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.