Thursday, March 15, 2012

Walkergate: The Other Campaign Team

So far, for the most part, the news coming out about Walkergate has been centered around some of Scott Walker's staff when he was Milwaukee County Executive.

There is Darlene Wink, who was his constituent affairs person, has already pleaded guilty in exchange for a couple of misdemeanor charges and the promise to turn state's witness.

Then there is Kelly Rindfleisch, who Walker hired to be his Deputy Chief of Staff, but forgot to tell his Chief of Staff, Tom Nardelli about the hire.  She is currently facing four felony charges for campaigning and fund raising for not only Walker but his number one choice for Lieutenant Governor, Brett Davis, while working in the County Executive's Office.

And who could forget Tim Russell?  He is currently facing charges for embezzling money from a veteran's fund called "Operation Freedom," but in reality was nothing more than a campaign stunt for Walker.  Russell could end up facing so many more charges since he had his dirty little fingers in every dirty deed done, or so it seems, including, but not limited to, setting up the secret router system and overseeing Wink's campaigning activities.

These arrests, charges and conviction have been enough to keep most people on the edge of the seats, seeing how this is going to end up being big trouble for Walker.

But what most of us have forgotten is that Walkergate is a multi-layered monstrosity, the corruption of the courthouse being but just one layer of his labyrinth of his insidiousness.

There is William E. Gardner, the railroad tycoon, who was making illegal campaign donations.

Then there is Walker's other campaign team, the one that was supposed to be, you know, doing the actual campaigning.  And there's already some things to keep an eye on.

People like his former campaign spokeswoman, Jill Bader.  When she wasn't busy sending out racist tweets, she was busy setting up meetings between Walker and supporters at county events.

There was a series of emails between Wink and Walker's campaign, between Cindy Archer, who was Walker's Director of Administration, and Walker's campaign staff, and between Rindfleisch and both the Walker campaign and the Davis campaign.  These communications were not one way either, but back and forth exchanges.  Surely, the members of Walker's campaign staff knew that these were government employees and were working at the courthouse during the course of these thousands of emails.

To support the fact that there is still much more to come, Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who is one of the few people that knows more than even I about Walkergate, did an interview with WTDY's Amy Barrilleaux.  In the interview, Bice states that he's heard that the homes of some of Walker's campaign staff had also been raided by law enforcement agents.

If this is true, there could be a lot more people about to be arrested and charged, and thus a lot more people who might be more interested in turning state's witnesses rather than take the fall for such a conniving weasel like Walker.

And this doesn't even begin to scratch at yet another layer of the Walkergate onion - the realtors and the possible illegal pay for play politicking.

No wonder Walker was eager to hire such high profile attorneys or the need to set up the legal cooperation fund to help pay for them.  (Man, I bet Walker was really ticked when he realized that all those millions of dollars that he collected but couldn't use for campaign activities, like challenging the recall signatures.  Now, he's got to go and raise another whole ton of out of state money.)

So, in summary, I would say it's pretty safe to assume that the recalls will happen a lot sooner than any possible indictment of Walker (regardless of what his hapless spokeswoman might say).  But it will definitely be more fodder for the recall.

And you better keep that popcorn popping.  There's a lot more stuff to watch ahead.


  1. Minor typo.

    >>>Walker was eager to higher <<<

    More raids. Good.

  2. Bring me the head of Prince Reibus. That's not much to ask for.

  3. @capper: "(Man, I bet Walker was really ticked when he realized that all those millions of dollars that he collected but didn't use for campaign activities, like challenging the recall signatures. Now, he's got to go and raise another whole ton of out of state money.)"

    That first sentence appears to be missing a final clause. What did you mean to say?

  4. Gareth, the head of Reince Priebus is connected to the head of Robin Vos, if you get my drift.

  5. WI $300,000 a year private sector union boss Gooch McGowan, local 139, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) SUPPORTS union busting WALKER FOR WI GOVERNOR. Incredible but true. Boss McGowan began publicly supporting anti-union Walker in the summer of 2010 and continues to support Gov Walker with union paid staff and of course MONEY all paid for with union dues. When the usually timid local 139 union members (Boss McGowan controls the local 139 hiring hall) spoke out against the "boss" for supporting an anti-union Republican Governor, McGowan doubled down and spent tens of thousands of union member's dues to snailmail all 9,000 members a 4 page letter trying to justify HIS support for Walker. Maybe McGowan should have also mentioned that he was just repeating the failed strategy of local 150's (N Il, N IN, parts of IA) support of union busting IN governor Daniels who like Walker, busted the public sector unions his first year in office, then in Feb 2012, busted the private sector unions. Insanity is what..... I'd rather pay for McGowan's mental health care than watch him make these.....decisions.
    Great reporting on the Walker scandal. My one source scandal shopping. Thanks