November 3, 2014

Scott Walker with his two friends, Tim Russell (left) and Brian Pierick
There has been a lot of media coverage about Scott Walker's many failings, including his dismal record at creating jobs to fiscal mismanagement to the scandals involving his economic development committee.

There has also been some - but not much - coverage of the two investigations into Walker, his campaign and his administration as Milwaukee County Executive and as governor. But there has been no mention of Walker's involvement into the illegal politicking.

The accompanying video does a good job of reminding us of who Walker associates with and his involvement in the scandals, but even that is incomplete.

From the first John Doe investigation, commonly referred to as Walkergate, there were six convictions:

  • William E. Gardner, then head of Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, was convicted for making contributions to Walke'rs campaign in excess of legal limits. Worse yet, he did it by using his company's money and laundering it through his employees, making them make the donations.
  • Kevin Kavanugh was appointed by Walker to oversee a charity trust fund meant for veterans and their families. Kavanaugh was convicted of stealing money from the fund and was sentenced to prison..
  • Darlene Wink was Walker's constituent liaison. She was convicted of using county equipment and county time to do political activities for Walker's campaign. She was given a year's probation because of her willingness to become a witness for the state.
  • Tim Russell was a lifelong friend of Walker's, having worked for Walker both as a campaign staffer and as a county staffer - often at the same time. Russell was convicted of stealing money from the same veterans fund that Kavanaugh did, but records show he did so much more - from directing political activities from his county office to setting up- a secret router to avoid open records laws to running a pro-Walker blog using county time and equipment.. The judge told Russell that he found that Russell had no shame over his crimes.
  • Brian Pierick was Russell's business and life partner. He was convicted for sex crimes against a minor. His crimes were found as a tangent to the investigation. Recently released emails from the original investigation show that Pierick was much more involved in Walker's campaign than previously thought or reported.
  • Kelly Rindfleisch was Walker's Deputy Chief of Staff, but the real reason she was brought in was her skill as a fundraiser. She was convicted of doing campaign work on county time using county equipment. Rindfleisch appealed her conviction, even though she pleaded guilty. A notable aspect of her case is that her legal defense was funded by Walker and other Republicans.

Besides the six convictions, more than a score of people were given legal immunity in exchange for their testimony. One of the most notable names given immunity was Cullen Werwie, who worked on Walker's campaign and then became his gubernatorial spokesman. Werwie has since been shuffled off to another part of the state government.

While Walker and his apologists like to point out that he was never charged, much less convicted, of any crimes related to the scandals.

What Walker cannot do is honestly claim he was not aware of or involved in the illegal politicking.

Walker's username, SKW, is in almost every email, either as a recipient or a sender. The most glaring example showing that Walker was not only aware of what was going on but directing it came from this email written by Walker:


Walker sent that email just after Wink was caught making political posts from her work computer. It shows that he was aware of the secret email system and that his people were doing campaign work during county time.

Despite the original investigation, Walker never learned his lesson. Court documents during the battle over whether the second John Doe investigation will be allowed to continue, prosecutors have stated that Walker is at the center of another "criminal scheme". This secondary investigation is about the illegal collaboration between Walker's campaign and dark money groups.

Walker hasn't denied doing this. Being the raging narcissist that he is, he just doesn't think that breaking the law is wrong, as long he does it.

If that's not enough reason alone to get rid of him, I don't know what is.

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