A few months back, there was a tragic accident at the O'Donnell Parking Garage. A 13 ton slab of concrete fell off the wall of the O'Donnell Garage and killed 14 year old Jared Kellner on his way Summerfest. Death always draws attention, but this one is a little different. It's election season - a time known for backroom deals, negative ads, and as we will soon find out, government connivance.
Marina Dimitrijevic, a County Supervisor who represents a Latino district in Milwaukee, has been spearheading an effort for a state investigation into the O'Donnell accident. It started mid-July when she issued a joint press release with Supervisor John Weishan complaining that the lack of information they received about the O'Donnell investigation was "simply astonishing".
Dimitrijevic's statement was repudiated by fellow Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo saying that if his colleagues were really that interested in learning the facts, "All they would have to do is pick up the phone and call Jack Takerian" as he did.
Weeks later, Supervisors Dimitrijevic, Weishan and Larson staged a press conference at the behest of the Service Employees International Union. They petitioned the county to let the state take control of the of the O'Donnell investigation suggesting that the County Sheriff and District Attorney couldn't conduct a fair investigation. The timing and nature of the event smelled like politics, so much so that Supervisor Weishan noted, "Even if it wasn't a political season, I'm not confident that Milwaukee County can do the investigation and possibly find themselves liable."
At the same rally, Dimitrijevic told reporters that it was "still unclear whether deferred maintenance played a role in the failure of the decorative concrete slab." However, an independent engineering firm was unable to find the connection between deferred maintenance and the falling slab of concrete. Even William Cannon, the attorney representing the boy's family, said that "shoddy design and an on-site decision to change the stell connections were responsible for the death." He said nothing about deferred maintenance at the structure.
Let's tie things together. A trifecta of County Supervisors complain that they're being kept in the dark although the information they needed was a phone call away. They use their complaint as a basis to stage a union-sponsored press conference to call for an independent investigation. Why? Because they believe that the County Sheriff and District Attorney are in collusion with Walker. And finally, Dimitrijevic tells the media that deferred maintenance on the O'Donnell Garage might be the reason the concrete panel fell killing Kellner. It already sounds like connivance, but there is more.
Investigative Reporter Dan Bice published a piece uncovering a scheme by SEIU to exploit the death of young Jared Kellner to stop Scott Walker's bid for Governor. John Morgan, an official spokesman for a local chapter of SEIU, was overheard chatting on the phone with County Supervisor John Weishan about Scott Walker and a protest held earlier that day. The eavesdropper was Michael Brickman, a Deputy Communications Director for Scott Walker's campaign. (What are the odds of that?)
Brickman used his IPhone as a recording device and approached Morgan to see what else he knew. Thinking he was a fellow sympathizer, Morgan spoke candidly about his involvement in an effort by organized labor to "kick Walker's ass all over the state of Wisconsin".
Morgan bragged how he had County Supervisors calling for an independent investigation of the O'Donnell Pavilion, how Barrett's campaign spokesman Phil Walzak encouraged him to contact Democrat State Legislator Fred Kessler to draft legislation, and how local TV news stations like channels 4, 12, and 58 were all "willing partners" in anti-Walker news coverage.
He said that SEIU, Barrett's campaign, and several County Supervisors were pushing for an outside investigation of the O'Donnell Pavilion "because that connects Walker to the neglect issue". He also said that the AFSCME national labor union would run commercials throughout the state saying that "Walker is callous" and "doesn't care about people".
The transcript illustrated that an SEIU operative was working with John Weishan and "other" County Supervisors to tie Walker to the fatal accident at the O'Donnell Pavilion. Who were the "other" Supervisors allegedly doing Morgan's bidding? Well, that would be Marina Dimitrijevic and Chris Larson.
Let's tie it together. John Morgan, as an agent of SEIU, was collaborating with members of the County Government, the State Legislature, Barrett's campaign, the state, and at least three TV news stations to stop Scott Walker from being Governor. The idea behind the "independent investigation" by the state and is to tie Walker to Kellner's death while keeping it in the news for the next 6 weeks. That's quite the liberal network they got going on.
County Supervisors are not paid to collude with organized labor, Barrett's campaign, or even the state legislature to stop a Republican from getting elected. This is a gross abuse of our taxpayer dollars. There is, however, a simple way of dealing with this. Call up Marina Dimitrijevic at 414-278-4232 and tell her that exploiting a boy's death for political gain is reprehensible.