Will Senator Ron Johnson return $5,400 campaign contribution from man who allegedly “fleeced” U.S. troops?

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has asked Republican Senator Ron Johnson to return a $5,400 contribution to his campaign from Gregoria Galicot, the President of BBC Communications. At issue is BBG’s involvement in charging American service members crazy high fees to make phone calls from Germany to their loved ones.Senator Ron Johnson is maintaining his silence on a call from Wisconsin veterans to return $5,400 in campaign donations from a California corporate executive who manipulated national and international law to charge American service members exorbitant rates for phone calls to their loved ones.

More than a week ago, a group of Wisconsin veterans sent Senator Johnson a letter asking for him to “show respect for the American men and women who serve” by returning a $5,400 campaign contribution from Gregorio Galicot, President of BBG Communications Inc. Galicot’s corporation racked up profits by “fleecing” U.S. troops making calls to loved ones from overseas charging up to $400 to make a single phone call.

For more background on the allegations Gregorio Galicot’s BBG Communications “fleeced” American service members, The Daily Beast a href=http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/06/two-companies-accused-of-fleecing-u-s-troops.html target=_blank>has a more detailed report.

During the past four years, roughly 800,000 members of the American military have passed through the airport in Leipzig, Germany—a popular refueling stop for soldiers going to and from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Members of the armed forces who want to call home can use a pay phone service in the airport’s secure military lounge. But those calls may have been costing the service members dearly: according to a recent class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Waco, Texas, the Switzerland-based company that runs the pay phone service—and its sister firm in California—have been “rigg[ing]” the phones to sometimes charge more than $40 for a call lasting mere seconds.

The two companies—BBG Global AG and BBG Communications Inc.—are owned, according to the lawsuit, by trusts belonging to the families of Rafael and Gregorio Galicot. The two, who are American citizens, are the sons of José Galicot, a prominent Mexican businessman and philanthropist known to some as the “godfather of Tijuana.” For years, the elder Galicot has been a relentless champion for the Mexican border city, touting its industries and culture and trying to help Tijuana shed its reputation for drug-related violence. In the fall of 2010, Galicot—who reportedly splits his time between Mexico and California —organized Tijuana Innovadora, a $5 million celebration; speakers included Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Al Gore, Larry King, and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

Scott Walker appoints major campaign contributor as head of his job creation agency

According to reports Gov. Scott Walker has named banking executive Mark Hogan as the new CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Gov. Walker’s troubled “job creation” agency.

Governor Scott Walker on Thursday, September 3rd announced the appointment of banking executive Mark Hogan as CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Hogan replaces Reed Hall, who announced his retirement last month.

Notably, Hogan has contributed over $24,000 to Scott Walker’s campaigns dating back to 2005, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Campaign Finance Database.

Chris Abele says he won’t be running for governor in 2018

Responding to rumors he’s planning a run for governor in 2018, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele dismissed those rumors in a report by the Associated Press.

Democratic Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said Thursday he “definitely” will not be running for governor in 2018, putting to bed rumors that he was considering mounting a bid after hiring a prominent party official.

Abele told The Associated Press he felt compelled to deny speculation he might run so it wouldn’t impair his ability to work with both Democrats and Republicans in Milwaukee. Abele also is running for a second term as county executive next year.

To me, Abele’s concern about speculation on his future plans impairing his ability to work with both Democrats and Republicans seems more geared towards Republicans. After all, Abele has collaborated with Republicans to pass legislation weakening the County Board of Supervisors, giving Abele the ability to take over Milwaukee Public Schools as he sees fit, and giving Abele a shiny new arena for the billionaire owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, so it makes sense that he wouldn’t want to risk alienating those legislators who’ve been his most reliable allies.

New polls shows Scott Walker fading with just 3% support in Republican primary field

Looks like the shine is wearing off Gov. Scott Walker as a credible Republican presidential candidate.

A new national poll shows Gov. Scott Walker continuing his free fall in the Republican presidential race, placing eighth with 3 percent support, while outsider candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson pace the field.

The poll is the latest blow for Walker’s presidential campaign. Walker, once a leading candidate in national polls and in the early presidential state of Iowa, has weathered a slew of discouraging polls after the first GOP presidential debate last month.

A Thursday news release on the release of the Monmouth University poll said it shows Walker “fading into the background” of the Republican field.