(check out the video at the bottom)
200 pages of documents have been unsealed by a Federal Judge in one of the 4 legal efforts to shut down John Doe II - a secret investigation looking at whether or not there was illegal coordination between RW dark money groups and recall campaigns in Wisconsin. They say Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-YourOnYourOwniStan) was at the center of it.
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 (an advisor to both Walkers Campaign and Wisconsin Club for Growth) and Deborah Jordahl.
(information bolded is mine and information in italics is my addition)
The documents allege that Walker and his associates raised money and controlled spending by conservative groups during the 2012 recall elections. In Wisconsin, there can't be coordination between campaigns and outside spending groups.
In an email to Karl Rove, Scott Walker said:
"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.
OMG! Side order of Karl Rove to go along with this, too. Pinch me, I might be dreaming.
This case is currently being reviewed by the 7th Circuit Court after Federal Judge Rudolf Randa (a member of the Federalist Society whose wife donated often to Walkers campaign and whose Judicial Assistant is the wife of Scott Walkers lawyer) ordered the investigation shut down and evidence collected by the investigators destroyed (the 7th Circuit immediately intervened to prevent the destruction).
It is a judge reviewing the case that unsealed the documents today.
Seeing this, it's small wonder they've been running to every court imaginable and writing editorials for RW newspapers to get this thing shut down.
This story is just breaking so stay tuned for further developments.
Here's a link to the raw documents. (Warning: large pdf file)
So far, nobody is commenting on this, but I'll bet Walkers hair is on fire trying to think of something to say.
UPDATE: Link to the John Doe II prosecutors appeal of the case. (Warning: pdf file)
They delineate the coordination and conference calls.
For those interested in how Walker gets to pull the wool over the eyes of so many voters in Wisconsin, The New Republic has an excellent article. I can't recommend it more highly.
Politico has an article up. This is becoming national news.
And MSNBC posted an article as well.
The original article is now filling out and includes information from a filing by special John Doe prosecutor Francis Schmitz that the illegal coordination goes back to 2009 (Walkers Gubernatorial campaign).
Because of what they view as illegal coordination, Schmitz wrote, "significant in-kind or direct contributions to the recall candidates were not disclosed on campaign finance reports as required."
In addition, he alleged, "prohibited contributions from corporations or contributions well beyond legal contribution limits were made and accepted."
Schmitz alleges that during the 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin Senate and gubernatorial recall elections, Johnson used Club for Growth as the "hub" for coordinated activities involving the conservative groups and the Walker campaign.
Walker simultaneously raised funds for Wisconsin Club for Growth for "coordinated activities under the control and direction of R.J. Johnson during the 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin Senate and Gubernatorial recall elections," the prosecutor's brief says. "Concurrently, R.J. Johnson directed many activities of both the club and Walker's campaign, the brief alleges.
Beginning' in March 2011 there were "open and express discussions" of the need to coordinate the activities of entities like Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, the Republican Party of Wisconsin, the Republican State Leadership Committee' and the Republican Governors Association, Schmitz wrote. Conference calls were held between the Walker campaign, the RGA and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, he wrote.
At one point in the brief, Schmitz alleges that "prior to the 2011 Wisconsin Senate recall elections, the national Club for Growth organization raised concerns about coordination or interaction between (Wisconsin Club for Growth) and (the Walker campaign) as early as 2009."
(bolding is mine)
Small wonder they moved heaven and earth to try to shut the investigation down.
There's an additional article in the states other main newspaper, The Wisconsin State Journal, that usually fluffs Walker up.
More links to the increasing national coverage:
From PR Watch this excellent article on even more richly funded Walker support groups.
This one from Salon on the criminal scandals of Walker and Chris Christie.
The Right Wing Shills are Striking Back.
No, nothing from Walker and Co., but Christian Schneider (well-known RW shill) already has a "nothing to see here" op-ed up on Journal Sentinel. Please have a barf bag handy if you wade into it.
There's also an article on the social media reaction which includes a tweet by Kos! Yes, there's a whole lot of nay-saying in every tweet except Kos's.
UPDATE 4: Walker responds
"It's pretty clear, you've got two judges, both a state judge and a federal judge, who said that they didn't buy into the argument that has been presented at this point," Walker said, speaking to reporters after presenting awards at the 2014 Water Council Summit in Milwaukee. "I think their words speak pretty strongly both at the federal and state level."
Yup, that's all. You didn't expect something substantial now, did you?
The shills are still banging away on his behalf.
Thanks for sending links to the now rapidly expanding national coverage:
CBS News article
ABC News article
New York Times article
LA Times article
All of these articles rely on Wisconsin media reporting or the Associate Press.
Washington Postarticle has a nifty chart showing the connections.
Time has an interesting look at the coordination and political impact.
Thanks to Eman, ShoshannaD, CenPhx, and others for many of those links.
Ed Schultz is about to cover this NOW on MSNBC (Link here) since new MSNBC video doesn't embed. It's also the lead story for Rev. Al (link here. Can't wait to see their prime time coverage.
TPM has an interesting article.
John Nichols, on vacation in Germany, called into Slys show about the story. Audio will be available here.
And more from the original article:
Beginning' in March 2011 there were "open and express discussions" of the need to coordinate the activities of entities like Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, the Republican Party of Wisconsin, the Republican State Leadership Committee' and the Republican Governors Association, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz wrote. Conference calls were held between the Walker campaign, the governors associaton (sic)and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, he wrote.
(Information in italics is mine)
The scope of the criminal scheme under investigation "is expansive," Schmitz wrote. "It includes criminal violations of multiple elections laws, including violations of Filing a False Campaign Report or Statement and Conspiracy to File a False Campaign Report or Statement."
The coordination is illegal in many ways. Dark money groups don't have to disclose their donors, campaigns do. Illegal coordination gives access to the use of that money by a campaign that must file disclosures on donations and spending.
UPDATE 6: Walker responds again.
Here he was earlier when reporters caught him after a speech:
What a LIAR! He even had the balls to deny the Rove email!
Did you notice how Walkers handler kept trying to get him away from the reporters? I sure did and she got more and more frantic as reporters pressed him.
I also noticed the sweat! Mr Smooth Liar with Teflon Suit got a bit rattled and responded with a Sarah Palin word salad.
But behind the screen, here's his brand new tough statement:
Later Thursday, Walker released a statement attacking Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm. "The accusation of any wrongdoing written in the complaint by the office of a partisan Democrat district attorney by me or by my campaign is categorically false," he said in the statement.
Walker said: "This is nothing more than a partisan investigation with no basis in state law. It's time for the prosecutors to acknowledge both judges' orders to end this investigation. Now my Democratic opponents will use these false accusations to distract from the issues important to the voters of Wisconsin."
OK, so we're back to blaming Democrats and crying the crocodile tears of victimhood. Nice try, Scottie, but nobody but your knuckledragging followers are going to buy it.
The Walker apologists and shills are out so badly and swarming so much that well-known RW shill and Journal Sentinel "columnist" Christian Schneider (who wrote the op-ed I linked to above) decided to swat at me on Twitter
What a schmuck. It's like shooting a cannon at a mosquito.