Scott Walker’s Record on Ethics

Throughout His Career as a Politician, Scott Walker Has Shown a Willingness to Push the Boundaries of Ethics and Law

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.

Rigged Bid Delivers Contract for Scott Walker’s Campaign Treasurer

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]

Scott Walker’s campaign treasurer’s firm gets Capitol...

"This rigged deal to give a state contract to Governor Walker's campaign treasurer's business is as sleazy as it gets," said a statement from Mike Browne, deputy director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. "We've seen Walker's gang ignore the separation between his campaign and outside groups. Now it looks like now there's no wall between his campaign business and state business." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/08/2017]

PoltiFact: Scott Walker veers on NFL national anthem protests

There appears to be a wider political connection. The day after Walker released his letter, the Republican Governors Association, of which Walker is chairman, sent out a fundraising solicitation announcing "I Stand" bumper stickers were available in exchange for a campaign contribution to the association. The email says the stickers are available for a donation of $5 or more. The liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now pointed out the timing. For a partial change in position, we give Walker a Half Flip. [PolitiFact, 10/25/2017]

Scott Walker’s Reverse Field on National Anthem Comes with Fundraising Pitch

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 Scott Walker Issue Order to Win GOP Senate Holdouts’ Budget Votes?

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]

Gov. Scott Walker’s deal-making with senators raises questions of...

Scot Ross of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now said he had a tough time believing creating the inspector general's office was not part of the discussions with the senators. "It is not a coincidence that Governor Walker issued an executive order implementing provisions of a bill authored by all three Republican senators who publicly delayed budget passage until their demands were met," he said by email. “Legal lines may have been crossed when Governor Walker was bargaining for the votes of holdout Republican Senators Kapenga, Nass and Stroebel, and we will pursue all means available to us to make sure this gang is held accountable for their actions." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/29/2017]

Scott Walker Still Welcoming Donald Trump to Wisconsin to Raise Campaign Cash

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]

Walker orders state agencies to improve records access

Scot Ross, director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, called the executive order an “empty gesture.” Ross said that Walker has “gone to lengths no other governor in state history has gone to avoid disclosing even simple records like who visits him at the mansion.” Walker’s administration did not retain visitor logs to the governor’s residence because he maintained they were transitory and not subject to the state open records law. Walker was also criticized at the time for taking six months to respond to the One Wisconsin Now request last year for the visitor records. [Iron Mountain Daily News, 03/10/2017]

Walker Orders State Agencies to Increase Access to Records

Scot Ross, director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, called the executive order an "empty gesture." Ross said that Walker has "gone to lengths no other governor in state history has gone to avoid disclosing even simple records like who visits him at the mansion." Walker's administration did not retain visitor logs to the governor's residence because he maintained they were transitory and not subject to the state open records law. Walker was also criticized at the time for taking six months to respond to the One Wisconsin Now request last year for the visitor records. [Associated Press, 03/09/2017]

Memo to Washington Post: Welcome to Walker’s Wisconsin

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]

Lobbyists, GOP Donors Central to Walker Closed-Door ‘Listening Sessions’

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]

Walker Denies Legal Counsel to Agency Sued by His Campaign Chair’s Legal Fund

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]

The ‘me-first’ session? 10 ways Walker and the...

Walker's administration has also caught heat for denying records requests citing a "transitory records" provision — records considered to have no long-term value — in the state public records law. The Walker administration cited the provision when it denied a records request for text messages by the Wisconsin State Journal, and when the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now requested visitor logs to the governor's mansion earlier this year. The board later backed off the changes and is reviewing its policy. [Capital Times, 03/23/2016]

Walker administration won’t explain what happened to WEDC text...

On Oct. 29, in response to a separate request for records by liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, DOA lawyer Elisabeth Winterhack also cited the new “transitory” records retention policy in explaining why police logs of anticipated visitors to the Governor’s Mansion weren’t maintained. Jenni Dye, research director for One Wisconsin Now, said she doesn’t believe the police logs meet the definition of “transitory” records. [Capital Times, 01/16/2016]

Scott Walker says DOA decision to not release WEDC text messages...

Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday indicated a decision by his administration to not release an employee's text messages related to a questionable WEDC loan goes against his own open records policy ... The governor's administration has also deemed visitor logs for the executive residence to be transitory. The liberal group One Wisconsin Now requested copies of those logs in April. [Capital Times, 01/14/2016]

Editorial: On open records, Public Records Board does the right thing

The Walker administration also cited the August redefinition of “transitory correspondence” when denying a records request from the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now ... We’d prefer it if the Walker administration and the Republican leadership in the Legislature would display a little less eagerness to deny the people of Wisconsin access to government records. [Racine Journal Times, 01/14/2016]

Walker’s Secretive Governing Style

Then there was the open records request by One Wisconsin Now, asking for visitor logs at the governor’s mansion from November 2014 through early April 2015, during the time Walker was planning for and then campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. Walker’s assistant legal counsel David J. Rabe claimed there were no visitor logs for this six month period, with no explanation as to why. [Urban Milwaukee, 01/12/2016]

Public Records Board under intense scrutiny

The action drew objections from groups on both sides of Wisconsin’s partisan divide, such as the as the liberal One Wisconsin Now and the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. The records which have — or could be — included under the board’s actions include visitor logs at the Executive Residence, text messages and emails. [Wisconsin Radio Network, 01/11/2016]

Records Board backtracks amid public outcry on access

The 1,876 written comments came in from a host of communities, with former local officials writing in alongside the leaders of prominent groups, the editors of small weekly newspapers and citizens. The change drew criticism from conservative and liberal groups alike, including the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and One Wisconsin Now. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/11/2016]

Records board must reverse bad decision

The Walker administration also cited the board’s expanded definition of “transitory” records in denying the liberal group One Wisconsin Now months of visitor logs from the governor’s mansion. Concealing a list of people who visit a public building, presumably to meet with the state’s most powerful leader, is arrogant and immediately suspect. [Wisconsin State Journal, 01/10/2016]

Walker Says He Shortchanged Political Ambitions, Not Wisconsin

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]

Closed to the public

Then there was the open records request by One Wisconsin Now, asking for visitor logs at the governor’s mansion from November 2014 through early April 2015, during the time Walker was planning for and then campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination. [Isthmus, 01/07/2016]

Wisconsin Board Reboots, Holds Hearing on Changes to Open Records Law

The changes also appear to address a records request from the advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. The organization repeatedly requested records which would show who visited the governor's mansion before and after Walker became a presidential candidate. The group’s research director, Jenny Dye, got a "transitory records" denial one day after the board's decision, and months after she had first filed the request, and after she reiterated demands for records August 3rd. The timing, she said, "is suspicious." [PRWatch, 01/04/2016]

In TV interview, Bill Lueders decries ‘culture of contempt for...

Lueders' group last week filed a verified complaint against the state Public Records Board, which it contended violated the open meetings law at its Aug. 24 meeting, when it voted to expand what can be considered as transitory records. Those transitory records — items considered to have no long-term value — have been central to two open records request denials in recent months, one by the Wisconsin State Journal on text messages and another by liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now on visitor logs at the governor's mansion. [Capital Times, 12/20/2015]

Walker Signs Measures to Weaken State Ethics Laws in Secret

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]

Walker administration finding new way to deny public records

In response to a request from liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, the Department of Administration released the reports since April 8 — which showed Walker meeting with presidential campaign staff at the residence, as permitted by the Government Accountability Board — but said prior reports are “transitory records” under the same section of the records retention policy that was updated by the records board in August. [Wisconsin State Journal, 12/07/2015]

Walker secretly signs get out of jail free bill

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]

Editorial: What has Gov. Scott Walker got to hide?

Walker and his family reside in the lavish taxpayer-funded state governor's mansion in Maple Bluff. It is public property that is not supposed to serve as a political playground. Yet, as the watchdog group One Wisconsin Now noted, recently obtained records covering the period from early April 2015 through August 2015 “reveal that as Governor Walker prepared to launch his bid for president, lasting all of 71 days, individuals associated with his campaign were frequent visitors to the mansion.” [Capital Times, 11/04/2015]

Walker’s office says visitor logs for governor’s mansion,...

One Wisconsin Now asked in April for copies of the visitor log dating back to Nov. 5, the day after Walker won re-election. The group wanted to see who Walker was meeting with as he mulled entering the presidential race, a step he took in July. Walker's administration on Wednesday released visitor logs between April 8 and Aug. 26, but not those from Nov. 5 to April 7, as requested. [Associated Press, 10/30/2015]

Gov. Scott Walker releases partial list of mansion visitors

A liberal advocacy group is objecting to Gov. Scott Walker’s response to an open records request seeking details about who visited the governor’s mansion after he won re-election through late April... The group’s director Scot Ross says it is “woefully inadequate” that Walker did not fulfill their full request and that it took six months to turn over what they did. [WITI-TV, 10/29/2015]

Walker’s office says visitor logs for mansion don’t exis

Walker's administration on Wednesday released visitor logs between April 8 and Aug. 26, but not those from Nov. 5 to April 7, as requested. In an email to One Wisconsin Now sent Thursday, Walker attorney Elisabeth Winterhack said the visitor logs are transitory and not required under the law to be kept beyond the next day. She said Capitol Police happened to have the logs going back to early April so those were provided, but nothing earlier than that exists. "Their own behavior in retaining months of these records belies their own ridiculous argument," said One Wisconsin Now director Scot Ross. [Associated Press, 10/29/2015]

Governor Walker’s Mansion Mystery: The Case of the Missing Visitors Log

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]

Walker Spreads Cronyism to Supreme Court, Appoints Bradley

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]

The ‘Fix’ Is In

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]

Walker Admin Stonewalls Request for Mansion Visitors Log

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]

Rearranging Deck Chairs Won't Save Walker's WEDC

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]

In light of Scott Walker’s China comments, aides defend...

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, thinks Walker has another motive for being tough on China, calling the move a "ham-handed dodge." "Scott Walker desperately wanted to change the media focus on his three positions in a week as he tries to chase Donald Trump's race to the sewer, proving again Scott Walker will say and do anything to win a political campaign," Ross said, referring to Walker's apparent shift among three different positions on birthright citizenship in a matter of a week. [La Crosse Tribune, 08/26/2015]

Scott Walker, Crony Capitalist

This is hardly the first time that one of Walker’s financial supporters has benefited from taxpayer largess. A July report by One Wisconsin Now, a liberal activist group that has been consistently critical of Walker, found that since 2009 the governor’s campaign organization, Friends of Scott Walker, had received more than $2.1 million from individuals linked to WEDC awards. According to the report, the majority of the money doled out by the WEDC since its inception has gone to Walker donors—including, once again, Hammes, whose $100 million hotel project received a $55.9 million taxpayer backed loan approved by the agency. [Politico, 08/25/2015]

Scott Walker Is Two-Faced on China

Scot Ross, who heads the progressive group One Wisconsin Now, criticized the governor for the apparent incongruency. “Scott Walker doesn’t understand what’s going on in the world and doesn’t know what’s going on in his state,” he said. “In his desperate attempt to out-Trump Trump, Scott Walker has out-Palined Palin.” “It’s pretty rich for a guy who’s had three positions on immigration in a week to be telling the President to get a backbone,” he added. [Daily Beast, 08/24/2015]

Months later, still no final costs for Scott Walker’s trips...

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said Walker's campaign for president has gotten a political benefit from his recent trips without having to pay the full financial cost. "Scott Walker has had an active campaign account for the last 22 years that's raised and spent more money than any state candidate in Wisconsin history," Ross said, referring to Walker's many campaigns. "He should pay for his campaign trips with his campaign account." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 08/13/2015]

Taking the shine off Scott Walker’s PateGate

One Wisconsin Now, a liberal advocacy group, pounced, calling Walker's tale "inconceivable" in a news release and adding, "It's funny to think Gov. Walker would blame a cabinet for causing his male pattern baldness, but his pathological inability to tell the truth is making Wisconsin a joke." [Chicago Tribune, 07/17/2015]

Wisconsin Supreme Court quashes Walker investigation

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal One Wisconsin Now, said that the conflict of interest among the justices was part of a system "run amok". "If this exact scenario were occurring in another country, Scott Walker would be calling for boots on the ground to save democracy," Ross said in a statement. [CNN, 07/16/2015]

Did Walker Gang Just Use $10 Million ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card?

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]

Walker aides pushed for questionable WEDC loan for donor who had maxed...

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 Reveals Walker's 'April Fool' on Campaign Finance Laws

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]

John Menard Jr. donated $1.5 million to pro-Walker groups, received...

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]

Not-So-Sweet Sixteen Highlights the Lowlights of Gov. Scott Walker

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]

Will GOP Rubber-Stamp Walker Political Crony Appointment?

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 Issues Walker Warning for New Hampshire

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]

Scott Walker signs bill, makes Wisconsin 25th right-to-work state

Mike Browne, deputy director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, issued a statement saying Badger Meter was a good location for the bill signing. “How fitting that Gov. Walker chose to sign the bill at the business of a millionaire campaign contributor who threatened to send the jobs of hard-working skilled Wisconsin workers to another country unless the system was tilted further in his favor,” Browne said. [Wisconsin State Journal, 03/09/2015]

Right to Work Advocates Get Exclusive Access on Walker’s European Vacation

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]

Gov. Walker's Profile in Cowardice on Right to Work Law Provides Preview for Nation

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]

John Doe emails: ‘Dark side’ was code for Scott Walker...

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 Best Defense Money Can Buy

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]

Scott Walker’s Hanukkah Message: ‘Molotov’!

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]

State Government The GOP Way: Those Who Give, Get...

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]

Records Reveal Out-of-State Special Interests Funneling Support for Walker

 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]

Walker Campaign Co-Chair Behind Political Hit Job

 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]

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge - the Walker Gang's Response to Open Records Request

 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]

Scott Walker’s Corruption Problem

New documents released show that Walker helped his longtime campaign treasurer get inside information for a bid to lease office space to the county. Ross, who describes Walker’s administration as “arguably one of the most corrupt in recent history,” is calling for those aides, Cindy Archer and Jim Villa, to resign [The Progressive, 10/23/2014]

#TBT 2006-2010: The Stunning Hypocrisy of Scott Walker

 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 Attempted Milwaukee Co. Bid Scheme Should Resign

 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]

Top Walker aide worked to help Walker campaign treasurer on county...

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]

Kleefisch Hosts Schimel Fundraiser After DA Refused to Investigate 'Pay-to-Play' Allegations

 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]

5.5 Million Plus Reasons Why Scott Walker’s Ethics Reform Plan...

 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]

#TBT Eight Million Reasons Four WI Supreme Court Justices Must Recuse...

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]

Walker names his attorney’s brother to judgeship

Gov. Scott Walker has appointed a controversial former prosecutor — and brother of his campaign attorney — to the Outagamie Circuit Court. Late Friday, Walker named former Outagamie County District Attorney Vince Biskupic to fill the vacancy left by Judge Dee R. Dyer, who retired in August....In 2003, the state Ethics Board investigated Vince Biskupic amid allegations that he ran a cash-for-leniency program while Outagamie County district attorney. A report showed that 14 times over eight years he "negotiated precharging and plea agreements with individuals that required" them to donate money to a Crime Prevention Fund that the district attorney controlled. Among its findings, the Ethics Board said that Vince Biskupic "did not use his office to obtain a private benefit for his family," and concluded that no further proceedings were warranted because Biskupic "used the crime prevention fund for a public, and not a private purpose." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/20/2014]

Executive behind voter fraud billboards sought Scott Walker advice

A venture fund manager consulted with then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker about state and federal voting laws in 2010, just weeks before the businessman began posting controversial ads on billboards in Milwaukee that warned "Voter Fraud is a Felony." "Scott, I need to know the rules for illegal voting in Wisconsin," Stephen Einhorn wrote in an email on July 22, 2010. "Please check into the rules, including federal statutes. I need to know what the law is, if you violate it." Einhorn continued, "I need this for some work that I am doing, and would appreciate your prompt response." Walker forwarded the email to Cheryl Berdan, an assistant administrator in his office with the instructions, "Please help him out."... Einhorn and his wife, Nancy, have given Walker $50,350 over the past decade, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Michael Grebe, head of the Bradley Foundation and Walker's campaign chairman, has acknowledged that the foundation helped underwrite the cost of the billboards in Walker's 2010 race through a $10,000 grant to the Einhorn Foundation. Einhorn said his foundation received the money from the Bradley Foundation after the billboards had already been posted. Previously, Einhorn said he footed the bill for the 2012 race. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/11/2014]

Court to hear arguments on secret Scott Walker investigation

“Throughout his 20 year political career Gov. Walker has refused responsibility for his actions or to be held accountable for his bad decisions,” Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director, told msnbc. “Tuesdays court hearing will determine if the pursuit of truth and enforcement of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws applies to Gov. Walker.” [MSNBC, 09/09/2014]

Bradley Foundation's WILL: Counsel for Walker's Defense

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]

Walker Can't Dispute Facts of One Wisconsin Now WEDC Report

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]

Walker Took Another $167,000 from Businesses That Got WEDC Funds

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]

Where There's a WILL, There's a Way... to Promote Walker's Best Interests

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]

Did Gov. Walker Raise Money to Help Elect State Supreme Court Justice?

 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]

Will State Big Business Lobby Answer the Question, Is Gov. Walker Still...

 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]

Scott Walker Accused of Illegal Fundraising

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?” [MSNBC, 06/20/2014]

Two ask to intervene, have records withheld in John Doe probe

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]

Nearly 60% of WEDC funds have gone to Walker, GOP donors

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]

One Wisconsin Now Slams Gov. Walker on Capitol City Sunday

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, isn't buying Walker's answer. “There's something there,” said Ross. “All this discussion about a settlement comes after there's been discussion about the records being made public from the investigation and I think that's what he fears the most.” [WKOW-TV, 05/30/2014]

Gov. Walker Reportedly in Settlement Talks to End Criminal...

 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]

One Wisconsin Now Hits Gov. Walker over Alleged John Doe Deal

“There is no question that Gov. Walker is driven by political ambition for higher office and his next election. And he is clearly, and rightly, concerned about what additional document dumps from the criminal investigations of his administration and campaign will do to his 2014 election prospects and 2016 presidential ambitions. What remains to be seen is whether or not he’s going to sell out the mega-donors and special interests that underwrite him to try to save his own hide,” concluded Ross. [WQOW-TV, 05/28/2014]

Is Gov. Scott Walker’s Book Deal Legal?

 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]

Walker doesn’t disclose total book payment

“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]

Gov. Walker’s Administration Continues Secrecy with Wisconsinites

 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]

Walker Ousted GAB Chair After Vote to Proceed with Investigation

 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]

Eight Million Reasons Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Should Recuse

 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]

Scott Walker campaign asks Supreme Court to intervene in ‘John...

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]

Gov. Walker and Special Interest Pals Go Venue Shopping for Friendly...

 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]

Former Walker Staffer Left Without Seat For 'Inner Circle' Musical Chairs

 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]

Campaign aides again directing response to county issues, this time...

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]

Walker, again, personally directing response to controversy

"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]

Walker’s campaign and county aides coordinated response to...

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...

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...

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...

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]

Bombshell New Report Casts Doubt on Gov. Walker’s Denial of...

 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]

Emails pose problem for Wisconsin governor

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]

Walker encouraged anti-immigrant rant: ‘Don’t hold back.’

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]

Email dump makes political hurdles for Walker

Walker has long denied knowledge of illegal activities within his office and was not charged in the investigation, but “[the emails] raise serious questions about his ethics and trustworthiness as a politician and public official,” Mike Brown, deputy director of One Wisconsin Now, a progressive group in the state, told msnbc. “Beyond the criminal convictions, we’re really getting a picture of Governor Walker’s character, and it’s not a pretty one.” [MSNBC, 02/20/2014]

Walker campaign manager directs firing of county aide to take the fall...

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]

What did Walker aides think was funny? Racism, apparently.

In April 2010, Walker's former deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch received an emailed joke from a friend about someone whose dogs supposedly qualified for welfare because they are "mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddys are." Rindfleisch wrote back: "That is hilarious. And so true!" [...] In another email, sent in July 2010, Thomas Nardelli, Walker's chief of staff for Walker at Milwaukee County, forwarded Rindfleisch and others a joke about someone who has what he calls a "nightmare" about turning into a black, Jewish, disabled gay man who is unemployed. "Oh God, please don't tell me I'm a Democrat," the email concludes. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/20/2014]

Walker Transportation Department Assistant Deputy Secretary’s racist...

In August, Walker fired Steven Krieser, assistant deputy secretary at the state Department of Transportation, after he likened illegal immigrants to Satan during a Facebook debate over a bumper sticker declaring open season on foreigners living in the United States without documentation. That case was also brought to light by Bice. "You may see Jesus when you look at them," Krieser wrote. "I see Satan." Krieser wrote that a "stream of wretched criminals" is crossing the border without obstruction. These individuals, he said, "completely ruined" entire states and industries, breeding "the animus that many American citizens feel toward them." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/20/2014]

Politics top concern among Walker and team in response to O’Donnell...

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]

United Sportsmen seeks exemption from penalty for faulty tax filings

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]

Did Walker’s Milwaukee County Aides Destroy Documents at Direction of...

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]

Scott Suder steps away from job in Scott Walker’s administration

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.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/03/2013]

Gov. Walker Jets to Seattle, Washington For Speech… Meanwhile in...

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...

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]

Top Walker aides sought to slow down release of public records

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...

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...

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]

Will Gov. Walker Take His Own Advice?

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]

#WalkerAt20: Friends’ Felonious Failures

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]

Gov. Walker Maintains Veil of Secrecy

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]

Tim Russell pleads guilty

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...

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]

State Medicaid Director Brett Davis Must Go for Role in Illegal...

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]

Venture capitalist Einhorn behind ‘voter fraud’ billboards

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]

Venture capitalist Einhorn paid for voter fraud billboards

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]

Rindfleisch may plead guilty

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 Calls for End to Walker’s ‘Gravy Train’ for...

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]

Respect the Integrity of the John Doe Inquiry

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this week that popular radio personality Charlie Sykes received leaked information about individuals who might be charged in the John Doe investigation of criminal wrongdoing by aides and allies of Gov. Scott Walker. Watchdog groups like One Wisconsin Now are calling on Sykes’ superiors to reprimand him. [Capital Times, 06/29/2012]

Memo to Reporters: “Bombshell” Email Exchange With Top Adviser John...

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]

What is Gov. Walker Hiding?

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]

5 Questions Gov. Walker Should Answer At Tonight’s Debate

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]

Madison Politiscope: Wisconsin Conservatives Try to Discredit John Doe...

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]

Memo: Follow the Money

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]

Miraculous or Scandalous?

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]

Walker Sets Up Legal Defense Fund

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]

37 Days Since Gov. Walker Announced He “Lawyered-Up” in...

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]

John Doe Probe Update: Former Walker Employee Postpones Arraignment

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]

Former Aide to Walker Pleads Guilty in John Doe Investigation

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]

3 Wisconsin veterans board members have resigned in protest

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]

Walker hired insurance company attorney and lobbyist to be DHS...

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...

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]

Spokesperson refuses to speak to reporters who ask about his immunity...

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]

Walker says he opposes “double dipping” but won’t force top aides...

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]

Van Hollen shows his skewed priorities

By Scot Ross. Van Hollen refused to help local law enforcement in the John Doe investigation that has ensnared top officials from Walker’s Milwaukee County executive regime. Among those involved are people given top jobs in the Walker gubernatorial administration. The two previous Wisconsin attorneys general offered resources and support in similar types of cases involving fellow Democrats, but Van Hollen took a high-profile and controversial pass. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/03/2011]

Walker’s #2 at DOA abruptly takes leave of absence; is moved to new...

Three days after Cindy Archer was to have started her job as the legislative liaison at the state Department of Children and Families - and while she was already being paid sick leave for it - the agency interviewed someone else for the same job. Department officials did not fully explain why they interviewed another person to be the legislative liaison. They did not respond to a question asking if they expected Archer to stay in the job for long Documents released under the state's open records law Friday also show the office of Gov. Scott Walker - and not the Department of Children and Families - offered Archer the job at up to 65% more than what the last person to hold the position made. Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson never interviewed Archer for the nearly $100,000-a-year job, even though Anderson is responsible for appointing someone to the post. Archer was granted the job just weeks before her home was raided by the FBI as part of a secret John Doe investigation of current and former Walker aides, dating back to when he was still Milwaukee County executive and running for governor. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/23/2011]

Walker Spokesperson Granted Immunity in John Doe Investigation

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]

Van Hollen Refused to Investigate Walker’s...

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]

Archer’s home raided by FBI as part of John Doe investigation

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...

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]

Walker’s fundraiser to restore mansion raises some eyebrows

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...

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...

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]

Walker’s former chief of staff awarded multiple state jobs, resigns...

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]

Politicized Department of Veterans Affairs & Appointed Crony as...

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...

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...

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]

Deschane was hired over candidates with a Ph.D. & 25 years...

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...

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]

Link Snacks gets $75k in tax credits from Walker; Gave $50k to RGA for...

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]

Walker Installs Koch Machine to Head Public Service Commission

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]

Gov. Scott Walker Refusing To Release Details Of Contacts With Koch...

Over two weeks after receiving a request from One Wisconsin Now, Walker’s administration has refused to release details of its contacts with lobbyists from Koch Industries, run by billionaire arch-conservatives Charles and David Koch. The group requested “all email and written communications between Koch Industries’ lead Wisconsin lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Administration,” but has not yet received the information. [Think Progress, 03/10/2011]

Over Two Weeks Later, Walker Has Not Released Administration-Koch...

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]

Records, please

But not all observers are chuckling. The Madison-based liberal group, One Wisconsin Now, has adopted a frowny watchdog visage: Last week it filed a records request with Walker’s office seeking “all written communications and records of scheduled meetings between Koch Industries’ top in-state lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker, his former transition office and the Wisconsin Department of Administration.” [Milwaukee News Buzz, 02/27/2011]

Liberal group files open records request against Walker

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...

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...

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...

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]

Walker Gave Senator Job After He Voted Against State Employee Contracts

Former Democratic Sen. Jeff Plale, who voted against his party during a lame duck session on state contracts last month, has joined the administration of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Plale will earn $90,000 a year as the administrator of the Division of State Facilities, according to the Department of Administration. Critics speculated a Walker administration job was payback for his opposition to union contract legislation in December. "Instead of seeking out the best and brightest, this governor is busy creating a country club for cronies," Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, said. [Wisconsin State Journal, 01/20/2011]

Statement on Walker Pension Gimmick

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]

Walker Attacked Doyle for Not Giving Walker Donor Contract for Train

“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]

Walker Gave County Custodial Contract to Campaign Donor

“Edward Aprahamian, the owner of a West Allis janitorial firm, inherits the job of cleaning the Milwaukee County courthouse complex and other buildings as the county privatizes its custodial staff. ...The county last week awarded MidAmerican Building Services a $1.2 million contract for cleaning the courthouse and nine other Milwaukee County buildings, picking it over about 10 other firms. MidAmerican officially takes over Jan. 18 and will be paid $97,793 a month, according to its contract with the county...He is a longtime supporter of Walker, including his most recent $1,000 donation to the county executive and Republican candidate for governor that was made in late June, around the time Walker's administration laid plans for privatizing custodial services for 2010.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/14/2009]

Walker Backed Down from Top County Aide’s 26 Percent Pay Hike

“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 Appointed Campaign Cronies to Economic Development Posts

“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]

Walker Campaign Returned Donations from Levine & Hurtgen After...

“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]

Walker Protected Political Allies from Liability in Pension Scandal...

“...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]

Law Firm Walker Protected in Pension Suit Gave Him Campaign...

“Graber said he expected no favors in the process, despite their political connections. Under Graber, the state Republican Party contributed $50,000 to Walker’s campaign in the final days of his re-election race against David Reimer last April, county records show. ... Graber and Reinhart Attorney Steve Huff have made 10 separate donations to Walker's campaign fund, totaling $4,200, since he took office in May 2002, Walker campaign records show. Graber said the formal fund-raiser did not take place until 2004, held not by the firm but by some of its attorneys. A dozen Reinhart lawyers are listed as Walker donors. Walker said last week that he did not remember Graber, in the 2002 meeting, offering to hold a fund-raiser for his campaign. Whenever anyone in a county-related meeting starts discussing campaign money, Walker said, ‘I tell them that's for another time.’” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/21/2005]

Elections Board Questioned Walker’s Use of Campaign Funds to Lobby...

“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]

Walker Hired Aide Who Was Named In Caucus Scandal

“A former Capitol aide whose campaign fund-raising efforts as a state employee were cited in pending cases against two lawmakers now serves on the Milwaukee County executive's staff. Greg Reiman worked for former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, R-Waukesha, and Rep. Bonnie Ladwig, R-Racine, who were accused in October of directing Reiman and another state-paid worker to perform campaign duties from their Capitol offices in 1997 and 1998. Ladwig faces only the misdemeanor count, while Jensen faces felony counts as well, all related to allegations of supervising election work done on state time. Reiman, 46, is a former legislative assistant on County Executive Scott Walker's Assembly staff, which he joined in 1999. When Walker resigned from the Assembly in May 2002 after winning the county executive's job, Reiman stayed in Madison to handle constituent calls until Walker's successor took office last month. Walker's chief of staff, Jim Villa, said Friday that Reiman would be expected to follow the same rules Walker established in his Madison office. "There is no campaigning out of this office," Villa said. [Associated Press, 03/01/2003]

Questions About Walker’s Use of State Funded Mailing From Assembly...

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]