Throughout his career as a politician, Scott Walker has shown a willingness to push the boundaries of ethics and law, which has ensnared him in two John Doe investigations into activities of his campaign.
In addition, he was able to take advantage of a recall fundraising loophole to raise unlimited campaign cash and solidify a nationwide network of megadonors. He has also rewarded loyalty, with a number of state jobs, public contracts, and economic development awards going to his close aides, associates and donors.
Scott Walker’s political philosophy can be summed up in three easy steps we call the Walker Doctrine: (1) Reward my donors, (2) Increase my power, and (3) Punish my enemies.
As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a consulting firm owned by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign treasurer Kate Lind received a state contract for services, after being the only one to bid on it. The firm, Solutions KCB, is slated to get at least $35,000, and possibly much more, to raise money for a party celebrating the 100th anniversary of the State Capitol. The firm also subcontracted for work from a new public relations company opened by Gov. Walker’s campaign manager.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/09/2017]
A sleazy last-minute budget deal between Gov. Scott Walker and three right-wing Republican State Senators, including Duey Stroebel of Ozaukee County, has, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, raised legal questions and drawn a request for an investigation from One Wisconsin Now.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/18/2017]
In response to the Donald Trump incited controversy over National Football League players’ peaceful protests of racial inequality and police brutality during the National Anthem, Gov. Scott Walker said weeks ago he would, “leave it up to them” whether to join. But the career politician yesterday reversed field, issuing a letter calling for players to stand during the anthem released just before the Republican Governors Association he heads began hawking merchandise for campaign contributions emblazoned with the slogan, “I stand.”[One Wisconsin Now, 10/17/2017]
Did a sleazy budget deal between a desperate Gov. Scott Walker and three holdout Republican State Senators break the law? One Wisconsin Now has submitted evidence to law enforcement authorities including the Dane County District Attorney, and is asking for an investigation of whether or not a state law that prohibits legislators from agreeing to vote for a bill in exchange for other actions by a governor was violated.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/03/2017]
As a candidate, Scott Walker pledged and promised to not raise money as governor from the January introduction of the budget until it would be signed into law.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/11/2017]
Many politicians would seek to distance themselves from someone the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation not only called a liar, but also testified under oath before a U.S. Senate committee engaged in untoward if not illegal conduct. But not Gov. Scott Walker, who is set to welcome Donald Trump to Wisconsin next week to raise campaign cash for his gubernatorial bid.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/09/2017]
Gov. Scott Walker is never one to miss an opportunity for political pandering. So in honor of Sunshine Week, a media-sponsored event celebrating the public’s right to know, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested that Walker end the week by revealing the identities of the donors to his criminal legal defense fund.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/17/2017]
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements after multiple media reports in Wisconsin and beyond that a reporter from the Washington Post was patted down by security and ultimately ejected at a Mike Pence rally with Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday in Waukesha. Ross noted Walker has been doing a taxpayer-funded closed to the media and public “listening tour” since 2015.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/29/2016]
Gov. Scott Walker claims that he hears “good things” at his taxpayer-financed, closed to the media and the public listening sessions. Based on information obtained by One Wisconsin Now about how his audience is hand picked from lists provided by lobbyists, fellow Republican politicians and his state agencies with regulatory power over businesses it’s obvious how a governor at record low approval ratings is hearing what he wants to hear.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/15/2016]
Madison, Wis. — According to a report in today’s Wisconsin State Journal, Gov. Scott Walker is denying the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s request for legal representation in a school privatization case brought by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL). Public files reviewed by One Wisconsin Now show between 2011 and 2015, WILL received an astonishing $3.78 million from the Bradley Foundation, which is run by Walker’s campaign chair Michael Grebe.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/16/2016]
Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign legislation today to allow Republicans to pack state government with political cronies and allow Walker’s hand picked agency heads to put undue political influence on state employees under their supervision.[One Wisconsin Now, 02/12/2016]
In one of the limited handful "year-end" media interviews Gov. Scott Walker is granting to the state press corp this week, he told a reporter that it was his political campaign that was shortchanged, not the people of Wisconsin, while he ran for president instead of doing his job as Governor. In the interview Walker proclaimed, “... I short-changed my campaign. There are things that I probably needed to do to be a better candidate for President of the United States that I wasn’t able to do because of … being the governor.”[One Wisconsin Now, 01/08/2016]
Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-led legislature have what they believe is a cure for the rampant cronyism and corruption that has plagued the state on their watch – eliminate the laws of which they’ve found themselves alleged to have run afoul. In a secret event today at which the media and public were excluded, Walker signed legislation to gut state campaign finance laws and eviscerate state ethics and elections oversight.[One Wisconsin Now, 12/16/2015]
Madison - Scott Walker’s gubernatorial calendars for the months of August and September show he largely ignored his duties as governor as he mounted a historically inept presidential campaign. However one bit of state business was important enough for Walker to take a break from his campaign - signing into law a bill that gave himself a special exemption from investigations of political corruption under the state “John Doe” law.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/23/2015]
There’s a mystery at the taxpayer-funded Executive Mansion – provided to Gov. Scott Walker and his family – as at least five months of visitor logs appear to have vanished. In response to a request for the log of comings and goings at the mansion made by One Wisconsin Now under the state open records law, first filed in April 2015 but not receiving a response until late October 2015, Gov. Walker’s administration is claiming they have no records for November 2014 through early April 2015.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/29/2015]
Putting political advantage and cronyism before qualifications, Gov. Scott Walker announced today he has appointed Rebecca Bradley to the open seat on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Bradley, an announced candidate for the court in 2016, has been appointed by Walker to the only other judicial positions she has held and was one of only three applicants for a position on the high court.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/09/2015]
Republican legislative leaders, with the support of Gov. Scott Walker, are unveiling their latest scheme to manipulate election and ethics laws in Wisconsin to gain an unfair, partisan advantage for themselves.[One Wisconsin Institute, 10/07/2015]
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted the latest fast track Republican efforts to gut state anti-corruption laws, saying it is a prescription for more of the kind of cronyism, corruption and incompetence Wisconsin has endured from Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).[One Wisconsin Now, 10/06/2015]
According to the office of Gov. Scott Walker, they have no record of visitors to the taxpayer funded Governor’s mansion. Neither does the Department of Transportation, where the Governor’s security detail is housed, and to date, the Department of Administration which supervises the Capitol Police has not produced the requested records. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted the Walker administration’s continued stonewalling on a request for the visitors log to the executive mansion from November 5, 2014 through present day. One Wisconsin Now first filed the request with the Governor’s office in April, after contacting the Governor’s mansion staff who indicating the request should be filed with Walker’s gubernatorial office.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/02/2015]
The centerpiece of Gov. Scott Walker’s economic agenda, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has been a prime example of his administration’s cronyism, corruption and incompetence throughout its four plus years of existence. Now it is looking for yet another new head after the current CEO announced this week he will be resigning next month. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, WEDC needs more than Walker and the WEDC Board Chair, who also heads the board of the big business lobby the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, tapping a new crony to oversee the operation.[One Wisconsin Now, 08/27/2015]
Walker’s dystopian vision will push the threat of economic isolation, military feet on the ground and...
After dodging questions from the press on the eve of the first Republican presidential primary debate, today Republican Gov. Scott Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he did not know he was the target of a long-running John Doe criminal investigation, convened in 2010, until August 5, 2015.[One Wisconsin Now, 08/07/2015]
Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and outside groups accused of illegally coordinating campaign activities were let off the hook today by four justices of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. The four justices whose opinion halts an investigation and possible prosecution of Walker's campaign and allies and orders records to be destroyed were the beneficiaries of at least $10 million in campaign spending by parties named in the investigation.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/16/2015]
Gov. Scott Walker’s top aides and a powerful lobbyist pressed for a taxpayer-funded loan in 2011 to a financially struggling Milwaukee construction company that lost the state half a million dollars, created no jobs and raised questions about where the money went, a State Journal investigation has found...The push to fund the BCI project came after Minahan gave Walker’s 2010 Republican campaign for governor a last-minute infusion of $10,000 on Election Day — the maximum individual contribution. Jadin said Minahan and Huebsch -- a nonvoting member of the WEDC board by virtue of his role as Administration secretary -- pushed for a $4.3 million WEDC loan, but the agency could justify no more than a $500,000 loan, which Jadin said he considered “fairly risky.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 05/18/2015]
Audio from an Iowa event in March reveals Gov. Scott Walker joking with the crowd about his effort to evade campaign finance laws, while he rakes in potentially unlimited personal and corporate contributions to his sham fundraising operation while traveling the country on the presidential campaign trail without officially declaring his candidacy for president.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/01/2015]
Earlier this week it was revealed Wisconsin’s richest man gave a secret $1.5 million donation to a group supporting Gov. Scott Walker before $1.8 million in tax breaks were approved for his business. Mere days later state legislative Republicans are circulating a proposal to hide even more information on the sources of their campaign cash.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/27/2015]
He wrote more than $1.5 million in checks to a pro-Walker political advocacy group that pledged to keep its donors secret, three sources directly familiar with the transactions told Yahoo News. Menard’s previously unreported six-figure contributions to the Wisconsin Club for Growth — a group that spent heavily to defend Walker during a bitter 2012 recall election — seem to have paid off for the businessman and his company. In the past two years, Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs, according to state records.[Yahoo News, 03/23/2015]
If after the first round of college men’s basketball tournament games you’re thinking your brackets are looking bad, cheer up. One Wisconsin Now has unveiled their own “sweet sixteen”, highlighting the not-so-sweet deceit, cronyism and corruption and incompetence of Gov. Scott Walker’s tenure that puts even the ugliest tournament bracket to shame.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/20/2015]
The treasurer of the political group formed by Gov. Scott Walker to employ his presidential campaign staff in waiting is before the Wisconsin State Senate today for a confirmation vote on his appointment to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross raised serious concerns about having someone associated with Gov. Walker’s political operation currently in the processing of shaking down donors across the nation overseeing.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/17/2015]
One Wisconsin Now is warning New Hampshire voters to beware this weekend when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visits to audition for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination. Behind Walker’s rhetoric of economic recovery and courageous, principled action is a trail of deceit, cronyism, corruption and incompetence that includes a sagging state economy, mismanaged budgets, criminal investigations and payoffs to special interests – topped off with politically expedient flip-flops pandering to the most extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/15/2015]
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross regarding passage of a wrong for Wisconsin right to work bill by the Republican controlled legislature.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/06/2015]
As questions continue over the impetus for Gov. Scott Walker's sudden public support for a "right-to-work" law, an open records request by One Wisconsin Now has uncovered that the only two non-government employees who accompanied Gov. Walker on his ostensible trade mission to London, England were advocates for the wrong for Wisconsin right to work law.[One Wisconsin Now, 02/28/2015]
With the announcement that a “Wrong for Wisconsin” right to work bill is about to be rammed through the state legislature, the nation is starting to learn what Wisconsin already knows: Gov. Scott Walker will say and do anything to get elected. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that before the November 2014 election Walker said he was not interested in a right to work law that lowers workers' wages by an average of up to $6,000. But, post-election, presidential candidate Walker quickly announced he would sign just such a measure if it reaches his desk.[One Wisconsin Now, 02/20/2015]
Gov. Scott Walker today announced a shake-up in his administration and new hires to top posts. The following are the comments of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross:[One Wisconsin Now, 02/16/2015]
Scott Walker’s Milwaukee County staff had a code name for his gubernatorial campaign with which they secretly coordinated strategy and messaging nearly every day: “the dark side.” [...] Most of the correspondence involves routine county business, but many of the messages were sent using private email accounts. County staff also used private emails to conduct campaign business and communicate with Walker and his campaign staff, sometimes during regular working hours. In one email from September 2009 with the subject line “county vs. dark side,” Walker’s county spokeswoman, Fran McLaughlin, warned Walker chief of staff Tom Nardelli and campaign manager Keith Gilkes about not crossing the two email systems. “I think a REALLY STRONG reminder needs to go out to everyone on the list that NO emails from the dark side can be forwarded to our county email addresses or to other county employees,” McLaughlin wrote, describing how one employee had forwarded an email to a county employee that included email addresses for Gilkes and Walker campaign adviser R.J. Johnson. “My receiving isn’t illegal — and while she sent it on her own time — there should never be a connection.” “You are correct and I will make a point with Scott that he be very sensitive to what he is forwarding and copying as well,” Gilkes responded. “I share the exact same concern and what (sic) to make sure we keep absolute separation.” “Scott is fully aware,” Nardelli replied. “It’s others who must adhered (sic) to the rule. Scott and all of us have to be constantly aware and reminded of this concern.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 12/31/2014]
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley abstaining, has voted to hear several appeals related to the criminal investigation of collusion between the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker and outside groups. According to news reports, one of the appellants whose case the court has voted to hear is R.J. Johnson, a paid political consultant for Gov. Walker who also directed the Club for Growth (CFG) Wisconsin, a group that spent millions to help elect Walker and several of the justices voting to hear the case.[One Wisconsin Now, 12/17/2014]
Molotov In an undated letter posted by the Capital Times Wednesday, Walker wrote to a constituent that he would be happy to display a menorah at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. At the time, he was serving as county executive. But what stands out most is his closing line. From the letter: Thank you for your letter regarding the Menorah Display. Yes we would be happy to display the Menorah celebrating "The Eight Days of Chanukah" here at the Courthouse. [...] Thank you again and Molotov.[Huffington Post, 12/10/2014]
In the weeks before the November 4 election, the Walker administration attempted to quietly solicit bids to redevelop the Hills Farms state office complex in Madison.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/18/2014]
Less than twenty-four hours after the polls closed in the November 4 general election, Assembly GOP Speaker Robin Vos and Gov. Scott Walker called for a dramatically expanded private school voucher program in Wisconsin, financed with public tax dollars. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, a news report revealing the pro-voucher group spent nearly $1 million in the fall campaigns and $4.5 million in Wisconsin since 2010 shows why it’s no coincidence that an expansion of the unaccountable taxpayer financed voucher program is on the short list of GOP legislative priorities.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/17/2014]
According to campaign finance filings, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) political action committee appears to have shifted tactics and has been funneling their television advertising support for Gov. Scott Walker through the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). The most recent reports from the RGA show their Right Direction Wisconsin PAC sent $840,000 to WMC in just over one week in mid-October. Previously the RGA was sponsoring express advocacy TV ads urging support for Gov. Walker in their own name.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/03/2014]
One Wisconsin Now is demanding Gov. Scott Walker publicly apologize for the comments of Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who claimed at a pro-Walker event in Sheboygan Saturday that “Democrats are doing GOTFV — Get out the fraudulent vote.”[One Wisconsin Now, 11/02/2014]
The fingerprints of the Wisconsin Money Badger Michael Grebe, Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair and head of the $500 million right-wing Bradley Foundation, are all over the latest sleazy political smear launched against Walker’s opponent just six days before the election. A review of IRS records and Bradley Foundation reports reveals they have provided significant financial support for the media outlet that first reported on the smear, along with funneling millions to other groups working to advance the political interests of Gov. Walker.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/30/2014]
The treatment of a request for public salary and pension information from One Wisconsin Now to then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker provides a vivid example of how his administration dodged and delayed the release of open records, as required by law. Documents from the first criminal investigation of Gov. Walker, recently released under court order, show One Wisconsin Now's request was quickly brought to the attention of top Walker aides in county government and his gubernatorial campaign, but was not fulfilled until months later, and only after legal action to compel the documents release was threatened.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/28/2014]
While Scott Walker gubernatorial candidate was calling for “transparency in the state contracting process,” Scott Walker Milwaukee County Executive and top aides were secretly funneling confidential information to a political crony to try to help him win a lucrative deal with the county. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted Walker’s actions as a “stunning display of hypocrisy, even for Scott Walker.” Ross also renewed his call for the resignations of other scheme participants Cindy Archer and Jim Villa from their six-figure salary state jobs.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/23/2014]
Central figures in providing inside information and attempting to help Gov. Scott Walker’s longtime campaign treasurer win a lucrative contract with Milwaukee County while Walker was County Executive today hold state jobs with six figure salaries. That needs to change, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross who today called for the resignations of Cindy Archer and Jim Villa.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/22/2014]
The new emails do shed light on the part of the John Doe investigation focused on competition to house the county's Department on Aging in private office space. Cynthia Archer, who was the county's administration director, offered inside financial information to John Hiller, then Walker's campaign treasurer and a consultant for RAIT Financial Trust, owner of the Reuss Federal Plaza downtown. The owners of the Reuss building were one of the three final bidders on the lease deal. "I understand the timeframe is short due to when final and best offers are due, so I will get you something ASAP," Archer wrote on Aug. 20, 2010, to Hiller and Jim Villa, a former Walker county aide who at the time was president of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin. Hiller wrote in response, "I am very sensitive to the situation and I work pretty hard not to leave fingerprints." The next day, Archer sent a private email to Walker and Villa — but not Hiller — critical of the Reuss proposal, saying it wasn't the best deal for the county. A few minutes later, Archer used her personal account to email Walker and then (deputy chief of staff) Tim Russell and told them: "If you can help Hiller, now is the time." She suggested to the county executive and his aide how Hiller could improve Reuss' final offer, which was four days away. The emails do not show that Walker acted to help Hiller or ordered Archer to do so. But Hiller was in contact with Walker during the bidding process. In the end, the county moved the department staffers to another county site. Chisholm did not file charges against anyone involved in the bidding process.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/21/2014]
Months after refusing to investigate Republican Rep. Joel Kleefisch, husband of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, for allegations Rep. Kleefisch wrote a specific piece of legislation to benefit a compare donor to himself, his wife and Gov. Scott Walker, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel will benefit from a fundraiser hosted today by the Lieutenant Governor at the Tory Lake Club in Oconomowoc.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/02/2014]
In an “Ethics Reform Plan” Scott Walker proposed while running for Governor, he promised he would not accept contributions from the date of his inauguration until the signing of the state budget. A review of Gov. Scott Walker's campaign finance records by One Wisconsin Now shows that for each budget he introduced between January 1 and the date the budget was signed into law he raised nearly $5.6 million from 54,000 contributions.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/26/2014]
A reminder from April 14 of how four of seven Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices owe their current elected position to the millions of dollars in spending in their races by the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce. Gov. Scott Walker has previously asked the appeal of the Peterson ruling go directly to the state Supreme Court.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/25/2014]
The right-wing “public interest” law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and a legal expert who have raked in at least $1.75 million from the Bradley Foundation, run by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, are entering the fray to try to help Gov. Walker out of his most recent legal jam. WILL announced yesterday they are seeking to file an amicus brief to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that a John Doe criminal investigation of alleged collusion between the campaign of Gov. Walker and outside groups should be halted.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/03/2014]
Despite claims made by Gov. Walker to the media that he was an intractable supporter of reducing mining regulations, as reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today Walker as a state legislator voted for the so-called “mining moratorium” bill authored by environmental champion, former Madison Democratic State Rep. Spencer Black.[One Wisconsin Now, 08/27/2014]
The increasingly desperate campaign of Gov. Scott Walker hastily convened a press conference yesterday to dispute the undeniable facts that his policies and administration have been an utter failure on job creation. As Walker’s campaign spin machine shifts into high gear, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the facts remain a majority of state economic development funds doled out by the Wisconsin Economic Development went corporations whose owners and employees contributed $1.2 million to Gov. Walker and the most comprehensive survey on job creation shows Wisconsin trails neighboring states and the national average.[One Wisconsin Now, 08/22/2014]
A review of Gov. Scott Walker’s most recent campaign finance report reveals he continues to reap a windfall of campaign donations, nearly $167,000 in just the last six months, from individuals associated with state businesses getting tax breaks, loans and grants through his Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The latest information comes on the heels of a report from One Wisconsin Now that found Gov. Walker’s WEDC doled out 60 percent of its economic development funds to businesses donating $1 million to Walker’s campaign.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/28/2014]
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is not simply a conservative, public interest law firm. It is a virtual extension of the political apparatus surrounding Gov. Scott Walker, engaging in ‘issue litigation’ to advance and protect his interests.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/11/2014]
In comments reported by the news service WisPolitics.com, Gov. Scott Walker admitted he personally solicited contributions for the Wisconsin Club for Growth (WCFG) in 2011 and 2012. During early 2011, WCFG spent an estimated $320,000 plus in advertising surrounding Justice David Prosser's re-election race, and funded the entire budget of another group, Citizens for a Strong America (CSA), that spent over $800,000.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/27/2014]
Contained in hundreds of pages of recently unsealed John Doe investigation court documents is information about the participation of the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), in a scheme termed “criminal” by prosecutors orchestrated by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign. Since the release of the documents, Walker has refused to say if he’s still doing it in the lead up to his November election. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross today called on WMC to come clean about its involvement in the scheme.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/26/2014]
Court documents from the latest John Doe criminal investigation of Gov. Walker reveal he was at the center of what was described as a national “criminal scheme” to evade campaign laws. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said there is one simple question Gov. Walker must answer as his 2014 and beyond campaigns heats up: “Are you still doing it?”[One Wisconsin Now, 06/20/2014]
The two unnamed individuals rushing to court to prevent the release of secret investigative records said Tuesday they believed they are the "sole human targets" of the probe into fundraising and spending by Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and conservative groups. In court papers filed Tuesday, the two asked the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to allow them to intervene in the case and suspend an order the court issued Monday unsealing some documents about the John Doe probe. They argued their identities should remain secret because they have not been charged with a crime and two judges — one who is overseeing the probe, the other a federal judge hearing a lawsuit about the investigation — have found their activities did not violate the law... One of them is represented by attorney Dean Strang of Madison and the other by attorneys Michael Bresnick of Washington, D.C., and Dennis Coffey of Milwaukee. The two targets also have been involved in lawsuits in state court attempting to shut down the investigation; those cases are pending before the state Supreme Court.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 06/17/2014]
A liberal advocacy group reports that nearly 60 percent of the financial assistance money awarded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has gone to businesses whose owners or employees have donated money to the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) or the Republican Governors Association (RGA). WEDC officials do not dispute that statistic, but insist "contributions absolutely play no role in determining which companies receive awards from WEDC." One Wisconsin Now found that 192 donors associated with businesses receiving WEDC grants donated a total of just over $1 million directly to Gov. Walker's campaign and another $1.1 million to the RGA. The RGA is a special interest group that spent $13 million to help get Gov. Walker elected in 2010 and then defeat the recall effort in 2012.[WKOW-TV, 06/14/2014]
Gov. Walker Reportedly in Settlement Talks to End Criminal Investigation of Alleged Campaign Wrongdoing
Are settlement talks between Gov. Walker and state prosecutors a desperate attempt to keep documents from a second, ongoing “John Doe” criminal investigation of Walker’s campaign from ever becoming public? One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that word of a deal has heated up as more documents from an earlier John Doe criminal probe that resulted in the criminal convictions of six close Walker aides and associates appear likely to be released to the public.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/29/2014]
Gov. Scott Walker has, according to his state ethics filing, received more than $1,000 in compensation for “writing” a book. But how much more? According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker’s refusal to fully disclose the details of his book deal prevents the state ethics officials and the public from determining if Gov. Walker is complying with the state law that prohibits officials from unfairly using their public office for private gain.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/21/2014]
“This report shows Gov. Walker continues to keep secret from the people of Wisconsin both the details of how much he personally enriched himself for his lucrative pre-presidential campaign book deal, as well as who financed his criminal defense fund,” said Scot Ross, director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. “Given the corruption, cronyism and incompetence surrounding his administration, the people deserve much more information than what Gov. Walker has shielded from public scrutiny.”[Associated Press, 04/30/2014]
Governor Scott Walker continues engaging in a pattern of secrecy with the public he was elected to serve. His administration recently refused to fulfill a simple request for email communications between the Governor and his chief of staff. In Milwaukee County, Scott Walker's administration went to great lengths to limit public scrutiny of its conduct of government business. It went so far as to try to evade the state open records law with a secret computer network for communications between Walker and his top staff.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/30/2014]
Just released filings related to the ongoing John Doe investigation into allegations of illegal coordination between Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and a host of conservative organizations show Gov. Walker withdrew his own 2011 appointment of then-Government Accountability Board Chair David Deininger following a unanimous vote by the board to proceed with an investigation of the allegations.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/16/2014]
One Wisconsin Now has filed a formal letter with the seven justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, urging four of the court's justices to recuse themselves from a legal request by the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker related to the ongoing John Doe investigation surrounding allegations of illegal coordination between Republican-aligned groups during the recall of Walker.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/14/2014]
Citing numbers from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, OWN executive director Scot Ross noted the four-member conservative majority on the court had benefited from millions of dollars in outside spending by the groups targeted by the investigation. “The parties that Gov. Walker’s legal appeal would protect from investigation have spent millions to put a right-wing majority on the court,” Ross said. “It would be an unprecedented assault on ethical government and the integrity of the court if these same justices took the case and participated in a decision.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 04/12/2014]
Defense lawyers for Gov. Walker are reportedly appealing to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and its right-wing majority, to try to protect him from prosecutors investigating alleged illegal coordination between his campaign and right-wing groups. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross questioned whether the conservative court majority might be too friendly with Gov. Walker and groups targeted in the probe to credibly take or judge the case.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/11/2014]
Longtime Gov. Walker close confidant, lobbyist and former staffer, Jim Villa, has reportedly been named to a newly created state job that will pay him $178,000 a year. Gov. Walker is said to have given his personal recommendation of Villa for the job.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/02/2014]
In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal, Gov. Walker’s former Milwaukee County Deputy Chief of Staff, Kelly Rindfleisch, alleges she has been shunned by GOP insiders and unable to find employment after her guilty plea on charges of illegal campaigning. Meanwhile, a close confidant of Gov. Walker, who Rindfliesch alleges was a target of the investigation secret investigation resulting in her criminal charges is the frontrunner for a top level state job with the personal recommendation of Gov. Walker.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/31/2014]
Amidst reports that Gov. Walker was given an advance of over $340,000 for his poorly selling ghost-written book, One Wisconsin Now is calling on him to publicly release the details of the contract.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/26/2014]
Campaign aides again directing response to county issues, this time Walker mismanagement of county mental...
Walker's county and campaign staffs collaborated in determining how to respond to one issue after another — sexual assaults of patients at the complex, security lapses, controversial remarks by Milwaukee County's mental health administrator. At one point, Walker's campaign manager complained that a county lawyer needed to "think political for a change." Walker played an active role in how to respond, even when he insisted on staying at a distance publicly.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/26/2014]
"We need to continue to keep me out of the story as this is a process issue and not a policy matter," Walker wrote on March 27, 2010. The issue at that point was fallout from stories on a patient sexual assault of another patient that resulted in a pregnancy. [...] In this exchange, Walker was careful to send the email to personal accounts — not official county email accounts — of his county staffers. "We need to be 100% certain that everything is working and that all state and federal regulations are in place," Walker wrote. He also directed mental health administrators to "keep us in the loop on all issues going on at BHD," referring to the county's Behavioral Health Division. And Walker suggested reaching out to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial writers, noting: "The next problem will be editorials and this can nip it in the butt."[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/26/2014]
John Chianelli, then administrator of the county's Behavioral Health Division, was quoted telling county supervisors that sexual assaults in mixed-gender wards were a trade-off for more violent assaults that would happen in all-male psychiatric units. Walker's staff furiously exchanged views on what to do. Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager, told Rindfleisch: "We won't be commenting at all." Rindfleisch emailed back that Walker wasn't likely to comment and that "it's not really (Walker's) place" to weigh in on Chianelli's remarks. An effort through a lawyer hired by the county to handle patient abuse claims might help to discourage further comment by supervisors, Rindfleisch wrote. A Journal Sentinel reporter "doesn't get any traction if he can't get anyone to say anything," she said. Exchanges on May 10 among Walker's campaign and county staff ended with Walker drafting a statement to be issued by a county official saying "any form of violence at the Mental Health Complex is unacceptable." Chianelli was later demoted, then resigned.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/26/2014]
Walker’s gubernatorial campaign manager directs top Walker county aide to try to suppress open records
Gilkes told Rindfleisch to prod a county lawyer — then-Deputy Corporation Counsel Timothy Schoewe — to take a tougher stance. "Just do me a favor and tell him that we are getting the crap kicked out of us by the County Board," Gilkes wrote. "At some point I would like him to stop being a lawyer and think political for a change and let us fight back." The emails released Wednesday included a message by Mark Cameli, a private lawyer for the county, attempting to persuade Journal Sentinel Managing Editor George Stanley to withhold publication of an article about Chianelli's remarks to supervisors. They were made during a closed session but later disclosed by several supervisors, including Lynne De Bruin. She said danger to patients outweighed her obligation to keep quiet about the discussion and provided notes she took from the session and a letter she wrote to a reporter. Stanley told Cameli, "There is no way a letter from an elected county official to a county administrator is protected by attorney-client privilege. It's a public record, period."[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/26/2014]
Top Walker aide makes light of county mismanagement of mental health services, “no one care about crazy...
Rindfleisch was sarcastic about the Mental Health Complex issue in a Sept. 2, 2010, email to a friend. "Last week was a nightmare," she wrote. "A bad story every day on our looney bin. Doctors having sex with patients, patients getting knocked up. This has been coming for months and I've unofficially been dealing with it. So, it's been crazy (pun intended)." Rindfleisch seemed unconcerned the mental health controversies would hurt Walker's chances with voters in the governor's race. In a Sept. 1, 2010, email she said she expected Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to make the issue "the center of his campaign" for governor against Walker. She agreed with Joan Hansen — then a county official and later a deputy secretary for the state Department of Children and Families — that Barrett would lose. "Yep," Rindfleisch replied. "No one cares about crazy people." The emails show how Walker's campaign staff dictated county personnel moves.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/26/2014]
Emails show Walker campaign manager successfully delayed Milwaukee County settlement with parents of woman...
Instructions from Scott Walker's campaign manager were explicit: Delay settlement of a long-standing legal case over the starvation-relateddeath of Cindy Anczak at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. "Could care less what it is on," Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes wrote in an Oct. 22, 2010, email exchange with a Walker aide at the county, referring to the claim's legal basis. "Keep it buried until Nov. 2nd and then hopefully they'll settle." Walker went on to win his term as governor that Nov. 2. Anczak's parents, Jean and Myron Anczak of Greendale, would wait another full year before the county approved a $125,000 settlement. The emails were part of thousands released last week in an appeal by Kelly Rindfleisch of her 2012 felony conviction for misconduct in office. Rindfleisch was Walker's deputy chief of staff during his last year as county executive.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/26/2014]
A new report raises questions about the veracity of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's denial of the existence of a secret email system in the Governor's office. An article posted today on UrbanMilwaukee.com reports that a source with knowledge of the Governor's staff operation in the State Capitol described a system of top state staff using laptop computers and personal email addresses in an apparent attempt to evade the Wisconsin open records laws and subvert prohibitions on state employees engaging in campaign activity on state time.[One Wisconsin Now, 02/25/2014]
The messages “unmask the real Gov. Walker,” said Mike Browne, deputy director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. “He is revealed as a politician personally managing the minutest details of his public persona and during times of crisis showing more concern for protecting his image and prospects for higher political office than solving problems,” Browne said.[Associated Press, 02/22/2014]
Documents released this week show that Gov. Scott Walker told one of his closest advisers "Don't hold back" after she forwarded an anti-immigrant screed to top members of his political inner circle in July of 2010. Dorothy Moore, Walker's scheduler in his Milwaukee County executive's office who came to Madison with his gubernatorial staff, forwarded a supposed description of Mexican immigration policies, mocking the use of the term "undocumented." The email can be found on page 10,236 of WalkerDocs 1. The forwarded message outlines Mexican immigration laws that human rights activists call immoral, such as felony charges and years of imprisonment for undocumented immigration into the country. Here's a screenshot..."What is wrong with this picture???" Walker's aide asks. "The new word for supervisors today 'undocumented'!!! I would really love to send this to them. Read what they do in Mexico if it was reversed." "Don't hold back," Walker replies.[The Progressive, 02/21/2014]
Walker campaign manager directs firing of county aide to take the fall for mismanagement of mental health...
After Chianelli was demoted for his handling of sexual assaults at the complex, Gilkes wrote to Walker's staff about the need to fire him: "I think we throw John under the bus for covering up how dysfunctional the place is." The campaign took a hard line on reacting to the sexual assault scandal, even as county staff members pleaded for mercy for Chianelli. "I feel bad, too, but the reality is that this needs to be a clean break," Gilkes wrote. "Now is not the time to be exchanging accolades."[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/20/2014]
An email from Walker’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Timothy Russell, sent shortly after the tragedy reads: “Where is SKW (Scott Walker)? This is going to be a problem, whether we did (or didn’t do) anything or not. Barrett has already been there. Scott cannot be at a fundraiser or something like that. He’ll be eaten alive.” The email from Russell to other staffers continues as Russell writes: “Perhaps grasping at straws, but there is a vacant parking space at the north end of the area where the slab was hung. Could a car have jarred it?” A spokesperson with the Friends of Scott Walker Campaign replies: “Scott is down at the scene, and should be attached at the hip with Sheriff Clarke. He needs to lead and be on top of the entire situation. Scott needs to be front and center for the media.” As live television coverage of the tragedy continued, an email was sent from Russell to other staffers, reading: “Harold Mester, the County Board PR flak was just on Channel 6 expressing the chairman’s concern about the backlog of maintenance and politicizing this. I strongly think SKW needs to shoot back at him with both barrels for politicizing this.” Another email from the Friends of Scott Walker Campaign to Kelly Rindfleisch – Walker’s top aide at the time reads: “The political concern about blame for the tragedy is clear. Make sure there is not a paper anywhere that details a problem at all.” The next day, Rindfleisch responds to a friend, who asks what happened the previous day besides the parking lot falling on some kid. Rindfleisch responds: “That was our structure. The headlines are going to be ‘Scott Walker kills 15-year-old.'” Adding to the drama of the moments immediately following the tragedy, emails between staffers mention that they can’t get a hold of Scott Walker because his cell phone had burned out. Instead, they had to go through another staffer who was apparently traveling with him.[WITI-TV, 02/19/2014]
Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said United Sportsmen's sole source of funding appeared to be a conservative political group and that its main spending went to a GOP campaign consultant. “It is clear, based on their track record, that had United Sportsmen gotten state funding as envisioned by Governor Walker and Republican legislative leaders, this would have been a publicly funded campaign organ of the GOP,” Ross said.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/17/2014]
As Gov. Scott Walker and the right wing noise machine shift into overdrive in their efforts to boost sagging opinion of his job performance, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that, try as they might, the fact remains on issue after issue, the Walker administration has been an abysmal failure.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/07/2013]
Did Walker’s Milwaukee County Aides Destroy Documents at Direction of Gubernatorial Campaign Manager?
At issue is whether any documents related to the O'Donnell tragedy that were generated by Walker's staff were destroyed. Walker was Milwaukee County executive and a candidate for governor when 15-year-old Jared Kellner was killed by a 13-ton concrete panel that fell from the O'Donnell parking structure facade. The death spawned multiple lawsuits, which were consolidated into one case scheduled for a monthlong trial starting Oct. 14. A pretrial hearing Tuesday will examine a host of issues, including whether the judge should prevent testimony in the case about whether Walker's county staff destroyed any O'Donnell documents. The concern was prompted by an email from Keith Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager in the governor's race, that was one of thousands of documents released in July by Reserve Judge Neal Nettesheim, who oversaw the secret John Doe probe into Walker aides and associates. Gilkes wrote to Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch, advising her on the day of the O'Donnell death, June 24, 2010: "Keep on top of (parks director) Sue Black, (budget director Steve) Kreklow, (administration director Cindy) Archer and all staff to make sure there is not a paper anywhere that details a problem at all." That sparked concern that Rindfleisch, then Walker's deputy chief of staff, or some other Walker aide might have carried out Gilkes' directive, said Matthew McClean, an attorney for Advance Cast Stone, the firm that made and installed the concrete panel that fell.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/06/2013]
Just days before receiving the grant, the lobbyist for United Sportsmen offered free fishing excursions to Suder, the Journal Sentinel reported Monday. The day the trip began, Suder joined 17 other Republicans in urging a committee to give the grant to United Sportsmen.
The liberal group One Wisconsin Now filed an ethics complaint with the state Government Accountability Board over the matter.
Mere days before he was slated to start a $94,000 a year job in the Walker administration, it was announced today that former Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder has taken a different job as a special interest lobbyist.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/03/2013]
Gov. Walker Jets to Seattle, Washington For Speech… Meanwhile in Wisconsin Over 6,100 Citizens Demand...
According to reports, Gov. Walker has reversed course and will allow media to attend a speech he's delivering to a right-wing think tank in Seattle, Washington today. While he's not hiding from the press on the West Coast, back home in Wisconsin, over 6,100 citizens have signed a petition to the Government Accountability Board calling on them to sanction Gov. Walker for failing to disclose, as required by law, information about his campaign donors.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/04/2013]
Walker personally oversaw response to O’Donnell Park tragedy, he and his team put political concerns first
Gov. Scott Walker worked simultaneously with his campaign staff and county aides in coordinating responses to media inquiries, open records requests and news stories about the 2010 O'Donnell Park tragedy, according to newly released emails. The records show that Walker was integrally involved in the efforts to challenge any negative publicity after a concrete panel fell from the Milwaukee County-owned O'Donnell parking structure, killing a 15-year-old boy on June 24, 2010, on his way to Summerfest. The incident occurred in the middle of the 2010 gubernatorial campaign. ”It is disgusting that anyone would use a tragedy for such blatant political purposes," Walker wrote in a draft statement that he sent on July 20, 2010, to a small circle of campaign and county staff, including campaign manager Keith Gilkes, campaign adviser R.J. Johnson and Chief of Staff Tom Nardelli.The individuals in this small circle regularly emailed each other about the Walker administration's response to the incident. "Scott is down at the scene receiving briefing and should be attached at the hip with Sheriff (David) Clarke," Gilkes wrote to Walker's top county staffers. Gilkes continued: "We also need to know every detail on this structure and every piece of paper associated with this structure since it was built — information is the key to Scott dealing with this issue. His response will be the focal point of everything." [...] Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Christopher Foley released the emails as part of a lawsuit by the boy's family. Retired Appeals Judge Neal Nettesheim, who oversaw the John Doe investigation of Walker's staff, had earlier authorized prosecutors to cull records compiled for the secret probe that had some links to the O'Donnell accident.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/30/2013]
In one exchange, Walker's top Milwaukee County fiscal aide, Cindy Archer, emailed Walker and Walker campaign aides on July 8 that "we may be responding too quickly" to requests for O'Donnell-related records made by his Republican primary rival, Mark Neumann, and by the state Democratic Party. Archer said she heard from Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager, that Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett was taking three months just to acknowledge receipt of public records requests. "My sense from Keith is that we should be operating one step above ignoring them," Archer says in an email to county staffer Kelly Rindfleisch.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/30/2013]
Walker aide indicted on charges of stealing from fallen soldiers group proposed alternate theory of...
On the day of the O'Donnell accident, a county aide to Walker raises the issue of whether a car striking the concrete panel might have jarred it loose. "Perhaps grasping at straws but there is a vacant parking space at the north end of the area where the slab was hung," Timothy Russell wrote in an email to four Walker campaign aides and two other county employees. "Could a car have jarred it?" Russell writes. The notion that some vehicle may have struck the panel that fell has become a key part of the defense mounted in pretrial filings by Advance Cast Stone.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/30/2013]
Walker sought to justify involvement of campaign aides in county response to O’Donnell Park incident by...
Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday that his top campaign staffers began advising and directing his Milwaukee County aides on their response to the 2010 O'Donnell Park tragedy because Walker's political foes were trying to hijack the issue. "Literally, within moments — I think even that day in your paper's story — there were comments from people involved in other campaigns," Walker said during a Tuesday press briefing. "So it involved the campaign not by virtue of us but by others who brought it up. Some of his aides' emails suggest Walker's team was doing more than responding to other candidates. Instead, they were focused primarily on fending off any negative publicity during the 2010 governor's race. For instance, Keith Gilkes — Walker's campaign manager — told a Walker county staffer in a June 24, 2010, email "to make sure there is not a paper anywhere that details a problem at all." [...] In the hours immediately after the accident, one concern was Walker's whereabouts and how that would be perceived. "Scott cannot be at a fundraiser or something like that," warned Timothy Russell, Walker's former deputy chief of staff, who was then his housing director. "He'll be eaten alive." Walker's cellphone battery had died; within an hour, Gilkes assured Russell and others that Walker had arrived at the accident scene. "He needs to lead and be on top of the entire situation," Gilkes reported. "ALL of us need to back him up and ensure he is on top of the entire situation — Scott needs to be front and center for the media." As more media outlets reported questions raised about county maintenance of the O'Donnell facility, more advice flowed between the campaign and county staff. Nardelli advised Walker's campaign aides not to reply to criticism that came from county Supervisor John Weishan Jr., a frequent Walker critic. In fact, Weishan and Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic are dismissed as "dolts" by Nardelli, in reaction to a news release the two issued saying Walker's administration hadn't kept county supervisors apprised of the O'Donnell probe.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/30/2013]
In a recent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gov. Walker weighed in on the Ryan Braun scandal, ripping him for failing to “fess up”. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross called on Walker to heed his own advice by revealing the donors to his criminal legal defense fund and making public the documents he provided prosecutors in connection with the John Doe criminal investigation of his administration.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/23/2013]
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Today we examine the close aides and associates, with whom Gov. Walker has surrounded himself, failures to follow the law.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/26/2013]
In his recently filed Statement of Economic Interests, Gov. Scott Walker reports that he still owes his Chicago criminal defense lawyers in excess of $50,000 and that he got a pair of cufflinks from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Left undisclosed are the identities of the contributors to Walker's criminal legal defense fund that raised over $447,000.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/01/2013]
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the announcement of the conclusion of the John Doe criminal investigation of Gov. Walker and aides and associates:[One Wisconsin Now, 02/28/2013]
Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, said this investigation may have significant political implications in regards to Walker running for reelection in 2014. Ross also believes the investigation could go on, and voters will likely ask questions aboutScott Walker’s connections to the cases. “It was a very clear and corrupted effort when Scott Walker was a county executive to advance partisan campaign politics on a taxpayer dime,” Ross said. “Voters will start to speculate and ask questions; who knows when this investigation will end?”[Badger Herald, 12/02/2012]
Walker Aide Pleads Guilty Today. Set Up Secret County E-Mail System Used by Previously Sentenced Brett Davis...
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross renewed a call made earlier this week for Gov. Walker to demand the resignation of top administration aide Brett Davis for his participation in a scheme to benefit his failed Lieutenant Governor campaign, at taxpayer expense, that has resulted in jail time for one former Walker aide and was featured among the criminal complaint brought against a second aide who pled guilty to an embezzlement charge today.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/28/2012]
On the heels of Kelly Rindfleisch’s guilty plea to a felony misconduct in office charge, and a jail sentence for campaign fundraising work she did while a top aide to Scott Walker as Milwaukee County Executive to benefit the 2010 Lieutenant Governor campaign of then Rep. Brett Davis, Gov. Walker must ask for Davis’ resignation from his $108,000 per year state job as State Medicaid Director, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director, Scot Ross.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/25/2012]
Billboards warning communities of color in Ohio and Wisconsin that voter fraud can lead to jail time were put up by a group led by a Milwaukee-based venture capitalist and donor to Mitt Romney and the Tea Party movement, an investigation by NBC’s theGrio has found. The billboards—which carried the unnecessary (and some might say, intimidating) warning that “VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY!”—have been removed by the company that erected them in the first place, Clear Channel...the company gave the client a choice: either reveal yourself, or the ads need to come down. The client chose to have the ads come down, and to remain anonymous. But that anonymity lasted about a week. A joint investigation by our colleagues at theGrio and the issue-advocacy group One Wisconsin Now pulled back the curtain a bit: One Wisconsin Now and theGrio discovered that a little-known non-profit, the Einhorn Family Foundation, based in Milwaukee, was behind the 2010 and 2012 Milwaukee area billboard campaigns. The Einhorn Foundation, led by the family patriarch, Steven Einhorn, is just one of a constellation of conservative organizations that go beyond Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers behind much of the tea party funding, who have become familiar to those watching the rise of “dark money” in American elections since the Citizens United decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.[MSNBC, 10/30/2012]
Stephen Einhorn - a Wisconsin venture capital fund manager and major GOP donor - acknowledged Monday that he and his wife Nancy paid for dozens of anonymous billboards in and around Milwaukee and two Ohio cities warning residents of the penalties for committing voter fraud. Democrats and civil rights groups complained that the signs - which were taken down last week - were concentrated in minority neighborhoods and intended to suppress the election turnout, though some were posted as far out as Waukesha and Washington counties...The Einhorns have made campaign donations to many Republican politicians, including Gov. Scott Walker, to whom they have given $49,750 since 2005, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/29/2012]
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements related to the announcement that Kelly Rindfleisch will plead guilty to one count of felony misconduct in public office for her actions as Deputy Chief of Staff to Scott Walker while he was Milwaukee County Executive:[One Wisconsin Now, 10/09/2012]
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said Rindfleisch agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their ongoing John Doe investigation, which has been focused on Walker’s county executive office. Ross emphasized Rindfleisch was one of Walker’s top aides, which may reflect badly on him. “We’ll have to see what the plea deal was and what that cooperation is,” Ross said. “A cloud remains under Gov. Walker. I don’t know how this could be considered good news for Walker.”[Badger Herald, 10/08/2012]
One Wisconsin Now today called on Gov. Scott Walker to halt the taxpayer-funded gravy train for the politically connected law firm, Michael, Best & Friedrich, and stop using public funds to pay for the continuing legal battle to overturn a court decision declaring Act 10, his controversial law stripping workplace rights from over 175,000 taxpaying state citizens, unconstitutional.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/17/2012]
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross made the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s address to the Republican National Convention tonight:[One Wisconsin Now, 08/27/2012]
Right wing celebrity Gov. Scott Walker’s star power appears to be on the wane in recent weeks, as evidenced by his warm-up act role on Governors’ night at the Republican National Convention.[One Wisconsin Now, 08/26/2012]
Citing the age-old adage that actions speak louder than words, One Wisconsin Now is calling on Gov. Scott Walker to take concrete actions to heal the rift in Wisconsin brought on by his “divide and conquer” agenda.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/11/2012]
Gov. Walker’s political appointee in charge of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) appears to be stonewalling the release of public records related to claims he made about the release of unverified state job numbers.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/06/2012]
Memo to Reporters: “Bombshell” Email Exchange With Top Adviser John Hiller Suggests Scott Walker is at...
Progressive advocacy group One Wisconsin Now continued to analyze Walker’s campaign finance records throughout the 2010 campaign for governor. They found that his campaign improperly reported well over $500,000 in contributions from inside and outside Wisconsin. The organization also filed a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Board regarding Walker’s serial breaking of campaign finance laws in the area of proper disclosure. (One Wisconsin Now, “Walker Goes Over $500,000 in Improperly-Reported Contributions”, 10/25/10; OWN Complaint to GAB, filed 9/7/10)[WisDems, 05/29/2012]
Eighty-two days and $160,000 later, Gov. Walker and his campaign are continuing to refuse to name the donors to the legal defense fund he is using to pay for defense lawyers in a “John Doe” criminal investigation of corruption and illegal campaigning.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/29/2012]
Questions continue to mount about Gov. Walker’s candor on serious issues, including his involvement in the secret John Doe investigation of corruption and illegal campaigning by close aides and associates and video showing him telling campaign contributors a very different story than the public. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne called on Gov. Walker to address the questions about the integrity of his administration in tonight’s debate.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/24/2012]
In response to Gov. Walker’s continued stonewalling about who’s footing the bill for his high priced team of criminal defense lawyers in a “John Doe” probe of corruption and illegal campaigning, One Wisconsin Now unveiled an online contest to let people submit their guesses.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/23/2012]
Gov. Scott Walker has largely shrugged off Democratic attempts to link him to the ongoing John Doe investigation that has led to arrests and convictions for several of his former close associates in Milwaukee County. Some of his allies are going on the offensive, attempting to discredit the probe by challenging the credibility of Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm and members of his staff.[Capital Times, 05/21/2012]
It has been reported that Gov. Scott Walker has spent much of the last year on a cross- country cash grab - filling his campaign coffers with millions from right-wing ideologues like “Swift Boat” Bob Perry, Newt Gingrich “Sugar Daddy” Sheldon Adelson, Women's health “expert” Foster Friess, and, of course, Wisconsin's own “Divide and Conquer” billionaire, Diane Hendricks.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/21/2012]
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne today announced the filing of public record requests associated with the suspicious timing of a new television ad from Gov. Walker’s campaign, containing previously undisclosed information from an administration jobs report, and denials of consultation between the agency producing the report and the Governor.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/16/2012]
Gov. Walker claims that he has hired new criminal defense lawyers for the purpose of cooperating with the Milwaukee County District Attorney. However, for a year, the campaign itself was paying an attorney to ‘cooperate’ with the DA by providing needed emails, etc.[Dane 101, 03/13/2012]
A One Wisconsin Now analysis of Gov. Walker’s schedules from August 2011 through January 2012 reveals that little time was scheduled by the state’s chief executive for communicating with legislators or working on a legislative agenda but that huge amounts of time were blocked off as “personal”.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/13/2012]
The latest in the sad saga of perhaps the most ethically challenged administration in recent state history is the formation of a legal defense fund, the Scott Walker Trust, to accept funds to pay for criminal defense lawyers retained by Gov. Walker.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/12/2012]
Gov. Scott Walker said Friday he has set up a legal defense fund to pay for two attorneys representing him in a Milwaukee County investigation, under a state law that allows such a move for officeholders if they’re charged or under investigation for election or campaign violations.[Associated Press, 03/08/2012]
Thirty-seven days after announcing he “lawyered up” in the ongoing criminal investigation of his administration, Gov. Walker has announced he's created a legal defense fund.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/08/2012]
37 Days Since Gov. Walker Announced He “Lawyered-Up” in Criminal Investigation of Administration,...
In early February, Gov. Scott Walker announced he had “lawyered-up” in the ongoing criminal investigation of his administration, retaining two high profile criminal defense attorneys. His continuing refusal to disclose how he is paying for his lawyers, whose billing rates could approach $1,000 per-hour, raises troubling ethical concerns, according to One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/08/2012]
The former aide to Gov. Scott Walker received a new judge Thursday, postponing a scheduled arraignment; the latest turn of events in an investigation into Walker’s former employees. Tim Russell, a former Milwaukee County employee under Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive, who faces charges of embezzlement, has requested and received a new judge in Milwaukee County Court. The new arraignment date set by the court is Feb. 24.[Badger Herald, 02/15/2012]
A former county-level staffer for Gov. Scott Walker pleaded guilty to two felony charges on Tuesday as the ongoing 20-month investigation into Walker’s former campaign staff continues. Darlene Wink, a former Milwaukee County employee under Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County Executive, entered a guilty plea for two felony charges of soliciting political contributions while working in a county office, her attorney, Peter Wolff, said.[Badger Herald, 02/06/2012]
One Wisconsin Now statement regarding burgeoning Scott Walker political corruption scandal and the reluctance of the Governor to answer questions about “what he knew and when he knew it”:[One Wisconsin Now, 01/26/2012]
A third veteran has resigned from a state board in response to Gov. Scott Walker's moves to gain greater control of the Department of Veterans Affairs, including his decision to appoint John Scocos as agency secretary...In his letter to the first-term Republican governor, Freedman criticized legislation that stripped the board of its ability to appoint the veterans affairs secretary, giving that responsibility to the governor. Walker has defended the changes, saying they will bring more accountability to the department and board. The board has been the subject of much controversy in recent years.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/18/2012]
Mary Spear has joined us today as the new Chief Legal Counsel for the Department of Health Services. Mary has many years of experience as an attorney in both private practice and serving as legal counsel and director of governmental affairs for insurance companies in Texas. She served as Director of State Affairs at the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Vice President of Governmental Relations for PFL Life Insurance Company and Assistant General Counsel, Vice President and Assistant Secretary at Western Fidelity Insurance Company. She has also served on the Texas Health Reinsurance System Board of Directors. She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the American Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas.[Email from Dennis G. Smith to DHS Employees, 01/17/2012]
DHS Secretary hires Heritage Foundation fellow with no background or degree in public health to run Division...
But insiders point out that McKeown, who as the state's health officer is the administrator of the Division of Public Health, appears to have no background or degrees in public health, a specialty within the vast arena of health care... Wisconsin's health officer is charged with everything from making sure the state has an emergency plan for threats like H1N1 to managing environmental hazards like lead paint to coordinating immunization campaigns. Previous occupants of McKeown's job have boasted a lengthy list of experiences and advanced degrees in the specialty. Dr. Seth Foldy, former Gov. Jim Doyle's last appointment to the post, was a pediatrician and the former Milwaukee health commissioner. He also held a master's degree in public health from the Wisconsin Medical College, according to the department's press release about his appointment in 2010. What McKeown does have in addition to her nursing background is something she shares with her new boss, Secretary Smith -- experience as a fellow with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.[Capital Times, 01/13/2012]
One Wisconsin Now has been following his campaign finance reports for years and recently reported that he has violated campaign finance laws more than 1100 times which, if enforced, could tally up to more than $500,000 in fines for his campaign.[Cognitive Dissidence, 01/12/2012]
Gov. Scott Walker's spokesman, Cullen Werwie, has begun to refuse interviews with media outlets that discuss the fact that Werwie has been granted immunity in a Joe Doe inquiry into wrongdoing by the governor's associates. This is the problem with keeping Werwie in his position now that he has been granted immunity in a probe that has been expanding, from initial questions about campaign finance and pay-to-play politics to a range of wrongdoing that now includes child enticement and the theft of money from charities set up to aid the families of soldiers.[Capital Times, 01/12/2012]
Gov. Scott Walker voiced support for legislation that would end a long-standing practice that allows public workers to simultaneously collect their pension and a state paycheck. The statement concludes by adding Gov. Walker "supports applying the same policy for administration appointees."[Capital Times, 10/26/2011]
In the past five and a half years, at least 6,829 state and local government employees covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System left then returned to work, simultaneously earning a pension and a salary. Those include two of Gov. Scott Walker's cabinet secretaries: Corrections Secretary Gary Hamblin and Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson, both earning six-figure salaries along with their public pensions. Stephen Fitzgerald, superintendent of the Wisconsin State Patrol, whose sons, Scott and Jeff, run the Senate and Assembly, respectively, also is back on the payroll while continuing to collect a state pension. On Friday, Walker said he supports a bill that would end double dipping. But the Republican governor has no plans to ask his appointees to stop taking their pensions, spokesman Cullen Werwie said.[Wisconsin State Journal, 10/23/2011]
Walker’s #2 at DOA abruptly takes leave of absence; is moved to new state job; house gets raided by FBI
Gov. Scott Walker's chief spokesman has been granted immunity in the ongoing John Doe investigation of the governor's current and former aides, it was learned Friday. Former Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim, who is overseeing the secret criminal probe, said he had granted immunity to three people, including Cullen Werwie, spokesman for Walker, in this part of the case. A railroad lobbyist and low-ranking Republican official were also given immunity. Records show Werwie was granted immunity April 14. Werwie joined Walker's campaign after the September primary and stayed on when Walker took office in January. Werwie earns $61,000 per year. "No comment," Werwie said when reached late Friday.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/23/2011]
Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen, according to a news report today, refused to help the investigation into fellow Republican Scott Walker’s office in the scandal being called “Cronygate.” The refusal and silence of the state’s “top cop” to investigate his fellow Republican raises serious questions about Van Hollen’s conduct and warrants an investigation, according to One Wisconsin Now.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/20/2011]
About a dozen law enforcement officers, including FBI agents, searched the Madison home of a former top aide to then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker on Wednesday morning...The search of Archer's house comes amid a John Doe investigation in Milwaukee County, which started last year after another staff member working for Walker, then county executive, was caught posting online political comments during work time. Archer was director of administrative services for Walker, the county's top staff position, while he was county executive, and followed him to Madison after he won the governor's race in November.[Wisconsin State Journal, 09/15/2011]
Walker’s #2 at DOA abruptly takes leave of absence; is moved to new state job; house gets raided by FBI
Cindy Archer, who abruptly left Scott Walker's administration last month for "personal family matters," actually had another politically appointed job under the governor already lined up. She'll take a $25,000 pay cut in moving to the Department of Children and Families, but the nearly $100,000 she'll be making is tens of thousands of dollars more than the pay of others who have had the job. State officials said Archer remained on leave. Department spokeswoman Stephanie Hayden would not answer whether Archer was being paid while on leave, saying that was confidential...Archer, in her resignation letter emailed to Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, said simply that she was done with her job that same day. Now, documents provided by the state show she actually was already hired a day earlier, on Aug. 18, to a $99,449-a-year job in the Department of Children and Families, as the department's legislative liaison, according to a letter released Friday from Eloise Anderson, who heads the department.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/12/2011]
On Sept. 22, the governor and first lady will hold a private reception and croquet tournament at the governor’s mansion from 5 to 7 p.m. to raise money to help rehab the Maple Bluff facility. Attendees can donate anywhere from $50 to $1,000 to the mansion’s nonprofit foundation. Those who drop a grand get a “private reception, private tour, recognition on the invitation, signage and acknowledgment at the event, and admission and (croquet) tournament entry for two.” “It sounds like a two-part construction project,” said Scot Ross, head of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, a frequent Walker critic. “The special interests pay to remodel Gov. Walker’s mansion, and he builds them a private entrance to his office.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/04/2011]
Walker’s former chief of staff awarded multiple state jobs, resigns from final appointment three days after...
Tom Nardelli abruptly quit his state job with Gov. Scott Walker in late July, pulling the plug on his $90,000-a-year position just days after accepting the post…Nardelli said Tuesday he resigned as administrator for the state Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services because he decided it would be unfair to keep the job knowing he planned to resign soon anyway. In an interview, Nardelli said "other little things" related to the internal operations of his former state agency also led to his resignation. He declined to say what those were.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 08/23/2011]
Legal fees soar for Wisconsin taxpayers over bargaining, redistricting | GOP skips bids, pays up to $395 per...
The Capitol battles over union bargaining and political redistricting proposals have paid off for one group: politically connected GOP lawyers. So far this year, two firms with strong Republican connections have racked up more than $700,000 in invoices and payments authorized by Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers to help represent the state in cases such as legal challenges over Walker's legislation ending most collective bargaining for public employees. More payments on the ongoing cases and another likely case are still to come, as Walker considers a request by the Department of Justice to appoint one of the firms to represent the state in a federal lawsuit over redistricting legislation.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 08/20/2011]
Here’s something interesting from liberal blogger Greg Sargent at The Washington Post.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/25/2011]
Walker’s former chief of staff awarded multiple state jobs, resigns from final appointment three days after...
Tom Nardelli was named to his second job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration Monday as administrator of the state Division of Environmental and Regulatory Services. The division, formerly housed in the state Commerce Department, now falls under the newly organized Department of Safety and Regulatory Services. The environmental division regulates underground fuel tanks, petroleum quality assurance and the state Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Award. Nardelli served for six months as state administrator of Safety and Buildings. He'll be paid the same $90,000 salary in his new position that he earned in his initial state post under Walker, said John Murray, a department spokesman.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/18/2011]
Walker signed into law a bill that politicizes the Department of Veterans Affairs by giving the governor authority to appoint the Secretary, rather than being selected by the Board of Veterans Affairs, as under prior law. Walker then appointed political crony, John Scocos, who had previously served as Secretary for six years, and was fired by the Veterans Board over financial and communications problems at the department. (2011 AB 96, introduced 4/51/2011; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)[2011 WI Act 36, 07/13/2011]
Walker appointed politically connected campaign volunteer with no relevant experience to county post
Walker has taken heat for nominating Republican campaign worker Renee Miller to the Marinette County register of deeds position, despite Miller's conspicuous lack of experience with either land or vital records. Miller has done campaign work for Marinette County Republican Rep. John Nygren and is married to Nygren's campaign treasurer, Paul Miller. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nygren wrote to Walker aide Cindy Polzin last December noting that another candidate for the job, deputy register of deeds Becky Chasensky, "has some personal issues, and she has never been involved in the party." Upset by the appointment, the paper reported, one register of deeds employee has sought a transfer, and another may resign to protest, potentially depriving Miller of an experienced staff.[Isthmus, 04/29/2011]
Politically connected college drop-out with drunk driving convictions gets $81k political appointment
McCabe points to Walker's appointment of Brian Deschane to the state Department of Commerce as "an episode that opened some eyes." Deschane, 27-year-old son of influential Republican lobbyist Jerry Deschane, was tapped to fill an $81,500-a-year position despite two drunk-driving convictions, little relevant experience and a lack of a college degree. A hubbub ensued, and Deschane was demoted from the Commerce position and subsequently resigned.[Isthmus, 04/29/2011]
Gov. Scott Walker, who filed the complaint with the Milwaukee County District Attorney in 2000 over charges cigarettes were provided to a handful of potential voters, has remained uncharacteristically silent on evidence released this week that people were being promised liquor to sign recall signatures against a Democratic State Senator.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/21/2011]
The Department of Commerce recently hired Deschane, 27, as its new administrator of environmental and regulatory services - an $81,500-a-year job that supervises 76 employees and oversees storage tank regulations and environmental cleanups. Deschane never graduated from college and, according to his resume, has no discernible experience in the field. Yet according to documents provided Tuesday to the State Journal, he was chosen over a former DRL secretary to replace a 25-year state employee with a degree in chemical engineering and a resume that included extensive management and regulatory experience. The disparity led critics to conclude that Deschane's hiring was political payback.[Wisconsin State Journal, 04/06/2011]
Politically connected college drop-out with drunk driving convictions gets $81k political appointment
Deschane is the son of Jerry Deschane, a longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association. The group's political action committee gave $29,000 to the campaigns of Walker and his running mate, putting it among the campaign's top donors. The Journal Sentinel reported that members of the trade group also funneled more than $92,000 to Walker's campaign over the past two years, bringing the contribution total to $121,652.[Associated Press, 04/05/2011]
An announcement by Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday that Link Snacks Inc. of Minong, in Washburn County, will receive $75,000 in state tax credits came under fire from a liberal advocacy group because the top executive of the company, and the company, made political donations to the Republican Governors Association. The RGA spent heavily on Walker’s race for governor last year. Walker announced that Link Snacks, a manufacturer of meat snacks, will get economic development tax credits to invest in new equipment. The project will create seven jobs and represents $6.8 million in investments. But Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, said in a statement that “once again, Wisconsin taxpayers are footing Gov. Walker’s handouts to special interest campaign contributors.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 04/05/2011]
Politically connected college drop-out with drunk driving convictions gets $81k political appointment
At the recommendation of Walker chief of staff Keith Gilkes, DRL Secretary David Ross appointed Deschane in January as bureau director of board services. A month later, Commerce Secretary Paul Jadin hired him at the recommendation of DRL Deputy Secretary John Scocos.[Wisconsin State Journal, 04/05/2011]
Former GOP Rep. Phil Montgomery, Gov. Scott Walker’s choice to head the Public Service Commission, has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industries he has been appointed to oversee. The PSC is charged with oversight of utilities, including electricity, natural gas, water, combined water and sewer utilities and certain aspects of local telephone service. Montgomery received the maximum contribution allowed under the law from Koch Industries PAC, an energy provider, during the last three election cycles.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/29/2011]
One Wisconsin Now, a progressive, nonprofit advocacy group, also has requested the emails, it said in a statement. The group said that Walker’s administration told Isthmus and the AP it would charge $31,000 to fulfill their request for the records.[Courthouse News Service, 03/13/2011]
Over two weeks after One Wisconsin Now filed an open records request for all email and written communications between Koch Industries’ lead Wisconsin lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Administration, the Walker administration has yet to fulfill the request. One Wisconsin Now said it is considering legal action and notes the unusual speed at which Gov. Walker’s office released staff email communications this week it claimed were proof of the administration’s willingness to negotiate with Senate Democrats in the budget repair bill dispute.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/10/2011]
One Wisconsin Now, a liberal activist group, today filed an open records request for all written communications and records of scheduled meetings between Koch Industries’ top in-state lobbyist and Walker’s office, his former transition office and the Wisconsin Department of Administration.[Biz Times, 02/23/2011]
Walker proposed no-bid sales of state-owned power plants; removed provision from final bill after public...
A lesser-known provision of Wisconsin's budget-repair bill would allow the state to sell off publicly owned power plants in no-bid deals - prompting a flurry of speculation by liberal bloggers who allege that Gov. Scott Walker is attempting a giveaway to energy conglomerate Koch Industries...Koch insists it doesn't stand to gain from the legislation, and is furiously denouncing the rumors as they have spread to media outlets including MSNBC, Forbes and Bloomberg… Koch Industries, led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has emerged as a major benefactor of conservative Republican candidates, and the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity has helped organize tea party rallies in Wisconsin supporting Walker's proposed budget fix.[Politico, 02/23/2011]
Appointed Assembly Speaker Fitzgerald and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald father as State Patrol Director;...
1) Stephen Fitzgerald, 68, was the Dodge County sheriff and had four decades of law-enforcement experience before he was selected as a U.S. marshal in the Western District of Wisconsin.2) Stephen Fitzgerald raised two successful sons, Jeff and Scott. Jeff, a Republican, is our state's Assembly speaker. Scott, another Republican, is our state's Senate majority leader. 3) Stephen Fitzgerald ran again for Dodge County sheriff in September, but lost in the Republican primary by a 2-to-1 margin. 4) Last week, Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb named Stephen Fitzgerald to lead the State Patrol. Walker also interviewed him for the job, which has a $105,700 salary. 5) Gottlieb, a Walker appointee, passed over five officials in the State Patrol to give Stephen Fitzgerald the job. 6) The state Legislature, led by Jeff and Scott, helps determine the State's Patrol's budget and has a say in its programs. 7) Reaction to the appointment is mixed. Scot Ross, director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the hire "looks like pre-emptive insurance."[Appleton Post-Crescent, 02/14/2011]
Walker’s former chief of staff awarded multiple state jobs, resigns from final appointment three days after...
Tom Nardelli, former chief of staff to then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, has been named administrator of the state Safety & Buildings Division….As head of the state safety division in the Commerce Department, he inherits an operation with about 165 employees and has oversight of state building and safety codes on everything from amusement park rides to elevators and fire safety, Nardelli said.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/11/2011]
One Wisconsin Now released the following statement on Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s latest pension gimmick in light of his office’s refusal to honor an open records request from April, filed by One Wisconsin Now. One Wisconsin Now requested records of the full pension benefits that Walker is scheduled to receive from Milwaukee County:[One Wisconsin Now, 06/16/2010]
“Republican candidate for governor Scott Walker accused Democratic leaders of stifling the Milwaukee job market by buying trains from a Spanish company rather than from a local train maker run by one of his big-dollar donors. Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, said Super Steel Products Corp. could have built the high-speed trains in Milwaukee. ...Walker's allegations have prompted counterclaims that his outrage is actually a ruse to defend Super Steel Chairman Fred Luber, who was listed in 2005 as the co-chair of Walker's campaign finance committee. Luber and his wife have given more than $150,000 to Republican campaigns in the last 20 years, including more than $13,000 to Walker, according to the left-leaning advocacy group One Wisconsin Now.”[Associated Press, 03/18/2010]
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said Wednesday that he would drop his request for a 26% pay increase for his chief of staff, Tom Nardelli, at least until after work on the 2009 county budget is finished. Walker said he didn't want the unilateral authority to raise Nardelli’s pay by $20,000 a year to $95,000, something a County Board committee recommended Wednesday. At County Board Chairman Lee Holloway's request, the board's finance committee voted 7-0 to give Walker sole authority for the Nardelli raise. ...Walker decided to drop the matter because of public concern it was ill-timed, given the bad economy.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/09/2008]
“Walker's last two choices to lead the county economic development office, Bob Dennik and Tim Russell, came from his campaign and lacked depth in the development business, Clark said. Dennik left the post this week to become an executive with a Pewaukee construction company. Russell is now Walker's community relations director. ‘Walker chooses folks who don't have -the necessary- experience,’ she said. Dennik came under repeated fire from the board the last two years over disappointing land sales results that put the county budget in a jam.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/03/2008]
“Also getting refunds would be Stuart Levine and P. Nicholas Hurtgen, indicted in Illinois on charges related to a scheme to deny hospitals permits to expand unless they hired a favored construction firm, and Ernest J. Streu and Michael J. Maples, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to rigging Wisconsin road building contracts. The refunds total $8,800. Walker's campaign also said Wednesday it was giving back $4,000 it got from Levine and reviewing its donor list for other possible refunds…. Walker said he would prohibit appointed state employees from contributing to a governor's campaign, ban campaign contributions to candidates for governor while the state's budget is under consideration and urge the Legislature to adopt similar restraints on legislative races.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 01/12/2006]
“...Milwaukee officials are considering suing the actuaries behind the pension scandal, which has seen more than $100 million paid out to retiring county officials and employees. But the actuaries weren't the county's only advisers. The county also paid lawyers with the firm of Reinhart, Boerner, Van Dueren for advice and counsel. Yet, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the lawyers who handled the county's pension work -- and who many observers say could be as guilty as the actuaries of wrongdoing -- ‘will likely escape blame.’ ...In Milwaukee, the speculation is that Reinhart, Boerner, Van Dueren will get a break because the firm is very well connected to Walker...Reinhart's chief executive is Richard Graber. Yes, that Richard Graber, the chairman of the state Republican Party and a key supporter of Walker’s 2002 campaign for Milwaukee County executive.”[Capital Times, 02/23/2005]
“In a related development, a lawyer with the state Elections Board advised the Walker campaign to make a case to county election officials justifying its planned use of campaign funds for lobbying on the issue. The Walker campaign has sought donations from the public to fund a massive phone-call operation aimed at getting residents to lobby their supervisors to sustain Walker’s expected veto. Expenses to influence legislation are not a permissible use of campaign funds, according to state statutes.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/07/2005]
Questions About Walker’s Use of State Funded Mailing From Assembly Office During County Executive Race
The recent constituent letter sent by state Rep. Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa) cost slightly more than a similar 2000 mailing - and wound up in more mailboxes...Walker said he checked with the state Elections Board and state Ethics Board before sending the newsletter, which includes a back-patting list of accomplishments from the just concluded legislative session. He has noted other lawmakers send three or four newsletters each two-year cycle. The 2002 newsletter is considerably more plain than the 2000 one. But rather than praise any frugality, aides to some of Walker’s opponents have privately grumbled it must have been a rush job to boost his candidacy.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/18/2002]