Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Walkergate: But There's More. There's Always More.

When Kelly Rindfleisch was arrested and charged last week for illegal politicking, I pointed out the following email from Scott Walker to Tim Russell, which he sent just after Darlene Wink got caught posting comments on JSOnline and other sites:

I pointed out that this showed that Walker knew exactly what was happening and what his county staff was doing.  It does this by being very specific about the laptops and websites and other activities.  

Also very telling is that Walker sent this email, which one would think would actually be county business, from his campaign email address, during what would be considered work time.  This shows he was more concerned with the damage Wink's outing did to his campaign than there was anything illegal actually going on in his executive office.

The astute Jud Lounsbury noticed that when Walker sent that email to Russell, Russell was no longer in the county executive's office.  Two months earlier, Walker had transferred Russell to the Department of Housing, meaning that he was no longer in any authority of what happened in the executive office, unless it was to oversee the  illegal campaigning that Walker denies knowing anything about.  I would only add that was Russell no longer in the executive office, he was no longer in the courthouse, but had been moved to the Coggs Building, one mile away.  Although Russell didn't seem to be in his office all that often.

The esteemed Jay Bullock, formerly known as the blogger named folkbum, took Lounsbury one step further.  Bullock points out that the same day that Wink was outed, the official unofficial Walker campaign website up and disappeared - poof!  As Bullock states, this email shows that Walker knew exactly who to go to when he wanted it stopped, even though that person wasn't even in that office or that building.
Now, some of the Walker apologists might argue that the email shows that Walker ordered the illegal activity stopped and fired Wink, and that shows that he is a straight shooter.  Of course, to believe that, they would have to ignore the issues described above and the fact that Wink resigned on her own and there is no evidence that she was asked to do so.

But there's more.  There's always more.

If you take a closer look at Walker's email, he sent it on Friday, May 14, 2010.  Yet on the very next day, Saturday, May 15, Walker left Milwaukee on his infamous Harley Davidson "Executive Ride."  This ride, which was purportedly to promote tourism for Milwaukee County, was nothing more than a poorly disguised campaign event for Walker. He moved the ride up from it's usual time at the end of June because, get ready for this, it was too warm then to go for a motorcycle ride.  In what I'm sure is a coincidence (meaning it was anything but a coincidence), Walker's bike ride led back to Milwaukee just in time for the Republican state convention, in which the party nominees were named.  Shazam! How'd that happen?!

This campaign bike rid is also what led the DPW to file a complaint against Walker, first with the GAB and then with the Milwaukee County District Attorney, based in part on the fact that Russell, who went along on the ride as a county employee, was apparently doing what appears to be campaign work.

Walker didn't even wait a day before he violated his own directive.

Fun fact: For some reason, Walker didn't take a bike ride in 2011.  I can't imagine why not.

But there's more. There's always more.

Via Lounsbury again, we learn that as recently as this past October, Walker again crossed the line between government duties and campaign work when he had a WISGOP staffer sending out his official state press releases:

I had a rather strange exchange with the spokeswoman for the Wisconsin GOP yesterday morning as I tried to get Walker’s side of the story. First, Walker’s press secretary had emailed that the trip was not official state business and the Wisconsin GOP was handling everything.  Nicole Larson, deputy director of communications for the WISGOP, called me back after I left a voice mail message. 
“His schedule’s actually completely booked while he’s in Iowa,” Larson told me. “But what we can do is, I mean, since you’re radio I’m sure this might not be helpful, but we can send you the statement from his office.” 
I asked: “The statement from his office, that’s not handling his trip?” 
“Well, technically, I’m doing his communications,” Larson said, pausing before she added: “Because I am. We can send you a statement, but that’s all we can do because he’s booked.”

Let's recap for a minute.  There's some illegal politicking going on in the Walker's office while he was county executive.  He knows what's going on but doesn't do anything until one of his staff gets busted.  And then when he finally does act, it's only to do damage control and not address the personnel issues occurring, meaning he's still OK with it as long as no one gets caught.  The day after issue his edict to stop, he violates his own orders.  And he continues to do the same illegal politicking as governor.

But there's more.  There's always more.

One Wisconsin Now and We Are Wisconsin are calling for Walker to ask for the resignations of Cullen Werwie and Brett Davis, who were caught being involved in Walkergate and doing illegal politicking, just like in the caucus scandals of ten years ago.  They are basing their demands on Walker's very own words regarding another one of his scandalous friends, Darlene Wink:
“Had we been aware of anyone else who violated the…policy [against campaigning on taxpayers’ dime], we would have taken the same action [that we took against Darlene Wink and requested their resignation].”
Let me take a second to interject that Walker's email to Russell shows he knows Russell was in on the scandal, not to mention was with him during the entire campaign bike ride, but he never did fire him.  Russell stayed a county employee until he was fired by Walker's immediate temporary replacement, Lee Holloway.

But there's more.  There's always more.

Walker himself has violated this policy time and time again, both as county executive and now as governor.

But to be honest, unless the public outcry becomes so great that he can't conceivably ignore it, don't expect him to ask for anyone's resignation.  If he let's them go, he loses even the pretense of being able to influence their testimony in any upcoming trials.  And he doesn't dare risk anything more incriminating come out about him, between the Walkergate investigation and the recall election coming up.

Likewise, Walker will never resign.  Like most megalomaniacs throughout history, he is unable to conceive the fact that he could do wrong or is any way vulnerable.  Besides, if he resigned now, it would be effectively an admission of guilt.  And owning up to anything he did wrong is something that he has never done in his entire life.  I would not be at all surprised in the event of his recall and/or indictment, he will go down blaming others and accepting no responsibility himself.


  1. Great work!

    My favorite: ".....Let me take a second to interject that Walker's email to Russell shows he knows Russell was in on the scandal, not to mention was with him during the entire campaign bike ride, but he never did fire him. Russell stayed a county employee until he was fired by Walker's immediate temporary replacement, Lee Holloway...."

  2. It's quite the Boots & Kittens moment for me to imagine Russell convincing his boyish candidate for Governor that he'd look really good in a white t-shirt and motorcycle leathers.

  3. Well, John, there's a visual that I didn't need. Especially if you add chaps to the outfit.

  4. Russell was just trying to butch Scottie up a little with the leather. He should have added more studs.