Friday, February 22, 2008

Sykes Wants To Steal Your Money

Today, both by blog and by airwave, Sykes starts his smear on Senator Lena Taylor, who is running for County Executive.

He selects one quote from the MSJ article on yesterday's debate, and then correctly, if rather snidely, points out that it is taxpayers money.

What he fails to tell is that because Walker sabotaged any attempts to get more money into Milwaukee, Walker is hoping that his budget holds together for one more month. And if our money doesn't go to Milwaukee, it will only go somewhere else. It isn't a realistic expectation that they will give us our money back directly.

Of course, no one, but yours truly, has given you a more comprehensive analysis of the debate, as well as highlighting the lack of a liberal bias in the local media.


  1. District attorney responds to Jessica McBride column

    By BRAD SCHIMEL (Brad Schimel is the Waukesha County district attorney.)

    Iam writing in response to Jessica McBride’s column in the Jan. 19 Freeman. I begin by thanking her for her kind words about my integrity. I welcome her constructive criticism, as well. Every day brings something new in my position, so I am always ready to learn and improve my service to Waukesha County. That said, her criticisms are not based upon accurate information. I understand that she has not seen the information in our files, so I accept that she might not have all of the facts. For the sake of your readers, I wish to set the record straight.

    I will address her concerns in the order in which she raised them. That leaves us to begin with the case relating to former state Rep. Scott Jensen. Section 20:3.6 of the Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits extrajudicial comments on the merits of a case. Thus, I will not comment on the merits of any aspect of this case.

    Let me describe my limited involvement in the case. Two newspaper reporters called and asked if I wanted the case to come here. I said I would rather not get the case. That is all that has happened in Waukesha County.

    I am informed that the John Doe investigation and prosecution spanned more than seven years and culminated in a lengthy trial. Experience tells me that the volume of documents and transcripts generated during all of those proceedings is enormous.

    The bipartisan Legislative Audit Bureau concluded in 2007 that Waukesha County is short 5.2 assistant district attorneys. When I was sworn in as an assistant DA in 1990, we had three more prosecutors than we have now in 2008. During those years, the county’s population grew by more than 100,000. The team in this office does an outstanding job and I am proud of them. Nonetheless, given the cutbacks, we have been forced to prioritize our efforts. No one should be surprised that I would not be thrilled at the prospect of inheriting a case of this scope so far downstream.

    Let me make something clear: My office has no influence over whether the Jensen case comes here. That will be decided by a Dane County judge. I do not represent the state in Dane County Circuit Court, so I will not be presenting arguments at the hearing. If the case comes here, I will work hard and I will do my best to do the right thing. It would be unethical for me to promise any more than that.

    The issues to be decided by the Dane County court are complicated. Since they relate to a new law enacted just last year, there is limited direct precedent to guide the court. I am powerless to do anything but wait. If the case comes here, though, something will have to give. There will be some other things that will wait in line. That is a reality over which I have no control.

    Ms. McBride next criticizes that I, “withdrew Waukesha County’s request to get federal immigration enforcement authority.” That did not happen. Section 287(g) of the Homeland Security Act does not permit that authority to be granted to a district attorney. In fact, the request was made by my predecessor and was denied by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency back in 2006. I did not withdraw the request for immigration enforcement authority. The request was denied before I ever took office.

    After my predecessor’s request was denied, the sheriff and police chief investigated the possibility of pursuing that authority on behalf of their departments. I encouraged that. After Waukesha law enforcement met with ICE in 2007, though, they concluded that the burdens associated with the authority outweighed any potential benefits. Furthermore, ICE promised to detain illegal immigrants who have committed crimes upon our request, so we got what we wanted in the first place. All we have to do is call, and they will help. So far, they have given us no reason to doubt their word on this.

    The next criticism, relating to the Elections Board investigation from 2006, is also based upon faulty or incomplete information. It is not a violation of the Open Meetings Law for a member of the public to contact a member of a government board. Nor is it necessarily inappropriate for a board member to accept communications from the public. Representative government only works if the representatives are accessible.

    Although (Michael) Maistelman is an attorney who represented a party with an interest in the matter, he still, ultimately, was just a member of the public. Thus, whether attorney Maistelman was “shameless” in his e-mails to board members is irrelevant. Rather, it is the actions of the board members that must be examined.

    I opened an investigation, and all available materials were obtained and reviewed. There is no evidence of a violation of the Open Meetings Law. Members of a government board may discuss issues with each other outside the public hearing. They are only forbidden from doing so in numbers sufficient to determine the board’s course of action.

    Seven board members voted at the meeting in question. In order to ethically issue a charge in this case, I would need evidence that at least four board members participated in discussions prior to the public meeting. Only three potentially communicated outside the public meeting. That is not a violation of the law.

    The evidence demonstrated that attorney Maistelman knew the law and was actually very careful to avoid a violation. He stated in one e-mail to a board member that a fourth board member needed to be kept, “out of the loop (to avoid) a violation of the Open Meetings Law.”

    Finally, Ms. McBride criticized my decision to support the enactment of a county ordinance prohibiting the possession of marijuana. This ordinance did not break any new ground. Long before the county passed this ordinance, every other Waukesha County municipality with a law enforcement agency already had a similar ordinance. By the way, we currently have 27 Waukesha County law enforcement agencies.

    This is simply a matter of fairness. Prior to enactment of the county ordinance, two 17-year-olds in exactly the same circumstances could not be treated equally if one were arrested by an officer from a local municipality and the other by a deputy sheriff. What parent would consider it fair that their child ended up with a criminal record when the teen next door received a citation instead?

    In 2007, our Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Group seized record amounts of marijuana. My office assisted in those investigations, obtained convictions for hundreds of drug felonies and recommended that nearly all result in prison for the offender. Serious drug offenses have been and will continue to be prosecuted aggressively. Drugs are not welcome here.

    I am proud to be part of the Waukesha County law enforcement team. Hard-working and ethical people are doing everything in their power to keep Waukesha County a safe place to live. I recognize the important role that the media plays in keeping the public informed, and I appreciate Ms. McBride’s concerns.

  2. Thank you Jessica for wasting his 5.2 short hours responding to your drivel.

  3. McBucher's ragging this week in her Freeman gig that some Waukesha City employee should reimburse the city for attending the Barack appearance.

    Great idea!

    Let's calculate how much Paul owes the State for his campaigning on work time and how much Jessica might owe the State for campaigning for Paul on her State teaching time and computers.

  4. Maybe they would not need so many ADAs if Ms. Bucher kept quiet and the DA and his speech writers didn't have to spen a week writing responses to his former boss's wife.

    Then again he could just ignore her and Bucher's inane rantings and do his job.

  5. Go Lena!!!