Saturday, October 27, 2012

Walkergate: Reports Of John Doe's Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

At the beginning of the week, Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported something that we had already known for some five months - that Scott Walker had met with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office. In an interview with Bice, Walker was his usual dishonest, evasive self:
Reached last week, Walker acknowledged the meeting with prosecutors earlier this year.

"I said all along that we'd cooperate with them," Walker said earlier this month. "We followed their lead on that."

But Walker declined to discuss specifics of the meeting, including when the two sides got together.

Asked if the sitdown occurred before or after the June 5 recall election, the Wauwatosa Republican said, "I don't remember the exact date."

Walker declined to answer when asked if he thought the John Doe probe, which has been running for more than 29 months, should be shut down. He said he trusted District Attorney John Chisholm to follow the facts in the case.

The governor did emphasize again that he does not believe he is a target in the investigation, pointing to a statement Landgraf made earlier this month to the media: "This case was never about Gov. Scott Walker. It was always about Kelly Rindfleisch."

"He's the one who pointed out - actually, a couple of times last week - that it wasn't about us, which is exactly what I've said," Walker said.
To help Walker out, the meeting was in mid-May and the reported subject of the meeting was the questionable deal that Walker and his people tried to broker in a real estate pay for play stunt.

The gentle reader should note Walker was correct in one aspect. The Rindfleisch case was not about him, it was about her. Just like the case against Darlene Wink was about her and the case about Tim Russell is about him.  But that in no way means that he is not a subject of the ongoing investigation, which as we already have shown many times over, is not about just one person or just one crime.

And as we have discussed before, if Walker is not the subject of the investigation, he'd be free to talk, especially since the Rindfleisch trial is over, ending in a plea bargain.

But Bice's report did not end with this bit of old news. He continued with this:
Insiders say there has been little activity by John Doe investigators in Milwaukee County since the recall race, which Walker won over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

"This thing is as dead as a doornail," suggested one official familiar with the Milwaukee County phase of the investigation.

Other sources said Chisholm's office has not been in contact with most of the key Walker witnesses in about four months.

Last month, Landgraf traveled to Madison in part to prep witnesses who might have potentially testified in the Rindfleisch trial but who ultimately did not have to do so because of the plea agreement.
As the gentle reader might surmise, Walker's propagandists had a field day with this.

The disreputable Brian Sikma of Media Trackers, a right wing front group funded by the Bradley Foundation and American Majority, has been repeatedly caught up in lies and obfuscations, jumped all over the story, stating that Walkergate has "gone dark" since the recall.

Squawker Charlie Sykes, who was named in one of the charges against Darlene Wink, also took up on this, saying that the investigation was "dead as a doornail" and trying to infer that this somehow exonerated Walker. He even went so far as to demand apologies on Walker's behalf.

To be honest, I found this whole thing to be mind-bogglingly incredulous. I was wondering if I was watching some sort of remake of this famous skit by Monty Python:

Walkergate dead as a doornail? Gone dark since the recall election? What rock has these slugs been hiding under?

Just last week, we saw Kelly Rindfleisch cop a plea deal regarding how she was illegally politicking in Walker's office suite in the Milwaukee County Courthouse while he was simultaneously running the county into the ground and running for governor. Emphasis on the word simultaneously.

We also just saw Kevin Kavanaugh, the guy Walker appointed to the Veterans Services Committee, get convicted for embezzling money from Walker's thinly disguised campaign stunt which he called Operation Freedom.

And lest we forget, Walker's very special friend and long time campaign worker/crony/staffer, Tim Russell, is facing trial on embezzlement charges in December. Russell allegedly stole money from the same money that Kavanaugh did, after Walker manipulated the situation to put control of the fund in Russell's hands. And Walker is on the witness list for that trial as well. That is unless Russell's publicly funded attorney can reach a plea deal on these charges.

One of the reasons that there hasn't been much new news outside of the trials is because, as I have pointed out all along, the DA's office is doing their jobs by keeping the Walkergate investigation secret until it's time to arrest and charge the ne'er-do-wells.

It has also been reported that the DA's office is waiting to resolve all the current issues before moving on, which included the Russell matter.

And there are still issues that need to be resolved.

One such matter is the aforementioned land deal. If that was not a factor, there would need to be an explanation on why David Halbrooks was given immunity and why Attorney Michael Maistelman became someone that the DA wanted to meet with, presumably on the same matter for which Halbrooks was given immunity.

There are also such things as why Walker would have needed a legal defense fund, much less why he would have needed to dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into it. Or why he was stonewalling the DA's office in the first place, which led to the whole Walkergate investigation to begin with.

And as Bice pointed out in his article, there is the son of John Doe, or Walkergate West, and the crap that was being pulled in Madison.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that, as with all things Walker, there is always more, such as this email from Walker, pointing out that he was fully aware of what was happening and in charge of it:

Furthermore, if Walker was in the clear, District Attorney John Chisholm would not hesitate to come out and say so as he has done for others, like Maistelman and Andrews.

I feel confident that we will still be seeing a scene like this in the future:


  1. What is the FBI role in this if any?

    1. They assisted the Milwaukee County DA at his request, when the AG J.B. Van Hollen refused to do his job.

  2. Great post, thanks.

  3. "He's the one who pointed out - actually, a couple of times last week - that it wasn't about us, which is exactly what I've said," Walker said.

    Who is "us?"

  4. I took "us" to mean Walker and Davis' campaigns or maybe just Walker's campaign. His administration or something like that.

  5. What about the fight among prosecutors in the Bice story? What were they fighting amongst themselves about in May?

    Where is the money that Kavanaugh embezzled? We think we know what Russell did with the money he took from the Vet's fund (vacations, etc.) but what was Kavanaugh's motive? I heard that he did not spend what he took.

    I heard Marty Biel on Sly's show say that WEDC paid for a separate private email system and cell phones for the Dept. of Regulation and Liscensing. What's up with private communications systems in the Walker administration? How many other state govt. units are getting these and what fund is this coming out of?