By Ruth Conniff on June 20, 2014

Scott Walker appeared on “Fox & Friends” Friday morning to defend himself against Thursday’s bombshell national news story that he is at the center of a “criminal scheme” to evade campaign finance law.

The news broke after a federal court released new documents, including an excerpted email from Walker to Karl Rove explaining that Walker campaign adviser R.J. Johnson, also a consultant to the Club for Growth, was coordinating political efforts in the 2011 state senate recall elections.

The email is particularly significant since Walker, in his own words, places himself at the center of the alleged illegal effort to coordinate with outside groups that have injected millions of dollars into the state on his watch.

(A first John Doe investigation resulted in the conviction of six of Walker’s closest aides and associates from his time as Milwaukee County Executive, but ended without an indictment against Walker for allegedly doing illegal campaign work on the public dime.)

In the email to Rove, Walker writes:

“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.

On “Fox & Friends,” Walker claimed that the investigation and court cases in the John Doe were over.

“This is a case that’s been resolved,” he said.

“For a case that does not exist anymore, it’s not going anywhere, and they are just opening it up—it looks like they’re just trying to trash you,” the host added helpfully.

“This is a prime example of what happens when you take on the big government special interests,” Walker said. “They’re looking for ways to come at us. They’ll continue to do it. . . . Many in the media are willing accomplices.”

In fact, the John Doe investigation has not been resolved, nor are the court cases surrounding it over.

Walker invoked Federal Judge Rudolph Randa’s ruling that the investigation is unconstitutional and should not go forward.

But Randa’s ruling is on appeal and, in an emergency action, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Randa’s order that prosecutors destroy evidence in the ongoing investigation.

Randa, as my colleague Brendan Fischer has reported, is an ideological conservative and the only federal judge in the state who regularly attends all-expense-paid, Koch brothers-funded judicial junkets that propound a rightwing political agenda.

Thursday’s documents emerged from communications prosecutors obtained that Randa sought to have destroyed.

Wisconsin law clearly forbids coordination between candidates, their campaigns, and outside groups that can spend unlimited money on political advertistng.

Club for Growth has sued to stop the investigation from moving forward, claiming that it has no merit. The Federal court released the new documents on Thursday, with the club’s assent, as it evaluates the merits of the investigation.

Rightwing outlets including the Wall Street Journal have editorialized that state campaign finance laws such as Wisconsin’s are a violation of the First Amendment’s free speech protections.

If the investigation of the corrupting influence of outside groups in Wisconsin politics is not allowed to proceed, campaign finance law in the state will mean nothing.

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Comments

Should have just crashed a hard drive. Lois had allies, perhaps Mr. Walker does too. I love America!
Walker has been doing this type of thing from the start of his political career
I don't think he has ever told the truth. Just another bought politician destroying America...
Walker is a lying scumbag and Wisconsin cannot be rid of him soon enough
He is lying, jail will do him good
Lets see you have Walker who always been a bit shady then add the I can buy laws and people Koch brothers and lets not forget the finale piece in this puzzle the good oh boy judge Randa, this all equals to dirty politics and far from over Mr Walker .
Walker shows clearly he's being managed by others outside of state.
He is Guilty as SIN.
Walker is lying. Ask him why he failed to get his college degree?
Hell No! You know he's lying.

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Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.

On November 20 every year for the last fifteen years, transgender people gather for vigil ceremonies to acknowledge...

Yesterday the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated a bill that would approve construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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