According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
In the heat of the 2010 governor’s race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show.
Tapping out a message on his campaign Blackberry on the afternoon of May 4, 2010, Walker urged county aides, campaign staffers and other trusted volunteers to go to an online Journal Sentinel business story and respond to critics of his plan to privatize the airport in the comments section below the story.
“Someone should comment on the fact that the only way for the county to benefit from that success is to contract out operations,” Walker wrote in an email. “Having a well performing airport increases the value that the county could receive.”
A half-hour later, Brian Pierick — the boyfriend of Walker aide Timothy D. Russell — posted a comment on the story under the alias “WI_Calvin,” calling rising airport traffic “another example of Scott Walker’s outstanding leadership.”
“The only way the county can to (sic) benefit from that success is to contract out operations. Having a well performing airport increases the value that the county could receive,” Pierick wrote, adding only a single word to Walker’s phrasing. Pierick and Russell were both later convicted of other activities in the secret probe.
Scott Walker’s defense has always been that he had no connection to any of this, but it is impossible to make that argument when a message sent from his Blackberry ends up posted nearly word for word on a website just a half of an hour after he sent it.
On Fox News Sunday, Walker refused to answer questions, and got very defensive when asked about the emails. His main defense is that he wasn’t charged with a crime. However, not being charged with a crime isn’t the same thing as not committing a crime. Walker’s refusal to answer questions about the emails is only serving to heighten the scrutiny on the governor.
Walker is now the second Republican governor this year to be confronted with an abuse of power scandal. Chris Christie may not have broken the law in the Bridgegate scandal, but it’s clear that Scott Walker was engaging in illegal activity. A picture is emerging that shows Walker directing county employees to do illegal things that would help his gubernatorial campaign.
This scandal isn’t going away. Gov. Walker may think it is old news, but there is enough information in the emails to derail any dreams that he once had of winning the Republican nomination in 2016. Walker’s national ambitions are fading fast, but he may have even bigger problems.
There is enough evidence in these emails for a new investigation into Gov. Walker. If the state won’t investigate, the apparent level of corruption is so severe that this may require federal involvement. It appears that Scott Walker committed numerous crimes, but it may take a public outcry for justice to be done.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association