Included in more than 27,000 emails unsealed Wednesday is one that for the first time directly ties Gov. Scott Walker to a secret email system used in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive.The problem with the secret e-mail system is that it was installed using public funds inside public offices and using it for political purposes—particularly for fundraising—is illegal. Already, one former Walker staffer has plead guilty to illegally conducting campaign activity while using public resources.
"Consider yourself now in the 'inner circle,'" Walker's administration director, Cynthia Archer, wrote to Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch just after the two exchanged a test message.
"I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW and Nardelli. You should be sure you check it throughout the day," she wrote, referring to Walker by his initials and to Walker's chief of staff, Tom Nardelli.
As the documents show, Walker frequently read and responded to emails sent through the system, but Archer's email indicates that people who sent and received emails through the system were aware that it had been set up for the purposes of shielding it from the public eye. It doesn't necessarily prove that Walker knew that the system had been set or that it had been set up for the purpose, but is certainly suggestive. And if evidence emerges that Walker was aware of and condoned using a secret email system to shield himself from public records requests and to allow his staff to illegally conduct campaign business, then he's going to find himself in a fair but of trouble not just in 2016, but also 2014.