Ruh roh. Gov. Scott Walker is surrounded.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Walker’s campaign, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and dozens of conservative political groups are the targets of the Milwaukee County probe. Dozens of subpoenas have been issued demanding documents related to the 2011 and 2012 campaign to recall Walker and state legislative leaders. In all, about 30 groups have been subpoenaed.
The report details those targeted: Copies of two subpoenas we’ve seen demand “all memoranda, email . . . correspondence, and communications” both internally and between the subpoena target and some 29 conservative groups, including Wisconsin and national nonprofits, political vendors and party committees. The groups include the League of American Voters, Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Americans for Prosperity—Wisconsin, American Crossroads, the Republican Governors Association, Friends of Scott Walker and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
According to the newspaper, one subpoena also demands “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation.”
Follow the money.
According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, spending in the 2011 and 2012 recall elections by groups mentioned in the article include:
• Right Direction Wisconsin PAC (Republican Governors Association): $9.4 million
• Club for Growth Wisconsin: $9.1 million
• Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce: $4.7 million
Americans for Prosperity/MacIver Institute for Public Policy: $4.5 million
The liberal Center for Media and Democracy has tracked millions of dollars that has flowed among these groups in Wisconsin.
In an interview Saturday, the group’s general counsel, Brendan Fischer, described it as a “dark money shell game” in which thousands and in some cases millions of dollars from anonymous donors are moved from one organization to another with the goal of influencing elections.
JS Online reports:
Unmentioned in the editorial is that R.J. Johnson is an adviser to both Walker’s campaign and the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
The newspaper said the subpoenas sought records and fundraising information and were related to the 2011 and 2012 recall efforts against the Republican governor and state senators.
The subpoenas come out of a second, secret John Doe investigation of Walker aides or allies. The first investigation was closed in February, but the second one is ongoing. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported on both investigations.
John Doe probes give prosecutors the power to compel people to testify and bar them from speaking about their involvement in the investigations. The Wall Street Journal editorial page reported O’Keefe was willing to discuss his subpoena, saying he “realizes the personal risk but wants the public to know what is going on.”
Search warrants were executed based on affidavits filed by Dean Nickel, according to the newspaper. Nickel served as the special agent in charge for the state Department of Justice’s public integrity unit, and the newspaper reported he has served as an investigator for the state Government Accountability Board.
Just this morning Walker was opining that a governor would be the best choice for a presidential run in 2016.
I know Scott! Maybe you can have all the investigators arrested just as you did protesters, a kid and even a few grannies.
Big thanks to tipster extraordinaire @TomCinmidlife who you can follow on Twitter here.