Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eye on Wisconsin: Walker's Open Records Games in Milwaukee County are Costly


Scott Walker's administration has charged Milwaukee Supervisor John Weishan $2,800 to fulfill and open records request. What did Weishan get for that price tag? Four meaningless sheets of paper and a list of Walker employees according to the report. What makes the open records obstruction even worse is the fact that Walker's office didn't really provide the supervisor with the actual records themselves. Apparently he was only given summaries of Internet surfing done by Walker and his underlings. Naturally that summery was also produced by Walker workers.

Click on the following for this Milwaukee Journal Blog source:  Eye on Wisconsin: Walker's Open Records Games are Costly

CREW: WI Governor Violated State Law by Sending Troopers After Missing Legislator | CREW | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington


Today,[2-23-2011] Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a  non-partisan government watchdog group, asked the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to investigate whether Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker violated state law by sending the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) to the home of Democratic Senate Leader Mark Miller.


Two FOIA requests, one to Governor and the other to Wisconsin State Police are also available by clicking on the following:  CREW: WI Governor Violated State Law by Sending Troopers After Missing Legislator | CREW | Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Scott Walker Being Sued For Violating Wisconsin Open Records Law

On Feb 18, 2011 Gov Walker was served with FOIA requests for 8,000 emails he cited during a press conference as overwhelmingly positive, urging him to “stay firm” with the unions

The state law says the administration must act “as soon as practicable and without delay” to respond to records requests. Neither the Governor nor his office has responded yet to the requests or provided information regarding their status, which lead the requesters to file a complaint to force the Governor to comply with the law.

Walker only made the situation worse by ignoring the law. The Wisconsin Associated Press, the state’s largest news service, is one of the two requesters, and on Feb 25 after requesting updates and being ignored, the reporter filed an additional request for ALL of Walker’s emails relating to the “budget repair bill”.

Isthmus newspaper and the Wisconsin Associated Press today[March 4, 2011] filed a lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker over his office’s failure to respond to open records requests regarding emails received by his office……The lawsuit, filed this afternoon in Dane County court, names as defendants Gov. Walker and the office of the governor…. The complaint states: “Defendants have violated the Wisconsin Open Records Law and Wis. Stat. § 19.37(1) by withholding the requested email messages and delaying granting access to the email messages.” It calls the defendants’ failure to provide these records “arbitrary and capricious.”

As of today, [3-12-2011] neither the Governor nor his legal counsel have responded to the requests.

Click on the following to read the entire article:  Scott Walker Being Sued For Violating Wisconsin Open Records Law

WKOW requests info on Walker’s consideration of planting troublemakers


In accordance with Wisconsin’s Open Records statute, WKOW-TV, Madison, requests an opportunity to view any materials created by Governor Walker, or the governor’s staff members pertaining to the governor’s consideration of planting individuals in the crowd of demonstrators who have been present in and around the state capitol from Feb. 15, 2011 to the present date

Click on the following for more details:  WKOW requests info on Walker’s consideration of planting troublemakers

One Wisconsin Now may sue Governor over FOIA request

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

One Wisconsin Now is a 501(c)4 non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization. One Wisconsin Now is not affiliated with nor works with any political party. One Wisconsin Now does not endorse nor oppose candidates for political office

Their news release (shown below) is available at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/press/over-two-weeks-later-walker-has-not-released-administration-koch-lobbyist-communication-emails.html


The following is the news release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Robert Doeckel
March 11, 2011 Phone: (608) 217-0194

Over Two Weeks Later, Walker Has Not Released
Administration-Koch Lobbyist Communication Emails

One Wisconsin Now Considering ‘Any, All Legal Remedies’

Madison – Over two weeks after One Wisconsin Now filed an open records request for all email
and written communications between Koch Industries’ lead Wisconsin lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Administration, the Walker administration
has yet to fulfill the request. One Wisconsin Now said it is considering legal action and notes the unusual speed at which Gov. Walker’s office released staff email communications this week it claimed were proof of the administration’s willingness to negotiate with Senate Democrats in the budget repair bill dispute.

“Gov. Scott Walker needs to learn there isn’t one set of open records laws for emails you want
to release and another set of open records laws for emails you don’t want to release,” said Scot
Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Suing Gov. Walker to obtain these records is
not what we want to do, but we are more than willing to take him to court if he refuses to
promptly fulfill our reasonable and legal request.”

One Wisconsin Now would be the third organization in the last week to sue the Governor’s
office over its open records request obstructionism. Both the Associated Press and the
Madison-based Isthmus filed suit over the Walker administration’s attempt failure to fulfill an
open records request asking for emails the Governor claimed he had received in support of his
plan to use the government to take away the rights of working families by ending collective
bargaining rights of public employees. Walker attempted to charge the media outlets $31,000
for the request.

Over a week ago, Walker’s office acknowledged it had received One Wisconsin Now’s open
records request, which was sent electronically February 24. In the request One Wisconsin Now
asked for written and email communications between Jeffrey Schoepke, Koch Industries’ lead
Wisconsin-based lobbyist, and the Governor’s office and the office of the Secretary of the
Department of Administration.

Koch Industries’ billionaire owners Charles and David Koch are the driving financial force behind Americans for Prosperity, the organization running hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in television ads to support Gov. Walker’s effort to use the government to take away the right of 175,000 Wisconsin workers. Gov. Walker has also included in his scheme a plan to allow private companies, like Koch Industries, to purchase the state’s public power plants – in a possible no-bid scheme.

KochPAC gave Gov. Walker’s gubernatorial campaign $43,000 and David Koch personally donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which spent $5 million to elect Gov. Walker. [Center on Media and Democracy, 2/18/11; Republican Governors Association Press Release]

Americans for Prosperity, which spent $70 million in 2009 and 2010 to advance Koch’s antiworking family agenda was founded through the donations of the brothers’ Koch Foundation.

Our View: Keep FOIA strong while scrubbing Illinois clean | Daily Chronicle

For years, Illinois’ FOIA was weak – a toothless watchdog, all bark and no bite. With impunity, governmental officials refused to honor FOIA requests for public documents. Requesters had no recourse but to sue, and few did.
The new FOIA changed all that. With some exceptions, public records must be made available for public scrutiny.

latest bill to challenge FOIA, Senate Bill 1645, passed a Senate committee in Springfield last week after several mayors testified their offices were being swamped with FOIA requests.
One mayor even called certain requesters “vexatious.” He urged that the state legalize a slower response (21 days instead of 5) for people who file more than 15 FOIA requests a year.

Senate Bill 1645 would put unnecessary limits on FOIA and Illinois’ ongoing fumigation process. It must be defeated

Read the complete editorial by clicking on the following:  Our View: Keep FOIA strong while scrubbing Illinois clean | Daily Chronicle

Tim Phillips of AFT (political strategist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tim Phillips (political strategist)

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Tim Phillips

President of Americans for Prosperity

Tim Phillips (political strategist), born July 13, 1964, is the current president of Americans for Prosperity.[1][2]

Personal life

Phillips grew up in Spartanburg, SC. After briefly attending Liberty University in the fall, 1983, he went to Washington DC as part of a school sponsored internship with the Department of Education, thus beginning his political career. After a brief courtship with fellow intern, Julia Reider Phillips, the two were married and now have four children including twin boys and one daughter. They have been married 26 years.[3]

He completed his education in 1985 as a Phi Beta Kappa[4] graduate of Virginia Tech University, graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Political Science.[5] Phillips is active in the youth ministry at his church, Cornerstone Chapel, Leesburg, VA[6] and is an outspoken fan of the National Football League.[7]

Political career

Phillips has over 25 years of political campaign experience[8] on the local, state and national levels. He managed the 1992 U.S. Congressional Campaign of Bob Goodlatte, then served on Capitol Hill as Goodlatte’s Chief of Staff until 1996.

In 1997, Phillips and political consultant Ralph Reed founded Century Strategies, a public relations and campaign consulting organization serving both business and political customers. During his tenure as vice president, Century Strategies’ clients included Bush for President, the Georgia, Florida and Virginia Republican Parties, members of Congress including Majority Leader Dick Armey, Conference Chairman J.C. Watts, Bob Goodlatte plus numerous state and local officials.[9]

He was named “Rising Star in Politics” in 1998 by Campaign and Elections Magazine[10] and has been interviewed by numerous personalities including MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Glen Beck as well as CBS News’ Katie Couric.[11]

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) under Phillip's leadership

AFP has grown from nine state chapters in 2006, Phillip’s first year as president, to 31 chapters in 2010, extending their membership roll to 1.5 million activists from all 50 states. AFP’s mission statement indicates they are committed to educating the public about economic policy and supporting free market solutions at the local, state and national levels.[12]

President Obama raised AFP’s profile in an August, 2010 campaign speech stating, “Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country. And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation. You don't know if it’s a big oil company, or a big bank.”[13]

AFP responded to Obama’s comments by comparing their 1.5 million grassroots membership roll with the corporate funding Obama receives from organizations benefiting from his legislative agenda including SEIU, the American Medical Association and pharmaceutical lobbyist, PhRMA, itself pledging "$150 million for advertising and grass-roots activity” [14] to support Obama’s healthcare initiatives.[15]

Additionally on the subject of funding, Phillips has indicated, AFP has received donations from 50,000 donors from all 50 states stating, “We think that the American democratic process is a good thing, that every American ought to be involved, whether they have a lot of money or they don’t have a lot of money.”[16]

Thousands of activists annually attend AFP sponsored seminars including the RightOnline convention for conservative bloggers[17] and Defending the American Dream Summit for grassroots activists[18] Headlining these events have been nationally known personalities including George Will, Dick Morris, Michelle Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Larry Kudlow, Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence and numerous others.

AFP has utilized a number of campaign themed initiatives to generate awareness and political momentum including Hot Air Balloon events to expose the rising costs of global warming,[19] Hands Off My Healthcare bus tours[20] as well as generated numerous television and radio ads including a $750,000 ad campaign opposing a government panel’s recommendation to raise the age of early detection mammograms to 50.[21] In 2010, AFP sponsored the November is Coming campaign using door-to-door endeavors and phone banks to generate 360,000 signatures from those opposed to “government mandates, special deals, and higher taxes.”[22]

In early 2011, Phillips was in Madison, Wisconsin during the 2011 budget protests to "voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights [and to address] a large group of counterprotesters."[23]

Tim Phillips (political strategist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fitzgerald says recall strings being pulled from D.C. (VIDEO, AUDIO)

Fitzgerald says recall strings being pulled from D.C. (VIDEO, AUDIO)

by Bob Hague on March 9, 2011

in Budget,Legislature,Politics & Government

The leader of state Senate Republicans says dots are being connected on efforts to recall some of his members. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Tuesday that the recall efforts targeting eight of his members are a real source of concern. “Sure. You know recall of an elected official is a very serious thing, and everybody takes it very seriously,” said Fitzgerald.

And Fitzgerald suggested that the motivation and support for a lot of these recall efforts are not just about the Wisconsin Senate, but about presidential politics. “We’re really beginning, I think, to believe that this isn’t just about the Wisconsin state Senate or the legislature,” he said. “This is about ties directly from the White House down to many of those that are involved in the recalls, and really how Wisconsin plays out in the next presidential election.

While there are also recall efforts underway against five Senate Democrats, Fitzgerald said it’s ironic that Republican Senators are under recall threat for votes they haven’t even taken yet, while Democrat state Representative Godorn Hintz doesn’t face a similar threat for his arrest at an Appleton massage parlor last month.

Click on the following and see the actual TV Clip:  Fitzgerald says recall strings being pulled from D.C. (VIDEO, AUDIO)

Democrats, Republicans Make Moves To Work Together - Politics News Story - WISC Madison

Photo of Senator Fitzgerald

On Tuesday, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he would rescind contempt orders and other penalties placed against the Democrats when they were gone. That will allow Democrats to have their votes in committee action counted.

Fitzgerald said he's comfortable doing that after Democrats made assurances to him they won't leave the state again to delay a vote

Click on the following for more details;  Democrats, Republicans Make Moves To Work Together - Politics News Story - WISC Madison

Miami-Dade County Mayor Is Removed - NYTimes.com

Mayor Carlos Alvarez [Republican] of Miami-Dade County was removed in a recall election on Tuesday as voters punished him for raising property taxes and increasing the salaries of his closest aides at the height of the recession.

gave his own top aides hefty raises, including his former chief of staff whose salary climbed to $206,783 from $185,484.

that raised property taxes for 40 percent of homeowners, despite plummeting property values, to avoid laying off firefighters and other public employees. Yet, most county workers are getting raises this year.

recall campaign was spearheaded by Norman Braman, a billionaire car dealer, philanthropist and one time owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, who said he was outraged by the property tax increase and the “erosion in the quality of life” in Miami

Click on the following for more details:  Miami-Dade County Mayor Is Removed - NYTimes.com

Nearly half of signatures collected for recall of Wisconsin GOP state senators, Dems say - The Plum Line - The Washington Post

Dems have now collected over 45 percent of the signatures necessary to hold recall elections for eight GOP state senators, the Wisconsin Democratic Party tells me.

now collected over 56,000 signatures supporting the recall drives, according to party spokesman Graeme Zielinski, after another surge in organizing activity over the weekend. That’s up from rougly 14,000 after last weekend. This means Dems are well ahead of schedule: In each targeted district, Dems need to amass the required signatures — 25 percent of the number who voted in the last gubernatorial election — by a deadline of 60 days after first filing for recalls, which happened nearly two weeks ago.

new signature numbers suggest the GOP’s maneuver [spliting collective bargaining from the  appropriations bill]  may only be giving more momentum to the recall drives.

Republicans are refusing to reveal the amount of signatures they’ve collected to recall Dems.) What’s more, these signatures numbers claimed by Dems mirror other indicators of enthusiasm: Dems and labor continue to raise money for the recall drives at a dizzying clip, and a huge rally amassed in Madison over the weekend.

Click on the following for more details:  Nearly half of signatures collected for recall of Wisconsin GOP state senators, Dems say - The Plum Line - The Washington Post

Scott Walker Watch: Website with Walker contributor names, how not to be boycotted and a countdown to recall


I hope they modify the prescribed words a bit.

Boycott Removal Procedures

We have analyzed the web traffic on the Boycott List through Google Analytics and the clickthroughs are in the hundreds of thousands and unique visits are over 150,000 visitors.

Consider that those web visits are then multiplied by an unknown large number and you have exactly what democracy looks like.  As they say in the web business, that’s a lot of “eyeballs”.

Let’s say you or your company is on the list.  In order to have your name of your company, PAC or other interest listed on the Boycott List to be removed, you need to follow two simple steps:

Send a press release to info@scottwalker.com where you completely renounce Scott Walker’s policies and support his recall as soon as possible with these words (PDF with letterhead):

  1. “I, with (company/PAC/etc) hereby completely denounce Scott Walker and the Republicans for their antics to destroy the Working Class because they are errand boys of the RNC, the Koch Brothers and want to inflict evil on the working and middle class of this country.”
  2. Upload a Youtube video of the company president (we will verify) where he or she pronounces these words:

    “I, with (company/PAC/etc) hereby completely denounce Scott Walker and the Republicans for their antics to destroy the Working Class because they are errand boys of the RNC, the Koch Brothers and want to inflict evil on the working and middle class of this country.”

Two steps.  Easy to follow.  Any content that doesn’t these simple procedures will be considered void and a cow pie.

Otherwise, the names will remain and the links from this list will continue to procreate by the thousands to other sites by the day.

Click on the following for more details:  Boycott Removal Procedures | Scott Walker Watch

Democracy in Wisconsin: Senate Democrats not allowed to vote

Photo of Senator Fitzgerald

Sen. Fitzgerald: Email re: Senate Democrat voting privileges in standing committees
From: Sen.Fitzgerald
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2011 3:52 PM
To: *Legislative Senate Republicans
Subject: Senate Democrat voting privileges in standing committees
Dear Members,
With the return of the Senate Democrats this weekend, questions have arisen regarding Democrat members’ participation in Senate standing committee public hearings and executive sessions.
Please note that all 14 Democrat senators are still in contempt of the Senate. Therefore, when taking roll call votes on amendments and bills during executive sessions, Senate Democrats’ votes will not be reflected in the Records of Committee Proceedings or the Senate Journal. They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact my office.
Thank you,
Scott Fitzgerald
Senate Majority Leader

WisPolitics.com: Sen. Fitzgerald: Email re: Senate Democrat voting privileges in standing committees

Facebook and Gov. Walker - JSOnline

March 14, 2011 |(77) Comments

Facebook has become an increasingly popular outlet for citizens to join a cause or express an opinion.

That is certainly been the case with the budget battle going on in Madison. And pages for and against the governor are growing.

Last week, a Journal Sentinel story reported on a Facebook site called "Boycottt Scott Walker Contributors." The site had more than 9,000 followers. On Monday, more than 19,000 people were following it.

Another site, called Protect Wisconsin Families, has 54,700 followers.

On the other side of the debate, a Facebook page in support of Walker has nearly 6,000 followers.

In addition, Walker's official Facebook page has nearly 61,000 followers.

Click on the following for more details:  Facebook and Gov. Walker - JSOnline

Boycott Scott Walker Contributors (1)

Boycott Scott Walker Contributors

The following are comments from the FACEBOOK Account of “Boycott Scott Walker Contributors”

Carol Sorsoleil

I have been thinking about the people who would like to recant their support of Walker. Suppose they made a donation to our cause or a charity like maybe Japanese aid right now and take an ad out in their local paper and state that they no longer support Walker, that he is too extreme and is not representing the states best interests. What do you think?

The 9 Balistreri-Owned Sendik's Food Markets

These are the 9 Sendik's Food Markets that are owned by the Balistreri family, big contributors to Scott Walker.   13425 W. Watertown Plank Rd. Elm Grove, WI 53122 ...

So far today, (Sam) live interviews with WKOW-TV News (27), WMTV News (15), phone with WTMJ-TV and John and Eric from WTMJ Radio. The Channel 15 and 27 pieces will air on the evening news today, the WTMJ guys will be this afternoon.

"Given the choice between a business that supports your values and one that does not, why wouldn't you choose to do business with the one that does?"


James Bresette

I am one of the owners of Queen Anne's Catering in Madison. We sent a email to Johnsonville sharing with them that we have purchased and promoted their Wisconsin products for the last 21 years. Last year we bought 2,600 pounds of brats alone from them. We shared that we would be switching to another Wisconsin product that did not contribute and support Scott Walker.

minutes ago · 1 personLoading...

Susan Scott

Watched Ann Finche (owner of Sendik's in Shorewood) explain that she does not understand or think it is fair to boycott her store. Her rationale is that she doesn't force her political affiliations upon us. She repeated that she does not think anyone should be boycott her store as it is her right to support whomever she wants.

Click on the following to view the current Facebook entries:  Boycott Scott Walker Contributors (1)

This site’s list of companies is at:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boycott-Scott-Walker-Contributors/101624709918554?sk=info

Capitol Chaos: Companies Fight Boycott of Walker Supporters - Local News - Milwaukee, WI - msnbc.com

"It's a very un-American thing to do," said Sheldon Lubar and company. His company is listed among over 100 others on a Boycott Scott Walker Contributors page on Facebook.

Click on the following for more details:  Capitol Chaos: Companies Fight Boycott of Walker Supporters - Local News - Milwaukee, WI - msnbc.com


Funds from Legal Settlement Will Feed People in Need in All 102 Counties

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today distributed $1.2 million from a legal settlement to food banks across Illinois to help feed families and people in need. Madigan said the money will make food available to local food pantries in each of Illinois’ 102 counties.

The following is a breakdown of the $1.2 million donation:

  • Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago, serving 650 agencies: $655,000
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank, St. Charles, serving 510 agencies: $259,116.71
  • Eastern Illinois Food Bank, Urbana, serving 220 agencies: $62,500
  • Central Illinois Food Bank, Springfield, serving 160 agencies: $54,000
  • River Bend Food Bank, Moline, serving 100 agencies: $37,500
  • St. Louis Area Food Bank, Bridgeton, Mo., serving 160 Illinois agencies: $63,000
  • Peoria Area Food Bank, Peoria, serving 127 agencies: $30,000
  • Tri-state Food Bank, Evansville, Ind., serving 44 Illinois agencies: $22,000