Dan Kapanke Made Two Payments From His Foundation

In an inteview today in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Dan Kapanke admits to having made two payments from his charitable foundation totaling about $32,000 to pay off  a personal debt.  (note that this article is only fully available to Leader-Telegram subscribers).  Previously only one of these payments had been reported. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has filed an ethics complaint with the Government Accountability Board regarding these payments.  In the article Kapanke admits that making the payments was a mistake.  Or perhaps more accurately, two mistakes.

Ron Johnson prefers slow rail system -- to his business

Ron Johnson, the Senate candidate who says government should butt out and quit trying to help businesses create jobs, because "Government doesn't create jobs -- the private sector creates jobs" -- hasn't minded a little government help for his own business now and then.

WKOW-TV in Madison, which seems to own the exclusive rights to any investigative stories about Johnson, has another one. While the GOP gov candidates rail against high speed rail, Johnson found one rail line he liked:

A railroad line to Senate candidate Ron Johnson's plastics factory was built with the assistance of a federal grant.

According to documents from the Oshkosh city clerk's office, an Urban Development Action Grant in the amount of $75,000 was used to build a rail spur to Pacur, a plastics manufacturing company owned by Johnson.

The city resolution approving the grant was passed on March 15, 1979, the year the Oshkosh factory was built.
The money for the line went to Wisconsin Industrial Shipping Supplies, owned by Johnson's brother-in-law, Pat Curler.

Kapanke Admits Ethics Breach

[img_assist|nid=14831|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=75|height=100]Dan Kapanke has admitted that his use of funds from his foundation to pay personal bills was "inappropriate".  An article in today's La Cross Tribune states

State Sen. Dan Kapanke admitted to unintentionally violating state ethics codes by paying off personal debt with money from a charity funded through organizations that employ lobbyists.

The Republican lawmaker said Wednesday the payment to the city of La Crosse for new lighting at the Loggers’ baseball park was “inappropriate.”


State Party Chair Mike Tate has demanded that Kapanke resign and suspend his campaign for Ron Kind's seat. It doesn't seem very likely that Mr. Kapanke will do so.

Barrett's Web Site - Update

Update --- the domain has been renewed, and the site will be coming back as the DNS records wander across the Intertubes.

This is going to be an "I don't know why it's a news story, but it apparently is" post.  It appears that the domain name for Tom Barrett's web site expired this morning, and therefore his site is being displayed as a GoDaddy parked domain page.

I'm not going to go into the excitement of what happens when you let your domain expire, or the intricacies of DNS management.  Let's just say that the site either will or will not be visible to you depending on a lot of arcane timing possibilities.

The Barrett campaign is  working on getting the domain renewed.  They certainly know about it.  Charlie Sykes and his lot are somehow treating this like it's as big of a news story as VJ day.  Why it is the 2nd lead on the WTMJ web site at the moment is a mystery to me. The simple fact is that someone apparently made a mistake and let the domain name registry expire. And later today it'll come back.  Nothing to see here -- move along.

RoJo: 'Oops, I stepped in it again' -- His firm got government loan

WKOW-TV in Madison continues to lead the way in investigative coverage of US Senate candidate Ron Johnson, who must wish he'd never done an interview with the station's Capitol bureau chief, Bob Schaper. The latest:

A company co-owned by U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson received a government-issued loan to expand its factory in the 1980s.

In an interview with 27 News on Aug. 17, Johnson railed against government subsidies for businesses and products.

"I'm in business," he said. "I have never lobbied for some special treatment or for a government payment."

He went on to say, "When you subsidize things…it doesn't work through the free market system very well."

According to a July 19, 1985, article published in the Oshkosh Northwestern, a $2.5 million industrial development revenue bond was approved by the Oshkosh Common Council on July 18, 1985. An article in the same newspaper, dated Feb. 16, 1986, said Pacur Inc., co-owned by Johnson, used the money to build a 40,000-square-foot addition.

Industrial development revenue bonds are issued by local governments to spur growth.

Are We Ready?

Are we ready for an emergency? Can we protect property and life if a disaster strikes? Can we communicate across the county and between cities and counties in a widespread catastrophe?

These questions were asked by the Legislative Audit Bureau in a recent audit. The findings were disturbing and reveal that even with massive investments by the federal government through the Office of Homeland Security, there is still quite a bit of work to do to prepare for an emergency.

Over five years the feds invested $315.5 million to prepare Wisconsin for an emergency – whether a natural disaster or an attack by hostile forces.

The audit looked at whether the money was properly spent and – a different question – whether the money was used to address the most pressing problems of emergency management in the state. The answer was ‘yes’ to the first question – all the money was properly spent. But ‘no’ to the second question; there are very important needs in the state that remain unaddressed.

If Ron Johnson's against the war, he'll never tell

Ron Johnson, in the Journal Sentinel:

Johnson’s most pointed comments were directed at Feingold, saying that when he and other senators “come out and start demanding a U.S. pullout and that kind of thing in public, it just undermines what our troops are trying to do.”

Said Johnson: “That’s not saying if you have real grave concerns as a member of Congress you should not be talking to the administration. It’s just extremely harmful to our nation when it’s all done in public.”

Asked whether he was saying it’s improper for Feingold or other senators to be speaking out publicly against the war, Johnson said: “I guess what I really object to is how quick and early he has been throughout his career (to criticize military action) . . . he has been carping about this from the sidelines forever.”

Johnson then repeated his suggestion that when there are troops in the field, lawmakers opposed to U.S. policy should be expressing their opposition in private rather than in public.

“There’s an appropriate way of opposing a policy and an inappropriate way,” he said. “The appropriate way if I’m a U.S. senator is going to be not public.

Heads should roll, and Walker should be ashamed

A Journal Sentinel editorial:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker should fire John Chianelli immediately as part of the effort to eradicate problems at the county's Mental Health Complex.

But Walker should not stop there. He should insist that any Mental Health Complex employees who knowingly falsified documents or otherwise failed to do their jobs be shown the door. Their failures allowed a known predator, Omowale Atkins, to viciously sexually assault patients and impregnate one of them.

Even though the Journal Sentinel Watchdog team has shown a pattern of neglect and mismanagement at the complex, it appears very little discipline has been meted out. Heads need to roll, and that should begin with Chianelli, administrator of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. He is in charge of the Mental Health Complex.

But it should not stop there, either. Walker, who points fingers in every direction but his own whenever there is a problem in county government, owns this one.

He needs to take some responsiblity himself for allowing this to happen. It did not happen overnight, but after an extended period of neglect on Walker's watch.  And he has defended the decision-makers.

The idea that he is running for governor on his record as county executive should make people laugh -- or perhaps cry.

His record on how he treats some of society's most vulnerable speaks volumes about his priorities and his character.

Shame on Scott Walker.


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