Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Esenberg's itchy blogger finger

Conservatives in the Legislature/their lawyers love to pull in Marquette Law Professor Rick Esenberg to testify on behalf of some of their favorite pet projects, despite his seeming lack of knowledge of what, exactly, those projects entail. Esenberg has proven himself to be a willing patsy of the Republican Party, both through public testimony and his frequent blogs and op-eds, by distorting and/or ignoring key components of the law to suit his and their ideological needs.

So I suppose it should come as no particular shock that Esenberg has engaged in some serious false comparisons in regards to blogger Chris Liebenthal's chronicling of the ongoing "Walkergate" John Doe investigation. He thinks it's just terrible that Liebenthal has chosen to call out Walker aides for apparently campaigning on state time.

Liebenthal (aka "capper"), a social worker and official with the county employees union, was earlier this year found to have been using his work computer for personal reasons - a violation of department rules - and suspended for 10 days. While the finding said he had "engaged in political activity at work" it was, it turned out, merely browsing and reading political websites that ended up being the problem. Liebenthal had not been posting to his blog or making political comments at other sites, though several right-wing bloggers and commentators attempted to paint it that way.

The whole investigation was spurred by a pro-Walker outfit called Citizens for Responsible Government, in a sort of knee-jerk need for retribution in the wake of Darlene Wink, constituent services coordinator for then-County Executive Scott Walker, resigning after admitting to posting highly partisan comments to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel articles while at work.

That's small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but already different enough from what capper got up to to warrant notice.

As far as we can now tell the allegations in the current John Doe investigation that just recently involved an FBI raid on top Walker aide Cindy Archer's home would appear to go even further - and become full-on apples to the capper case's oranges.
That hasn't stopped Esenberg from squeezing off a few rounds, of course. Seems like someone could stand a few gun safety classes, because both his choice of target and overall accuracy are way off.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shifting gears, again...

On November 1, 2009 I started my gig writing a twice-weekly opinion blog, Emily's Post, for Isthmus' online presence, The Daily Page. It's been a great run - very challenging (to stay on schedule, to be more well-researched, to respond constructively to criticism) - and I'm incredibly grateful to the time and platform the folks at TDP have given me.

Now, two years (and two "Madison's Favorite Blogger" awards) on, it's time to shift my focus. My post of Thursday, September 29 will be my last with TDP - though I hope to continue writing features and things for their print edition.

Which isn't to say that I'll cease to have an opinion about things - and that's where this good ol' Lost Albatross blog will come in handy yet again. But I will be changing most of my focus to telling stories, researching, and investigating for the purposes of writing progressive-oriented, grassroots-based news for and other Wisconsin outlets. I'm excited about this because, frankly, I think that's where my strength and passion really lies.

Check back here at the beginning of October for more news about this change, as well as future opinionated blurbs and/or juicy tidbits of info.

And thanks.
The Lost Albatross