Friday, January 27, 2012

Scott Walker, The New Nixon

These few paragraphs reported by Dan Bice about Darlene Wink, one of two former Walker staffers in the Milwaukee County Executive's office charged Thursday with criminal behaviors on public time, indicate how far, wide, deep and fast Walker's legal and political problems are expanding:

...Wink, cut a deal with prosecutors under which she has agreed to provide information in a related investigation about the destruction of digital evidence and to aid in further prosecutions. This is the first indication that the multifaceted John Doe investigation may be pursuing charges of evidence tampering.

Milwaukee County prosecutors also made the surprising disclosure that top Walker aides set up a private Internet network set up by top Walker aides to allow them to communicate with one another by email about campaign as well as county government work without the public or co-workers' knowledge.
The emails traded by Walker officials via the shadow government could provide investigators with a trove of information as they pursue other angles in the case. Earlier this week, the Journal Sentinel reported that the probe was focusing on possible bid-rigging and other misconduct in the competition to house the county Department on Aging in private office space.
The network was set up by long-time Walker staffer Tim Russell, already charged with stealing money from a veterans fund, and mentioned in a related complaint against his live-in partner for soliciting sex from a Waukesha teenager, among other allegations.

And let us not forget Walker's ethical deficits, which we have seen before - - where political considerations trump legality, common sense, and so on.

These things will stick to Walker, and they underscore why his people who control the conservative dollars flowing to his campaign coffers, would be talking about a Plan B.

If he's weakened - - they are weakened. If were to go down - - they take a fall, too.

Walker fancies himself the heir to Ronald Reagan and his conservative leadershp's legacy, but, more and more, it is Richard Nixon (Tim Russell, meet Alexander Bufferfield), secret electronics and the drip-drip-drip of an unfolding corruption case that come to mind.

When Walker left Marquette and his political science studies before graduation, he must have missed the Watergate class. 

And by the way, commentary about all this should come from the pre-eminent Nixon Scholar Stanley Kutler, my friend and former Constitutional Law professor.

Have at it.


I am not Stanley Kutler said...

Nor do I play him on TV. But I don't think Walker is like Nixon. There's all kinds of corrupt leaders - Governors, Presidents, Mayors, Sheriffs, name it, if they have power they abuse it. And in some pretty ballsy and creative ways. So IMO when you get into X is like Y it's more a personality or style thing. Or maybe ways in which they change the culture. I don't think Reagan was any kind of genius at all, but he seemed to be symbol of a new way of Presidential-being, or just a new way to package your politicism. Nixon just was so mundane, so dry.
If he was having an affair with Bebe it was the boringest boudoir in history no matter how kinky they got.
I think Scott Walker is different. There's something different about him. He is not run-of-the-mill at all. So while many hate him with a passion, I think that uniqueness is actually dear to many other people. I think they'll fight for it, to hang onto some political phenomenon that feels different than your Mitts and your dumpling-faced Haley Barbour good old boy types.

Also critical, Walker himself has not been "caught". Until some evidence turns up that Walker issued orders, it's all just over-zealous minions willing to do anything to help their man defeat the socialist menace. Many people can relate to surfing the net, or blogging at work or making too many calls home or even shopping online while at work, they'll relate to the "crimes" of the Walker minions. People who send out baby shower invitations while at work will feel a twinge.
Except not for the guys who stole the Vet money - that's just gonna be seen as dirty whether you're Left or Right. But gossiping on a private router is not the same as the actual B and E Nixon's guys did. So far this getting into more picky Law, like that whole Open meetings rule last year- was it properly noticed if it was placed on THIS bulletin board or not, was it noticed 2 hours ahead? or 1 hour and 52 minutes? - that's hair-splitting law breaking in the minds of most average persons, even though many Democrats were convinced it was flagrant and evil. Still, they didn't win on that point. People in public life are used to protocol and Roberts Rules of order for every little thing, so tiny deviations seem like big deals to them. Not so much the public. Maybe a lot of people see Walker as more like the cop who is so committed to Doing The Right Thing that he deviates from the needless hindrances of police procedure here and there, going a little rogue to get the serial-killer. In time Walker may be revealed to be genuinely like Nixon, but he isn't now.

Anonymous said...

Nixon had more class than Walker.

Anonymous said...

Holy cripes, Not SK, are you equating shopping online at the office with doing campaign work on the taxpayers' dime? There's a minor difference -- one is against the law. And for Eagle Scout Scott Walker, who claims to be so morally upright, violating the law would seem unthinkable. Yet when this activity became public knowledge, there was no wave of firings or resignations from his staff. Only an e-mail saying to stop it -- and his own e-mail seems to imply he knew details about what he was asking people to stop. At least Reagan after Iran Contra would go so far as to say "It happened on my watch." Bet we'll never hear any such thing from Scottie.

MacGruber said...

Remember Nixon's Enemies List, and the extensive FBI surveillance of 'dangerous subversives' such as the ex-Beatle John Lennon?
Nixon wanted to expand that to anyone he deemed for any reason, and a FBI Director aided the Washington Post in helping taking him down.

Now the FBI is Walker's worst enemy.
Maybe Walker was as deluded as in his 'private' call from 'David Koch' and thought he was in the White House.
Bush Admin. got away with destroying millions of presumably incriminating emails. A small sample of these were accidentally sent to Greg Palast who cleverly bought a website similar to the RNC's.

Comments during Bush reign of terror: Nixon's actions simply made legal for Bush.

Anonymous said...

We won't know how close Walker is to being like Nixon till we find out what sort of interactions he's had with the state patrol and DCI in terms of formulating enemies lists, survielling poltical enemies ect. I wouldn't put it past these people to be doing that sort of stuff.