Impeach Governor Scott Walker!

No, not over Act 10 which gutted the rights of public employees and their unions, not over Act 14 that gutted the authority of the Milwaukee County Board, not the meddling in the Milwaukee Public School System, not Right to Work Legislation, not budget cuts to public schools, not budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin system, not the ineffective DNR, etc., etc., etc.

But Wisconsin Governor Walker should be impeached…now…for his total failure to protect the young people incarcerated at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls and the total ineptitude and arrogance of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Since the closing of the Ethan Allen School for Boys in Wales just west of Milwaukee in Waukesha county, all minor males sent to the state for incarceration have been sent to Lincoln Hills near Merrill WI over 200 miles from Milwaukee.

There is a laundry list of mistreatment of inmates, lack of trained medical personnel and a chronic shortage of trained staff…resulting in overtime and overworked state employees. There is in fact little or no reason that this should exist and it can no longer be tolerated…and the blame goes right to the top…the office of Governor Scott Walker.

I suggest that you read this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But here are some excerpts:

For years, officials knew or should have known about the thicket of problems at Lincoln Hills and its sister facility on the same campus, Copper Lake School for Girls.

“It all went on in plain view of the Department of Corrections, but nobody at the Department of Corrections knew how juvenile corrections worked or how Lincoln Hills operated or what was going on,” said Troy Bauch, who until recently was the union representative for workers there.

The sweeping criminal probe, now nearly 2 years old, is examining allegations of prisoner abuse, child neglect, sexual assault, intimidation of witnesses and victims, strangulation and tampering with public records. A separate internal investigation uncovered four incidents where inmates’ bones were broken.

The crisis at Lincoln Hills is rooted in systematic breakdowns, lax management, confusion over policies, a lack of communication and chronic staff shortages, a review of more than 1,000 pages of records and dozens of interviews by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found.

Officials trained staff improperly, failed to preserve video evidence, didn’t document serious incidents, and often shirked their duty to report matters to parents, police and social service agencies.

The shortcomings intensified in 2011 when the Walker administration shut down two youth prisons in southeastern Wisconsin to save $25 million a year. The move put all of the state’s serious teen offenders in one facility — hundreds of miles from most of their families.

“The entire climate went from mildly hellish to the ninth ring of hell,” said Timothy Johnson, a former guard.

While a developing crisis quickly became apparent, no one moved to address it.

After nearly six years in office, Walker has yet to visit Lincoln Hills.

(emphasis mine).

There is absolutely no reason that young people should be treated like this while under the care and control of the State of Wisconsin…no matter what reason sent them to Lincoln Hills.

What is the governor’s most recent response to the issues al Lincoln Hills and the Milwaukee County Boards reluctance to continue to send juveniles there? Build a new prison in Milwaukee County as long as the county pays to run it.

Gov. Scott Walker is considering having the state help fund building a Milwaukee County juvenile corrections center, but the county would have to pay for running it.

Milwaukee County officials have sought a way to keep more teen inmates closer to home instead of sending them more than 200 miles away to Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls.

The two secure facilities share a campus north of Wausau and have been under criminal investigation for nearly two years for prisoner abuse and child neglect.

But nary a word about fixing the issues as Lincoln Hills…so why wait until the criminal investigations bring back the records of wrongdoing and indictments…IMPEACH GOVERNOR WALKER NOW!

Sheriff David Clarke’s deathtrap

According to a report last week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the death of Terrill Thomas while he was confined in the Milwaukee County Jail has been ruled a homicide after the cause of Thomas’ death was “profound dehydration.” According to accounts from other inmates, the water in Thomas’ cell had been shut off for six days .

The death of an inmate in the Milwaukee County Jail has been ruled a homicide, four months after corrections officers reportedly cut off his water supply for an extended period of time.

The cause of death was dehydration, with other significant conditions including bipolar disorder, according to autopsy results released Thursday by the Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office.

Terrill Thomas, 38, was found unresponsive in his cell on April 24, nine days after being arrested for shooting a man in the chest and later firing two shots in the Potawatomi casino.

His family said he was in the throes of a mental breakdown when he was arrested. At the time of his death, he was awaiting a court-ordered psychiatric examination.

In July, the Journal Sentinel reported that inmates in cells near Thomas heard him beg for water days before his death and saw the water faucet in his cell had been shut off.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article notes, Terrill Thomas death at the hands of David Clarke’s jail staff isn’t an isolated incident – during a four-year period 10 people died in custody of David Clarke’s Sheriff’s Office.

Governor Walker Steps Up To The Plate

I am a few days late on this…but I need to give credit where credit is due.

Governor Scott Walker announced that $4.5 million in state and federal funds will be made available to Milwaukee for help with job training, business development and repairing/removing foreclosed homes. This all is coming in the wake of the riots in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee on August 13 and 14, 2016 after Sylville Smith was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer.

Now, $4.5 million isn’t a great deal of money when compared to the poverty and joblessness in Milwaukee’s minority neighborhoods…and at this point it is essentially just seed money. But it is the right thing to do and I thank Governor Walker for his efforts here. Although he will be hard pressed to do so, hopefully he can find additional funds in the next state budget.

Here is a break down on the funds:

The initial response, which does not need the approval of lawmakers, includes:

•$1.5 million in federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money to work with city officials to run employment programs for those in need of jobs.
• $2 million to help the City of Milwaukee to demolish 50 foreclosed properties owned by the city and renovate 60 more. With matching dollars from the city, the money will help employ 200 young and unemployed area residents who will work on the homes as well as clean up all vacant lots, alleys and other blighted properties in the city.
• $1 million to Milwaukee businesses to help them train workers in the city.
• An effort by the Department of Workforce Development to send out mobile teams into distressed neighborhoods, where they’ll set up job centers in churches and community centers to give the unemployed better access to work.
• Work by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to see whether the state can use existing jobs programs to help businesses that were damaged or destroyed during the burning and looting.

Hopefully there will be full transparency in how these funds are used…and we will see this as just the start of a concerted effort to solve the problems facing Milwaukee.

Sheriff’s Associations Endorse Chisholm for MKE County DA

That partisan pariah (in GOP and Tea Party circles), Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has been endorsed for re-election by both of the Milwaukee County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and the Milwaukee County Retired Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. Law enforcement officers think he’s doing a good job apparently.

“John Chisholm has been dedicated to keeping our community safe for the last two decades,” said Roy Felber, president of the Retired Deputy Sheriffs’ Association and business agent for the Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. “John Chisholm works tirelessly to improve our criminal justice system, and his leadership has allowed more resources to be directed to getting dangerous criminals off the street.”

Go figure…

Former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert admits serial sex abuse

“Party of family values” indeed.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, once one of the country’s most powerful politicians, was sentenced on Wednesday to 15 months in federal prison for a financial crime related to sexual abuse of high school wrestlers he coached decades ago.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert a serial sex abuser in handing down the sentence, which was longer than the zero to six months recommended by federal prosecutors. Durkin said the sentence would have been even longer if it weren’t for Hastert’s age, 74, and poor health.

Frail and clinging to a walker, Hastert apologized for sexually abusing boys when he was a teacher and coach in his hometown of Yorkville.

Interestingly, a number of prominent Republicans rushed to Hastert’s defense, which certainly seems curious to me, given Hastert’s admitted deviant and criminal behavior.

Another day, another act of violence against those opposed to Donald Trump

Yesterday Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump appeared at a rally in Janesville, and right on cue his supporters got violent with counter-protesters, with a 15-year-old young woman being sprayed with pepper spray by a Trump supporter after she confronted a man who allegedly groped her sexually.

Police in Janesville, Wisconsin are searching for two men who attended Donald Trump’s raucous town hall Tuesday night in the small post-industrial town: one accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who was protesting Trump, and another man who pepper sprayed the 15-year-old and a 19-year-old woman. Both women were taken to local hospitals.

According to the police report, a male in the crowd groped the 15-year-old girl. When she pushed him away, another person in the crowd sprayed her.

In a video of the protest, the young woman holds up a sign reading, “Damn, Donald, back at it again with the white supremacy.” An angry crowd of older Trump supporters surrounds her, screaming, “All lives matter.”

In another video, the young woman’s friends are holding her back as she angrily confronts the man she claims groped her. She hits him, and instantly recoils from having her eyes hit with pepper spray at point-blank range. Police told local reporters that the young woman could also face charges for hitting the man.

Here’s video of the incident from two different perspectives.

After the incident the Janesville Police Department announced it is seeking the man suspected of pepper spraying the 15-year-old girl.

Janesville police have asked for public help to identify a man suspected of pepper-spraying a protester outside Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s Tuesday campaign rally.

Police released two photos Wednesday of a young man wearing glasses and a hat featuring the candidate’s signature “Make America Great Again” slogan. Janesville police detective Chris Buescher said the man is suspected of using pepper spray on a 15-year-old girl after she punched another man during an argument.

The altercation was one of a few tense moments between the estimated 2,000 supporters and opponents of Trump who were attending the rally at the Janesville Conference Center at the Holiday Inn Express.

Here’s a photo of the man Janesville Police are looking for.

Image courtesy Janesville Police Department
Image courtesy Janesville Police Department

But remember….concealed carry was supposed to make us all safer!

Remember when Wisconsin’s Republicans said passing concealed carry laws allowing Wisconsinites to act as vigilantes would make our state safer?

Yeah, not so much…

We are waiting to learn whether a person who shot and killed a Milwaukee man with a concealed carry permit will be cleared or charged with murder.

Milwaukee Police say two men reportedly got in a fender bender at 10th and Concordia Friday night.

A fight ensued, and 21-year-old Deshun Freeman was declared dead at the scene.

The 28 year old, considered a suspect at this point, drove from the scene and then called police.

Another day, another act of violence against a protester at a Donald Trump rally (VIDEO)

Watch as yet another protester against Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is beaten by a Trump supporter at a recent rally.

Protester Repeatedly Punched At Donald Trump Rally In Arizona

Man holding "Trump: Bad for America" sign was beaten up at Donald J. Trump rally

Posted by NowThis Election on Sunday, March 20, 2016

Absent from that video is any admonition by Donald Trump against the act of violence perpetrated against the protester by one of Trump’s supporter.

The Racine Judge and the Lincoln Hills Scandal:

Letter to editor: Judge to Walker ‘I wrote directly to you’:

Dear Governor,

Your enemies have turned the Lincoln Hills matter into a personal attack against you. You and I know my letter to you was written to highlight a most grievous system failure, to hopefully prompt a full inquiry and cause change. I was neither enraged nor angry but deeply concerned that the system, and Lincoln Hills in particular, had failed the young man from Racine.

It appeared that the victim had been punished, that a most-serious crime had been marginalized, that a so-what attitude prevailed. My inquires to the administration there were met with silence. And so I wrote directly to you, attaching the very thorough and detailed report, anticipating that my communication would be acted upon by, at the least, the Department of Corrections administrator.

It has taken some time, but I am pleased that it now appears things may change.

Respectfully,

Richard J. Kreul
Corpus Christi, Texas (formerly of Racine)

For anyone not familiar with this issue: click here