Sunday, February 9, 2014

Good Walkergate and voucher scam updates

Two great articles from the Cheddarsphere that you really need to check out.

1. Capper at Cognitive Dissidence had an update on convicted John Doe criminal Kelly Rindfleisch. Seems Kelly was landing ghost jobs with WisGOP connections that went beyond donor (and all-around scumbag) Michael Eisenga.
About a year ago, Rindfleisch got a new gig at a political consulting agency named Cross Rhodes Strategies. The registered agent for this agency is none other than Judith Rhodes Engels. Interestingly, the website that they once had for their agency is no longer to be found. In fact, the only traces my meager Googling skills could find was on a couple of aggregate sites - Find the Company and Bizapedia.

Interestingly, sources report that more than a few GOP legislators have Cross Rhodes listed in as an expense in their campaign finance report. Another interesting tidbit is that Engels' husband just received a cushy state job last summer.

We became familiar with Rhodes Engels during the original Walkergate investigations. She is the favorite fundraiser (and really, really special friend) of Senator Scott Fitzgerald. Rhodes Engels is also known for her past caucus scandal involvement and her Harley riding skills. And despite her rub-ins with the law, Rhodes Engels is either a slow learner or just indifferent and got caught getting involved with the gerrymandering scandal, although she should not be involved in governmental business at all.
Rindfleisch had already been convicted of illegal campaigning by the time Rhodes-Engels' business hired her, which makes it quite the interesting placement, eh? Of course, Rindfleisch was also in the news last week when an Appeals Court judge ordered emails involved in her case to be released to the public. The web involved in John Doe just keeps connecting and expanding with each day. Keep spreading the news, and shame the

2. The second update comes from Andy at the Wisconsin Soapbox, and it continues his excellent series on bills that would expand school vouchers and screw over Milwaukee Public Schools. It's a very deep dive, but well worth the read. Here's his summary.
Seriously, if this is the "compromise" that has been put together for this session, still count me out.

It's not nearly as bad as Sen. Olsen's dead-giveaway to charter operators, but it still does nothing to actually address the problems that our lowest achieving schools have. It also does nothing to give them support to help them improve and do right by our students. It's like they somehow magically think that all the "failing" schools that exist right now have always been failing schools and the people who are there are the same people who've always been there.

Have these people ever spoken to a teacher at one of these schools? Have they ever spoken with a principal at one of these schools? Here's an even better idea, have they ever spoken with or held a public hearing in a neighborhood that sends their children to these schools?
Looks like there's a hearing in an Assembly Committee this week, and the goofballs in the Robin Vos-run lower house want to push some kind of voucher giveaway so they can grab election-year donations from Scooter Jensen and other lobbyists. Stay vigilant with these guys, as it is not in ALEC's interest to keep Wisconsin's K-12 public education system functioning well- not enough profit in that.

We have to keep doing our reporting, as our "legitimate" media is failing to do their part. Capper and Andy have done great work this weekend.

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