Saturday, September 24, 2016

As Walker's campaigns grew, so did investigations, stakes

With the John Doe II probe back in the news and also at the doorstep of the US Supreme Court next month, it's rather amazing to follow a common thread linking much of Walker's career: first there is the campaign, then the investigation.

*  The pattern emerged in 1988, with a run for Marquette University student body president which ended badly for Walker: 

He was accused of violating campaign guidelines on multiple occasions. The [Marquette] Tribune reported then that he was found guilty of illegal campaigning two weeks before his candidacy became official. 
Later, a Walker campaign worker was seen placing brochures under doors at the YMCA. Door-to-door campaigning was strictly prohibited.
Walker initially denied this but later admitted to the violation, which resulted in lost campaign privileges at the YMCA. In the run-up to election day, the Tribune’s editorial board endorsed Walker’s opponent John Quigley, but said either candidate had the potential to serve effectively.. 
However, the Tribune revised its editorial the following day, calling Walker “unfit for presidency.” The column cited Walker’s distribution of a mudslinging brochure about Quigley that featured statements such as “constantly shouting about fighting the administration” and “trying to lead several ineffective protests of his own.” 
The revision also expressed disappointment in Walker’s campaign workers reportedly throwing away issues of the Tribune after the endorsement was initially made. 
Walker dismissed this, saying he had no knowledge of what his supporters did, according to a Tribune article from February 25, 1988.
*  Then there was the secret email system set up by Walker aides down the hall from his Milwaukee County Executive office used to organize and finance 2010 GOP campaigns on public time. Known as John Doe I:
The investigation – resulting in six convictions – involved embezzlement, money laundering and staffers mixing state business with a campaign effort to get Walker, then a Milwaukee county executive, to the governor’s mansion.
*  That probe set the stage for another, broader investigation known as John Doe II - - a state prosecutorial effort which unearthed millions of dark money dollars routed for Walker's 2012 recall election, and others. through a secret network.

The scheme, prosecutors said, also funded legislative candidacies that helped preserve Walker's GOP governing majority; the investigation was shut down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a move now eligible for a review by the US Supreme Court because of conflict-of-interest allegations against two Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices who shared major donors with Walker.

Quite the progression - - from being accused in 1988 of "violating campaign guidelines on multiple occasions" in a campus election to being accused of being at the center of a multi-million dollar dark money system which led one major publication to address it with this headline:
Yes, for the record - - Walker himself has never been charged in these investigations, and has managed to stay on his feet after truthiness problems on a smaller scale have cropped up - - but all it will take is four US Supreme Court Justices accepting the Doe prosecutors' petition for a review of the state's dismissal of their investigation and Walker can be credited with shining the brightest national light possible on shady money and campaign tactics.


Anonymous said...

So the proof that arises from your post is... Walker got embolden each time he broke a rule/law/policy/guideline/whatever. With out punishment without serious consequences the system has made him even worse than the last time. It needs to stop somewhere a nice RICO charge would leave him without assets to screw the next person/state/taxpayers/whatever.

Anonymous said...

"[...] shining the brightest national light possible on shady money and campaign tactics" should never have come down to a roll-the-dice-will-the-SCOTUS-take-the-case-or-not situation. It is likely that one of the reasons the repugs refused to even consider seating a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States is that this dark money thing would have been blown wide-open and koch darling Scott Walker would have been exposed and eventually convicted as the criminal he is.

When it suits their purpose, the media claims to be the "fourth estate" with a sanctimonious role of being the arbitrator of facts and truth. They claim to be the "watchdog" when trying to sell me tripe, but they chose to keep dark money in the dark and even overwhelmingly endorsed the criminals across the state knowing full-well that even their own reporters occasional told the truth about the crimes.

Your post is good and all about important truths. But as the investigations and stakes rise, we just see more of the massive media failure that blankets Wisconsin will tidbits of occasional truth surrounded by pro-Walker talking points disguised as news and then editorials and endorsements that enable and promote the criminality.

It does just go to prove the old adage, "Great crimes demand even more criminality". But in politics, this cannot happen without a watchdogs that do not bark.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Well stated. The only way this stops is through convictions that bring major jail time and multi-million dollar fines. Otherwise, these crimes against democracy will continue.

Just like with Wall Street crooks, these sociopaths will not do the right or ethical thing, and will only stop when the punishments will happen, and they exceeed the benefits of being an unethical slimeball

Anonymous said...

How in the heck did we get to a point where the worst dirtbag in our states history still has a 40% approval rating? Sometimes I think people see him as being such a worthless person that they have zero expectations for him.
he has become so corrupt that I can not even attach my name to a letter to the editor without knowing that it will come back to bite my kid who works for the State of Wisconsin.

So what has Walker done for me?

He has stolen money from me. Thousands of dollars through making it legal for our school district to break contract.

He has destroyed our school by choking us of our finances.

He has created a conflict between myself and my parents. It is hard to understand why they had voted and verbally supported a criminal, but hey, divide and conquer. Actually, my dad who is no longer around, was furious with the last two years with the crap he pulled.

He has created a horrible work environment in my kids place of work.

He has ruined the economy in our small rural community, yet they still support the idiot. As I told the manager at the local lumber yard when he was complaining about so many people going to Menards. My answer: You voted for stealing money out of my pocket, but you expect me to support you. Lucky for him that I refuse to ever step into Menards. Hey they only gave 2 mill of dark money.

Our school board no longer listens to anything our teachers have to say, because he has told them not to. He has destroyed our school in so many ways it makes me sick.

I could go on for a long time, but it changes nothing. We have a stinking rotten thief running our state into the ground, while claiming that he is a great Christian man. Walker is as far from a Christian as any person I can think of. He has done nothing to show his faith. He is a despicable liar who belongs in prison. I would choose Trump over him in a heartbeat.

One last note on the media. The JS couldn't even write about the traffic deaths that have been caused with out the disclaimer that the high speed might not be the problem. That paper is as corrupt as Walker. They have the same puppet masters as the gov.

Anonymous said...

It just always sounds like upside-down world here. My newspaper endorses him and my TV says that everything is happy and fine. In fact the news teams I watch every morning and noon and after work and before bedtime all seem like one happy family telling. They report that things are peachy keen across Wisconsin. Why would anyone want to upset that with change? I'll probably vote for Scott Walker again if my newspaper tells me to do it again.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I have lost faith in this "U.S. Justice" system. if your Rich in this country you are above the law. If you hold a govenment office you are above the LAW. We live in a day and age where an Ex-president and Vice President have admitted to starting wars over lies. Soldiers lost their lives for their lives and nothing happens, We have the Clintons and the DNC Theartening Bernie Sanders and Cheating on the nomination. They were caught rigging it no arrests, We have CEO 's of banks ripping off the middle class. No arrests made only a slap on the wrists. Then we have Governors running rough shed over the States they Govern, Busting down unions, taking huge campaign donations and giving Tax breaks to those donors. WE have State Supreme Court justices attacking and choking other justices. NO arrest made on Prosser. We have a State that voted into law you can't prosecute Wisconsin state officials for their wrong doing. Meanwhile the middle class shrinks, The rich get richer and we all struggle. Walker will walk away free unscathed. Justice is just a word with an empty meaning in Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

Just wait. When malcontents shut-up, our economy will take off like a rocket! It's like Tinkle Bell. Now clap your hands before the Great and Mighty Scott Walker.