MADISON, Wis. — During his brief career as a lawyer, Michael Screnock worked as part of legal teams defending Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive policies attacking workers’ rights and the Republican rigging of legislative district lines. Now that Screnock is running for the state Supreme Court, Gov. Walker’s campaign team is all in working to get him elected, based on a review of campaign finance records.
“Before his recent appointment to the bench by Gov. Walker, Michael Screnock was on the payroll of the legal team defending Gov. Walker’s divisive policies in court and working to rig state Senate and Assembly district lines to give Republicans an unfair advantage,” commented One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “Now, it’s Walker’s team working to elect Screnock.”
One Wisconsin Now’s review of Screnock’s spending in his most recent campaign finance report found that, other than a payment processing service and bank charges, every disbursement reported is to a vendor or consultant connected to Scott Walker’s campaign team. The consultants connected to Walker, now working for Screnock, include:
Aspect Consulting: According to corporate registry records maintained by the Department of Financial Institutions, the registered agent for Aspect Consulting is Kate Lind, Gov. Walker’s campaign treasurer. The firm has received over 130 payments from Walker’s campaign dating back to 2009. Screnock has made three disbursements to Aspect totaling over $4,800 since September 2017. In addition to her business being paid by the campaign for its work, Lind holds the position of campaign treasurer.
Content Solutions: Nathan Conrad is the registered agent for Content Solutions. Conrad is also employed by Platform Communications, the public relations firm run by longtime Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes, and previously served as a spokesperson for the Republican Party of Wisconsin and in positions in the Walker administration. He has been listed as the press contact for the Screnock campaign and Content Solutions received a $2,000 payment from the Screnock campaign in December 2017.
Champion Group: Before starting Platform Communications, Champion Group was the consulting business of Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes. He recently sold the firm to political operatives Luke Hilgemann and Sean Lansing. Both have previously worked in Wisconsin GOP politics and returned to the state from the Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity. Screnock’s report discloses $5,000 “incurred obligation” to Champion.
Laura Gralton: Gralton is a longtime fundraiser for Republicans and conservative political candidates. Walker’s campaign finance reports list nearly 150 payments to Gralton for her services since 2012. Screnock has paid her over $1,400 since September 2017 and lists another $2,800 plus as “incurred obligations.”
SCM Associates: SCM advertises themselves as “ … an award-winning, fully integrated Republican fundraising, marketing, and direct-response firm specializing in direct mail, telemarketing, and email services for fundraising and political purposes.” Based in New Hampshire, the GOP firm has serviced Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign and his 71-day presidential campaign. Screnock paid SCM over $13,300 since August 2017.