Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Walkergate: Doe And Sons

At the end of last week, we learned that Scott Walker was again feeling the heat as the Sons of Doe were given free rein again as an appellate court said that the five concurrent investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and third party groups.  To add to his misery, the very next day, it was revealed that his campaign had spent $86,000 on legal defense attorneys, making it all but a surety that Walker was again (or is it still?) John Doe.

On Tuesday, Walker got reminded that Papa Doe was still around when Judge Patricia Curley ruled that the emails and other documents produced in the trial and sentencing hearing of Kelly Rindfleisch should be unsealed:
Kelly Rindfleisch — who served as Walker's deputy chief of staff when Walker was Milwaukee County executive — had asked the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to keep sealed thousands of emails and other documents as she tries to overturn her conviction.

But Appeals Judge Patricia Curley ruled Tuesday only a very limited set of records could be withheld from the public, such as those containing Social Security numbers or medical information.

"Personal information collected (in) a criminal investigation is routinely included in criminal appellate records," Curley wrote. "Although the investigation that led to the criminal charges against Rindfleisch generated widespread public interest, Rindfleisch is no different from any other person seeking appellate review of his or her criminal conviction.

"She may not seek to shield information simply because she does not want the information to be made available to the public."

Curley, who serves on the Milwaukee-based District 1 Court of Appeals, gave Rindfleisch 30 days to review the material and make requests to keep any specific records from being placed in the publicly available court file.
The article goes on to report that Rindfleisch's attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, said he needed to "consult with his client" about the possibility of appealing this to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

If I were a gambling man, I would put money on an appeal for a few different reasons.

One, we can't forget that four out of the seven justices are beholden to the corporate special interests that are the subject of the investigations and as such, as shown that the law is not as much their concern as is what said special interests want.  After all, David "Chokehold" Prosser said that he would be a rubber stamp for Scott Walker.  Do you think that he would actually uphold the law and go against Walker?

Secondly, let's not forget that the funders of Rindfleisch's legal defense are Walker and the GOP.  Walker is fighting for reelection as well as keeping his eye on a presidential run.  He doesn't need to have the whole Walkergate scandal start to percolate again.  Especially while the national media is still having a feeding frenzy on the bloated carcass that was Chris Christie's political career.

Likewise, the corporate special interests don't want their money-laundering and election-buying schemes exposed any more than they already are.  They are already whining that the money flow as slowed way down.

The possible release of Rindfleisch's emails and documents aren't Walker's only problem from Tuesday.

In the same article, it is also reported that the Government Accountability Board had clarified the rules for legal defense cooperation funds in response to an "unnamed" political campaign:
Also Tuesday, state elections officials laid out how a candidate's political committee could pay its legal costs in an investigation into alleged campaign finance violations. The information was sought by a candidate's committee, but the state Government Accountability Board did not disclose which one asked.

The opinion made clear for the first time that candidate committees can use their funds only to pay for legal defense in investigations of civil matters. To pay for defense attorneys in criminal cases, the candidate and his or her campaign must establish a separate legal defense fund, the accountability board said.

But the undisclosed committee could currently pay legal expenses for the candidate or its agents from either fund because the investigation could result in either civil or criminal penalties, the board said.

Board spokesman Reid Magney said he was prohibited by law from naming the candidate or the date the opinion was issued, saying only that there is typically a "lag time" between an opinion being provided by the board and the opinion being made public.
Keep in mind that Walker's campaign finance report shows that his campaign paid out another $86,000 to defense attorneys. Even Big Fitz - State Senator Scott Fitzgerald - doesn't have that kind of payment.

The GAB might not be able to say, but I am confident that the gentle reader has the critical thinking skills needed to see what's what and that Walker is still John Doe.

And, as the gentle reader also knows, when it comes to all things Walkergate, there is more.  There is always more.

Tim Russell - long-time aid and very personal friend of Scott Walker - is still seeking his appeal to get his sentence shortened.  All the briefs are in as of Tuesday and now it's up to the court to issue a written decision or to schedule a hearing.  Even if no further tidbits come out of this, it will help to remind people of what a scandalous weasel Scott Walker really is.

In summary, one can make reasonable and educated guesses that Scott Walker is feeling the heat as John Doe and his five sons are starting to catch up with him.  Despite all of his legal maneuvering, he is only delaying the inevitable.

And don't you think for one second that he doesn't know it.  Why else would he be going to fundraisers being hosted by Texas billionaires if he didn't have to raise three times the cash - one part for his gubernatorial race, one part for his presidential hopes and one part for his legal defense cooperation fund.


  1. Any idea why we haven't seen emails from Darlene wink's case made public? Or Tim russel's for tht matter?

    Also - Schmitz is supposed to be appealing peterson's subpoena ruling. Any idea on that time frame?

    Finally, what are the odds that we see charged prior to the WI-SC shutting this down?

    1. We can't see the other emails because Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has refused to get them back. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is pursuing them, but there is no knowing if they will release them all.

      No idea on the appeal, but would say it be in the next month or two.

      IDK that the WI-SC will shut it down. I have a feeling this is one they are going to steer clear of.

    2. What reason would Abele have not to release the docs?

  2. Anon 8:25

    Abele's just like Walker. It's very rare when he doesn't do what Mike Grebe tells him.

    Capper, great reporting, as per usual. Really appreciate your take.

  3. Kelly Rindfleisch to claim she has medical condition called "email-itus" to suppress release of emails.