M.D. Kittle at Wisconsin Watchdog is out with a new piece highlighting Congressman Ron Kind’s role in the Tomah VA scandal. Kittle has written previously about Kind’s refusal to discuss a phone call between deceased veteran Jason Simcakoski and his office, but in the new piece Kittle highlights the November 8, 2013 call in the context of other calls Simcakoski made that day to law enforcement, including the FBI.
Kind’s reliance on a lack of records mirrors the behavior of former Senator Russ Feingold when a VA employee claimed to have sent a hand delivered note to both Kind and Feingold regarding concerns at the Tomah facility. The VA employee and president of her local union eventually changed her story several times before deciding the memo hadn’t been delivered.
Senator Tammy Baldwin has also relied on an absence of records and denial when confronted for her role. Baldwin ultimately fired a junior member of her staff after offering her a potentially illegal severance package that included a non-disclosure agreement. Baldwin recently left the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, no doubt hoping to avoid any further entanglements.
Whether it is Baldwin, Feingold or Kind, there remain many unanswered questions about the failures of Wisconsin’s elected officials to respond appropriately to the serious issues involving the Tomah VA.