Saturday, November 16, 2013

With Walker, It's Always 'Follow The Money…Trust, But Verify'

As The Wall Street Journal frets about an expanding John Doe 2.0 investigation in Wisconsin that could tarnish Scott Walker and the mega-donors who financed his 2012 recall win, note two things:

* A probe along similar lines led to big fines and disclosures in California:
Two Arizona-based political organizations agreed to pay $1 million to settle claims they violated California’s campaign-finance laws when they donated $15 million to conservative causes in the 2012 election. 
The two groups “operated as part of the ‘Koch Brothers’ Network’ of dark money political nonprofit corporations,” the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission said yesterday in a statement.
*  People would keep close track of how the Walker-created-and-chaired Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation spends $2.5 million in advertising, as disclosed on this blog yesterday with information from WEDC produced through Open Records.

And if you click on the WEDC ad inserted into the JSOnline NewsWatch column - - 

you are taken to a WEDC page with Walker's photo and video.



InWisconsin Site Selector

The WEDC replaced a more traditional Department of Commerce with a quasi-public corporation that gave Walker and the private sector greater political control over its operations.

It would not be unusual for a Governor to appear in state promotional materials, but such materials and the decisions to create and distribute them would deserve more scrutiny if that Governor is traveling the country - - again - - raising substantial funds for personal political advancement.

Though it is odd that WEDC chose to feature the Trek Bike company and its President John Burke - - brother of current Walker opponent Mary Burke - - in the video. 

And odd to insert a shot of an Amtrak train rolling along. Trek and Amtrak? Maybe I am over-thinking the WEDC-Walker coordination.

We'll check back for edits.

As always, follow the money, and trust, but verify.

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