Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Here is the Appleton Post-Crescent article I discussed on WISN today while filling in for Mark Belling:
"Federal law makes sewage overflows illegal. Yet they frequently happen and mostly without the public knowing.
In all, about 9.1 billion gallons of untreated sewage-contaminated water — enough to fill 457,000 backyard swimming pools — were released into the environment by 276 villages, cities, counties and sewage districts on 1,198 occurrences statewide since Jan. 1, 2006, according to data collected by the DNR and analyzed by The Post-Crescent. The wastewater overflows happened in 58 of the state's 72 counties, including throughout the
The state's biggest by far came from one source: the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, which provides sewage service for 28 municipalities, including
And here is the CRG news release mentioned on today's program:
For Further Information Contact:
Unelected Boards Create Campaign Cash
“Barrett” Example Yields Over $150,000 in Board Contributions
Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG) has long analyzed and reported on the drawbacks of unelected boards, particularly those with the power to unilaterally impose taxes. The CRG audit and online database of Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) Board spending and the well-publicized shortcomings of the Metro-Milwaukee Sewage District (MMSD) Board highlight a lengthy list of perceived problems with unelected boards given broad regulatory power as well as taxing power without direct voter representation.
CRG began an investigation and analysis of MMSD due to citizen outrage over recent flooding and basement sewage back-ups. Initial findings suggested that these failures are largely due to governance issues at the City of
For example, MMSD Board members contributed almost $10,000 to Tom Barrett campaigns with $4,000 being contributed in 2009-2010 election cycle alone. Every MMSD Board who contributed gave at least $100, six gave at least $250, five gave at least $500, and three gave over $1000 with one donor exceeding $2000 and another exceeding $3000.
As a result, a pilot project was undertaken to analyze and understand the relationship between political contributions and appointments to boards such as MMSD. The City of
The study methodology required compiling a partial list of mayoral board appointees by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to 92 boards during his tenure as mayor (list is partial as a complete list of past appointees do not exist – spouses were included on list). This list was cross-indexed against contributions to Barrett campaigns from
The following are selected statistics from the analysis
Total Campaign Contribution Dollars
Average Contribution Per Donation
Average Total Contributions Per Donor
While I was on the air today, Chris Kleismet of CRG tried to phone in, but couldn’t because the lines were jammed.He wanted to pass along important information.
CRG’s analysis of campaign cash contributions showed that one person, Ronald S. San Felippo gave six contributions on or about the 22nd of each month to Tom Barrett with the last contribution made on 6/22/10. Here are San Felippo’s donations to Barrett:
Note the last contribution on 6/22/10
Just six days later, San Felippo was appointed to the Business Improvement District Board #2 by Barrett.
A coincidence? I don’t think so.
Kleismet also offers that a video and transcript of MMSD Kevin Schafer’s remarks saying that 2 of 4 previous sewerage overflow dumps could have been avoided by a change to legislation can be found here.
Kleismet wrote to me:
“By law they (MMSD) must start dumping in ANTICIPATION of separated sewer flows IN CASE they MIGHT come in. That means they start dumping with the tunnel often less than half full. On two occasions the suburban flows DID NOT COME IN AS PREDICTED and they dumped sewage that didn’t need to be dumped.
Why are politicians like Barrett unwilling to crusade for this change? This is outrageous they COULD have eliminated half of the overflows last year without so much as the cost of the ink for their signatures on a piece of legislative paper.
This is a huge campaign issue that Scott Walker needs to hammer on. He could use your help doing so. Please consider sending a contribution.