March 6, 2015

Scott Walker had made it almost a week without sticking in his foot in his mouth, so he was way overdue. He did, however, make up for lost time.

Walker, through his campaign, attacked Hillary Clinton over the conflated email scandal:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s political action committee is hitting Hillary Clinton over the recent revelations that she used private email accounts for official business while secretary of state, saying she needs to address questions about the legality of the practice.

“Hillary Clinton’s potential evasion of laws is something she should answer questions about,” Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for Walker’s new political action committee, Our American Revival, said in an email.

Added Kukowski: “Wisconsin has a strong open records law with a broad presumption of access to records and the governor has very specific policies in place in his office to assure that the laws are complied with fully.”

This line of attack is problematic for Walker on a number of levels.

He apparently has forgotten that he was the subject of a John Doe investigation, commonly referred to as Walkergate, into the illegal politicking done while he was Milwaukee County Executive. One would think that spending a million dollars on his legal defense fund would make it kind of hard to forget.

While the hullabaloo about Clinton's emails appear to be much ado about nothing (Benghazi!), Walker's illegal emails led to six convictions.

And while Clinton probably didn't have any servers in her basement, Walker did have a secret router in his executive's suite.

Walker's claims of transparency and strict ethics is even more laughable. Walker made a very similar statement about his time as county executive:

"Throughout all my time as the Milwaukee County executive, I had an expressed and clear policy that county employees — in my office, in my Cabinet, elsewhere — were prohibited from using county resources or county time to be involved in political activities," Walker said.

Despite Walker's claims of ethics, the evidence shows that his claims are nowhere near the truth.

One of the first of the Walkergate emails showed that Walker not only knew about the secret router and other skulduggery, but was actually directing the shenanigans:


Note that Walker did not admonish anyone for breaking his policy, if there even was one. His only concern was the damage it did to his image and his campaign.

At the trial for Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker's then Deputy Chief of Staff, chief investigator David Budde had testified to the very same conclusion:

Budde read to the judge Walker’s email: “I talked to her at home last night. Feel bad. She feels worse. We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no web sites, no time away during the workday, et cetera.”

That email then was forwarded by Walker campaign confidant Jim Villa to Rindfleisch. The body of the message is “CONFIDENTIAL.”

“Rindfleisch replies within four minutes to Villa …. ‘Already broken down and put away. Laptop is packed. I already saw this e-mail,’ ” Budde testified.

“The significance of this e-mail,” he added, “is that it shows that the county executive would appear to be aware that laptops were used in the County Executive’s Office for accessing things on non-County networks.

“And it also is very significant because it shows that the various members of the County Executive staff worked in concert to conceal laptops and/or networks — wireless networks that were in existence in that office suite, and these items were not present when we did our search warrant later in the day on May 14, 2010.”

In another email, Rindfleisch told Russell, “I took down the wireless, it’s in my bag for now.”

Four days later, Archer, head of the Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services, wrote to Walker and members of his county executive and campaign staff via private email: “In light of recent events I will no longer be checking this e-mail account during the workday. We discussed this among CEX (county executive) staff this morning and we are unable to find alternatives.”

Budde told Judge Nettesheim that “the significance of this e-mail is that it shows that the people addressed on this e-mail are acting in concert with the County Executive staff to find alternative ways to communicate using private e-mail during the workday.”

Nor was this email a one time fluke. Further emails showed, time and time again, that Walker was not only aware of the secret email system, but used it quite frequently.

Even worse, while Walker was under investigation for the illegal politicking and secret routers, it appears that he set up a similar operation in the governor's office almost immediately after being sworn in.

Lastly, and most telling, Clinton said that she wants her emails released. Will Walker do the same? Don't hold your breath.

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