Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another Rat Flees Walker's Sinking Ship

It's being reported that Scott Walker's Chief of Staff, Keith Gilkes, is leaving his state job to go back to his political consulting business.

And speculation as to why and why now abound.

The speculation regarding Gilkes departure is fueled by the fact that so many of Walker's other staffers, both from the past and those currently serving him, are embroiled in the ever-expanding Walkergate.

It doesn't help Team Walker that there are inconsistencies, as usual, in their messaging.

The report from JSOnline indicates that Gilkes is going back to campaign life at Walker's urging and to prepare for the upcoming recall:
Walker said he wanted Gilkes to go to the campaign now because he wants to tout the benefits of his policies - including an explosive repeal of almost all collective bargaining for public employees.

"I think when the public sees the facts and we get our message out, people are going to be appreciative of what we've done and, hopefully, they'll want to send more people to Madison who have that kind of common sense when it comes to reforms," Walker told reporters at a Madison event.

"I absolutely do take it seriously," he said of a possible recall attempt.
But later in the very same article, Gilkes said that he was planning this all along and that there's nothing to see here:
Gilkes and Walker said the departure was not related to the investigation. Indeed, top Republicans had been privately saying even before the raid on Archer's home that Gilkes would be leaving the administration soon to prepare for a likely recall attempt.

Gilkes disclosed his plans to top Walker aides earlier in the day during a meeting of Walker's cabinet at a Madison hotel. In an interview, he said he would serve as lead adviser to Walker's campaign, but would also take on other clients for campaign work. He said he would not go into lobbying.

Gilkes said he had long planned to revive his political consulting business, the Champion Group, after working as chief of staff.

"My reputation is one of not wanting to stay in state government for very long," Gilkes said, referring to past stints in the Capitol between campaign jobs.
Both Walker and Gilkes deny that Gilkes' resignation has anything to do with Watergate.

But is that true?

Bill Christofferson says maybe, maybe not. He makes a valid point that not everyone is cut out for government work and thrive more on the political sides of things. To further support this would be to just say "follow the money." It is probably very likely that Gilkes can make much more than his state salary of $112,000 as a consultant, especially if he picks up other clients. (I did hear rumor that he has been in contact with one of the presidential hopefuls.)

For what it's worth, I haven't even heard of a rumor tying Gilkes into the ongoing investigation into all of the nefarious misdeeds of the Walker campaign and his staff. But then again, it's hard to imagine that Gilkes, who managed Walker's campaign and then served nine months as his chief of staff is completely unaware of everything that was going on. After all, it was Gilkes who allowed the phony David Koch phone call to go through, indicating that there was some awareness of the Kochs' ties to Walker.

But to say Gilkes' resignation has absolutely nothing to do with Walkergate would be a stretch of the truth, in my opinion.

Gilkes' truly might not be a person of interest in the investigation, but it's very hard to believe that he does not have some knowledge of what was happening during the campaign he was managing or in Walker's office where he was Walker's right hand man. It would not be surprising if he was at least questioned during the investigation.

At the very least, it would make sense for anyone to want to distance themselves from Walker's sinking ship, even in a discreet fashion. Especially if the pasture is greener away from Walker and his scorched earth.


  1. A friend who knows more about politics than I do, commented to be that it is fairly common for people to leave government to work on campaigns for incumbents. That is sort of this situation for Walker, just earlier than usual.

  2. The Gov. already has been speeding around the state for picture opportunities in front of, and in, ANY place that is creating a job. Or might be. Ron Johnson likes to do that, too.

    Of course, he's in and out of town, like Ron Johnson, with little to no notice. Everywhere he goes, he avoids people, he avoids the local press. Ron Johnson uses taxpayer money to roll his mobile HQ around WI in an effort to keep his mantra fresh and audible.

    Gilkes is hot, I mean political consulting is big business these days. (I mean look at all the businesses dedicated to targeting the voters out there on the web!) Here's a guy who's got the Gov. placement on his resume, he's just going for more money now. This guy doesn't care about the taxpayer or policy, or any of it.

    He's going to take all those taxpayer funded private photo-shoots and use that in his next big gig: taking over the White House.

    It's a shame so many people are okay with the consumer-based candidate angles that enable even more slime to pocket huge amounts of money in the hopes of getting some other slime to get huge amounts of PUBLIC money.