Prosecutors Closing in on Scott Walker and the VRWC

See Wisconsin Governor at Center of a Vast Fund-Raising Case and John Doe prosecutors allege Scott Walker at center of ‘criminal scheme’. No indictments yet.

Prosecutors in Wisconsin assert that Gov. Scott Walker was part of an elaborate effort to illegally coordinate fund-raising and spending between his campaign and conservative groups during efforts to recall him and several state senators two years ago, according to court filings unsealed Thursday.

The allegations by five county district attorneys, released as part of a federal lawsuit over the investigation into Mr. Walker, suggest that some of the governor’s top campaign aides directed the political spending of the outside groups, most of them nonprofits, and in effect controlled some of them.

The documents made public on Thursday threatened to cloud the political prospects of Mr. Walker, who is seeking election to a second term this fall and is mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016. They provided a rare view of the inner workings of a far-flung network of conservative nonprofit groups that have come to play a decisive role in national and state elections, secretly moving hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns by avoiding traditional political action committees, which typically face tougher disclosure requirements.

This is bigger than Scott Walker. Very briefly, it is alleged Walker, his aides, and political operatives connected to Club for Growth were coordinating the spending of various outside interest group, such as Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Bro’s outfit. By law, such groups cannot directly be in contact with political campaigns. Karl Rove’s name comes up, but it’s not clear he was in on anything.

Right-wing bloggers (Althouse, Instapundit et al.) still insist the investigation is nothing but a witch hunt directed by Democratic political operatives to stop Scott Walker from becoming president. Evidence? what evidence? Althouse is so upset by the “prosecutorial aggression and overreach” that she is tempted to renounce “the liberal values I believe in.” I’m not linking to this, as I’m afraid the bullshit could leach into my laptop and cause a system crash.

Other right-wing bloggers are calling the charges false, because. They’ve taken the position that the investigation itself is an outrage.

Angry Bear recalls,

Mind you, this did not happen in the last day or so. This has been an ongoing John Doe investigation in 2014 which Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Club for Growth have been attempting to quash. Wisconsin District Judge Randa agreed with Walker’s group and ordered all documentation destroyed. The case was appealed to the 7th District COA where Judge Easterbrook and two other judges over ruled Randa. “Federal Judge Rudolf Randa is a member of the Federalist Society and his wife donated often to Walkers campaign. Judge Randa’s Judicial Assistant is the wife of Scott Walkers lawyer.” Hey, its all in the family.

“Federal Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook unsealed the court documents Thursday as he reviews a lawsuit attempting to end the John Doe probe. Two unnamed individuals this week tried to intervene in the case to prevent the release of the records, but Easterbrook rebuffed their request.” I wonder who that could be?

One alleged Scott Walker email with Karl Rove was released by Easterbrook in the ~250 pages.

“The documents include an excerpt from an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also Walker’s longtime campaign strategist and the chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group active in the recall elections.’

‘Bottom line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin,” Walker wrote to Rove. “We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like running 9 Congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities.)’” No crime there yet; but, it is a smoking gun.

Walker and the Wisconsin Club for Growth are accusing the state prosecutors of violating their rights to freedom of speech due to the gathering of this information which reveals the names of donators to pro-Republican/Conservative funds. They accuse the prosecutors of violating elections laws.

The 7th District COA with Judge Easterbrook as the chief judge of a panel of three is reviewing the case. Like Posner, Easterbrook is not so easily swayed by politics. It should get interesting.

Update: See Simon Maloy, “GOP Is Falling to Pieces.”

The funny thing is that as Republicans team up with pundits to chisel out Obama’s epitaph, the Republican Party itself is falling to pieces right before our eyes. . . .

. . . Now Christie and Walker are implicated in criminal investigations. Prosecutors in Wisconsin placed Walker at the center of a “criminal scheme” to coordinate campaign spending with outside groups. In New Jersey, the investigation stemming from the George Washington Bridge scandal is reportedly closing in on Christie himself. For both men, once considered potential saviors of the GOP, the political future looks considerably dimmer.

Losing two top-tier presidential candidates (and potentially two governorships) would be bad enough, but the party also has to deal with the Tea Party/establishment fight that flared anew with Eric Cantor’s downfall earlier this month. The House leadership elections yesterday were quick and uneventful: Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy replaced Cantor as majority leader, and Rep. Steve Scalise replaced McCarthy as whip. Hardcore conservatives felt that Cantor’s defeat at the hands of a Tea Partyer would send a message to the leadership that RINOs (it’s still amazing they consider Eric Cantor a RINO) would not be tolerated at any level of government. The leadership heard that message, ignored it and installed McCarthy, whom the hard right considers even more of a squish than Cantor.

The media are conditioned to spew out the “Democrats in Disarray” narrative, whether the Dems are disarrayed or not. But as Maloy points out, right now about the only thing holding the Republican Party together is pathological hatred of Barack Obama.

11 thoughts on “Prosecutors Closing in on Scott Walker and the VRWC

  1. This guy reminds me a bit of Nixon – only without the ski-slope nose, sweaty upper-lip, and pock-marks on his face.
    And he also bears a striking resemblance to a like a beady-eyed rat.
    Maybe that’s why his whole staff seems to be filled with ratf*ckers.

    Further prosecutorial action will only make look Scottie “Puke Swamp”-Walker look like a victim

    All of this will only endear him all the more to conservatives – who always, ALWAYS, see themselves as victims.

    “Folks, it’s time to rally ’round the dirtbag!”

    D’ja ever notice that in nearly every bouquet of flowering electoral scandals, there’s a “Turdblossom?”

  2. Many of the county prosecutors who are heading the investigation are republicans as are the judges from the COA in Chicago, which seems to put the cabash on the ‘liberal witch hunt meme’. But, it’s all they’ve got so why not go with it. Randa’s order to stop the investigation and destroy all of the materials is highly, highly suspect. Here in cheeseland we have just gotten used to cronyism from the state courts, and especially the state supreme court, but a sitting federal judge, that’s a whole new level of cronyism. If the COAs sides with Randa then any hope of trying to keep coordination between the campaigns and outside money groups is completely gone. I couldn’t imagine that politics could get even worse in this country but that would certainly do it. We would certainly become the US of K, the United States of Koch.
    You ain’t kidding that Walker is dumb. The key piece of evidence is an email he sent Karl Rove outlining the coordination. There had been a previous investigation with Walker while he was Milwaukee County Exec and he was accused of using and having his county staff use a router that was installed in his offices that was used for campaign work to avoid being caught doing the work on County servers. Walker always claimed he knew nothing about the router, but there was an email that seemed to indicate that he actually did know about it, but nothing like this. Six of his staff went to jail from Milwaukee County for one reason or another, including doing campaign work for Walker on government time.
    This couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. I’m waiting for the perp walk.

  3. Stella,
    Not at all.
    Schadenfreude, is great for the body, mind, and soul! 🙂

  4. Poor, Scottie, all these years he thought he was a bullet-proof honey-badger.

    Only to find out, that people actually look upon him, as a weasel.

  5. OT – I am perplexed. Let me provide you a few quotes that make me wonder if the statute of limitations on acid flashbacks has not actually expired.

    “The Iraqi state is much weaker than the Rwandan one, but, even so, this quick survey underlines the wisdom of the approach the Obama administration is gesturing toward in Iraq: Use limited military force to weaken those who are trying to bring in violence from outside; focus most on the political; round up a regional coalition that will pressure Iraqi elites in this post-election moment to form an inclusive new government. [Emphasis added.]

    Guess who said that… David Brooks.. Bobo himself. OK, one incident is not significant but here’s a second quote from last week.

    “From the beginning, most people on the left were against going into Iraq. I wasn’t…. Liberals, you were right. We shouldn’t have.”

    OK, some of you know, but those who haven’t heard might think this is a prank from the ‘Onion’ when you hear the source – Glenn Beck. So that’s two.

    Barbara commented on this but let me include the transcript.

    “In your op-ed [in the Wall Street Journal], you write as follows: ‘Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” Kelly said on her show “The Kelly File.” “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well sir.”

    Further in the interview, this,

    “Referencing one of these harsh responses, Kelly quoted The Washington Post, which wrote “There is not a single person in America … who has been more wrong and shamelessly dishonest on the topic of Iraq than Dick Cheney.”

    “The suggestion is that you caused this mess,” Kelly said. “What say you?”

    Read more:

    The amazing thing is that anyone on Fox asked these questions at ALL! Somebody let Megyn Kelly off her script. She’s almost acting like a journalist. That’s three.
    What does it mean? DamnifIknow. I’d a bet against any one of them happening, but we have three within a span of 7 days. If you can, explain it to me.

    BTW, This isn’t a modernized version of the excuse that the ‘dog ate my homework’ but my tablet wouldn’t charge because the dog chewed the cable. I got it replaced and will gladly resume reading ‘Buddha Shrugged’ – and will write a review after – a lot shorter than my comments here.

  6. At least Nixon was smart. Walker needs to follow a video to tie his shoes.

    He thanks god for YouTube every single day.

    We — the grand “we”, as in we as Democrats and we as the USA — really need to be prosecuting these crimes by the Republican party. And Gerald Ford has a lot to be blamed for — his pardon of Nixon (probably a quid pro quo for his being appointed president) set the worst possible precedent.

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