Democrats are exploiting workers


Bill Lueders of Isthmus has broken this story about Decmocratic candidates paying workers less than [tag]minimum wage[/tag] for their work on a [tag]campaign[/tag] to raise the minimum wage.

Here’s the story:

A group that raises money for Democratic Congressional candidates uses a [tag]canvassing[/tag] company that pays some workers submimium wage, in apparent violation of Wisconsin state law, to talk about the need to raise the federal minimum wage, Isthmus newspaper has learned.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), based in Washington, D.C., has hired Grassroots Campaigns, a Boston-based for-profit company with operations in 18 U.S. cities, to conduct canvassing on its behalf. The DCCC’s “New Direction for American” agenda, which provides the talkiing points canvassers are taught to use to solicit contributions, includes a call to “Raise the minimum wage.”

What follows is an article on this topic from Isthmus‘ Sept. 1, 2006 edition, and several suppporting documents.

The handout labelled “[tag]Grassroots[/tag] [tag]Voter Outreach[/tag]” was provided by Miles Kristan, a Madison student who worked for Grassroots Campaigns, soliciting money for the DCCC. Emily Larsen, the regional director for Grassroots Campaigns (her region includes Madison as well as offices in Minnesota, Texas and Colorado) and Wes Jones, the company’s national canvass director, both say that Grassroots Voter Outreach is distinct from Grassroots Campaigns. Jones describes it as a “sister” company that solicits money for nonpolitcal nonprofit groups.

But the terms of employment appear similar, including the stipulation that “A canvasser who does not meet quota will not receive base pay and will instead be paid” a percentage of what he or she collects. The handout specifies that Grassroots Voter Outreach pays a 30% rate to those who do not make quota; Jones and former Madison employees of Grassroots Campaigns say they received a rate of 47%, which could and sometimes did amount to less than minmum wage.

More Proof of Milwaukee Alderman’s Perjury


Will the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office fail to take action AGAIN??? Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee Jackson is officially the father of Kimley Rucker’s child, as proven by a DNA test.

Kimley is the woman who filed for a domestic violence restraining order against McGee/Jackson because of his abusive behavior.  McGee/Jackson threatened to kill her while in the courtroom for a hearing on the matter.

The child was born on July 8.  McGee/Jackson testified in court that he only had sex with Kimley once, in August of 2005.  That would be impossible if the child was born at full-term.  The child had to be conceived sometime between September and November of 2005, thereby proving that McGee/Jackson’s statements in court were untrue.

Kimley’s attorneys are pushing the District Attorney’s Office to file criminal charges of perjury against McGee/Jackson, but we know how far they’ll get with that.  Previous instances of perjury by McGee/Jackson have been overlooked so far.

Merge Discloses Accounting Errors and Irregularities


Merge Technologies Inc. disclosed in its 2005 financial statement filings with the SEC that company executives had bypassed [tag]internal controls[/tag] over the accounting function in order to inappropriately increase revenue and profits since 2002. Correcting these [tag]irregularities[/tag] decreases the company’s profits for those years.

Experts are a bit surprised that the company is admitting to the potentially illegal conduct. The SEC is conducting an informal inquiry into Merge’s accounting practices, and this admission could lead to the SEC elevating it to a formal inquiry.

Merge Technologies does business as Merge Healthcare, and the company develops software for diagnostic imaging centers, manufacturers of medical imaging equipments, and some hospitals.

Problems with the financial statements came to light shortly after a June 2005 purchase of Cedara Software Corp, which more than doubled Merge’s size.

The restated figures are:

2005 – Revenue $82.6 million; Net loss $2.7 million

2004 – Revenue $26.3 million (decrease of over $10 million); Net income $2.2 million (decrease of over $5 million)

2002 through 2003: Revenue decrease of over $6 million; Net income decrease of $3 million

Polygamist and Fugitive Warren Jeffs Apprehended


Warren Jeffs, a known polygamist and fugutive, was caught this week after the Cadillac Escalade in which he was riding was pulled over by the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The trooper who pulled over the vehicle said something didn’t seem right as soon as he approached the vehicle. The FBI arrived on the scene and found 3 wigs, 15 cell phones, letters to “President Warren Jeffs,” $54,000 in cash and $10,000 in gift cards. Continue reading

Still Nothing Done in the Milwaukee Public Museum Scandal


Back in January of this year, County Board Supervisor James White suggested that the Milwaukee Public Museum be subjected to the scrutiny of a [tag]forensic audit[/tag]. The museum’s coffers had been emptied by incompetent and possibly corrupt employees.

At that time, Assistant District Attorney David Feiss claimed that he was conducting an investigation of his own that would be quickly wrapped up. He said within a month. Here we are, seven months later with no results from him or the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office. Continue reading

Former Milwaukee police officer Jon Bartlett is going to prison


Former Milwaukee [tag]police officer[/tag] Jon Bartlett has been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison following his convictions on [tag]felony[/tag] charges related to [tag]bail jumping[/tag] and threatening to blow up the police station where he used to work.

Judge David Hansher called Bartlett a “menace to society” and followed his prison time with 5 years of [tag]probation[/tag] and a $10,000 fine. Hansher said to Bartlett, “I find you are a ticking time bomb about to explode at any minute.”

Barlett is currently being held by federal officials on charges of trying to buy two firearms, which is prohibited for anyone charged with a felony. He also faces state charges of substanial battery in the Frank Jude Jr. beating case, as there was a hung jury on those charges earlier this year. He also faces potential federal charges in the Jude case.

Jon Bartlett spent 5 years on the Milwaukee police force before being fired on May 24, 2005 for participating in the Frank Jude beating. Eight other off-duty officers were also fired for their part in the Jude case. Bartlett was still receiving his paycheck (even though fired) under state law, and has been paid about $97,000 under this law. That will end as of today, due to his felony conviction.

Civil Settlement with Prudential Financial to be Announced


The United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange, are expected to announce a civil settlement with Prudential Financial Inc. on Monday. This will settle claims that brokers in the company’s securities unit assisted investors to rapidly trade mutual fund shares (known as market timing).

Five former Prudential Securities brokers and their branch manager in Boston were accused of assisting sophisticated investors to market time trades of mutual funds, with profits over $1.3 billion. Action is taken in cases like this because rapid trading tends to raise expenses and lower profits for long-term shareholders in a fund.

The settlement of about $600 million will be one of the biggest in the broad investigation of market timing, and will help the company avoid criminal prosecution. Prior to the Prudential settlement, total settlements of $3.5 billion were reached in the market timing scandal.

Whistleblowers accuse State Farm Insurance of cheating victims of Hurricane Katrina


ABC News is reporting that [tag]State Farm Insurance[/tag] supervisors demanded that hurricane damage reports be altered so that the company would not have to pay claims.

Kerri Rigsby and Cori Rigsby were [tag]independent adjusters[/tag] working exclusively for State Farm for eight years. They say that they’ve turned over documents to the FBI and Mississippi investigators relative to their claims of [tag]corruption[/tag] within the company.

The sisters say that they saw large scale [tag]fraud[/tag] in the Biloxi and Gulfport field offices, and they believe that a large shredding truck brought in by the company was used to destroy documents related to Hurricane Katrina. The sisters also say that supervisors were pressuring adjusters and consultants to attribute hurricane damage to water, rather than wind, so that claims would not have to be paid. Under the State Farm policies, water damage is not covered, but wind damage is.

State Farm says they have started an [tag]internal investigation[/tag] into the matter.

Northwestern Mutual Wins Case Against Former Agent


In March 2005, Northwestern Mutual filed suit against David Stinnett, a former NML agent in Evansville, Indiana and his company, Policyowner Protection Service Inc. The company claimed that Stinnett and the company started the website in 1999 in order to extort upwards of $100 million from NML.

NML alleged that David Stinnett and his associates started the website in order to attract policyholders to file lawsuits against NML. Stinnett would refer policyholders to attorneys, and in turn he would receive referral fees. Continue reading

2,996 victims of 9/11


I am participating in a tribute to the victims of 9/11. On September 11, 2006, bloggers will be posting tributes to the 2,996 victims who lost their lives in the tragedy.

The tribute is described by the organizer:

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.

If you would like to help out, either by pledging to post a tribute on your own blog, or by offering your services to promote this cause, just leave a comment here and I.ll email you the name of a victim.

Then, on 9/11/2006, you will post a tribute to that victim on your blog.

But, and this is critical, the tributes should celebrate the lives of these people.kind of like a wake. Over the last 5 years heard the names of the killers, and all about the victim.s deaths. This is a chance to learn about and celebrate those who died. Forget the murderers, they don.t deserve to be remembered. But some people who died that day deserve to be remembered.2,996 people.

Thank you,

D.Challener Roe

My tribute will be to John Patrick Tierney, age 27 when he died. When I saw his picture, the first thing I could think of was his parents. I am honored to be able to pay tribute to their son for them.

You can sign up to participate here.