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WI Dems' complaint against Scott Walker

STATE OF WISCONSIN
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD


The Complaint of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin,
by Michael Tate,
Complainant,

against
Governor Scott Walker,
Respondent

VERIFIED COMPLAINT

On behalf of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, I, Michael Tate, primarily based on public records, but also on information and belief, hereby allege as follows:
1. This Complaint is brought against Scott Walker, in his official capacity as the Governor of the State of Wisconsin ("Respondent"), under chapter 19 of the Wisconsin statutes, more particularly, but not limited to, sections 19.33-19.39 and 19.45.

2. I am a citizen, resident, and elector of the State of Wisconsin. I am the Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, 110 King Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53703, on behalf of which I bring this complaint.

3. Respondent currently resides at the Executive Residence located at 99 Cambridge Road, Maple Bluff, Wisconsin.

4. On January 3, 2011, Respondent was sworn in as Governor of the State of Wisconsin.

5. On or around February 11, 2011 Respondent delivered a "budget repair bill" that sought to eliminate more than seven decades of labor peace in Wisconsin by stripping public employees of their rights to bargain collectively.

6. On or around February 13, 2011, less than forty-eight hours after Respondent delivered his address, a large-scale grassroots effort began to mobilize around the Capitol in what has become one of the greatest demonstrations of peaceful expression of first amendment rights in Wisconsin history.

7. On or around February 17, 2011, the fourteen Democratic members of the Senate left the state, denying the body the quorum required for a vote on Respondent's "budget repair bill."

8. On or around February 18, 2011, protestors organized and launched websites to facilitate the flow of information about rally times and locations, as well as information on how constituents could contact their legislators. On or around February 22, 2011, access to these websites in opposition of Respondent was deliberately blocked in the Capitol.

9. On or around February 21, 2011, Republican Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald shut down the state's Legislative Hotline, denying thousands of citizens an easy, convenient and effective way to access their elected officials.

10. David Koch ("Koch") is a wealthy out-of-state financer of conservative causes. Koch made contributions to Respondent's gubernatorial campaign totaling $43,000, and a $1 million contribution to the Republican Governors Association, which spent $3.4 million on television ads in support of Respondent's campaign.

11. On or around February 22, 2011, despite Wisconsin residents being unable to reach Respondent and/or their legislators to voice their concerns over the "budget repair bill," Respondent's chief of staff scheduled a telephone call ("Call") from a blogger whom was believed to be Koch.

12. During the Call, a transcript of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit "A," Respondent requests that "Koch" run ads in the districts of Republican incumbents in swing districts. This request to initiate independent expenditures on Respondent's behalf constitutes illegal third-party coordination in violation of Wis. Stat. Section 11.38.

13. Violation of Wis. Stat. Section 11.38 constitutes a Class I felony, which carries a penalty of a fine not to exceed $10,000, imprisonment not to exceed 3 years and 6 months, or both.

14. Further, Respondent received the Call and engaged in the above-described activity while in the office of the Governor in the State Capitol, a state-owned building, in violation of Wis. Stat. Section 11.36(4), which prohibits entering or remaining in any state building, office, or room for the purpose of requesting a political contribution.

15. Violations of Wis. Stat. Section 11.36(4) carry a penalty of a fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment not to exceed 6 months, or both.

16. Respondent states during the Call that he has the Attorney General's office "looking into" strategies to force the Democratic senators to return. This constitutes a misuse of the independently elected office of the Attorney General for primarily political motivations.

17. Respondent states during the Call that he consulted with staff members, including Cabinet officials, to consider "planting" troublemakers to incite violence in the peaceful crowds, deciding not to only insomuch as "that would scare the public into thinking that maybe the governor has to settle to avoid all of these problems." This coordinated activity constitutes a conspiracy to recklessly endanger public safety in violation of Wis. Stat. Sections 939.31 and 947.01.

18. Violations of Wis. Stat. Sections 939.31 and 947.01 carry a penalty of a fine not to exceed $1,000, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days, or both.

19. Respondent states during the Call that he will send out 5,000-6,000 layoff notices to public sector employees in an attempt to "ratchet up" pressure on the Democratic Senators. This use of threat against, and intimidation of, public sector employees for political purposes constitutes an unfair labor practice in violation of Wis. Stat. Section 111.84.

20. During his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive, Respondent had a history of using unfair labor practices and unlawful threats, intimidation and coercion of public sector employees in order to balance budgets under circumstances he falsely determined to be emergent. In October of 2010, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission decided, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit "B," that Milwaukee County under Respondent failed to bargain in good faith with AFSCME District Council 48. In December 2010, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit "C," that Respondent overstepped his authority in citing a "budget crisis" to force through un-bargained-for wage and hour concessions from Milwaukee County workers.

21. At the conclusion of the Call, Respondent is offered a trip to California, where he would be "shown a good time." Respondent accepts by stating that it would, "be great," in violation of Wis. Stat. Section 19.45(2), which states that "No state public official may use his or her public position or office to obtain financial gain or anything of substantial value for the private benefit of himself or herself or his or her immediate family, or for an organization with which he or she is associated."

22. Complainant respectfully submits that public officials such as Respondent hold their positions as a "public trust" pursuant to Wis. Stat. Section 19.45(1). As such, the Legislature has declared that "high moral and ethical standards among state public officials and state employees are essential to the conduct of free government; that the legislature believes that a code of ethics for the guidance of state public officials and state employees will help them avoid conflicts between their personal interests and their public responsibilities, will improve standards of public service and will promote and strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of this state in their state public officials and state employees." Wis. Stat. Section 19.41.

23. Violations of Wis. Stat. Sections 19.41 and 19.45 carry a penalty per violation of a fine not to exceed $5,000, imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both.

24. Therefore, regardless of whether the Board addresses this matter under the Code of Ethics, decides to issue an advisory opinion, or finds it appropriate to refer the matter to a district attorney for investigation, the Complainant respectfully submits that the facts warrant the Board's attention, regardless of any statutorily imposed time limitations.

I, Michael Tate, being first duly sworn upon oath, state that I personally read the above complaint and that the above allegations are true and correct based upon my personal knowledge and my review of public records and, as to those allegations stated on my information and belief, I believe them to be true.


Dated this ____ day of March, 2011.


Respectfully submitted,


________________________
Michael Tate, Chair
Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Subscribed and sworn to before me
this _____ day of March, 2011.

_______________________________
Notary Public

My commission expires:____________

By Greg Sargent  | March 7, 2011; 10:02 AM ET
 
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