Wisconsin Recall Roundup May 16, 2012

Sentencing for Key Former Walker Aide In John Doe Criminal Probe Delayed Until July

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that sentencing of Darlene Wink, a former county aide to Governor Scott Walker, has been delayed until July 17 so Wink can continue to help prosecutors. Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf asked for a long delay, noting, "the prosecutions are not yet closed." Wink was caught Facebooking comments, while at work, about Walker and his opponents during his 2010 race for governor. She was one of two Walker staffers later charged with spending a great deal of time fundraising and working on the gubernatorial campaign while on the public payroll as part of a wide ranging John Doe investigation being run out of the Milwaukee District Attorney's office. The probe has resulted in 15 felony indictments against a number of former Walker staff and associates, prompting Walker to hire two sets of criminal defense attorneys and to set up a criminal defense fund. Learn more about the John Doe investigation, and charges against Walker's former staff here.

Second Aide Caught Up in John Doe Investigation Got a Job with a Big Walker Supporter, A Telemarketer Who Also Fails to Pay Taxes


WKOW's Tony Galli is on the case of a telemarketer up to his ears in debt and failing to pay his tax bills, who kindly hired Kelly Rindfleisch, charged with illegal fundraising activity while on the staff of then-County Executive Scott Walker. Wonder why you keep getting those annoying telemarketing calls when you signed up for the "no call" list? The telemarketer, American Lending Solutions, was alleged to have made over 1 million "no call" violations and was forced to pay $144,000 in fees to the state for these violations. The company also owes $224,000 in back taxes. The owner reportedly accrued that debt while giving thousands in campaign donations to Scott Walker and the Republican Party. This is the second Walker supporter pegged for not paying their taxes in recent weeks -- Beloit billionaire and owner of ABC Supply Diane Hendricks was also criticized for not paying corporate income taxes.

Walker Administration Goes Data Shopping in Attempt to Improve Poor Jobs Numbers

Governor Scott Walker is expected to release new jobs numbers today, this time using a different yardstick that shows job growth rather than the greatest job losses in the country. Generally jobs numbers are reported based on the Current Employment Survey (CES), the standard by which the Bureau of Labor Statistics and all fifty states measure their job growth. The CES numbers recently pegged Wisconsin last in the nation in job growth, and with the June 5 recall election around the corner, the Walker administration has gone "data shopping" for better numbers. Based on the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), Wisconsin gained 23,321 jobs between December of 2010 and December of 2011, according to the CES, the numbers that have been widely reported around the state, Wisconsin lost 33,900 jobs in that same period. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "it's highly unusual for a state to release this kind of data on its own before it is reviewed and officially released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics." Despite Walker's administrations criticism of the CES jobs numbers, they are still being used in some Walker TV ads because they show an uptick in jobs in recent months.

Jeff Fitzgerald Says His Caucus Is Very Interested in Right to Work

On top of a video showing Governor Scott Walker talking to billionaire donor Diane Hendricks about "dividing and conquering" unions by first going after collective bargaining for public workers before considering "Right to Work" for private workers, a new video surfaced putting the Wisconsin's Assembly Speaker on the record. A video released by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin shows Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald saying: "My caucus wanted to go further. I had people in my caucus that was, you know, were wondering if we were going to do Right to Work in this state. So to tell you the truth, the collective bargaining, to me, I thought was more of a middle ground if you can believe that." Walker has not answered the question of whether he would veto "Right to Work" legislation were it to come to his desk.


The author listed as "PRwatch Editors" is for reports attributable to CMD's editors or guest authors.