Thursday, February 23, 2012

If It Looks Like A Duck And It Walks Like A...

Van and Marie Black at Hispanics for School Choice Fete
It was such a simple thing...hire a police chief. There were some good candidates around town to take a look at, there was a $23,000 dollar blank check and the blessing of the Mayor to take the search nationwide - with a cautionary bit of advice - folks around town like their hometown guys...so if you find someone outside of town, he or she better be fucking golden.

Who woulda thunk that that a Police and Fire Commission with Van Wanggaard would screw the pooch?

And so they did. The commission narrowed their candidates down to three - Racine fellas Art Howell and Carlos Lopez and former New Bedford, Mass Police Chief, Ronald Teachman who happens to be chumly with former and then returned Chief, Kurt Whalen.

So far so good, only slightly suspicious with the whole Teachman & Whalen know each other business.

Well damn if if wasn't discovered that Teachman left over 50 internal investigations open when he retired leaving his replacement with a few cranky things to say about him to local New Bedford press. Within days Teachman declined his finalist status and stepped down.

Awkward. Well the consolation is two remaining candidates that people in Racine actually like. Then the Police and Fire Commission decided to open the search back up again...and the shit hit the fan. If it sounds to you like maybe the Commission wasn't ever very keen on the hometown boys and was just putting on a show - announcing they were going back to find a new third certainly struck a lot of people as very, very fishy.

The Mayor, the NAACP and the Police Union all weighed in on the strange reversal and by the end of the day after a closed meeting with John Dickert, they announced they would go with one of the two remaining finalists - Howell or Lopez...thus avoiding what could be the mother of all discrimination lawsuits.

So what happened? The word is Wanggaard suggested reopening the search, an idea supported by Commission member, Marie Black and Commission President, Charles Johnson.

Charles Johnson is a big contributor to Wanggaard's campaign and just wrote him a check for $5000 last November. Johnson is an area philanthropist and not just to Republicans...Johnson has his Koch connection of course and serves on the Koch Institute Leadership Council.

With that kind of money and influence is it possible Wanggaard is going to do anything other than what Johnson wants?

Marie Black, is a Wanggaard supporter who just attended Van's $250 per person luncheon with Paul Ryan just a few days ago. Black doesn't have the cash of guys like Johnson...she's had a few public financial struggles.

Black has recreated herself with a new Hispanic Center in Racine that doesn't seem to do anything for anyone except promote "Hispanics for School Choice," a group who is headed by none other than Zeus Rodriguez - of the the secret email Milwaukee gerrymandering scheme. Rodriguez' job was to put a Hispanic face on support for the GOP redistricting maps. A job he took seriously...and illegally in private emails to legislative aides and attorney, Eric McLoud who represents Wanggaard in the recall.

These are all Republican operatives at a high level in Wisconsin politics - players with very specific agendas. Choosing the "right" police chief is part of the plan, that it became a racist and cynical endeavor is just icing on the cake.

This whole incident IS about discrimination, Republican discrimination.