Thursday, August 2, 2012

Walkergate West

Two months ago, just before the recall election, I reported on the then breaking news that John Doe had two brothers, John Doe Fed and John Doe Madison, aka Walkergate Fed and Walkergate West.

In regards to Walkergate West, I wrote:
However, Graeme Zielinski, the Communication Director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said that they have heard from lobbyists who work with both parties that they found it odd that instead of going through normal channels, they were being directed to contact Keith Gilkes, Walker's then Chief of Staff, using his email address from his consultancy group.

Zielinski also stated that there is reason to believe, just like what Walker did in Milwaukee County, his top advisors in the Department of Administration and cabinet members were privy to this.

That would go a long way to why he hasn't purged Cullen Werwie or Brett Davis from his administration.

This would also make sense given Walker's propensity to do politicking in office (see the phony David Koch phone call) and all the pay for play action that was going on, with tax giveaways, political appointees like Brian Deschane, sweetheart contracts and other sordid affairs like the attempted mining bill.
Scott Wittkopf, using an interview by Dan Bice and some of his own research, was able to flesh this out a little bit:
The most obvious connection to Walker staffers in Milwaukee County and current Walker staff in Madison is obvious – the possibility that campaigning is being conducted on the taxpayer dime. Recent emails from high level Walker staff regarding the mining bill drafting process may confirm that this type of activity is occurring, and thus confirm Bice’s “unconfirmed rumors.”

An email from then – Walker Chief of Staff Keith Gilkes pgs 11-12 of the document*) on January 30, 2011 from his Champion Group email to his new government email account references campaign fundraising to a lobbyist for Gogebic Taconite.

The email is follow-up on contact information for Marc Holtzman, a well-known GOP and conservative supporter and politician from Colorado, as well as Larry Wolk. Wolk is head of “Correctional Healthcare Companies,” heavily involved in nationwide privatization of state correctional facilities’ healthcare systems.

The email from Wolk to lobbyist Rogowski, then forwarded to Gilkes, refers to “Scott and Keith” (Walker and Gilkes, respectively), and states:
“Hopefully he will be interested in helping and/or contributing to Scott’s campaign…let me know if you hear anything more from Milwaukee County and anything else we can do to help.”
I have no doubt that what Wittkopf wrote is true. Just as I have no doubt that this is just the very tippy top of the iceberg.

It has been reported that Scott Walker and his syndicate were strong arming companies for donations to this thinly veiled campaign stunt dubbed Operation Freedom. In fact, I had just reported yesterday that Jim Tietjen, among his many offenses, had an underling hitting up vendors for donations to this event. I have also frequently heard from many people that Walker and his people, like a true syndicate, would threaten contracts and/or permits in order to get those donations.

The gentle reader will also note that Wittkopf connects one of the players, Larry Wolk, as the head of "Correctional Healthcare Companies," who is, per the report, big on privatizing state correctional facilities.

It should be noted that the person who forwarded the contact information for a possible donor is Michael Rogowski. Rogowski works for the law firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., which has specialties in health care "reform."

In the same line, it should be noted that Kelly Rindfleisch and her BFF Andrea Boom** both worked for Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, a group of agencies that might be interested in running government health care plans. Furthermore, former Walker advisor and current mouthpiece for MacIver, Brian Fraley, has a history of working for "as the Senior Vice President for State Affairs at America's Health Insurance Plans in Washington, D.C. Fraley was also the national Health and Human Services Task Force Private Sector Chairman for the American Legislative Exchange Council." I think we all know where ALEC comes down on privatization.

In sum, it's highly conceivable that Walker and the goons of his syndicate were doing a pay for play scheme from the governor's office, offering to cut up and sell off whole parts of the state and/or state government for a generous donation to Walker's campaign and/or legal defense fund.

But readers of Cog Dis knew that for a long time already.

*The original pdf in Wittkopf's piece was upside down. With the assistance of Jay Bullock, I presented the corrected version.

**They were BFFs until Boom sold Rindfleisch out for $47.60. If you can't sell out your BFF, who can you sell out?


  1. What document is being referred to in the paragraph that says "the document"? Does it mean the email? Where are these emails from? Did somebody do an open records request or is it a court document?
    Thank you for the informative blog, I am just curious.

  2. The document is the pdf in the link that includes the emails related to the mining bill. It came, I believe, as an ORR filed by Rep. Kelda Helen Roys.

  3. Oh, ok, thank you so much.