By Elizabeth DiNovella on November 22, 2012

Scott Walker and campaign managers for his 2010 gubernatorial run directed Milwaukee County staff to advance Walker's candidacy, according to e-mails released in court this week during the sentencing of a former Walker aide.

Assistant district attorney Bruce Landgraf gave a PowerPoint presentation that exposed the ongoing e-mails between Kelly M. Rindfleisch and top members of Walker's campaign staff. Rindfleisch was sentenced to six months in jail for doing illegal campaign work out of Walker's Milwaukee County executive office.

So far, four people have been convicted in the ongoing, secret John Doe probe. Walker has insisted he is not a target of this investigation and he has not been charged. Walker's campaign spokesman said the e-mails show routine coordination between Walker's county office and his campaign over media inquiries and scheduling.

But a closer look at Landgraf's presentation reveals that the coordination went beyond scheduling issues. Fundraising was routinely done during normal business hours. A "media group," composed of Walker, Rindfleisch, top county staffers, and campaign workers, reviewed every press released published by the county executive's office.

In order to counter negative coverage about mismanagement of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex during Walker's stint as Milwaukee County Executive, county and campaign staffers sought to "blow up" a story about the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Dane County. One e-mail from Rindfleisch in this saga says, "This needs to be done covertly so it's not tied to Scott, the county or the campaign in any way."

Rindfleisch's attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, said it's unimaginable that Walker and other elected officials didn't know about the illegal campaign activities, but the Gov insulated himself from liability.

"There was a moat that Walker created between his campaign operation and his county executive office," Gimbel said, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. "I think when the moat was crossed, it was by his campaign staff, not him."

Whether or not Walker will be charged with wrongdoing is unclear. But it's obvious that the shenanigans surrounding Walker's campaign and Milwaukee County staff sound like something out of Illinois, the state Walker loves to hate.

If you liked this story by Elizabeth DiNovella, the Culture Editor of The Progressive magazine, check out her story "Jesse Jackson Jr May End Up in Jail Rather than Congress."

Follow Elizabeth DiNovella @lizdinovella on Twitter.

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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 
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and shut away in a little drawer.
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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 
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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 
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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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