Among the myriad of bombshells dropped was the fact that there was not just one or two overly zealous aides doing the illegal politicking, as the right wingers would have you believe, but that it actually involved most, if not all, of Scott Walker's administration and top campaign officials:
Landgraf said "The Campaign Group" included Walker, Gilkes, campaign spokeswoman Jill Bader and campaign adviser R.J. Johnson. It also included several top county aides to Walker: Cindy Archer, who was county administration director; county chief of staff Tom Nardelli; spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin; housing director Timothy Russell; and Rindfleisch.It struck me that this list was insufficient as that it did not include all of the names or what roles they played.
I will endeavor to address this issue now by providing a scorecard of sorts of the who's who of Walkergate, presented in no particular order.
Darlene Wink: Wink is the woman who kicked off the whole Walkergate mess. She was Walker's constituent liaison as well as a co-vice chair of the Republican Party of Milwaukee County. She opened this can of weasels when she got busted leaving comments on JSOnline, promoting her boss and trashing his opponents in the primary and general election. She has since entered a plea deal and turned state's witness against all of her co-conspirators. She is due to be sentenced on November 21, but this could very well be postponed again.
Kelly Rindfleisch: Rindfleisch is a GOP operative who Walker hired to first be a policy advisor and then his Deputy Chief of Staff. By her own admission, she spent half of her work time campaigning for Lt. Governor candidate Brett Davis and Walker, even though her past involvement in the caucus scandal should have taught her that campaigning on the taxpayer dime is illegal. She was just sentenced to jail, but the sentence was stayed while she files an appeal. It should be noted that Walker and WISGOP had bought her silence and to take the fall.
Keith Gilkes: Gilkes was Walker's campaign manager. He was also found to be in regular contact with Walker's county staff and even directing them to do things to benefit the campaign. Walker rewarded Gilkes by making him his Chief of Staff in Madison. Interestingly, there have been complaints filed that people seeking contracts or other boons from Walker needed to email Gilkes at his consultancy email address instead of through official channels.
Jill Bader: Bader was Walker's campaign spokesman. Not only was she tied up in the daily campaign/county conference calls, she also was famous for making racist tweets and setting up meetings at official county events.
Cindy Archer: Archer was Walker's Director of Administration at Milwaukee County. We have already known for some time that Archer was in contact with Walker's campaign and was developing strategies on how to deal with events and issues that would paint Walker in a bad light. In other words, she was part of the damage control team. Walker rewarded her with jobs in the state, including lucrative pay raises. It is rumored that Archer has a grave medical issue now.
Tom Nardelli: Nardelli was Walker's Chief of Staff at the county. It is rumored that he was hired as a reward for not running against Walker. He quickly became Walker's enforcer in the county, bullying who he could and firing who he couldn't. However, I knew Nardelli was bad news long before this broke out. My late grandfather, may he rest in peace, told me not to trust him. Indeed, Nardelli had claimed that he had no idea who hired his deputy chief, Rindfleisch, or why they did. The emails show that the truth is that he was as much part of the collusion between county staff and campaign staff as anyone.
Brett Davis: Davis is a former representative who was running for Lt. Governor. He was Walker's first choice and Walker had his staff help him at every turn. Even though Davis didn't make it through the primary, Walker kept him close and made Davis his Director of Medicaid Services. Davis has not been charged with a crime...yet. It is worth noting that Davis also had his house raided during the investigation.
Judith Rhodes Engles: Engles is the primary fund raiser for State Senator Scott Fitzgerald. Engles had taken part of Walker's campaign motorcycle tours of the state, even though Walker tried to pretend that they were really to promote tourism. She was also in contact with Rindfleisch, even sharing Fitzgerald's most prized possession, his list of major campaign donors.
Fran McLaughlin: McLaughlin was Walker's spokeswoman at the county. We had already learned that she was helping with campaign press releases while working for the county. McLaughlin, along with Wink, was also the one that handled my inquiry regarding a photo taken by Brew City Brawler showing an Americans for Prosperity banner showing a county parks logo on it.
Cullen Werwie: Werwie was first Davis' campaign manager, then moved to Walker's campaign after Davis failed to make it through the primary. Walker rewarded him by making him his gubernatorial spokesman. Curiously, Walker has kept him in that role even though Werwie has been granted immunity. Perhaps this is way of buying his silence as well?
Jim Villa: Like Russell, Villa was an all positions player, serving as Walker's Chief of Staff at the county as well as working on Walker's campaigns. There is a plethora of emails between Villa and Rindfleisch related to campaign issues even while she was working on the taxpayers dime.
John Hiller: Hiller was Walker's campaign treasurer for eighteen years until Walker suddenly decided he was not up to the job. Hiller is also a realtor that tried to use his dual positions to do bid-rigging and pay for play for Walker.
Reince Priebus: Priebus was the head of WISGOP during this campaign. There was at least one email sent to Priebus by Wink, during her work hours at the county, regarding a campaign issue. It would also have taken someone at Priebus' level to help coordinate some of the collusion between people, such as Fitzgerald sharing his campaign donors with Walker and Davis.
Michael Grebe: Grebe is the head of the Bradley Foundation and was Walker's campaign chair. Not only was he involved with some of the emails, there is the apparent collusion between the campaign he chaired and the foundation he ran, especially when it came to voter intimidation billboards. And I'm not the only one that found Grebe's actions suspect.
And last, but in no way least of the Walkergate characters is Scott Walker himself. Monday's hearing showed him involved in many emails between county and campaign. But not only did he partake in this exchange - as the gentle reader already knows, there's more, there's always more - he was directing it:
Given the number of people listed and the overwhelming amount of evidence we already know about, it is almost impossible for any honest, rational person to believe that the Walkergate investigation is anywhere near to being done. I still expect that once Russell's trial is over, and the new fiscal year starts for the DA's office, we will be riding this roller coaster again.
And hopefully, we will get the answers to two pressing questions.
One, does Walker still stand by his words from 2006:
"Unfortunately, we have a Governor and administration that condones unethical and illegal behavior," Walker said in a statement on Jan. 24, 2006. "The people of Wisconsin deserve better."Or when he said this:
And two, who is John Doe?