Just remember, it was Scott Walker who gave Tim Russell control over the money Russell embezzled

For proof positive that then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker gave control over Operation Freedom and the monies that event had raised to longtime aide Tim Russell, in the process giving Russell access to the money he eventually embezzled, let’s take a look at the Memorandum of Agreement signed by Walker and Russell.

Scott Walker gives Tim Russell control over tens of thousands of dollars
Click for full size

Just remember….if Scott Walker doesn’t give one of his longtime aides and “most trusted confidants” access to Operation Freedom’s funds, we likely wouldn’t be talking about Russell having been charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor for embezzlement of money donated to help military families.

This is the seedy underbelly of crony politics in all its rotten-ness.

“He was one of Walker’s most trusted confidants”


“He was one of Walker’s most trusted confidants,” said Orville Seymer, a property manager active in recall politics through Citizens for Responsible Government.

No doubt if the tables were turned and the “he” we were referring to was one of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle’s “most trusted confidants,” conservatives wouldn’t be calling Doyle the victim, as is the case on some conservative blogs.

It’s far more likely that if one of Jim Doyle’s “most trusted confidants” had been arrested and charged with two felonies for embezzlement and it turned out that action taken by Doyle gave said “most trusted confidant” direct access to the monies that were embezzled, we’d be hearing conservatives calling for Gov. Doyle to resign.


Caribbean Cruise paid for with embezzled money? $1745.46

GoDaddy.com domain registration for pro-Scott Walker website run on County time? $145.28

Seeing longtime aide to Scott Walker charged with two felonies and paraded into court in handcuffs? PRICELESS!


Longtime aide to Scott Walker charged with 2 felony counts of embezzlement

Image courtesy JSOnline.com/Gary Porter
Earlier today, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced felony charges have been filed against three individuals – including a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker – as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers.

Among those charged was Tim Russell (pictured at right along with Scott Walker and alleged pedophile Brian Pierick), a longtime Walker campaign staffer and aide in Walker’s County Executive administration. Russell was charged with two felony counts of embezzlement and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement, charges stemming from allegations Russell stole over $21,000 in funds that had been raised in support of Operation Freedom, an annual military appreciation day held at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

In what can only be categorized as a terse (and very brief) conference call with reporters earlier today, Gov. Walker issued a brief statement saying he was “extremely disappointed” with the allegations against Russell, who Walker had appointed to serve as Milwaukee County’s Director of Housing during Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. However, when asked how close he was to Russell, Walker referred to Russell as “Mr. Russell” without expanding on how close a relationship he and Russell may have had, a fact that’s curious given that Walker must have a close relationship with Russell, based on the length of time Russell had worked closely with Walker, both on Walker’s campaigns and in the County Executive’s office.

During the same conference call, Walker was asked twice to explain why he chose in 2009 to transfer control over the funds raised for Operation Freedom from the Alonzo Cudworth American Legion Post 23 to the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, an organization controlled by Tim Russell. In response to those question, Walker indicated control of the funds was transferred to the group controlled by Russell because of allegations of financial improprieties with the previous group that had control of the funds, however according to the criminal complaint filed against Russell, there were no allegations of financial impropriety leveled against American Legion Post 23.

What’s more, Walker asserted he did not know Tim Russell was involved with the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, but as seen clearly on Page 7 of the criminal complaint, Walker as County Eexecutive co-signed a “Memorandum of Agreement” giving the Heritage Guard Preservation Society control over the operation of the event called Operation Freedom, including that event’s funding. While Walker denied any knowledge of Russell’s involvement with the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, the “Memorandum of Agreement” County Executive Walker signed handing over control of Operation Freedom was co-signed by Tim Russell in his capacity as President of the Heritage Guard Preservation Society, so it’s hard to believe Scott Walker didn’t know Tim Russell was involved with that group.

Despite Gov. Walker’s attempt to spin today’s criminal charges involving one of his close former aides, he left more questions unanswered than he actually resolved.

Top Walker administration official takes indefinite leave of absence

According to a report by Steve Schultze of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cindy Archer, who currently serves as deputy secretary for the Department of Administration in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration, has taken a “personal leave of absence” for an unspecified period of time.

During the last three years of Gov. Walker’s time as Milwaukee County Executive, Archer served as head of the county’s Division of Administrative Services, the county’s top staff job. That position put Archer in charge of the county budget, procurement, information technology and other matters.

I can’t help but wonder if the other shoe is finally going to drop in the “John Doe” investigation into the possibly illegal activities of former Walker staffers Darlene Wink and Tim Russell.

Milwaukee DA, GAB to announce results of “significant investigation” tomorrow?

It’s been speculated HERE and HERE that the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office will be holding a news conference at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 11 at the GAB office in Madison, with both sources speculating the press conference will discuss the results of a vote fraud investigation.

However, while those sources are speculating that the press conference will discuss vote fraud, I’ve got another idea on what the press conference will deal with.

My bet?

The results of the “significant investigation” that will be released today have to do with the investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office into alleged illegal campaign work on the part of Tim Russell and Darlene Wink, both of whom worked in Scott Walker’s office during Walker’s time as Milwaukee County Executive. Both Russell and Wink have allegedly been under investigation by the Milwaukee County DA’s office due to allegations they engaged in illegal campaign work on behalf of Walker’s gubernatorial campaign from their County offices and on County time. Russell’s county-provided computer had previously been seized by the Milwaukee DA’s office, and if I remember correctly, Wink’s personal laptop may have been seized as well.

So while it certainly seems logical to assume the press conference tomorrow will deal with some sort of vote fraud investigation, unless said investigation has uncovered massive, widespread vote fraud, such an investigation doesn’t seem significant enough to warrant a joint press conference in Madison.

You can tell a lot about Jeff Stone by the company he keeps

I’ve always believed you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep, and that’s especially true in the case of Republican Milwaukee County Executive candidate Jeff Stone.

Stone’s ties to Gov. Scott Walker are long and deep, with Stone promising to “lead” Milwaukee County (I use the word lead very loosely) in the same manner Gov. Walker did during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive, but when public opinion turned strongly against Gov. Walker’s proposal to cripple the ability of public employee unions to collectively bargain and organize, Stone began a balancing act, on hand hand saying he wouldn’t have proposed the measures Gov. Walker proposed and calling it negative campaigning when a recent TV ad by the campaign of Chris Abele sought to remind voters that Stone is a Walker clone. However, at the same time Stone was publicly distancing himself from Gov. Walker, he still voted in favor of the proposals and against every single amendment proposed by Democrats in the State Assembly.

Apparently Jeff Stone has decided that this week he wants Gov. Walker’s support, as the two will be appearing together at a fundraiser in support of Stone’s campaign:

THURSDAY 3/24 MILWAUKEE 4:30PM Event for County Executive candidate Jeff Stone with special guest: Governor Scott Walker, University Club, 924 E Wells St.

No doubt Gov. Walker and Stone The Clone will be met by a few folks who disagree with their attacks on public employees.

As I noted above, Jeff Stone’s ties to Scott Walker run deep, and those ties include a mutual helper, in the form of Tim Russell, the former County Housing Director under Walker. You’ll remember Russell’s county computer was seized (without a peep from conservatives, no less) as part of a still ongoing investigation by the District Attorney’s office into allegations Russell and others in Walker’s County Executive office were engaging in illegal campaign activity on behalf of Walker’s gubernatorial campaign while on county time.

As reported by Cory Liebmann over at Eye on Wisconsin, Russell, who’s “between jobs” while the DA’s investigation of him continues, has been keeping busy doing opposition research for Jeff Stone’s campaign:

It appears that Russell is now trying to help Jeff Stone’s campaign for Milwaukee County executive. What kind of help is he offering? Well, recently he went to the county court house and pulled the divorce file of Stone’s opponent, Chris Abele. The Stone campaign described this Walker operative as merely a campaign “volunteer”. I don’t know about you but when I hear the word “volunteer” i think of phone banking and maybe lit dropping. The one thing that I don’t think about is a campaign “volunteer” pouring over the divorce records of the opponent. I wonder if there are more Stone “volunteers” doing things like this?

Mike Tate, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, issued a statement on Stone’s ties to Tim Russell:

“Jeff Stone has himself engaged in shady ethical practices over the years, most prominently his efforts to give away control over Mitchell Field to a cabal of businessmen, not to mention a scofflaw attitude to the Greenfield printing shop in his father-in-law’s basement. But now, even as Stone tries to muddy the waters about his strong ties to Scott Walker, with whom he has not opposed a single time as governor, Stone is embracing Walker’s all-time dirty trickster. Tim Russell is Walker’s closest adviser and integrally tied to the various scandals that have put an ethical cloud over Walker’s career. Now, that same ethical cloud hangs over Stone. Milwaukee County cannot endure in Jeff Stone any more of these Walker ways.”

So while Jeff Stone may say he won’t necessarily be a clone of Scott Walker if he’s elected Milwaukee County Executive, just remember that Stone’s ties to Scott Walker are long and deep, and there should be no doubt that Jeff Stone would be nothing more than another term of Scott Walker if elected Milwaukee County Executive.

Lee Holloway doesn’t have that big an ego…..no really, he doesn’t!

Asked why he chose not to continue to serve as chairman of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors following his swearing in as interim County Executive, Lee Holloway said, “I don’t have that big an ego.”

Yeah, clearly Holloway doesn’t have that big an ego:

Holloway’s elaborate swearing-in ceremony on the third floor of the courthouse drew more than 250 people and featured an honor guard, two judges administering the oath of office, a sermon from a local pastor and a singer. Holloway is the first African American to hold the position of county executive.

In related news, Holloway began cleaning house shortly before being sworn in as the acting County Executive, firing four members of Scott Walker’s administration, including Housing Director Tim Russell, who is allegedly the target of a John Doe investigation into allegations of possible misconduct in office.

Where’s the outrage over Walker supporters wasting taxpayer dollars?

This has been a long time coming…

Several months ago, Citizens for Responsible Government attempted to smear local lefty blogger Chris “capper” Liebenthal, alleging he had committed some sort of crime (presumably misconduct in office) by blogging while at work as an employee of Milwaukee County. Predictably, conservative bloggers were quick to pass judgment on Liebenthal, only to look like a bunch of asses once some basic research revealed many of the blog entries cited by CRG as proof of their claims were done on holidays, furlough days, and other days Liebenthal wasn’t at work. CRG and the conservative bloggers who were only too eager to parrot CRG’s claims were further made to look like fools when an investigation by the District Attorney’s office (and some follow-up by Liebenthal’s attorney confirmed there was no criminal behavior – and for that matter no blogging – by Liebenthal while on county time.

However, while CRG and their conservative blog backers were quick to pass judgment on Chris Liebenthal, they were curiously (or conveniently) silent when it was revealed Darlene Wink, who served as constituent services coordinator for then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, had been actively commenting in support of Walker on blogs while on County time. It’s also been rumored Wink was one of the driving forces behind a pro-Walker blog that went dark shortly after Wink’s malfeasance was revealed, but to this day I have yet to read anything even remotely resembling criticism of Wink’s actions by anyone from CRG or the conservative bloggers that comprise the right-wing outrage brigade/

To add to the intrigue surrounding the allegations involving Darlene Wink, County Housing Administrator Tim Russell, a longtime Walker supporter, also had his work computer and other materials seized from his office by authorities, and he is now the subject of a John Doe investigation probing whether criminal behavior occurred.

Today the story of Darlene Wink and Tim Russell took an interesting twist, as it’s being reported the Walker campaign recently brought in former U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic, now with Michael Best & Friedrich.

“As (convicted former alderman) Michael McGee said, this is a big amoeba,” said one person familiar with the case. “It keeps growing.”

As I asked in the title of this entry, where’s the outrage?

Where are those principled conservatives who are so fond of railing against government waste and lazy government employees now that one or two, or maybe more of their fellow conservatives have been exposed as having wasted taxpayer dollars by doing work on behalf of Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign while on the County’s dime?

For Whom Is Help On The Way?

While Tom Barrett was easily dispatching Scott Walker in the debate last Friday, correctly pointing out: In the 2008 financial meltdown and the ensuing job crisis, Walker shut down Milwaukee County\'s economic development agency.

Personally I think that the key moment of the debate was this:

“Scott, Governor Doyle is not running,” Barrett told Walker Friday night. “There are two of us on this stage right now. I’m the only one who ever ran against Governor Doyle. I ran against him eight years ago, and I ran against him because I thought I could do a better job. You started running against him four years ago, but you dropped out. You dropped out because the party bosses told you to drop out.”

That line put a sour look on Walkers face and one he was unable to defend himself.

Another highlight of mine that was missed by most of the media was Scott Walker saying that if he is Governor, not a single felon will get out of prison a day early. This sounds great, unless you do a little research into the Walker record.

* His Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, is the handpicked candidate of convicted felon \"Scooter Jensen\".

* Then there is the case of Darlene Wink, who was campaigning for her boss on the taxpayers dime.

* William E. Gardner, who illegally gave almost $44000 to Walker.

* Tim Russell, a former Walker Deputy Chief of Staff who is now the county housing administrator.

* There is also rumor of a secret John Doe investigation by county prosecutors.

Starting to see a pattern here? How can someone who pretends to be tough on crime be so lackadaisical about it in his own campaign? Some people think Barrett was too tough on Walker, I think he let Walker off easy.