Union busting Wisconsin governor's aides facing criminal probe. A top aide is searched by the FBI
In a turn of events that shows the corruption and malfeasance of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, a top Walker aide has had her home raided by law enforcement, including the FBI, as part of an ongoing probe into corruption during Walker's campaign for governor last year. After getting elected in November, Walker forced through legislation in a dramatically divided Wisconsin legislature that eliminated, for government workers, most collective bargaining rights except for wages. Walker's draconian legislation ruled that public worker unions would be unable to seek pay increases, for government workers, above the rate of inflation, unless approved by a voter referendum. Finally the legislation mandated yearly votes to continue representing government workers, and that unions could no longer have dues automatically deducted from government workers' paychecks.
Well it looks like the FBI is closing in on the corrupt governor's aides and a corruption probe is getting closer to the governor himself.
[Full Article reprinted below form PoliticusUSA.com]
Criminal Probe Closes In as FBI Raids the Home of Gov Scott Walker’s Top Aide, September 15, 2011, By Sarah Jones
Hauling a banker’s box among other items out of her home, about a dozen law enforcement officers, including the Milwaukee FBI, raided Cindy Archer’s Madison home yesterday, after arriving with a battering ram in the early hours of the morning. The FBI is investigating allegations that staffers of Walker’s worked on his campaign on the county dime while he was running for governor.
This investigation may be a part of the “John Doe” investigation which already resulted in two felony violations resulting in the conviction of William Gardner, the president and CEO of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co, and which we reported on here months ago indicated that a criminal probe into Walker’s campaign was imminent.
Here is your criminal probe; it was unsurprisingly in the works already pre-Gardner news. Justice takes her sweet time.
Others who have worked for Walker may be implicated, according to WisPolitics.com. Walker lawyered up after receiving a subpoena for his campaign emails before the November election. The Walker campaign has paid nearly 60,000 to a former U.S. attorney, though Walker denies that he has been contacted “personally” by law enforcement.
WeirdLoadReboot reports,”Walker’s campaign hired a former Milwaukee U.S. attorney to represent his interests if the investigation comes closer to him. The current federal prosecutor in Milwaukee is offering no comment on the investigation at this time.”
Archer worked for Scott Walker when he was the county executive in Milwaukee and he took her with him when he became Governor, giving her a high-paid position earning more than her predecessor. Archer resigned last month from her $124,000-a-year job as deputy administration secretary to the Republican governor, a position that oversees state contracts. However, she was given another political, high-paying position with a $24,000 pay cut on August 18. State records show that she was on paid personal leave but is now on paid sick leave currently.
Archer made a statement today denying that she is the John Doe investigation started into another Walker staffer. The Journal Sentinel reported, “That John Doe probe was started last year after the Journal Sentinel reported that another Walker staffer who was being paid by Milwaukee County taxpayers to help citizens with county services was instead using her work time to post anonymous comments supporting candidate Walker on websites and blogs. As part of the investigation, authorities earlier seized the work computers of two former Walker staffers and executed a search warrant of one of their homes.”
Of those two employees, one of them admitted to leaving comments supportive of Walker on blogs and websites while on the county dime. However, contrary to Archer’s denials, “Sources have said the investigation has increasingly focused on the activities of Archer and Tom Nardelli, Walker’s former county chief of staff.”
Archer’s neighbors were forced to surrender a hard drive to the FBI from a computer that they had purchased from her at a garage sale.
Previous probes of this level have resulted in lost jobs and prison time. It’s a shame that employees of ruthless politicians will take the fall for breaking the law and abusing the taxpayers’ trust and money, when the widespread activity indicates that the culture of lawlessness is a top-down issue.
A note to Walker aides, Sarah Palin’s previous government employees, and all government employees: Just because they didn’t arrest you when you wrote that fake letter to the editor on the taxpayer dime or spent your time online using government equipment leaving propaganda on websites doesn’t mean they won’t later. It is against the law, and employees of unethical politicians stand to have their careers and lives derailed if discovered. It can happen, it does happen, and it’s happening now in Wisconsin.
Here’s a thought: A politician shouldn’t need to use taxpayer money to shift the public perception of their actions. If the public dislikes the actions of a politician to such a degree that they feel compelled to play high school games, they should do it on their own dime, or better yet, try actually listening to the people and having a dialogue.
Ever since Walker took office, Wisconsin has been run like a mafia; laws passed illegally, elections with clear and obvious problems, and a general culture of abuse of power and corruption. I’m not surprised in the least that the FBI is involved, but I’m saddened that the little people always take the fall. Of course, it takes a certain willful disobedience to break the law for your boss in the first place.
When the inevitable comments come floating in to minimize and justify this criminal probe and paint a picture of the sunshine of pure fiscal glory that is Scott Walker, I hope you will all remember just how his staff spends their time and your money.
Sources (linked to in the story): John Diedrich and Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel, Sarah Jones of PoliticusUSA, Chad Nance of WeirdLoadReboot, and Marie Rohde of WiscPolitics. REFERENCES