Earlier today we reported on a highly respected Professor’s accusations against Scott Walker of fathering a child with her college roommate. There has been no official response from the Walker campaign or the mother of the child. However, many outlets are running with the denials made by a reporter who works for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online, a paper that has endorsed Walker in the recall, as if they are the final answer in this puzzle.
This reporter, Daniel Bice, claims via email, according to the Daily Kos, that it was the wrong Scott Walker. Bice wrote, “Two things: (1) I tracked down and talked to Dr. Gillick’s freshman-year roommate at MU yesterday, and she adamantly denies that Walker is the father of her child. Yes, she got pregnant as a first-year student, but she believes Dr. Gillick is mixing up stories; and (2) I Can Read CCAP has taken a family court suit involving Scott Alan Walker and mixed it up with the governor, Scott Kevin Walker.”
From that email, people have concluded, “Wrong Scott Walker!” I don’t see that conclusion from the email. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone other than insiders can come to any conclusion right now regarding the allegations. Since it’s so close to an election this is the time to expect to be bamboozled by both sides, so let’s walk it through.
Dr. Gillick is a well respected researcher at the University of Minnesota. She has a lot to lose by making a false accusation. She made this accusation through her attorney, and any good attorney would have vetted their client’s story before allowing them to go public with it. This gives some weight to her claims, which is why we covered them in the first place.
On the other hand, Bice did not make his counter claims on a published article at the esteemed site for which he writes, but rather via email. We have not heard from the mother on record or from the Walker campaign. That should send up a smoke signal, but apparently some are pretending that no politician has ever been the father of an out of wedlock child and covered it up before (I see you John Edwards).
This story was something that the media in Wisconsin knew about and chose not to run with so close to an election. We’ve seen how well that serviced the American people in the 2008 election with the non-vetting of Sarah Palin, and it is not the media’s job to carve out narratives for people. They freely publish accusations and press releases both, and by doing so, they do not conclude that either are true.
Nor did we conclude that Scott Walker had abandoned a young, pregnant college girlfriend, but simply that a seemingly credible source accused him of it.
We are not going to play hide our heads under the covers tonight, so let’s go through it. The first claim is that based on the mother’s denial (“Ruth”) that Governor Scott Walker is the father of her child. Does this make sense to you? Can you imagine any circumstances in which a mother might not tell wish to tell the press who the real father of her child was? Do you wonder why this wasn’t printed as an article but instead reported via email? Is it worth noting that it is not an on the record denial?
There is no reason to suggest that the woman referred to as “Ruth” (not her real name) in the story ever wanted to come forward, presuming the Professor is telling the truth. In fact, “Ruth” would have every reason of not wanting this story out there — specifically, her child’s privacy (and it’s within the realm of reason given who we are talking about that there may be legal agreements she’s made with the father of this baby that prohibit her from discussing the matter in public).
Is it possible that Professor Gillick confused the Scott Walker running for President of her college’s Student Body with the young man her roommate was dating? If she was present at the birth as she says she was, and paternity was established and she claims it was Walker, how did she manage to mix Scott Walker up with someone else?
The second claim is that this was the “wrong Scott Walker” because “I Can Read CCAP has taken a family court suit involving Scott Alan Walker and mixed it up with the governor, Scott Kevin Walker.”
I am unclear as to the relevance of this case cited, as it wasn’t cited by the Professor in the original source as proof of her claim, in fact, it wasn’t mentioned at all.
But indeed, there is an incidence of a Scott Walker in family court and it is not Governor Scott Walker. This Scott Alan Walker was born in 1961, making him older than our Governor Scott Walker, who was born on November 2, 1967. I have no idea if Scott Alan Walker want to Marquette University or if somehow the suggestion is that if there is another Scott Walker, then the Professor must have confused a six years older Scott Walker with her 18 year old roommate’s 20 year old Scott Walker.
Can anyone enlighten me as to what this case has to do with the Professor’s claims? Right now it seems like a smoking distraction ala Rove style.
It is a case dated 2004, involving a person that is six years older than our Governor.
Aside from the Professor said versus the reporter said, I find it hard to comprehend how the Professor could misidentify the Scott Walker who got her roommate pregnant and was running for President of the college Student Body with another Scott Walker.
Professor Gillick says she knows it was Scott Walker:
According to Dr. Gillick’s attorney, Michael Fargione, who was present for an interview of Dr. Gillick conducted by Dave Umhoefer from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week, he asked Dr. Gillick, “How do you know it was this Scott Walker?” She told him she had multiple conversations with him because her roommate was dating him. She exchanged words with him directly and in person after, as she alleges, he turned on her roommate once she notified him of her pregnancy and became unsupportive of her. “There is no mistake that it’s him,” she said.
And “Ruth” said that she can confirm that Scott Walker is not the father of her daughter and says he might be the father of another one of the Professor’s roommates (the Professor claims she was in “Ruth’s wedding, so it’s bizarre to suggest that the Professor would confuse “Ruth” with someone else if that’s true):
“I can confirm that it was not Scott Walker who is my daughter’s father.” When confronted with the details of Dr. Gillick’s allegations and asked about the identity of the roommate in question, “Ruth” went on to say, “Unfortunately, I don’t know her name. But it was…[pause] I do know that one of Bernadette’s roommates, either sophomore or junior year, was pregnant and had a child while she was at Marquette. So that would have been either a year or two after I had had [my child]. And I don’t know whether, you know, I’d have no idea, to be honest with you, if Scott Walker was the father.”
It’s rather depressing to see how many people took an email from Bice as the final word, when it references a case that has nothing to do with this one and was not published on the site of the esteemed paper for which he writes. “Ruth’s” denials are not exactly encouraging, what with the hot potato throw to another roommate. Now she is suggesting that there might be a baby fathered by Scott Walker, but it’s not hers. In other words, leave her and her family alone please.
I am not surprised that we have heard nothing official on this matter from the mother or from the Walker campaign — nothing on the record — but rather a denial through a journalist’s email and a statement to the original publisher in which she also denies the accusation but says it might have been another roommate of the Professor’s. There’s an election coming up and the Walker people will try to kill this story regardless of its veracity or lack thereof.
Perhaps this “story” is 100% false, but the reasons given thus far for it being false don’t make it so. They make it a classic pre-election he said (reporter)- she said (Professor).
None of this will be settled in time for the recall, but as I wrote earlier, it is irrelevant to the Walker supporters either way. They will support him regardless of his history; they’ve shown that. It is also irrelevant to the reasons Walker is facing a recall election. However, all the Walker campaign had to do was muddy the waters with an irrelevant case and an email from a journalist speaking for the mother. That is not irrelevant; it’s a problem.
It’s okay to ask questions, people. It’s still legal here. Don’t be bamboozled by right wing shut downs. Ask your questions and make sure you get answers that satisfy you.