According to his last mandatory filing, covering the period from April 1 to June 30 of this year Walker has spent the following out of his Legal Defense Fund (officially called The Scott Walker Trust which sounds more like a retirement account than a legal defense fund):
$115,000 to the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin LLP
$ 29,200 to the firm of Milwaukee attorney Michael Steinle
$ 1,300 to the Madison law firm of Lind Weininger.
and (drum roll, please)
Gov. Scott Walker's legal defense fund has paid out nearly $10,000 to a public relations firm, a new filing shows.Yup, Governor snotty used $10,000 out of his Legal Defense Fund to pay a PR firm.
The fund paid the money to APCO Worldwide Inc. on May 15, at a time when Democrats were trying to capitalize on a John Doe investigation into Walker's former aides to beat the Republican governor in a recall election then just weeks away.
"APCO Worldwide provided assistance on legal and media issues," Walker campaign spokesman Tom Evenson said in a statement.Just a reminder on the whole Legal Defense Fund thing:
Walker is funding the trust with donations from his campaign fund.
State law allows Walker to create a criminal defense fund only if he is under investigation, his campaign is under investigation or agents of his campaign are under investigation, according to the state Government Accountability Board.For a guy who repeatedly says he's not under investigation or a target, he spends a whole lot of money. The payment to the PR firm, however, is a new wrinkle.
Of course, none of this would be know since Governor Walker keeps everything, including his official schedule, under a tight veil of secrecy. However, the IRS (yup, the tax man, requires quarterly filings on this fund.
In other news:
John Doe Probe Tidbit
Former Walker aide Darlene Wink is expected in court later today for sentencing for misdemeanor charges of doing campaign work in Milwaukee County facilities and on taxpayer funded time. Kelly Reindfleisch, indicted for the same activities, is facing felony charges. Wink worked out an agreement with John Doe prosecutors for reduced charges in return for her cooperation with investigators.
The counts carry a maximum combined penalty of one year in prison and a $2,000 fine. However, as part of the plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed not to recommend prison time.
Wink was to be sentenced two months ago, but prosecutors asked for an extension. They said the plea deal required that she cooperate in ongoing investigations of other associates close to Walker.
See update below!
Democrats Take Over State Senate
As I posted yesterday, Democrats finally took over the Wisconsin State Senate after nearly 6 weeks of whining and stalling by former Republican State Senator Van Wanggaard. John Lehman was sworn in yesterday and the State Senate met today.
Awwwww, RWNJ State Senator Scott Fitzgerald is now the Minority Leader.
Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) handed the gavel over to Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), the longest-serving state lawmaker in the country. The president presides over Senate proceedings and, crucially, sits on the Senate Organization Committee, which can take administrative actions and set policies for the Senate.
The senators also named Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) as president pro tempore, replacing Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan). The president pro tempore presides over the Senate in the president's absence.
Risser and Carpenter were elected unanimously.
New Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) said he was committed to treating minority Republicans fairly and invited all senators to dinner in an effort to improve relations that have been poisoned by a bitter fight over all but ending collective bargaining for most public workers and a wave of recall elections. The offer was similar to the bipartisan "brat summit" Gov. Scott Walker held last month after winning his recall election.New Committee heads were also announced:
Miller also announced he was naming Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) as co-chairwoman of the Joint Finance Committee, the Legislature's powerful budget committee.
That committee is made up of members of the Senate and Assembly and is now split evenly between the two parties - with six Senate Democrats, two Assembly Democrats, six Assembly Republicans and two Senate Republicans. The committee has vast powers but is expected to take little action between now and November.
Larson is taking over as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Review of Administrative Rules, which has a say in government rules that have the force of law.16 of the 33 seats in the State Senate and every seat in the State Assembly will be up for election in November with Democrats hoping to retain their majority in the State Senate and gain members in the Assembly where Republicans now hold such a vast number of seats that no Democrat needs to show up for quorum to exist.
Risser is serving as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Legislative Council, which studies issues for the Legislature to take up in the session that begins in January.
Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) is retaking her job as co-chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Audit, which authorizes detailed reviews of state programs.
Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) is serving on the Joint Committee on Criminal Penalties.
Carpenter is serving on the Joint Committee on Information Technology.
In the November elections, the state will be using new districts created by a secretive process with no input from Democrats, the public, or community organizations. It is hoped that the Senate Democratic Majority will now have access to documents regarding the process that they have been repeatedly denied access.
Stay tuned and thanks for your support.
Update: The ink is barely dry on this diary and there's already an update involving Darlene Wink.
The sentencing of Darlene Wink, a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker, for misdemeanor convictions of campaigning while working at her Milwaukee County job was delayed Tuesday for four months to make sure Wink follows through on a promise to help prosecutors in other cases.
Wink's sentencing was moved to Nov. 21 by Judge Daniel Konkol at the request of Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf. Wink's cooperation is needed in the case of Timothy Russell, another former county official, and also in a Waukesha County case, Landgraf said.
Wolff said Wink was anxious to complete her case. She has continued working with the Republican Party of Milwaukee County, Wolff said.Yes, don't shed tears over Wink having had to resign her job. Like other Republican operatives, she's yet another beneficiary of the GOPs Wingnut Welfare Program.