Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Walkergate: A New Wink-le In The Story

Darlene Wink, who worked for Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive and was the first name to come out in what appears to the scandal of the century, made it in the news again today.

Wink was first brought to the attention of the public when she was busted leaving comments on JSOnline and other blogs promoting Walker's gubernatorial candidacy and ripping at his opponents.  Little did we know at the time that this was just the very tip of the tip of a huge iceberg of corruption and scandal.

It was only after that news came out that it raised suspicions about other things.

One such thing was an incident in which I, acting as the Chair of Milwaukee County First, asked about a Milwaukee County Parks logo being on a banner announcing a Tea Party rally held at the lakefront.  Stemming from this, Cory Liebmann was able to figure out that it was Wink who not only handled my request but also a suspicious Open Records Request within minutes, leading to suspicions that Wink and other county staffers were behind the official unofficial Walker campaign site,

It was also suspicious that when Walker sent an email, from his campaign website regarding Wink getting busted and demanding that there should be "no laptops, no websites, no time away during the workday, etc.," the site disappeared into thin air.

Wink then came up again when she was found to be tied in to "Operation Freedom," the political stunt posing as a charitable event, from which Tim Russell was embezzling  thousands of dollars.  Despite warnings from the Ethics Board, Walker had Russell and Wink running this thing from his executive office.

Then finally, a couple of weeks ago, almost as an afterthought, Wink was arrested and charged with two counts of illegally campaigning and fundraising.  Much about her arrest was drowned out as people were trying to come to terms with the level of corruption happening with Kelly Rindfleisch.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney offered a plea bargain to Wink.  The deal was that they would drop the charges from felonies to misdemeanors and not recommend any jail time.  In return, Wink was to plead guilty and act as state witness against the others that have been charged and to give information about the "destruction of digital evidence."

Photo illustration by
Anna Ironside
It could very well have been Wink who told investigators where to go in which underground parking area to find the Mystery Dumpster'O'Fun.

News of the deal has many Wisconsinites excited and hopeful that this means she'll spill her guts and give enough information for them to indict Walker.

I wouldn't be too sure about that.  While it's obviously true that, like most people, she really, really doesn't want to go to jail, but how strong is that aversion to incarceration?

I have spoken to people who have known her and they have described her as being very zealous, almost to the point of being cultish, to all things Walker.  In other words, she has drunken long and deep and often of the Kool-Aid and that they could see her taking a fall if it meant protecting her Dear Leader.

I was reminded of this when I saw this quote in the report by Marie Rohde, writing for
“Miss Wink just wants to put this behind her,” Wolff said. “She doesn’t like being in the limelight, and she’s a very loyal person.” 
The question is whether she is more loyal to herself or to Walker.  Of course, they could also be using her to put the pressure on others in an effort to get them to turn on Walker.

But then again, there is this blurb from Dan Bice's report for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Wolff said Wink was able to complete all her legitimate county assignments in her courthouse job, as well as the campaign work done at the request of someone else. Wolff declined to identify that person. Wink was not pressured to do the campaign work, Wolff said.
One could easily assume that it is Walker who asked her to do that work.  My guess is that it wasn't Walker, but that it was Tim Russell.

If my guess is correct, the question becomes who told Russell to have it done.

That person could be very well the same person who told Russell that there should be "no laptops, no websites, no time away during the workday, etc.," and then violated that same directive within days himself.

While Wink turning state witness might not necessarily be the direct downfall of Scott Walker, it could very well be the beginning of the end.


  1. So you think Wink is still loyal to Walker, even though he is letting her go to jail for working for him. It ocurred to me that, "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned", but I guess not. So then, when the lawyer said, "she did her job" after the trial, he meant, what?

  2. Does projecting make you feel better?

    1. @Anonymous 6:13
      No,projecting doesn't make me feel better, I feel fine, thank-you.

      I try to imagine myself in the position of the person involved in order to figure out why they might have done what they did. This case has many twists and turns, effects all of us, and I feel that whistle blowers are heroes.

      When I said "hell hath no fury" I meant that I am a loyal person too, so I understand that personality trait. I also know there are many people who will go above and beyond for a cause or another person, but if the trust is broken, then the loyalty turns into something else. What I don't know, is if Wink is still loyal to Walker, or not.

      And, I know nothing about the courts, or the law, so I wonder about the lawyer making public statements along the lines of "she did her job" and earlier on, something was said about "she trusted them" or something like that.

      It seems to me that as a state witness, she is going to give information about the case. The case effects the voters of the state, so I want to figure it out for myself. In order to do that, I need to ask my own questions. So, no, I am not projecting, and, if you were asking Capper that, not me, then I don't understand what you were getting at, but please ignore my long-winded comment, I thought you were asking me.

    2. P.S.
      Capper is/was the whistleblower, from reading the previous columns, links.

  3. They are all going to prison to protect Walker. I feel bad for their children and families who have to explain, for the rest of their lives, why "my mom is in prison..." Great job're just parents of the year deserting your kids for a polititian. Very sad...very humiliating.

  4. What amazes me about Walker is how he has no loyalty toward those loyal employees. After using them, he is now trashing them in toilet let a cigarett butt. Wake up Walker's supporters, once he doesn't need your service anymore, he will dump you like trash! Maybe that's what you deserve!

  5. I don't think the DA would charge Wink with only misdemeanors if she hasn't already proffered some usable information. Should she recant, she probably knows the sentence will be maximized and other charges considered.

  6. Is there a Pulitzer Prize for blogging? I learn so much reading here.

  7. Remember when talking about loyalty there are two kinds ideological and emotional. We don't know if only one, or both are at work here. And no I don't mean he was having an affair.

  8. I don't care what kind of legal team this d-bag buys. He better be charged with something. I mean what Walker is saying is "It's a total coincidence that almost everyone I hire is dirty" "I had no idea what was going on right under my nose." This to me means if your not in on it, Then your the Barney Fief of Politics. This also means your incompetent and should resign.