Thursday, May 31, 2012

Walkergate Shocker! Scott Walker Is John Doe!

The Overpass Light Brigade
appearing in West Allis on 5/30/12

There was a whole lot of news popping about Walkergate today, but very little of it was new.  And, of course, as it usually is, there was some questions which were not pursued which should have been.

First, there is a report from which states that the attorney for Kelly Rindfleisch, Franklyn Gimbel, is planning on challenging a lot of the evidence which was obtained in a number of searches:
The attorney representing former Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch says he plans to challenge evidence seized from the homes and offices from other former Walker staffers as well as former state Rep. Brett Davis as part of his defense for Rindfleisch against the charges filed against her in the ongoing John Doe investigation.

Attorney Frank Gimbel said court records he’s now reviewing show the raids were executed in 2010 at the homes and/or offices of former Walker aides Tim Russell, Darlene Wink and Jim Villa, along with Davis. He said prosecutors also seized email and phone records for all of them in the raids, which he learned of recently after filing a discovery request.
The searches of Russell's house and Wink's house is old news. They did Russell's house in December of 2010. That's where they also found the evidence to charge his partner, Brian Pierick, with child enticement. We also already new about Wink's house being raided.

The raid on Villa's and Davis' house is new news. But it's not too surprising. I've also heard that they had searched other homes as well. Remember, a lot of Milwaukee County computers and files came up missing shortly after Walker won the election in 2010.

It should also be noted that while the report accurately notes that Rindfleisch is facing charges related to the Davis campaign, the subsequent release of transcripts would indicate she was helping with Walker's campaign as well.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also has an article on this aspect of Walkergate. There is nothing significantly new in this article. It does, however, include the fact that Rindfleisch was working on Walker's campaign as well.

However, the article does perpetuate a falsehood told by Walker, in which Walker claims "he was unaware of any violations of his policy that county staffers refrain from doing political work on taxpayer-paid public jobs."


Not only was Walker aware of it, he was directing it!

MJS had another story in which they interviewed Judge Neal Nettesheim, the judge who is overseeing the Walkergate trial. Buried deep into the article, we see another confirmation of something we already knew - that Walker has appeared and testified before the judge:
Nettesheim declined to comment specifically on whether Walker was constrained under the John Doe law from discussing what he knows about issues under investigation or from releasing specific emails. Nettesheim noted that his secrecy order extends to all parties, including even the judge. Violators can be held in contempt of court, fined or jailed. Nettesheim would be the enforcer if violations occur.

The judge made clear, though, that no individual would be subject to the secrecy order unless he physically appeared in front of the judge while in court on the John Doe proceeding, and personally received the secrecy order from the judge.

Further, he said that an individual who had not appeared as a witness would be free to discuss or distribute documents even if those documents were evidence.

"If a non-witness, an independent third party, has documents in his possession, he or she entitled to do what they want with them," he said.

Finally, in yet another article by MJS, we have the most direct admission yet by Walker himself that he is the target of the John Doe:
Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he will not use campaign funds to pay for the criminal defense of his aides.

Walker made the comment a day after a report show he had transferred $100,000 from his campaign account to a criminal defense fund he has set up. In all, he has put $160,000 into the account.

That fund can be used for himself, his campaign or those working for his campaign. But Walker's comments Wednesday indicate he would use the funds only for himself or the campaign.
By the way, the article omits that he has put another $160,000 down to Steven Biskupic who is representing the campaign.

Imagine how many people could have been helped with that third of a million dollars that he is using to try to prevent, or at least, delay, justice being done.

But there is one aspect of the article that does raise a question in my mind:
Walker said he put money into the defense fund so that he could provide thousands of documents to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, who is heading the investigation. Hiring attorneys was necessary to make that efficient, he said.

"It doesn't make any sense as governor to spend my time, spending hours over days, doing that," he told reporters at a campaign stop at Laminations Central in Appleton.
My question would be what documents would he be producing? Any contract bidding or communications about contracts would be government property. Is he saying that he took those boxes and boxes of missing files? If so, then what was in the Mystery Dumpster'O'Fun?  And for all the money that he's spending on these high-priced lawyers, just how many documents does he have in his possession?

And how could anyone with a clear conscience even consider supporting someone with such dubious character and such a high likelihood of being indicted in the relatively near future?

1 comment:

  1. My question would be what documents would he be producing?

    Answer not involving failure to produce or destruction of documents:

    If there was an investigation into some politician connected with bidding practices, then financial documents might be examined for unusual transactions. A complete audit and matching of all documents and records might be necessary to determine what has been done and/or concealed.

    Alternately, if illegal campaigning practices were discovered, then complete financial colonoscopies of anyone connected might be indicated to see what, if anything, has been illegally funded or reimbursed.