Is Kevin Fischer blogging on your time?

He probably was, but isn’t any more.

I bypassed State Senator Mary Lazich’s office and went to another source (Plan B). We talked about what to ask for, and then I asked. I was given the time reports Lazich’s aide Kevin Fischer had signed for October, November, and December.

It was a little tricky because Fischer had removed many comments, but I matched up some of the blogs and comments with the dates. He also blogs and sets dates/times forward. Where I was able to find interesting conflicts were the times that something was breaking–or when he was whipping up on someone on another blog. You see, they didn’t erase that much.

There were several instances were Fischer posted a 10 hour work day and also posted several blog entries. Sure, he could have been on break, etc., but there was enough of a pattern established to satisfy my own curiosity. The contact at the state indicated that I could actually get the HOURS that he was on duty for specific dates if I needed them. I’ve decided to not follow up on that. I’d be happy to turn my research over to anyone who wants to pursue the matter.

For now I’m content in knowing my suspicions were right on. We’ve outed Fischer in writing Lazich’s blog. We’ve influenced his behavior while commenting on others’ blogs. He’s keeping his own content pretty dull. For now the pit bull is back in his cage. The question is how long the lock will hold.

There is one other thing that interested me in these reports. Look at the vacation time he took for three months. It might be interesting to see how much he gets and compare it against a year of time reports.


  1. I know he’s salaried, but does he get paid overtime too? Looks to be picking up a little perk there too if he does.

  2. I wondered the same thing. Seems like Lazich is always a budget hawk…until it comes to her cronies?

  3. TEN hour days? Hmmmm – Is Senator Lazich so proliferate with taxpayer funds that she pays for DRIVE TIME from Franklin to Madison for her aide?

    And does every hour over 40 in a week get the overtime rate?

    What a deal.

  4. Whoa! Government employees surfing the web on the clock. I’m shocked! You spent all this effort to do what? To prove what? You think you’ve put an end to government employees wasting time? You’ve only “outed” yourselves for some petty “gotcha” campaign with absolutely no worthwhile purpose. What, you think your “target” has now gotten some message? Geez, get a life.

  5. I know, silly me. I have this ridiculous idea that tax paid employees should be accountable for their paychecks.

    You really got cranky about this topic, Jester. Did I strike a nerve?

  6. You must have struck a neve, then again the first definition of a jester is a fool. I would bet jester would be the first in line to sqwauk about our high taxes. Well, if every WI state employee were ‘average’, based upon 2005 numbers research shows… 32,836 employees x $5k/year of internet waste/employee = $164,180,000 of lost time. And… who stands in judge of someone like Fischer’s ‘getting his job done’, Lazich? Gimme a break.

  7. Since when does a person, who is in a salaried position, take vacation time above and beyond a 40 hour work week? That is, unless those vacation hours are paid overtime hours and are being used to supplement base salary. I’m not too familiar with how salaried positions work in the public sector, but is it possible that HUGE amounts of vacation/sick time are given to people (like legislative aids to the Senator for example) as a way to articifically boost their salaries.? To the taxpayer, Lazich could claim that one of her employees makes $35,000/year but then give that same person 500 hours of vacation that could be used to boost that salary by thousands of dollars. Are we victims of creative accounting? I guess it would be interesting to see how much vacation/sick time Lazich’s employees are given. Judging by those time sheets, it appears to be a big number. Then again, maybe I’m completely off base here and all state employees get the same amount of sick time across the board. I’m sure someone out there could clarify this one.

    If this job was in the private sector I couldn’t care less. But it’s so happens that this legislative aid is employed by the same State Senator who preaches fiscal responsibility all the time. I just want to make sure she practices what she preaches.

  8. Salaried employees don’t get overtime. If I work 50 hours and take 10 hours of vacation I still get paid the same. Actually Mr Fischer is using vacation time when he has extra hours during the week. Some places let you keep your vacation time if you have extra hours. So actually Mr Fischer is in essence using up his vacation time in situations many other employers wouldn’t make you. This seems a lot like the Geraldo opening of Al Capone’s secret hiding space. A big nothing Cindy. Not that you didn’t work your tail off trying to uncover something about your “enemy” Kevin Fischer, but in the end you really have zero. I know you have never referred to him as your enemy, but clearly you have issues with him that are on a personal level.

  9. Now when I look at those numbers, they’ve got to be low. I think I captured only the employees of the 3 branches of the State gov’t based in Madison, not UW employees, etc… Anyone know how many State of WI employees there are?

  10. That answers my question Erin. Thanks.

  11. A number of salaried positions pay overtime above certain thresholds. Our firm begins OT at 45 hours and above for a non-executive salaried employees. The question is, do salaried legislative employees get overtime? If not, then why punch a timecard if they are ‘getting their job done”?

  12. I would imagine law requires some time card for reporting purposes and also for situations like this when time is called into question.

  13. Erin, do you work for the state? It would be helpful to make an apples to apples comparison instead of public to private sector.

  14. Bdad – what a way to ruin the weekend! I think calculating the entire State of Wisconsin payroll cost for internet use on taxpayer time is toooo scary for Friday. Maybe Monday?

    After all, I need time to play on the Web today.

  15. No I don’t work for the state, but am merely explaining how salaried pay works since some of your readers were unsure. I can’t imagine your “contact” at the state wouldn’t be happy to explain what the policy is. You claim to have put the pit bull back in his cage. Who puts you in your cage? I would hope now that you have found whatever you wanted this issue goes away because it is really silly.

  16. Erin, you offered one explanation while another reader supplied a somewhat different answer. That’s why I asked if you worked for the state, to determine if your answer was absolute.

    True, if it’s really important then someone could check it out more.

  17. I am just glad you admitted that there wasn’t anything there of importance. Thank you.

  18. I didn’t “admit” that there wasn’t anything of importance. I did say I’m not following up on it.

  19. Same thing. You put this sensational headline Is Kevin Fischer blogging on your time and then answer the question yourself. A big NO. Aside from a public apology to him which I know won’t happen. Your statement “if its really important someone could followup on it” leds me to the conclusion that you don’t feel it is important.

  20. sorry, leads me to the conclusion. I hate typos!

  21. Well Erin, we certainly agree about typos.

    I’ll apologize to Kevin about 24 hours after he apologizes to me. How’s that for a compromise?

  22. Right, because calling into questions someone’s character and ethics publicly is exactly the same as what happened between the 2 of you. Well, whatever lets you sleep at night I guess.

  23. Erin, you seem very close to this issue. What would you say “happened between the 2 of [us]?” I am curious about what you think you know.

  24. Hint – Exempt Salaried vs Non-Exempt Salaried.

    Erin – “You claim to have put the pit bull back in his cage. Who puts you in your cage? I would hope now that you have found whatever you wanted this issue goes away because it is really silly.”

    “Your statement “if its really important someone could followup on it” leds me to the conclusion that you don’t feel it is important.”

    I think I just whitness a 10P nail driven in one hit.

  25. From reading the blogs someone called you a name and Kevin Fischer remarked that is was the comment of the year or some such thing. Not close to the situation at all Cindy just observant. In all honesty I didn’t read the blog that was written because I think the post was removed.

    I am curious Cindy why you make comments about people being close to the issue or hitting a nerve with someone anytime someone disagrees with you?

  26. Scott Thinnes says:

    Opps, I hit the submit key before typing my name in. Thats not like me at all!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. You get the government you deserve. YOU people elected all the people you’re complaining about. They then hire the Kevin Fischers, et al. Then you wonder why Wisconsin is a tax and spend hell. Why would any of this surprise you? I suppose if you keep throwing all this &#*% against the wall maybe something will stick eventually? Your blogging world continues to be very small.

  28. “YOU people elected all the people you’re complaining about. They then hire the Kevin Fischers, et al. Then you wonder why Wisconsin is a tax and spend hell.”

    But aren’t conservatives like Mary Lazich supposed to be doing something to restore fiscal sanity to state government?

    As to the likelihood of Kevin Fischer blogging on state time, I’ll just say I wouldn’t be surprised one bit.

    And Cindy, if you’re willing, I’d love to take a look at the information you received, because I’d like to take a crack at finding out just how deep the rabbit hole is.

  29. Dan….boredom