Experts Weigh in Walker's Political Career After John Doe - WBAY

Experts Weigh in Walker's Political Career After John Doe


A federal court released more than 250 pages of documents from a secret investigation into Governor Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign Thursday. The documents became public as part of an ongoing lawsuit filed by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth, challenging that investigation.

The 266 pages of documents released put Governor Walker at the center of what prosecutors call a "criminal scheme." Prosecutors said the documents show Governor walker and some of his top aides illegally fundraised and coordinated with 12 conservative groups during his recall campaign.

But conservatives, including the governor, believe the documents prove there was no wrongdoing.

It's pretty clear, you've got two judges, both a state judge and a federal judge who said that they didn't buy into the argument that has been presented at this point," said Governor Walker Thursday afternoon. "I think their words speak pretty strongly both at the federal level and at the state level." 

The documents include an email sent from the governor to high-profile political consultant Karl Rove explaining how one of the governor's top deputies lead the fundraising efforts.

The May 2011 email read:

"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 running Congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities.)" 

In a written statement released today, the Democratic National Committee said, "The documents released today raise more questions than answers about Scott Walker's misconduct during his first term. Walker's coordination with Karl Rove and a Koch backed group, among others, is not only troubling and potentially illegal - it is a clear violation of the public's trust."

Though these are just allegations and no charges have been filed against Governor Walker or his staff, experts Action 2 News spoke with said it won't help his political career.

"Coming today in the midst of the governor's re-election campaign and with a fairly strong democratic opponent, with the polls showing that, in effect, the race is in a dead heat, any news that the governor is in the center of a probe of criminal wrongdoing cannot be good news for the governor," said Michael Kraft, UWGB Emeritus Professor.

And, they said, that could hurt the rumored 2016 Republican presidential candidate.

"If the governor cannot win re-election with a strong margin, I think that diminishes his republican candidate in 2016," said Kraft.

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