Bruce Murphy’s Take On AG Schimel’s Hearing Loss:

Earlier this week I commented on Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel’s total tone deafness related to his Department of Justice investigation into the shooting death of Sylville Smith at the hands of the Milwaukee Police Department. I am not the only one feeling this way…witness today’s article by Bruce Murphy over at Urban Milwaukee:

Then there’s the fact the state investigation is using retired Milwaukee police officers in the Smith probe. The AG told the media he doesn’t see a conflict in using MPD officers: “Milwaukee PD has about 2,000 sworn officers as I understand. The likelihood that there would be some relationship between a particular patrol officer, who’s going to be much younger than an experienced detective… is small. And if there is any relationship at all, that officer, that investigator would not be permitted to have any role in the investigation.”

This is not the first time former Milwaukee officers were used in such a state investigation. They were also used in the 2014 investigation of Milwaukee officer Christopher Manney who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park.

At the time, Bies [Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay)] told Fox 6 he trusted the state agents to be impartial, but thought their ties to the Milwaukee department could make the public suspicious: “I would’ve thought that whoever made those assignments maybe would’ve considered those issues and… made a better decision and put a different investigator on.”

In short, perception matters. As it turned out, many in Milwaukee have never accepted the decision that determined Manney wasn’t criminally culpable and there have been periodic protests since then. But the stakes are far higher in the Smith killing, which touched off a near-riot. Whatever the decision that’s made, it’s critical that it looks as fair as possible, with no perception of favorable treatment.

But how “independent” does the investigation look when you have Milwaukee officers investigating a fellow member of the force? Under the circumstances, you have have to ask why Schimel hasn’t simply looked for other retired officers — whether from the Madison, Racine or any other city — to conduct the Smith probe.

But Mr. Murphy goes me one better…and it’s because they have been spending a lot of time following political contributions around the state. But if a perception of bias by the former MPD officers doing the investigation doesn’t bother AG Schimel, why would this:

But questions have arisen about Schimel’s links to Milwaukee police. For starters, he has been a frequent recipient of campaign donations from the Milwaukee Police Association. The police union gave him five donations of $500 between May 2014 and October 2015, as Gretchen Schuldt has reported for Wisconsin Justice Initiative.

What can possibly go wrong here?

This is how Donald Trump reaches out:

Donald Trump announced that he is having a Thursday morning meeting with African-American and Latino leaders from Queens NY. It’s part of his pivot to be more presidential and reach out to the minority communities. There is only one hitch…in outreach you usually show up at their place to hear about and learn about their experience…you don’t haul them up to Trump Tower!

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is planning a Thursday morning meeting with Latino and African-American activists at his Manhattan headquarters in Trump Tower. The activists are fellows from the Queens, N.Y., office of the Republican Leadership Initiative, a program designed to train young, diverse recruits to be campaign field operatives.

Multiple GOP sources confirmed plans for the meeting and characterized it as part of Trump’s outreach efforts in the African-American and Latino communities. While the initiative is not solely focused on training minority activists, a source said the Queens office of the program is in a predominantly African-American and Latino area and has attracted its participants from the community.

But here’s the kicker:

An email circulated earlier in the day Tuesday indicated that former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner, current chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, was helping to organize the event, which was initially set to take place in Queens. Turner told Yahoo News the event had subsequently shifted to Trump Tower and described it as part of Trump’s efforts to court Latino voters. (emphasis mine)

I guess this is sort of like his outreach to Milwaukee’s African-American community in his speech in 95+% white West Bend WI last week.

Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution: The Bolsheviks vs. the Mensheviks?

I haven’t seen the official coverage for Senator Bernie Sanders’ new group, Our Revolution. It was supposed to launch today. But from this article in Politico from yesterday it looks like internally there is a struggle over control and direction:

The revolution is already tearing itself apart.

Less than a week before its official launch on Wednesday, Bernie Sanders’ new political group is working its way through an internal war that led to the departure of digital director Kenneth Pennington and at least four others from a team of 15, and the return of presidential campaign manager Jeff Weaver as the group’s new president.

Weaver shrugged off the suggestion that the group was already falling victim to a caricature of liberal infighting.

“This is an organization that’s a couple of weeks old, and every new organization has to find its footing,” he said.

There isn’t an aide closer to Bernie and Jane Sanders than Weaver. But he became a lightning rod for the criticism of the younger generation who felt that he was curt, dismissive, and overmatched. So when Jane Sanders asked Weaver, who was already involved as a legal adviser to Our Revolution, to take on a greater role early last week — before the ABC News story — Pennington and others immediately protested. They issued what amounted to an ultimatum: him or them.

“A majority of the staff quit as a result of Jeff joining,” said one person familiar with the situation, who added that they had joined with a promise from Bernie and Jane Sanders, and executive director Shannon Jackson, that Weaver wouldn’t be running it and had asked for this promise specifically.

They claim as well that there was a specific argument about fundraising strategy.

Weaver said he had a vision that included more traditional — not just grassroots — fundraising, the person familiar with the situation said.

Our Revolution is aiming to have a long term impact on races all the way down to the most local. They say they’re hoping to start this year, getting the voters activated by Sanders involved in Senate, House and other campaigns.

But Sanders himself has yet to campaign for any candidates whatsoever aside from one rally for Eric Kingson — a New York House hopeful who subsequently lost his primary to the Democratic party’s favored contender.

Sanders’ attempts to get his work for other candidates off the ground has already been sputtering. Around the time he campaigned for Kingson, for example, Zephyr Teachout specifically asked him not to come and campaign for her until he ironed out his eventual endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

Although I agreed with much of Senator Sanders agenda, I never thought he was a good manager and feared that his race was another example of a cult of personality. Particularly when reading the comments and ideas put forward by his most ardent followers. It looks like some of my concerns are coming to fruition. But I wish him well in his endeavor…but it seems like a disorganized mess at the moment:

Weaver said he is optimistic.

“Millions of people voted for Bernie Sanders, hundreds of thousands volunteered, millions donated,” he said. “People are very excited about continuing the work that was done on the campaign and making sure we bring Bernie’s progressive vision to reality.”