Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Walkergate: Was Tim Russell Authorized To Take Vets Fund Money?

The biggest shout out humanly possible goes to Jud Lounsbury at Uppity Wisconsin who had gotten a copy of a work release form for Tim Russell that raises some serious questions.

As the gentle reader knows, Russell was arrested, charged and convicted of stealing money from a veterans' fund and two political campaigns, although it could be said that the veterans fund, named Operation Freedom, was nothing more than a political operation for Scott Walker.

In Lounsbury's article, he provides us with a copy of a Inmate Offsite Review, a form used for inmates on work release:

In the part of the form highlighted by Lounsbury, we see that Russell admitted that he took the money.  But then Russell states that he felt "he thought that he did have authorization to do the things he did."

He repeats this thought in the next sentence saying that he thought he had the authority to do the things he did.

Lounsbury accurately points out that Scott Walker was the one ultimately in charge of the veterans fund.  He is the one that ignored advice from the Ethics Board to have the money removed from county control and instead gave it directly to Russell to be put in the front group he created just for this fund.

The question is: Did Walker give Russell the authority to take the money from the fund for personal use?

Some things to consider when contemplating this question is that, as I had just mentioned, Walker was the one in control of the money.  Russell was just the handler, doing what he was told to do.  And we already know that Russell used some of that money to build and administer Walker's campaign website as well as the blogsite, which Walker was not only aware of, but to which he gave his approval.

It should also be noted that in the inmate statement, Russell said that he thought he deserved the money because he was doing extra work (like setting up and running websites?) and that he felt the money was a consulting fee.  Could it be that Russell was just trying to rationalize his crimes by saying he was owed the money?  Given the fact that Russell is a pompous ass and pretty darn arrogant, that is a distinct possibility.

The third option, and probably the closest one to the truth, lies between the above two possibilities.

It could likely be that Russell went to Walker saying he needed money to help cover the cost of the websites and "administrative expenses."  Walker, more worried about covering his political butt on issues like the mental health complex and the tragedy at O'Donnell Park, said he could access this fund for those costs.  But when Russell saw all that money and how easy it was to take it, he took more than he had told Walker he was going to, telling himself he earned it.

Then when Walker realized that his long-time, bestest friend had ripped him off, he went to the DA's office, never imagining that selling Russell out would have the potential to torpedo his entire political career.

As they say, there is no honor among thieves...


  1. Did Walkers campaign ever reimburse the money that was stolen and used for their benefit by someone who clearly was a member of the campaign staff?

    Not a large sum of money, but the principle of the thing...

  2. There has to be a special place in hell for people who steal from funds meant to benefit veterans and their families. And if the fund was a sham in the first place, they belong even closer to the inferno. As another much-quoted Walkergate email said, "welcome to the inner circle."

    1. The words of a Walker campaign insider:

      "Any time boy. Two dads to use your holes"

  3. Great catch by Jud!

    Fits with what we've learned about Scott, the micromanager Walker.

  4. How did Scott Walker, an eagle scout and son of a preacher man turn into such a despicable person?

  5. It's my understanding that Walker didn't rat our Russell, rather he ratted out Kavanaugh. During the Kavanagh investigation, the Da found that Russell was also taking from the fund. I'm willing to bet that Walker wouldn't have said a thing if the DA hadn't caught it.

    1. If I recollect, wasn't Russell Walker's designated computer expert. He set up the secret router system. When Russell wound up taking the vet money, wasn't part of that used to set up a campaign website for SKW, something akin to ""?

    2. Why yes, yes he was. Can you say....SLUSH FUND?

  6. More from Blinky.

  7. “Is it wrong that I'm smiling?”
    Just a taste of what would be found if all the Walker secret communications are released to the public?

    More Christie admin fail from NJ. Via TPM:

    The texts — exchanged between Wildstein and Christie’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly — include snarky jokes aimed at a Port Authority police chaplain, including the jibes about causing traffic jams on his street and delaying international flights to Israel.

    The texts occurred six days after Kelly sent to Wildstein her now-infamous email, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” setting off more than four days of gridlock in the borough in mid-September.

    In the texts about the chaplain, Wildstein sent Kelly a picture of Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, later writing: “And he has officially pissed me off.”

    “Clearly,” Kelly responded on Aug. 19.

    “We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?” Kelly wrote.

    “Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed,” wrote Wildstein, an executive at the bi-state agency that controls the region’s airports.

    “Perfect,” Kelly wrote.

    It’s not clear why Wildstein was angry with Carlebach. But the messages echoed comments, already made public, about the Fort Lee mayor that led to speculation that the lane closures were retaliation against the Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie for reelection.

  8. More detail on the suspect "investigation" set up by Nordelli of funds taken by Russell and Kavanaugh from the vets can be found at:

  9. Walker is absolutely unforgivable. He has no remorse for what he has done. It is a Democrat with a witch hunt - right? Except that Democrats worked with Republicans to convict 6 people and Walker's 1/2 million payment to a trove of lawyers kept him out of jail. And he feels obligated to no one for explanation - and feels no remorse for taxpayer monies wasted or for the death of a 15 year old boy or a woman starving to death in a "looney bin". What kind of person does this? A really evil person who sees constituents as disposable if they interfere with his political plan. He is a sick sociopath and he must be stopped by John Doe 2 before he causes more harm.