Scott Walker's Dark Money Runs Deep Into Corporate Pockets
Credit: Suzanne Tucker
September 15, 2016

Two years ago, prosecutors investigating Scott Walker for illegal campaigning, alleged that he was the center of a "criminal scheme":

Prosecutors allege that Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican senators fend off recall elections during 2011 and '12, according to documents unsealed Thursday.

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 and Deborah Jordahl.

The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors' filings.
The documents include an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group active in the recall elections.

"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.

But if we know nothing else, it is that with all things Walker and Walkergate, there is more. There is always more.

On Wednesday, The Guardian published a blockbuster and comprehensive report that included never seen before emails that from the Walkergate investigation that had not been released before.

While the general gist is the same and some of the details have been previously released, the article is still chock full of new emails and new information, including names of donors (including Donald Trump) and the amounts they gave to Walker's money laundering scheme. The article also goes into more detail of how the scheme got started and how it worked:

What particularly caught the attention of the prosecutors was that when the money came in it did not go directly to Walker's personal campaign committee, Friends of Scott Walker. To do so would have been problematic, as any campaign committee directly linked to a candidate is limited in Wisconsin to accepting contributions of up to $43,000 that have to be fully disclosed.

The prosecutors alleged in court filings published here for the first time that Walker's campaign found a way around these restrictions by banking the corporate cash through the third-party group, Wisconsin Club for Growth. WCfG describes itself as a “pro-liberty, pro-fiscal restraint” organisation, sharing the same small government and anti-union ideology as Walker. It is a tax-exempt group, or 501 (c) (4), that is supposed to be primarily concerned with “social welfare” rather than partisan politics and as such is not obliged to reveal its donors.

In court submissions, the prosecutors alleged that Walker's campaign used WCfG as a shadow committee that allowed him to solicit large sums of corporate cash without scrutiny or accountability. “Contributions were personally solicited by Governor Scott Walker to WCfG ... in order to circumvent the reporting and contributions provisions of Wisconsin statutes,” an investigator working for the prosecutors in the John Doe investigation, Robert Stelter, alleged.

To help illustrate how much collaboration there was between Walker, his campaign and the dark money group Wisconsin Club for Growth (WICfG), the article highlighted this check:

because_scott_walker_asked

The check is from one C. Fredrerick Kasten, Jr.. It is made out for the amount of $10,000 payable to WICfG. But the most telling part is in the memo section where Kasten wrote "Because Scott Walker asked."

Because Scott Walker asked.

It's no wonder why Walker and the dark money groups are so desperate to kill off the investigation.

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