Prosecutors allege that Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican senators fend off recall elections during 2011 and '12, according to documents unsealed Thursday.
In the documents, prosecutors lay out what they call a "criminal scheme" to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top deputies — R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.
The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors' filings.
The documents include an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group active in the recall elections.
Let me see if I can summarize this whole sordid affair: There was illegal coordination, and prosecutors dug into it. The Club for Growth, one of the conspirators, persuaded a district judge to halt the investigation, alleging a violation of Free Speech. Everyone knows that you have a free speech right to break the law. However, that decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals, and it was that court that unsealed these documents.
Thanks to those unsealed documents, the Club for Growth, Karl Rove, and Scott Walker are now exposed to severe political damage. Not a bad price for trying to avoid legal damage.
This is a winnable race, and with an incumbent Republican mired in the middle of a "criminal scheme," it has just become even more winnable. You know what to do about it! Contribute $3 to Democrat Mary Burke right now!
And note, none of this would've happened without the recall elections. When we take out Walker this November, we'll be able to trace the roots of his defeat to the day Walker was so spooked by the recall effort that he decided to put his criminal scheme into motion. That's why our efforts are geared to the long-term. They build off each other.