December 14, 2009

The interlocking business of providing child care and dealing drugs...

... incentivized by taxpayer money.
[T]he Journal Sentinel cross-referenced databases containing search warrants and court records with child-care providers. It also reviewed hundreds of pages of police reports, federal indictments, state child-care records, criminal complaints, property records and other public documents. In addition, the newspaper interviewed police officers and prosecutors and relied on tips from child-care center employees and parents....

Child-care providers are seldom criminally charged for involvement in drug crimes. Search warrants aimed at drug dealers often make no mention that the dealer's wife or live-in girlfriend is a child-care provider - even when the day care is the site of the search.

And nobody - not regulators nor law enforcement officials - tracks the overlap.

Yet, cops and prosecutors say they see links between day care providers and drug dealers all the time.

36 comments:

peter hoh said...

Now I know what I was doing wrong. Damn.

Sofa King said...

Good on the JS to actually dig into this issue. It's definitely a story the local and state officials would much rather they not look into.

David said...

Hey, as long as they compartmentalize, it's ok.

David said...

JS was a pretty good paper when I lived in Milwaukee. (In fact it was one good paper and one early one.) Hope they can hang on and continue to produce some good journalism. The Beaufort Gazette, our tiny paper in our tiny town, has cut reporting and editorial staff in the last year in an attempt to keep afloat. A couple of pretty good young reporters were lost. It's obvious the quality of public information about our civic life has declined as a consequence.

blake said...

Well, yeah, somebody's gotta move all that Ritalin.

What? Not those kinds of drug dealers?

Never mind.

Ron said...

Puts "The Backyardigans" in another light, doesn't it?

peter hoh said...

I always thought that stores selling tropical fish were fronts for drug operations.

Florida said...

Shhhhhhhhhhhh Shush Ann,

Mothers need to feel good about ditching their kids to go work for 75% of what their husband could get except can't get because there are so many women who would rather work than take care of their own children.

Women can have it all dontcha know.

Sofa King said...

It should be noted that this is just one more in a long line of articles exposing child care scandals in Milwaukee, including massive amounts of fraud, child care providers being located at the same addresses as sex offenders, child deaths at the hands of care providers, and a depraved indifference to it all by the state and local officials.

Sofa King said...

The above should specify, government-funded child care.

Florida said...

Hmmm. Graphic only shows black people involved in drug trade/child care business?

Is that racist?

TosaGuy said...

I suggest you read the whole series, Florida, before making an accusation of racism.

The JS has been doing good work on this whole gov't child care scandal for quite some time.

class-factotum said...

Mothers need to feel good about ditching their kids to go work

Except they're not ditching their kids. They are taking their kids to the center and then being paid to watch their own kids. Or they are being paid to watch their sister's kids and vice-versa.

Or. The day care operator is billing the State of WI to watch non-existent kids.

Nobody has lost his job over this yet.

I, the Wisconsin taxpayer, get to pay for this, along with the school breakfast program for the children of affluent Wisconsin parents.

Triangle Man said...

and a depraved indifference to it all by the state and local officials.

There has been a big change in the organization of childcare services at the State level. I think the new folks in charge (Department of Children and Families) are doing a good job trying to clean up a huge mess that was decades in the making.

WV: hanity

Pogo said...

The taxpayer is the patsy in this government-ACORN-social worker-welfare-criminal shell game.

And now that over half of the nation pays no federal income tax, you'll see this kind of thing increase on a national level.

But it all depends on a continued pool of honest hard-working folks who never know this sort of graft is going on.

Once they discover it, and grab for for their piece of the pie, or stop contributing, or leave, it all collapses.

MadisonMan said...

Oooh, so scary! 16 whole child-care centers. Out of how many?

They've collected $8.5M since 2006 from a program that distributes $350M per year.

I don't mean to minimize the findings here, but would it kill the journalist to mention the actual scope of the problem in percentages? Might not generate as many webhits if that were done.

There is no way to know how widespread the corrupt connections are.

oooh, Scary!

Penny said...

I was sitting here feeling sorry for the Wisconsin taxpayers when I realized they are probably ahead of the game now, because this newspaper is doing such good work.

"Number of child-care centers with recent connections to drug operations. 16

Amount of public subsidies they collected since 2006. $8.5 million"

Sofa King said...

Oooh, so scary! 16 whole child-care centers. Out of how many?

They've collected $8.5M since 2006 from a program that distributes $350M per year.

Why don't you tell us what you think an acceptable level of corruption and child endangerment is.

Of course, I should not be surprised that someone in Madison doesn't give a shit about misgovernment in inner-city Milwaukee. It's a feature, not a bug!

Pogo said...

16 whole child-care centers. Out of how many?

16 that are known. 16 is far, far too many. But I don't think it's just 16.

Corruption is the demise off democracy, it's a cancer that spreads by nibbling at the margins.

Acceptance of any level of this kind of bullshit also breeds cynicism about government, as it commits graft low-end and high, both squeezing the poor saps in the middle.

It breeds hatred of classes on the dole, because all are tainted as cheaters and drug dealers.

It breeds hatred of lawyers and bankers, the high-rent cheats.

It suggests there is no point working hard, because Uncle Sam will take it from you.

MadisonMan said...

Such umbrage.

I don't think it's possible to have zero corruption/endangerment. The article gives no clue as to how widespread this problem is. It is not very useful if someone is trying to evaluate risk.

MadisonMan said...

(That was not replying to pogo, btw, but to SofaKing)

Penny said...

Sorry, I posted before I saw MM's comment. Didn't mean to repeat the numbers.

MM, this isn't about scary. This is about the untold ways that the government sets itself up to spend taxpayer money, and then fails to follow through to see the REAL consequences.

There are way too many "street smart" people out there to assume that scams can't be devised shortly after the implementation of more do-good legislation.

Now that this has been uncovered, no doubt some legislator will say they need more laws about childcare and more people for oversight. Yes, even BIGGER and more ineffective government!

And the beat goes on...and on.

More and more taxpayer money to do the work of "angels", my ass!

This isn't scary, it's disgusting.

Sofa King said...

You're missing the point if you think the article is about "risk." It's about waste, fraud, incompentence, and the unwillingness or inability of the government to do anything about it.

Even if you don't think zero corruption is achievable, I would hope you would agree that should be the goal. Dismissing the problems as "working as expected" is not acceptable.

k*thy said...

There are scammers at all levels of society and there always will be. It's not just the "government-ACORN-social worker-welfare-criminal shell game", it's from Wall Street as well. That's why we need some level of regulation, because we can't seem to be able to do it ourselves.

Kudo's to TMJS. We're in Madison and it's the only paper we get delivered, daily. Nice piece.

PatCA said...

Government programs breed corruption. Period.

I'm sure Acorn and ACLU will come to their defense ASAP.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The child care center that is dealing drugs bills for $20,000 every two weeks.

And we wonder why TARP and all the other crappola stimulus bills don't work. Why entitlements are going bankrupt.

And why people are just sick to death of paying taxes for this crap. If the little people, not the Geitners of the world, are delinquent in paying taxes they get hounded to death by the IRS. While scum like these are raking it in with no consequences.

ENOUGH!!

Penny said...

"That's why we need some level of regulation,.."

We already have way too much regulation, and overseers coming out the kazoo, yet corruption continues unabated because there are rare consequences.

Instead of the populace being up in arms about this, way too many are trying to figure out how they TOO can game the "system".

knox said...

it's from Wall Street as well. That's why we need some level of regulation, because we can't seem to be able to do it ourselves.

Yeah, but when Enron gets caught, it shuts down. Try to kill a government program, or an ACORN.

kentuckyliz said...

So, the scope of the problem is OK as long as poor black children are the only ones at risk? Can't endanger the precious white children.

sheesh

Day care is a great way to have all kinds of traffic at your house/place of business for an apparent legitimate reason. The day care provides the cover.

C R Krieger said...

I don't think this is just about government provided child care.  A LONG time ago my wife and I took a one week trip to see places in Europe.  We were living in Bitburg, Germany at the time.  We hired a woman who worked at the US Air Base Child Care Center, and her husband, to house sit and take care of our three children.  Her husband was an aircraft mechanic at the base—a young airman, apparently doing well.

Our first clue, which I dismissed, was when, upon returning, I lit up a cigar and my young daughter said I shouldn't smoke, because it makes you drunk.  This little bit of information she developed from watching the babysitter's husband smoke.

The second clue was when the husband was arrested for selling drugs.

This was in the late 1960s.

You try to be careful, but you can never be 100% sure you have covered all the bases.

How long has this war on drugs been going on?  I worry we are about to enter a nasty phase, as Mexican drug culture gangs filter up into the US.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Crack Emcee said...

"Hmmm. Graphic only shows black people involved in drug trade/child care business?

Is that racist?"


Once again, we've got another person tripping on race, when it never occured to me to think about it. There are kids in danger - who cares what color the perps are?

It's an American obsession - and a form of insanity.

The Crack Emcee said...

MadisonMan,

"I don't think it's possible to have zero corruption/endangerment."

Funny - I only hear this line from liberals. Makes for a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, don't you think? You don't think it's possible to have zero corruption/endangerment, so you don't work very hard to get it/or sustain policies to achieve it, and - voila! - it never goes away.

I say lock up all the liberals and let's see how things go then,...

Patricia Dischler said...

The numbers are: there are over 7,000 child care providers in WI. So while the majority are providing quality care, I agree that even one bad one is a crime against children. There is a simple solution: insist on quality care by having a quality rating system. Providers that don't meet the higher levels, don't get the subsidies. The new department is working on this and I applaud them for doing the work that others had avoided for years.

Largo said...

Dimension 2. If you inscribe a circle in a square, there will not be enough space remaining in any of the corners for another circle of the same size to fit.

Dimension 3. If a sphere inside a cube touches all six sides of the cube, there is not enough room in any of the corners for another sphere of the same size to fit.

How many dimensions do you need for the "hypersphere" to touch all sides of the box, yet the box have room in its corners for spheres of the same size to fit?

Largo said...

[So sorry, that was meant for the bowl of oranges post!]

Largo said...

I'll tell you what I'd like to see. The entire staff of a day-care working with an unlit cigarette dangling off of their lips when government inspectors come. No second hand smoke. Make the inspectors defend any action they try to take.

I am tempted to display one in flight on my way from Hong Kong to Canada in a few days. See what the flight attendants will do. Smile broadly at the passengers giving me dirty looks.

Did I say I was a non-smoker?