One-And-Done: How a Judge’s Ruling Could End Scott Walker’s Governorship

scott walker

As Republicans are currently grasping at straws in their never-ending attempt to somehow impeach President Barack Obama, a real scandal is brewing at the state level for one of the Republican’s, and more specifically Tea Party’s, golden boys.

For Koch-backed Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, his re-election campaign just got a whole lot tougher.

News broke late Thursday that thousands of pages of public records, acquired over a 33-month secret John Doe investigation involving Walker’s campaign aides, must be turned over by prosecutors to Milwaukee County. The ruling was made by retired Appeals Court Judge Neil Nettesheim, the man who had originally ordered the investigation closed in March of 2013. Should those records be turned over, copies of the them may be requested by the public thanks to Wisconsin’s open records law. Already, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has penned an editorial to Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, asking him to release the records for the public to see. Should Abele release the records, they more than likely will end the political career of Scott Walker.

Ever since his political ascension in 2010, Scott Walker has been treading on thin ice. With backing from the Koch brothers, Walker rose to national stardom after he successfully gutted collective bargaining rights for union workers in Wisconsin despite massive and ongoing protests. In addition to his assault on unions, Walker also cut a billion dollars from Wisconsin’s special education budget as well as $500 million from the state’s Medicaid fund. Due to his blatant attacks against the working class, the people of Wisconsin attempted to oust Walker from the governorship in 2012 via a special recall election. However, thanks to big money backing from the Koch brothers and other right-wing allies, Walker survived the recall election and continued to serve out his term.

Unfortunately for Walker, you can only be a Koch stooge for so long before karma catches up with you.

Shortly before Walker was elected governor, Milwaukee County prosecutors launched an investigation into Walker’s campaign staff, which came to be known as the “John Doe investigation.” This investigation would go on for 33 months but would be shut down by Judge Nettesheim in March of 2013. However, some of the findings of the investigation became public early on in 2010 when Walker’s county chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch pleaded guilty to doing campaign work for Walker’s gubernatorial run while being employed at the county courthouse. Specifically, the investigation mentions two ugly incidents that involved both Scott Walker as well as his staff.

The first portion of the findings showed how Walker and his staff intentionally withheld information from the public regarding the death of fifteen-year-old Jared Kellner, after a slab of concrete fell on him in a county parking structure. This was a building that Walker had diverted funds from and then used those funds for his own personal pet projects. This incident occurred just four months prior to the gubernatorial election and showed that Walker and his staff made a concerted effort to limit press coverage to the “accident” and not the diverted funds. The second portion of the findings showed Walker and his staff using a private email system to avoid the legal archival of documents. This portion was the one that landed Walker in hot water as Walker unconvincingly tried to deny his involvement in using the system to communicate with his staff.

After the investigation was shut down in March of 2013, it appeared as though Scott Walker had dodged a major bullet. With no further opportunity to reveal the investigation’s findings, it seemed all Scott Walker’s opponents would be able to use against him would be his unethical campaigning as well as his private email setup. Unfortunately, although both of these acts were shady, neither of them would do significant damage to Scott Walker politically. However, with what little the public saw of the findings of the John Doe investigation, it became apparent that these findings were already having an impact on Scott Walker’s re-election campaign. As of Thursday afternoon, Walker was running even with Democratic candidate Mary Burke. Based on what we have already seen, if the rest of the investigation is released it will most certainly shed additional light on Walker’s other highly questionable activities. With Burke already having the momentum, it could be the death blow to Scott Walker’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

What initially seemed like a dead end politically has now given Wisconsin Democrats a prime opportunity to remove Walker and his Koch-fueled agenda from office. Thanks to consistent pressure put on by the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal and the recent change of heart by Judge Nettesheim to send the records back to the county, there is a strong chance that the rest of these records might soon see the light of day, assuming that public pressure stays loud and consistent on Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele to release them to the public. If they are released, the public will get to see the real Scott Walker and if the initial part of the investigation is any indication, Wisconsin voters will have a whole new plethora of reasons to make Scott Walker a one-term governor.

For Charles and David Koch, they might need to be spending their money in other states not named Wisconsin come November.

27 Replies to “One-And-Done: How a Judge’s Ruling Could End Scott Walker’s Governorship”

  1. Scott Walker is a cheat and probably a criminal. The John Joe investigation shouldn’t have been stopped. Where are the indictments for just the stuff they already uncovered?

  2. Now that would be EXTREMELY festive. And droll. And piquant.

    However, the fact that Walker could even be polling neck-and-neck with anyone speaks volumes for the number of abysmally, hopelessly stupid people in Wisconsin!

  3. I’m surprised this article doesn’t mention the John Doe 2 investigation recently shut down by a conservative judge whose wife donated thousands of dollars to Walker’s election and recall election campaigns. If you aren’t familiar with Walker’s John Doe 2 investigation, look into into it for more reasons Walker should not be reelected, and why he should in reality be looking at prison time.

  4. He’s a fraud and phoney and the voters should know better. They can’t be this naive. Hopefully they will take care of business and kick his ass out of office.

  5. I read this blog daily and love most of your stuff — there are times, however, when you appear to be so overly-optimistic, that some stories come across more as cheerleading than informing.

    This is a terrible post that entirely misrepresents the situation. We are not going to win this fight by misleadingly hyping bogus “good” news.

    But I don’t want to key the details — see this post (and Capper himself has often been guilty of the same thing — his john doe coverage was over-the-top and virtually all WRONG too.

    But anyone that has been following Abele knows that he is a walker ally — this information is not going to come out in its entirety if he can help if.0

    See the link below

  6. I’d like nothing better than to ban this slimy excuse for a man from politics totally. I hope whatever dirt is found, drowns his political career..his comeuppance will be welcome.

  7. In America, it is generally OK for GOPers to be criminals.

    It’s the IOKIYAR rule.

    It ain’t in the Constitution, but
    it may as well be.

    It’s policy.

  8. It sure sounds like we will see a summer full of courts hearings.I sure hope we will get some body in jail before the elections.

  9. On the bright side, he is now gop presidential material!

    On the other hand, anyone connected to the koch turns out like this. The rotten apples show through

    When I think of walker I think of the fake phone call to him from David koch. he did everything up to and including giving Wisconsin to the koch on the phone. Dumb

  10. In 2010, the teaparty was elected because they promised to get rid of the president instead they start passing laws against the very people who elected them.They woke up when they realize when they saw what fools they had been and realize that for years the republicans had been taking their rights from them for years and they didn’t even know it and it took this president to prove it. He fought for unemployment benefits, government benefits,ss, medicare,healthcare,immigrants, lgbt things for all people, civil rights, voter id rights for all people,. He want everyone to be treated equal, no one treated different because of the color of their skin or where they came, or how much money they have, single parent home, two parents family, every one deserves a chance to make it. He think everyone deserves a chance at a education, a job adecent place to live, helping hand when needed.

  11. Those Koch boys forgot the old saying;
    If you lay with dogs, you wake up with fleas.
    Little dog Walker may just take the Koch boys down with him. Walker looks like the type that would sing like a bird.

  12. Scott Walker is just a rotten subhuman. All the way down to his core. I also believe he’s mentally deficient by the permanent dumb shit look on his face. He’s a good Koch lap dog who’s only real skill is following their soul crushing agenda. He’s made of teflon.I don’t get why his approval ratings aren’t below 10% with his all out assault on WI’s working class. Who’s brainwashing these idiots to still make him competitive enough to win yet again? It hurts my brain to comprehend why this corrupt criminal thinks he might be President.

  13. I live outside the state of Wisconsin, but that didn’t stop me from donating money for the recall and subsequent vote. However, when card carrying union workers employed by the state actually voted against their own best interest and voted to keep Walker, I was beyond incensed. Until Wisconsin Democrats figure out how to get labor to vote for labor, I will not donate another dime to any election in that state. You’re on your own Wisconsin. Figure out who has your best interest at heart, because you’re a damn fool if you think voting for the GOP is going to help you one damn bit.

  14. JustADumbFireman: I wonder just how many of the union workers who lost collective bargaining rights, the parents of special education children and their teachers, Medicaid recipients, women and other workers, still vote for Walker or the republican party?

    I truly don’t get it.

    Also, how has the WI media been reporting on Walker?

    How could Judge Nettesheim suspend the investigation into Walker’s antics? Any uproar from the public? I follow WI news but don’t remember much complaining from the public

  15. How is this not negligent homicide at the very least?

    “…the death of fifteen-year-old Jared Kellner, after a slab of concrete fell on him in a county parking structure. This was a building that Walker had diverted funds from and then used those funds for his own personal pet projects.”

  16. Comicus59

    recall was STOLEN! It is a lie that Wisconsin swung 16 points in five months — walker on the top in may, Obama in november.

    Here’s the mathematical proof of election fraud — a stolen election:

    The exit polling data you are refering to is ADJUSTED — actually CORRUPTED to match the unverifiable (and in this case fraudulent) official returns.

    It is a lie that 7 percent of walker voters would vote for obama — but they numbers had to be cooked to provide a media narrative for the theft of the recall.

  17. Unfortunately, I have to agree with you whole heartedly. Every time I read a story like this it raises “false hopes” that Walker will be ousted by his own shady dealings, but until I see him sitting, sweating before a grand jury, I am not going to let myself get excited about this.

  18. Constantly boggles my mind how people can vote against themselves. Just don’t know the facts or they are FOX facts. Sad!!!

  19. Of course, he’s a criminal. He’s an embarrassment for all Wisconsinites and needs to go ASAP. I’m a right leaning voter overall but this guy is malicious like Christie and the rest of The Tea Party Nuts. We MUST do better than Scott Walker. MUST !!

  20. Please also remember, though it was quickly suppressed when brought to the public………that he has a daughter out there who knows he is her father, and she signed his RECALL petition. He and his parents tried to force the mother to have an Ab but she could not go through with it, to her credit. Because of the fragility of that situation, this has not yet come forward but it is apparently rock solid accurate from everything I’ve learned, which is actually, synchronistically, quite a lot, from several reliable sources. And Mr. W. was MOST displeased about the mother NOT doing as she was told…… get rid of the fetus, who is now a young woman who apparently has very strong resemblance to her ejacu-dad.

  21. Comicus59, it sounds as if you think all of the union members voted for Walker. I assure, I am a state employee and was a union steward. No one that I know in the union voted for him. It was more the low paid wage workers that think he is the second coming.

  22. What we have in Wisconsin is a whole lot of hate. Walker supporters hatred for what they perceive as ‘left’ far outweighs their own self interest, well being, honor, respect for the law, etc. So yes, abysmally stupid, but led by hatred first and foremost.

  23. Gina, RightWing Talk-Radio in Milwaukee is ferociously brainwashing many Wisconsinites.

    “Republican politicians and ALEC/GOP think tanks feed and manage hundreds of radio talkers nationally, selling ALEC legislation and obstructing progressive legislation at little cost. The radio hosts are presented in our communities as concerned citizens enjoying their individual free speech rights on the public airwaves, broadcasting from radio stations licensed to operate in the public interest”.

    “The Brainwashing of My Dad”

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