10 Aug

Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor Lies About College Degree

Mandela Barnes, Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor, has been lying about his college degree for  a long time. In May 2018, he tweeted a picture of himself at graduation at Alabama A&M. Except he didn’t actually graduate, despite what appears to be a diploma in his hand.

When caught in the lie, Barnes’s spokesman said that he has “been up front” and said that he “attended Alabama A&M, not graduated.”

Read More

03 Jun

Milwaukee Public Schools Money Problems

For decades Milwaukee Public Schools has been failing to educate children, with some of the worst student performance in the country. And for decades, we have been told that money is the problem. MPS is a “poor” district. If only they had more money, the children would do better.

It’s always been a lie. All you have to do is look at how much MPS spends per student.

Typical spending in the U.S. is $12,000 per child per school year. (Most private schools spend much less and have much better outcomes.) Spending per pupil in fiscal 2017 (the school year that ended in 2018) was $12,201 nationally, and $11,968 in Wisconsin. Read More

09 May

Strip Clubs, Milwaukee Aldermen, and Bribes

For years the owners of strip club Silk Exotic were trying to open a strip club in downtown Milwaukee. They knew there was a market for what they had to offer. There were already a handful of strip clubs in or close to downtown, but for some reason, they couldn’t get approved.

Eventually, the Silk owners won a jury verdict of more than $400,000 against the city, but that still didn’t get them their strip club. Milwaukee appealed the verdict and lost. When they added attorneys fees to the jury award, the city was on the hook for more than $968,000.

Milwaukee didn’t want to pay Silk the money, so Silk’s owners made them an offer: Let them open a strip club, and they’d forgo the jury award. Silk finally opened its strip club in downtown Milwaukee last year. Read More

09 Mar

West Allis School District Will Steal Your Money… Twice

Years ago, I wrote regularly about Milwaukee Public Schools and their penchant for wasting taxpayer money. The district portrays itself as poor, with an annual budget of more than $1 billion and spending that exceeds $14,00 per child with horrible outcomes.  (In case you’re wondering, “rich” districts in Wisconsin spend much less per child, and have dramatically better outcomes.)

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District is the focus of this article. The district has been overspending for years, and is now holding a referendum. The dishonesty surrounding the whole issue is astounding. But I can break it down easily for you: For years the district has been stealing from taxpayers by spending money foolishly. Now they are crying that they are broke, and they want to steal from taxpayers again. The message is “approve our referendum or else.”

Dan O’Donnell breaks it down nicely in this article. I’ll give you the highlights: Read More

02 Aug

Fraud in Government Versus Private Industry

When we think of fraud in governmental agencies, we often think of the sleazy-sounding bribery and corruption. Maybe you think of the bribe paid to secure a contract, or a kickback to an official for pushing a large project toward a friend’s company. Things like illegal gratuities and extortion are also perceived as occurring in governmental agencies more often than in the private sector.

While those things do happen in governmental agencies, it may surprise you to know that they’re not necessarily the most common or the most costly types of fraud occurring in the public sector.

Government fraud happens the same way fraud occurs in the private sector. You might hear the phrase “waste and abuse,” and that’s probably a pretty accurate way to view the bulk of fraud committed against governmental entities. Government agencies rely on funds from the public to carry out their work, and when that money is used for illegal purposes, taxpayers feel that their money has been wasted and their trust abused. Read More

30 Nov

Truth About Poverty in America

Last week the internets informed me that the United States is terrible because we “allow children to go hungry.” This is not true by any stretch of the imagination. If parents are willing to take even a minimal amount of responsibility for their children, the children will be fed. Food stamps, free breakfast and lunch at school, food pantries, and cash benefits from government programs are more than enough to feed a family’s children.

I wanted to bring the picture of “poverty” in America into focus with some cold hard facts. What you will see is that “poverty” in America is nothing close to the poverty we see around the world. To illustrate this, I am using a fictitious Milwaukee family of 4 as an example. (In this example, we are assuming there is a mother, a father, and two school age children. If you instead assume a single parent household, the numbers work out slightly better for the family.)

Under guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of The Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, this family is “below the poverty line” if the income of the household is less than $24,250. Read More

04 Mar

Fail to Educate Children, Get a $7.1 Million Bonus Courtesy of the Taxpayers

In what may be a flipping of the bird to Milwaukee taxpayers… Gregory Thornton, outgoing superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools gave out $7.1 million in bonuses. $3.5 million of the loot was given to support and administrative staff in January, and $3.6 million is being given to teachers and psychologists in March. This is considered a bonus for employees, which Thornton said is to thank them for their hard work.

I have ranted at length in the past about MPS, its failure to educate students, its highly compensated teachers, and wide scale waste of resources. Despite sky-high spending per child in MPS, the district still fails to educate the children. In 2013, less than half of 4th graders and 8th graders tested proficient in math and less than half were proficient in reading. Waaaay less than half.  (And lest you buy the phony argument that the poor results are simply because these are urban kids, know that other urban school districts do quite well at educating children.)

So yes, the fact that the majority of students in MPS cannot read or do math certainly means that the administration and staff should get bonuses funded by taxpayers! That was sarcasm, in case you missed it.

09 Nov

Scamming Obamacare (Legally)

There is an awesome provision in Obamacare (thoroughly inappropriately named the Affordable Care Act) that will allow anyone who receives a subsidy to scam the system.

Here’s how it works: Pay your subsidized premium for one month, then stop paying. Under the law, you must continue to be covered for three additional months, referred to as the grace period. That’s buy one, get three free!

I’m sure the intent behind this was good.  If someone unexpectedly loses a job and can’t pay the health insurance premiums, the family is still covered. However, it’s obvious that this provision will be abused extensively. There is no way to differentiate between those who legitimately cannot pay, and those who choose not to pay. Read More

30 Jul

Real Housewives Teresa Giudice Fraud Indicment

teresa-giudice-mckmama-indictment

Yesterday Teresa Giudice and Guiseppi (Joe) Giudice were indicted by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey on the following charges:

  • Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and  Wire Fraud
  • Bankruptcy Fraud
  • Bankruptcy Fraud – Concealment
  • Bankruptcy Fraud – False Oaths
  • Bankruptcy Fraud – False Declarations
  • Failure to Make Tax Return

The mail fraud and wire fraud counts are related to false statements and documents that the Giudices allegedly submitted in order to get loans. Banks which loaned the Giudices money included Park Avenue Bank, Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), Sterling Bank, and Community Bank of Bergen County.  Non-bank lenders include HomeComings Financial Network, Eastern American Mortgage, and Alterna Mortgage. Read More