You've already heard about prosecutors' bombshell allegations that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stood at the center of a "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate spending between conservative groups and his own campaign during the 2012 recall. Remarkably, a federal judge put this investigation on hold, but that decision is currently being appealed, and it was an appellate judge who unsealed documents like this mind-blowing email:
The documents include an excerpt from an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson also is Walker's longtime campaign strategist and the chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a prominent conservative group.To Karl Rove, no less! So how has Walker responded? Two ways. One, he's pointed to the judge who, rather bizarrely, put a halt to the investigation in the first place. That judge's decision, though, included some incredibly over-the-top language, like this:
"Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities)," Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011. Rove runs American Crossroads, which backs Republican congressional and presidential candidates.
"As other histories tell us, attempts to purify the public square lead to places like the Guillotine and the Gulag."I'm not an expert on the legal issues at play here, but I'm quite confident that no one's going to be rolling out the National Razor for Scott Walker. And if the appeals court allows the investigation to start back up again, that's one fewer talking point in Walker's defense.
So that explains reaction number two: reserve a bunch of ad time. Walker's reportedly booked $250,000 for a 12-day run of advertisements. What better way to distract from some legal woes than a flight of negative campaign ads, right? Of course, Walker's campaign claims this was a long-planned move that had nothing to do with recent revelations, but even if that's true, they're fools for not waiting a week to at least minimize the appearance that this is a direct response to the latest news. Then again, since when would you believe anything Scott Walker or his apparatchiks say?