Wisconsin university critic of Walker gets a Velderman.

My stalker, Ben Velderman of the Michigan-based Education Action Group.

Being an outspoken union activist and teacher means that creeps like Ben Velderman of the Michigan-based right wing Education Action Group have chosen me as a target. In Illinois, public employees, including teachers, can have all their email be the subject of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Mine was.

In Wisconsin:

Bill Cronon — or William Cronon, as I think of him — is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin. A few days ago he wrote an oped in the Times critical of Gov. Walker and his push to abolish collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin. About a week before that, he wrote a blog post — the first in a new blog called Scholar as Citizen — examining just who’s behind this big anti-union push. He focused on a group called ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council). 

Now, so far, nothing particularly controversial about any of this. But then it took a dark turn. Or perhaps better to say, then the story got into gear with everything else we’ve seen out of the Walker administration over the last three months.

Less than two days after Cronon published the blog post, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a state open records request to gain access to Cronon’s personal emails to get a look at what communications or discussions or sources or anything else went into writing it.

I joked about it when My Stalker, Ben Velderman did a FOIA request on my emails.

But really it’s not so funny. Now it is the Republican Party doing the deed.

When these creeps talk about less government interference in the lives of citizens, this is what they have in mind. It’s not just that they’re creepy looking like Ben Velderman. They’re creepy little fascists.

3 thoughts on “Wisconsin university critic of Walker gets a Velderman.

  1. Where do these characters get off calling themselves the “Education Action Group,” anyhow? What does it mean? Whom are they educating, and in what? Slimeball tactics? “Action” has certain legal connotations, non? And finally, there’s only the three of them, and three’s a crowd. But seriously, scratch this thing, and you can smell fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering, Fred. Whom do they represent, other than themselves? For what purpose other than blackmail or political destruction, down the line, should they find something damaging? It’s a fishing expedition, in the Nixonian sense. You know, I felt kind of left out when all the retired teachers blogged on Tuesday, but I’m here today as a retired law enforcement officer, to say, it’s time to sic the dog on these thugs.

  2. If it’s any comfort, a colleague and fellow AFT union steward (NOT a teacher, he works in the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division) also got one of these Open Records shotgun blasts. Since we as state employees are a bit far afield from Ed Action Group’s alleged “pro-parental choice” mission, I thought there might be a case of misrepresentation by an organization seeking 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Apparently, the IRS is looking for creeps who pursue extremist political agendas while c laiming to be “educational, cultural, or religious” organizations. I wrote a letter to our U.S. Rep a couple weeks back, Tammy Baldwin. While I haven’t received a response yet, I cced it to the editors of the Progressive and Mother Jones. I expect that they, at least, will be interested in this outfit. Before sending the letter, I called Velderman up and asked him if he was aware that this individual was not a teacher. He admitted that they were going after him because of his (allegedly) leftwing politics, rather than because of any education connection. That was enough for me, and I sent my letter off, being sure to cc a copy to Velderman so he had a fair chance to defend his conduct. If you, Mr. Blonsky, want a copy of the letter, just give me your email address.

    Tony Reeves
    Chief Steward, Professional Employees in Research, Statistics and Analysis
    Research Analyst Advanced,
    Wisconsin Department of Health Services

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