Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's story about the John Doe investigation that has led to criminal charges against three of his former aides, an appointee, and a major donor and has just hit 13 people granted immunity and counting is that sure, it surrounds him, but he himself is not only innocent of all wrongdoing, but actually initiated the investigation. It turns out that, like so many of Walker's stories about his actions, is not quite the way it happened:
On May 5, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed a petition with court officials asking if his office could initiate a secret investigation into what happened with $11,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans.Walker's recall campaign spokeswoman disputes this, saying Walker really really really tried to get things investigated. Meanwhile, the 13th person just granted immunity was Walker's spokeswoman during his time as Milwaukee County executive, who joins Walker's current non-campaign spokesman in the immunity club.
By making it a secret John Doe investigation, Landgraf wrote that prosecutors might get better cooperation from Walker's office, which had been "unwilling or unable" to turn over records and information needed in the investigation. He said he would need to subpoena county records and officials.
"It may be the County Executive's Office is reluctant to provide information to investigators due to a fear of political embarrassment," Landgraf wrote, noting that Walker was then running for governor.
Wisconsin voters are faced with a choice. They can believe Walker when he says he's innocent and will remain untouched by the investigation, going on faith because he won't release emails from the secret internet system his aides set up in the office, or they can connect the dots between the criminal charges against three Walker aides, an appointee, and a donor and the 13 people granted immunity, including current and former Walker spokespeople. And even if Walker himself is never a direct target of the investigation, is he running the kind of clean government Wisconsin wants to see?