - - New Urbanism building on the best of the old.

This is why Milwaukee must be allowed a streetcar or light rail system to complement buses and bike lanes, especially as younger people eschew cars for urban living in walkable, transit-friendly neighborhoods.
Banned in Milwaukee
Light rail in the Twin Cities
It's absolutely crazy that there are no rail stops on North Avenue to serve the Riverwest dorms, or making a hub of the major intersection at North and Prospect and Farwell Avenues as people move to and from downtown through the densely-populated East side near Lake Michigan.

Suburban politicos who hog state transportation money to fuel subdivision-serving freeways are busting the budget while stifling transit-related job and economic growth in the Big City.

And as the city goes, so go the suburbs.

The natural and fiscal environments are better served by housing above retail and commercial space on or near North Ave. than by half-acre lots at the end of cul-de-sacs dug into former Waukesha or Ozaukee County farm fields.