Wisconsin

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.

Recall Roundup May 15, 2012

Politifact on Walker: "No Movement So Far on Promise to Add 10,000 Businesses"

During Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's 2010 campaign, he made two related promises. One was to bring 250,000 new jobs to Wisconsin by the end of his term, and the other was to create 10,000 new businesses in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel took a look at the number. Politifact found that "the numbers have gone backwards." One year into Walker's term there were 9,485 fewer businesses. As of April the numbers had improved slightly, but Wisconsin was still down 4,338 businesses from when Walker took office. The paper goes on to say that on the campaign trail Walker has been using numbers that only represent newly registered businesses, not taking into account businesses that have failed or ceased to operate. "In sum, Walker has made no movement so far on his promise to add 10,000 businesses."

Recall Roundup May 14, 2012

With the June 5th recall elections less than a month away these are some of the top news stories out of the State of Wisconsin related to the recall.

A Walker Top Donor Has a Problem Paying Taxes

Last week, a video surfaced of Governor Scott Walker speaking with a major donor in January 2011, just weeks before Walker introduced his "budget repair bill" stripping collective bargaining rights from most public workers. Publicly Walker justified the measure by saying the state was "broke" and there was no other choice. The video shows Walker telling Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks a different story. She asks him how to create a "red state," and Walker explains his plan to "divide and conquer" unions. Hendricks is one of Walker's biggest contributors, writing him a single check for $500,000. She is also the owner of ABC Supply Company. This weekend, the tax experts at The Institute for Wisconsin's Future took a closer look at the company Hendricks owns. According to the IWF, "Hendricks, whom Forbes magazine says is worth $2.8 billion, heads Beloit-based ABC Supply Company, which the magazine calls 'the nation's largest roofing, window and siding wholesale distributor' with annual sales approaching $5 billion. ABC Supply may be a huge money-maker for Hendricks, but the Wisconsin corporate income tax returns she files claim the company makes not a penny in taxable profit." Tax data from more recent years was not available.

Walker's Dept. of Natural Resources Fails to Prosecute Polluters

Attempts to make Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) more business-friendly by Governor Scott Walker's administration, has landed the agency in a scandal over the handling of the discipline of a suspected polluter. The Wisconsin State Journal broke a story May 6 that exposed a decision by Walker appointee DNR Executive Assistant Scott Gunderson to handle a complaint internally against Herr Environmental Inc., a waste hauler, rather than send the complaint to the Attorney General for prosecution, helping the company skirt what could have been a much heftier punishment. Wisconsin Rep. Joel Kleefisch was also implicated in the effort to get the polluters off the hook.

ReMatch! Barrett to Face Walker in Historic Recall Election

Wisconsin voters chose Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to run against incumbent Governor Scott Walker in the first gubernatorial recall election in the state's history. It has been 450 days since the first protests against Walker's bill to strip state workers of collective bargaining rights sparked massive protests and an 18 day occupation of the Capitol building. Now, there are only 28 days left before a general election that will decide the next governor of the state.

Barrett told MSNBC: "It will be a wild and woolly 28 days."

A CMD Special Report: ALEC's "Scholarship" Scheme Helps Corporations Fund Legislator Trips

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) not only allows corporations and special interests to hand state legislators "model bills," but also provides a vehicle for ALEC's corporate members to buy influence with legislators through gifts of flights, hotel rooms, and other perks denominated as "ALEC scholarships," according to information obtained through open records requests.

Walker Raises and Spends More Money than Any Candidate in Wisconsin History

The headlines in Wisconsin are all about the $25 million dollar man -- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Walker's campaign committee has raised an eye-popping $25 million for the recall, $13 million since January 2012 when close to 1 million signatures were filed with the Wisconsin elections board triggering a recall election. Walker spent a huge sum $5 million on direct mail, rivaling the $4.5 million spent on TV. The direct mail allows him to build a national data base of funders to tap for the recall.

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