These are important things to remember when it comes to Walkergate. Almost as important as remembering the other truism of "There is always more."
The casual observer might come to the conclusion that Walkergate is over, that John Doe is dead. After all, the last defendant, Brian Pierick was sentenced last week. Nothing has been said about it since then.
However, I would remind the gentle reader of what I had written at that time:
There are other, more subtle signs that things are still going on.I went on to point out that Walker was showing some clearly un-Walkeresque type of behaviors, announcing things like funding a domestic abuse center. That is completely out of the norm for Walker.
After Rindfleisch and Russell took their respective plea deals, Walker and his campaign were breathlessly rushing out statements that this was it, the investigation was over and they had nothing to do with anything related to Walkergate.
As of a few weeks ago, however, they were changing their tune. Where they had once claimed that Walkergate was over, his campaign spokeswoman all but admitted that it was still happening when she stated that Walker and the campaign were still cooperating with the investigation.
A week after the spokeswoman's gaffe, it came out that Walker was still pouring money into his legal defense fund. Between Walker's personal defense and the legal defense of the campaign, Walker has spent a half a million dollars.
That's a helluva lot of money for a supposedly innocent man to be spending.
Now they've gone quiet. Not a peep today after Pierick's sentencing. Not one statement has come from Walker or his campaign.
And despite his protestations of not being the subject of Walkergate, Walker has not been given immunity nor has he produced any sort of document from the DA's Office verifying his ridiculous claims.
But now, Walker has done a 180 on that and is spitting out his usual anti-Wisconsin budget proposals faster than a person can keep up. In relatively short order, Walker has proposed a vast expansion in the privatization of the education system, attacks on women's rights, more anti-worker legislation, attacks on Badger Care, attacks on veterans and too many other things to list here.
Not only has he introduced these vile things, but he has gone in full campaign mode. He is traveling the state, trying to raise funds and build up the support among his base. This is rather odd since the next election for governor is more than a year and a half away and there are no apparent opponents from either party yet. It is not like Walker to being running this fast and this hard unless there was some perceived threat.
Well, on Monday, Jeff Wagner, the afternoon squawker on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, gave voice to the fear that he, Walker and the other Republicans are feeling - they're hearing the footsteps of John Doe.
Wagner starts out griping about the length of time that the investigation has gone on for. Ironically, this is something most Wisconsin-loving people also share. But where the good people are tired of waiting for Walker's indictment, Wagner feels that the investigation should just end:
In less than 2 1/2 months, John Chisholm's little John Doe turns three. Since most criminal investigations (including complex narcotics and organized crime prosecutions) are wrapped up in lots less time, John Doe is actually probably closer to 80 in prosecutor years. Still, John Doe is hanging on.Actually, the investigation and trial for Blago took over four years, and that case was much less complex than Walkergate. As a former US Attorney and a failed candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General, one would have thought Wagner would have known that. Then again, that could explain why he failed in his bid for a position that he actually had to earn.
Wagner goes on to try to smear the investigation by citing the lies and falsehoods told by the propagandists, each one having been proved false time and time again.
Wagner then ends up with this:
My sense is that John, currently on life support, is about ready to be put out to pasture. Some will say he has had a good run. Others will say that his life was a colossal waste of time and resources.Again with the premature calling of the time of death!
I'll just say Happy Almost Birthday John. As a taxpayer in Milwaukee County, please forgive me if I don't wish you too many more!
What is really funny is when one follows Wagner's link, it leads to an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from three months ago which reads:
A 2½-year-old John Doe investigation into aides and associates of Gov. Scott Walker remains open, the judge who is overseeing that probe said Wednesday.So to prove that the investigation is over, Wagner uses a three month old article that says it's very much alive and kicking, since neither Chisholm or Nettesheim has said it's over. I suppose, given that Wagner has much to work with, in evidence or in gray matter, we should not expect too much from him.
"The John Doe is still open and I have received no indication from the prosecutors that they are going to ask me to close it down as of yet," said Neal Nettesheim, a retired state appeals court judge.
He said while there is no legal requirement to notify the public when the probe ends, either he or Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm will do that.
"I think the public would be entitled to that," Nettesheim said.
Not only have they not called the case, but Walker still hasn't even called it over. He's still collecting legal defense funding hand over fist. Furthermore, Walker has done nothing to show that he's not the target of the investigation:
And despite his protestations of not being the subject of Walkergate, Walker has not been given immunity nor has he produced any sort of document from the DA's Office verifying his ridiculous claims.And as I've been pointing out for the past year, no one, including Wagner in his poorly written rant, has yet declared Walker innocent.
Given the facts as we know them, my recommendation would be to be patient, but don't dilly-dally in getting your extra large popcorn and soda. And please turn your cellphones on - we don't want you miss any breaking news now, do we?