Archive for May, 2013

Don’t Get Flynn-Flammed by the Chief-of-Police

While one can argue that advocating on behalf of a law enforcement agency’s budget is well within the purview of the duties of the chief-of-police, in an interview with a reporter from the local newspaper, the thinly veiled political attack on the state legislature by Milwaukee’s chief-of-police—done under the guise of good government—illustrates that Chief Ed Flynn is all too willing to pony-up to the bar of the public trough in search of yet another free drink.

As the impetus for his tirade, Flynn cites the expiration of a $445,000 grant for SharpShooter—a computer program that can pinpoint an area where gunshots emanate, which has been funded by the state legislature.  Often times these awards, such as the COPS grants funded by the Clinton administration in the 1990s, cover the first three-to-five years of a program, at which time the agency receiving the grant money is expected to assume the cost.

The $445,000 needed to fund SharpShooter could easily be achieved by Flynn streamlining his already top heavy command staff.  The Milwaukee Police Department has three assistant chiefs-of-police.  Why a city the size of Milwaukee has more than one defies logic.  Two of these positions could easily be eliminated by placing just one assistant police chief in charge of the north, central, and south commands, since all three are currently overseen by an inspector of police. By eliminating the two assistant police chiefs’ positions, the Milwaukee Police Department could save nearly $300,000 in wages and benefits.

Flynn also ripped the legislature’s decision to allow one of the state’s regional crime labs, currently located in cramped quarters near Lapham Blvd., to search for a new location, possibly outside Milwaukee.  Having worked closely with technicians from the crime lab in the past, the location of this building really has little to do with efficiencies within the Milwaukee Police Department.  For the sake of argument, if the Wisconsin Regional Crime Lab is moved from its current location to the Milwaukee County Grounds in Wauwatosa—near an area where the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee is constructing research facilities—how would this hamper the crime fighting efforts of Milwaukee police? Clearly, making the location of the crime lab an issue came directly from a Barrett administration talking points memo.

Yet even a low information voter could see through Flynn’s water carrying exercise as the chief feigns outrage over the elimination of the residency requirement for City of Milwaukee employees.  Of course, the reporter fails to ask the police chief how this change would affect the overall operation of his department. Why? Because this rule change, in the long run, might actually benefit the Milwaukee Police Department, as solid, young potential recruits, unwilling to raise their families in the confines of the city, might now be encouraged to apply.

The real hypocrisy, in my opinion, comes not from the state legislature, but from the chief-of-police himself. If Flynn believes so strongly in Milwaukee, why hasn’t he put his money where his mouth is and purchased a home in the city?  Instead, the chief has chosen to rent a condo in the trendy Third Ward. Moreover, Flynn’s family, specifically his wife, does not reside in Milwaukee.  Surely, once the chief’s contract expires or he chooses to retire, his lease on his Third Ward condo will lapse and, once his payroll checks from the City of Milwaukee stop coming, he will move out of state, probably back to the east coast or Florida, with his pension checks in tow.  As such, he will not feel the pain of any of the repercussions of the public policy positions advocated by his de facto boss, Mayor Barrett, like the $80 million 2.5 mile trolley.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.


A Police State Hugo Chavez Would be Proud Of

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of a police state is, “A political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures.”

Within the past week, Americans have learned that:

1. The former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was untruthful with the victims of attacks at the U.S Consulate in Benghazi when she told them, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing do to with.”

“The American people were effectively lied to for a period of about a month,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Clinton, and many others that developed the so-called talking points about the attack on Benghazi were well aware that the Youtube video had little to do with the deaths of four Americans at the hands of Libyan terrorists;

2. That officials from the Internal Revenue Service selectively audited groups affiliated the words “tea party” and “patriot” or  organizations who aspired to advocate for such things as an adherence to the Constitution of the United States.

“This is truly outrageous and it contributes to the profound distrust that the American people have in government,” said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a centrist Republican, said on CNN’s State of the Union;

3. That high-ranking officials in the Obama administration’s Department of Justice secretly obtained telephone records from more than 20 telephone lines belonging to Associated Press journalists over a two-month period.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of the Associated Press and its reporters,” wrote Gary B. Pruitt, president and chief executive of the AP.

The line Americans have received from Obama et al over the past four years while addressing the Orwellian nature of the National Defense Authorization Act is, ‘You can trust us.’

“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems, “ said Obama, seeking to reassure the public during a commencement ceremony at Ohio State University just nine days ago.  “Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

Yeah, right.

Obama’s remarks are eerie similar to those of Richard Nixon, who on November 18, 1973, told the Washington Post, “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.”

The use of the government’s arbitrary exercise of power in these instances is astonishing, and, quite frankly, illustrates that, while one can take a politician out of Chicago, one can never take the Chicago politics out of the politician.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.


Democrat Party Strategist: Neo-Conservatism is Dead. GOP’s Freedom-Wing Wave of its Future

In a recent memo, leading Democrat Party strategist Doug Sosnik spotlights public attitudes that might affect elections in the near future, including his party’s electoral abilities in a post-Obama era. He notes that the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party is dying on the vine, as younger voters lean heavily towards the freedom-wing of the GOP (Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee), a group that focuses on Constitutional and fiscal matters.

On the Direction of the Nation

“Since the beginning of Obama’s second year in office, every NBC/WSJ poll has shown that half or more of Americans believed that the country is headed in the wrong direction, at one point reaching as high as 74%.  Their most recent April poll found that more than 60% of Americans believe the country is still on the wrong track.”

On Government Surveillance Initiatives

“Several Democratic Senators supported Rand Paul’s position against the government’s policy on drones, including Senator Wyden (D-OR), who joined Paul on the floor during his 13-hour filibuster on the issue. There is even more related activity at the state level, led by an alliance of Tea Party backers and the ACLU. A recent Politico analysis found that in more than three-quarters of states legislators from both parties are seeking to limit the use of unmanned drone aircraft.”

At the State Level, Republicans are the Party of Change

“Unlike the divided government at the federal level, there are now 37 states with one-party control. In many of these states, there is a veto-proof majority in the legislature. The Republicans currently control 30 governorships and the entire political apparatus in 24 of these states. Despite the fact that the Republican Party is largely defined at the national level as a congressional party, the real work of repositioning the party and putting policies into practice is happening in the states.”

On the Demographics of Voters

“Although Hispanics have overwhelmingly voted against Republicans since George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, younger Hispanics feel less of an allegiance to the Democratic Party than their elders. A Gallup analysis of last year’s tracking polling found that Hispanic voters aged 18-34 are nine points less likely to self-identify as Democrats (50% v. 59%) than Hispanic voters 55 years or older. Young Hispanic voters are a disproportionately large share of the Hispanic electorate.”

Sosnik further identifies the party ID by age groups:

Millennials (born 1981-1994): Independents, 45 percent; Democrat, 31 percent; Republican, 24 percent.

The number of Millennials moving from Democrat to independent has increased since Obama’s second term. This group tends to favor the libertarian concepts of fiscal restraint and social tolerance.

Gen Xers (born 1965-1980): Independents, 42 percent; Democrat, 29 percent, Republican, 29 percent.

To read the memo in its entirety, visit the below link:

http://images.politico.com/global/2013/05/09/sosnik_memo_59_final.html

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.


Spingola Files’ Shout Outs

Sometimes, there are people who—for whatever reason—just get it right. They’ve either found a way to communicate a message that clicks with the American public’s 24-hour news cycle attention span or have gone the extra mile to assist those no longer with a voice. To acknowledge their achievements, a new feature—SF Shout Outs—debuts today; whereby, the crew at Spingola Files’ HQ administers a pat on the back to those who’ve managed to see the forest through the trees.

Coming in at #1, WISN and WIBA radio talk-show host Vicki McKenna.

After the Boston bombings, the mainstream media cluttered the airwaves with excuses and over analysis. For years, others in the media have regurgitated the nanny-state, Michael Bloomberg line that, as a nation, Americans needed to let go of  their reasonable expectations of privacy in the name of security. The failure of the FBI’s Next Generation Identification biometric facial recognition software—part of a $1.2 billion initiative—to locate the bombers, both of whom where in the system’s database, as well as the federal government’s inability to link information about one of the bombers provided by Russian and Saudi authorities, is proof that the federal government bureaucracy is broken.

In the days after the blast, Vicki McKenna made the case that high-tech initiatives failed to protect Boston, while noting that our nation has spent $500 billion creating a surveillance state that monitors Americans, 99.999 percent of whom will never commit an act of terror, while ignoring the obvious: radical Islamic Jihadists.

Climbing the charts at #2, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Rarely, in the course of our nation’s history, has a first-term senator impacted the overall psyche of the U.S. Senate in the manner Cruz has.  During a committee hearing, the freshman senator called out and make a fool of Sen. Diane Feinstein, who, absent a coherent reply, did what those without the law or the facts on their side do—she personally attacked her opponent.

This week, Cruz challenged Vice President Joe Biden to an hour long debate on crime control.  “If Vice President Biden really believes that the facts are on his side … then I would think he would welcome the opportunity to talk about the sources, the causes of violent crime, who is carrying it out, and how we can do everything humanly possible to stop it.”  Cruz correctly noted that one of Biden’s ideas on self-defense, discharging a shotgun into the air, “is very useful, if it so happens that you’re being attacked by a flock of geese.”

While advocating a senate filibuster on gun control, Cruz claimed some senior GOP senators communicated their disapproval by shouting at him.  Unfazed, the Texas senator referred to these been-drinking-the-beltway Kool-Aid-too- long politicos as “squishes.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/04/29/ted-cruz-mocks-squishes-in-republican-party/?tid=pm_politics_pop

UPDATE: “I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” Democrat Party strategist James Carville, appearing on ABC’s This Week, said about Sen. Ted Cruz.  “Well, there’s one thing this guy is not – he ain’t squishy, not in the least.”

At #3, former South Milwaukee native Kyle Olson.

Working behind the scenes in southern California’s entertainment industry—institutions dominated by celebrities that carry water for high-profile political causes—Kyle Olson is using his talents and abilities to speak for a person no longer with a voice—Milwaukee homicide victim Ashleigh Love, a 19-year-old woman gunned down inside her northwest side home in 2009. Olson has gotten together with the Love family to create “Letters to Ashleigh,” a documentary he hopes will foster a dialog about senseless acts of violence.

http://www.milwaukeemag.com/article/522013-ForYourConsiderationLetterstoAshleigh

Kyle Olson’s efforts are very important, as raising the profile of a criminal investigation can jog the memories of witnesses or, as one’s station in life changes, cause someone with additional details to come forward. Like any other venture, however, the making of this documentary requires financial capital.

In the past, I’ve communicated with the Love family. They are caring parents in search of justice and in need of the inner peace that comes with closure. If you find it in your heart, take that jar full of change to the bank and then make a contribution to this worthy cause by visiting the below link.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/letters-to-ashleigh

Moreover, in an effort to assist this worthwhile cause, I will donate my portion of the proceeds from any sales of Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I & II, purchased from the link below, to Ashleigh’s documentary.

https://www.createspace.com/4189215

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013