Monday, March 26, 2012

The Chronicles Of Wanggaard: Police & Fire Commission

Once upon a time there was a small town cop who got his neck wrenched in a car accident while on the job. His public employee union made sure he got disability pay and an early retirement and so he became a State Senator and voted to crush collective bargaining rights for public employee union members...

So begins the tale of Wanggaard. Today we take a look at Wanggaard's most recent "Statesman as Dunce" behavior.

Chapter Three
Van Nearly Starts A Race War In Racine

Van Wanggaard gets appointed to police type stuff because long ago he was a traffic cop in Racine.  He's the Chair of the Senate Labor, Public Safety and Urban Affairs committee.  His showcase bills this last year have had a decidedly police type flair - Castle Doctrine, residency repeal for Milwaukee policemen..."causing "soft tissue" damage to policemen when getting arrested is a crime" law.  Van has one more year on his appointment to the City of Racine's Police and Fire Commission (PFC). 

When it comes to cop stuff, people like to point to the cop in the room - and that is the role Wanggaard serves. He waves, tips his little cap and shows off is cell phone on his belt where the gun holster used to be.

Van is not the President of the PFC , the President is super-rich-guy Charles Johnson. Not to worry though, Charles Johnson really likes Van, he like him so much, Johnson (and his wife, Jennifer) gave Van $7,000 for his campaign in 2011 alone - that's after he was elected. 

Last year, Chuck and Jenny gave just about $12,000  in campaign contributions to Republican politicians - with a lifetime contribution tally of just about $50,000.

It's safe to say on the PFC, Wanggaard is perhaps in no position to deny anything Mr. Johnson wants to do. 

Then there is Marie Black on the PFC, serving her last few months. Black is hustling for school choice and hoping to make it in the big leagues with "Hispanics for School Choice." After careening between tax problems and trying to open a Hispanic Center which serves as a front for Hispanic Republican policies - as opposed to providing services for - you know, Hispanic families. Black is looking for her next bump - and she never got closer than her stint on the PFC with Johnson and Wanny. 

Black has gotta make every minute left count - which is why she is not in position to deny anything Johnson and Wanggaard want.

So when the Police and Fire Commission made the remarkable decision to try and reopen the Police Chief search after their preferred (and Caucasian) candidate dropped out leaving them with two hometown (and not Caucasian) candidates left - everyone suspected it was Wanggaard, Johnson and Black who voted as a block to ask for a mulligan.

Minority leaders descended on City Hall to ask what could possibly be so insufficient with Racine guys , Art Howell and Carlos Lopez that a new search was needed? They were furious and they were not alone. When asked by the community leaders and the media to say who made the motion to reopen the search and who voted to go along with it - the PFC declined to say. 

Wanggaard was asked directly if it was him. He declined to answer. He was asked in listening sessions and he refused to discuss it - as if the public had no right to know. Only PFC member, Melvin Hargrove said he voted against the idea.  

That shit may fly in fraternity black-ball style private rooms - but these were public proceedings and no one was settling for their "well-being of the commission members" reasoning. So the Journal Times sued for the records - one of the truly good things they have done this year. And the records were released last week:

Van Wanggaard made the motion to reopen the $20,000 and six month search. Johnson and Black voted in favor with him. Pastor Melvin Hargrove and Keith Rogers, the other (and not Caucasian) members of the commission dissented. 

Wanggaard, Johnson and Black of course said race had nothing to do with it...they just needed more time to compare the other candidates again even though they had already narrowed the search down to three over a six month period.  

No one believes them.

And if their unacknowledged racism isn't distasteful enough - who the fuck do they think they are in trying to keep the vote a secret from the people of Racine? 

Seriously, Van Wanggaard refuses -repeatedly - to admit he made the motion. If he thought it was the right thing to do - why not admit it? Why lie and evade questions that are perfectly reasonable? What kind of bullshit leadership is that? 

The reason is my friends, Van Wanggaard is stupid. He had no idea people would see his decision as racist because he is stupid. He thought he could just not answer their questions about his actions because he is stupid. He didn't understand the open-records request would be granted exposing his motion because he is stupid.

Stupid and dangerous.