Friday, February 1, 2013

Walkergate: The Question Still Remains - What Is Walker Still Cooperating With?

Last week, after Scott Walker's long time aide and very special friend Tim Russell was sentenced, Walker's campaign spokeswoman, Nicole Tieman, pulled a major gaffe:
Walker campaign spokeswoman Nicole Tieman last week said Walker authorized the switch to ensure money for Operation Freedom was not commingled with other funds. She did not respond to a question Tuesday about who asked Walker to switch oversight of the event.

Instead, Tieman repeated the governor's statement that he had clearly told county employees they were barred from using "county time or resources for political activity of any kind." She said Walker continued to "fully cooperate" with the investigation.
I went on to point out that all of the first wave of Walkergate cases had been resolved - except for Brian Pierick's, who has since taken a plea deal - and questioned exactly what Walker was supposed to be cooperating with.

I also pointed out that there were still many aspects of Walkergate that has yet to be addressed, including the Dane County version of Walkergate. And, of course, I had to point out again that with all things Walkergate, there is more. There is always more. And there is still even more.

Well, lo and behold, as if to confirm what I was saying all along, Walker transferred another $40,000 from his campaign to his legal defense fund, as reported by
Gov. Scott Walker transferred $40,000 from his campaign account to his legal defense fund on the last day of 2012, according to his latest finance report.


Walker had previously transferred $160,000 from his campaign account to the defense fund, meaning he has now put at least $200,000 into the Scott Walker Trust.
Well, they are technically correct, but they are also way off on their numbers.

Walker has indeed transferred $200,000 from his campaign to his legal defense cooperation fund.

But before he created his legal defense cooperation fund last March, he spent up to $100,000 of his own money to pay his high-priced attorneys:
But the first-term Republican governor must have retained the pair long before he made it public. 

As of Dec. 31, Walker owed more than $50,000 to Sidley Austin, a large Chicago-based firm that employs Gallo. Walker also disclosed that he owed between $5,000 and $50,000 to Terschan, Steinle & Ness, the Milwaukee firm where Steinle is a partner.

The state requires public officials and political candidates to disclose in the annual statement any creditor to which they owe more than $5,000. Wisconsin officials and candidates then must say whether the debt is greater than or up to $50,000.
So now he's up to $300,000.  But wait, there's more!

As of last July, his campaign had also paid out another $200,000 to the law firm of Michael Best and Friedrich for the services of former US Attorney Steven Biskupic. Biskupic's job was allegedly to make sure that the "i"s were dotted and the "t"s were crossed. It turns out later that Walker admitted it was for more cooperating. And I have no doubt that number has gone up considerably since July.

But even using the old numbers, Walker's is up to half a million dollars spent on legal defense cooperation. That much money just has to buy a helluva lot of cooperation, I tell you!

I would be remiss if I didn't also point out that he dropped another $10,000 on a public relations firm:
Gov. Scott Walker used almost $10,000 of his controversial legal defense fund to pay a public relations bill, according to a quarterly report filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

According to the report, the Scott Walker Trust paid $9,988 for "public relations" on May 15 to Chicago-based APCO Worldwide Inc.

"This doesn't seem to square with what the governor said he needed that money for," said Mike McCabe, executive director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the election watchdog organization that first reported the filing. "He said over and over, he just needed to pay lawyers to help him with the investigation."

Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, said the agency cannot comment on specific expenditures and referred to state law, which says political candidates or officials "investigated for, charged with or convicted of a criminal violation" can create a defense fund "for expenditures supporting or defending the candidate."
Note that like one of his high-priced attorneys, the PR firm came out of Illinois. Apparently all the PR firms in Wisconsin were either already involved in Walkergate or wouldn't touch Walker's toxicity for any amount of money.

Tieman gave a comment for the story in which she is obviously trying to make up for her gaffe last week:
The transfer to the Scott Walker Trust raises new questions about the status of the long-running John Doe investigation in Milwaukee that has ensnared former aides from the guv’s days as county exec.

"The transfer covers work done to cooperate with authorities over the past year," said Walker spokeswoman Nicole Tieman.

Walker has steadfastly insisted he is not a target of the probe. But he announced in March the creation of the legal defense fund to pay two criminal defense attorneys help him review documents and assist in cooperating with the secret probe.


"While Governor Walker is not the subject of investigation, he continues to fully cooperate with authorities as the process comes to conclusion," Tieman said.
Those are some pretty bold - and pretty false - statements to make.

As I have explained before, there is no reason to believe that Walker is not the subject of the Walkergate investigation:
Then there is the claim that Walker is making in denying that he is a subject of the Walkergate investigations.

State law clearly states that the DA is under no obligation to tell a person if they are the target. However, if the person is not a target of the investigation, the DA may publicly state that the person is not the target, like Chisholm did with Andrew Jensen and Michael Maistelman.

Obviously, Walkergate was a factor during the recall. If Walker really wasn't a subject of the investigation, Chisholm would have given him a letter clearing him so that it wouldn't interfere with the election. Yet Walker has produced no such letter.

Another way for a person to know they are not the target is if they are granted immunity, but that is a matter that happens in a public hearing. No such hearing happened and thus we know he wasn't granted immunity.
As for Walkergate coming to a conclusion, don't believe that either unless District Attorney John Chisholm or Judge Neil Nettesheim say it's over. As with the reasoning showing that Walker is still the subject of the ongoing investigation, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't have publicly declared an end to the investigation, except that it's not over. Furthermore, even Walker's former campaign manager, Keith Gilkes, has said he's still cooperating with the investigation, not to mention Cindy Archer and Tom Nardelli, just to name a few of the potential candidates for the next wave.

If nothing else, just the simple fact that Walker even has a legal defense cooperation fund, much less how much money he's pumped into it, belies his claims.

But as I noted several times before, despite all of Walker's protestations of not being the subject of the investigation, neither Walker nor any of his apologists, have ever claimed he is innocent.


  1. 40,000 ? why at the end of the year. I didn't realize he paid all that money from his own funds. 40k is peanuts for defense attorneys. How many hours of work would that get you from a high priced mob attorney as he has?

    1. And remember, he hasn't even been charged yet. This was only for research and one, maybe two, interviews.

  2. Is there any way of determining if Walker is or was bankrolling the defense of his associates?

  3. If APCO Worldwide is good enough to be hired to improve the image of Russian gangsters, they're a perfect match for the "Scott Walker Trust".

  4. Politiscoop wrote that they contacted the DA's office 1/31/13 and were told the investigation continues, despite the fact the previous cases have concluded. So as Capper says, there is more!!

    1. Obviously, you mean to state that Politiscoop contacted the DA's office on 1/31/12 -

  5. "It turns out later that Walker admitted it was for more cooperating."

    WALKER isn't going to "admit" anything that is truthful. He's Wisconsin's biggest liar - so who should care what he "admits" to?

    The man isn't even human.

  6. Still seems like a lot of conjecture. Cappy. Walker may still very well not be charged with anything. It wouldn't be a shock if he was savy enough to not touch any of that illegal stuff. This just seems like more wishful thinking by Anti-Walker folks. But, I could be wrong ...just like you could be wrong.

  7. What's up with the motioned that was just filed on Jan. 25th in Tim Russell's case?
    "Notice of intent to pursue post-conviction relief"

    1. That's standard procedure for preserving his right to appeal the conviction. Same thing in Rindfleisch's case.

  8. Thought this was interesting. President Obama had a summer position with Sidley Austin many years ago. That is where the President met the first lady. They still enjoy ties to that firm.
    Politics and bedfellows.
    Our inscumbent gov needs a makeover. Maybe walkergate will turn him from derp to perp.