Not to be outdone by Rick Perry in the Republican race to the bottom, new documents released by prosecutors in Wisconsin revealed illegal coordination between the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker and a Super PAC.
The new documents are loaded with examples of Scott Walker’s recall campaign telling big money donors to donate to the Wisconsin Club For Growth. The problem is that it is illegal for the campaign and the Super PAC to coordinate, but Gov. Walker tried to get around campaign finance laws by telling his donors to donate to the state Club For Growth.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
“The Governor is encouraging all to invest in the Wisconsin Club for Growth,” said an April 28, 2011, email from Kate Doner, a Walker campaign consultant, to R.J. Johnson, an adviser to Walker’s campaign and the advocacy group. “Wisconsin Club for Growth can accept corporate and personal donations without limitations and no donors disclosure.”
In the email, Doner wrote to Johnson that Walker wanted Wisconsin Club for Growth exclusively to coordinate campaign themes. “As the Governor discussed … he wants all the issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging,” she wrote.
The behavior described above is illegal. The emails reveal that Scott Walker continued to engage in a criminal pattern of behavior that goes back to his time in college. In an email seven months after the prank Koch phone call, Walker’s fundraiser wrote, “Take Koch’s money,” she also wrote, adding: “Corporations. Go heavy after them to give.” The money that Scott Walker’s fundraiser demanded didn’t go to her candidate’s campaign. It went to the Wisconsin Club For Growth.
The latest batch of Walker emails are useful from a broader perspective because they provide a window into how Republicans get around campaign finance laws. Republicans in Congress are using their bogus IRS scandal as a weapon to get the IRS to back off of so-called non-political 501 4(c)s like the Club For Growth. The outside groups are critical to the Republican money operation. If the IRS were to start denying them tax exempt status, it would be blow to the secrecy behind the scam.
As far as Walker is concerned, these documents couldn’t have hit the public at a worse time. Gov. Walker is deadlocked with Democrat Mary Burke in tough reelection contest. Walker could easily lose in November. Just like Mitch McConnell, Rick Perry, and Chris Christie, Walker is claiming that his scandal is a political attack coming from Democrats, but the evidence is mounting that there is a deep culture of corruption within the Republican Party. The dark money that is flowing into Republican campaigns is making things worse.
The one sure way to clean up our politics is to remove the dirty Republicans this November.
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