Monday, December 14, 2009

Walker Can’t Pass Smell Test - Again

Dan Cody at Left on the Lake was first to point out that a business owner that was awarded a cleaning contract by Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, is also a large donor to Walker's campaign. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was not far behind with a story today that also highlights the donations to Walker. These developments have caused at least one conservative blogger to call out Scott Walker on the issue. This incident is certainly not the first time that Walker actions have not passed the smell test. Consider below, what is just a small sampling of typical Walker funny business:

  • Spivak and Bice reported in 2002 about Scott Walker's heavy handed approach to fundraising from lobbyists to aid his first run for Milwaukee County Executive. In that story they compare Walker's fundraising approach to famous bank robber Willie Sutton. At that time, lobbyists (including Republican ones) claimed that although he didn't issue explicit threats, the implication was still very clear. Walker called the lobbyists asking for campaign cash reminding them that if he didn't win as Milwaukee County Executive, he would still be a state legislator. When questioned about the allegations (which included a recording of his "pitch") Walker tripped over his words and admitted, "I should be more clear about my pitch about county government."
  • After first being elected County Executive, Scott Walker received an "F" by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for his campaign finance disclosures. The grades were based on the total number and value of improperly reported contributions. This has been a continual issue with Walker and his record according to WDC didn't exactly improve in 2005. This problematic pattern resurfaced again this year, as discovered by One Wisconsin Now. These kinds of violations are important because they keep watchdogs from identifying questionable issues such as the current one.
  • In 2003 Scott Walker awarded a $389,000 contract to Bear Stearns, which was locally managed by the later-indicted P. Nicholas Hurtgen. Soon after the awarding of the contract, Hurtgen helped arrange two fundraisers worth $25,000 for Walker's reelection campaign. A 2004 investigation found that the Bear Stearns contract had been awarded improperly. They won the contract even though their bid cost $90,000 more than a competing company. When public records were sought during that investigation, it was found that most were either "lost" or destroyed.

Scott Walker promised to clean things up in Milwaukee County but he has actually done the exact opposite. To those that have been paying attention over the last seven years, this latest questionable incident is just the latest chapter in the story about Scott Walker's self serving behaviors. It has been pretty clear to me that he is more concerned with winning the next election than with good and open governance. When people try to examine his actions, he goes to the greatest lengths to obstruct them (including the County Board). I'm sure that this is because Walker knows that most of his questionable actions just won't pass the public's smell test.

UPDATE: Capper gives us more detail pointing out who is actually "cleaning up" at the courthouse.


Anonymous said...

So giving Walker $1,000.00 doesn't pass the smell test?

Guess you forgot to read where this same "owner" gave Doyle $7,000.00 and $3,000.00 to Barrett---he also has contracts to clean federal, state, and city buildings.

This post doesn't pass the smell test either...sour grapes over your hatred for Walker.

Cory Liebmann said...

he has given much more to walker than just the most recent $1k contribution.

the timing of the $1k contribution is "interesting" because it was given shortly before he got the big contract.

walker has a shady history regarding this kind of thing, which makes this even more notable than it would be by itself.

capper said...

The timing of the donation and the RFP is a month apart, which is in direct violation of the County Code of Ethics (Chapter 9.05 (2)(k)).

Plus Doyle and Barrett weren't handing out million dollar contracts.

Cory, you forgot a couple of things. Walker's problems with Lear jets and Air Tran.

Cory Liebmann said...

Capper: yeah, that list could go on and on and i stopped at only a few.

Anonymous said...

Unless you have any proof other than wanting to think Walker selected this firm; the article in the paper says otherwise...your post and cappers smells like sour grapes.

capper said...

No, the code of ethics doesn't say that. It only says that the donation cannot happen near the time that the contract is being considered.

This is a clear violation of that code. But it is no surprise that Walker, or his anonymous supporters, have no use for ethics.

Cory Liebmann said...

the more important question is can you actually smell sour grapes?

Anonymous said...

Capper did you read the the para of the ethics code you provided? It has nothing to do with a time frame.

"No elected county official may knowingly solicit a campaign contribution from any "at-will employe" defined as an employe who is not under contract, who is hired for an indefinite term or who can be discharged at any time for any nondiscriminatory reason."

Do you have any proof Walker solicited this donation---as the code of ethics you provided forbids? Or was this donation made without his solicitation?

Smells like your sour grapes over anything associated with the name Walker...but keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Capper it looks like (correct me if wrong) your reference is off a instruction sheet for statement of economic interests (

The correct version of the existing ethics codes resides here (

Your quoted source does not match the published ordinance.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected...the version I read looks obsolete.