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News Thursday, Mar 5 2015

Scott Walker's Hypocritical Attack

Mar 05, 2015

American Bridge 21st Century Vice President Jessica Mackler released the following statement on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s hypocritical attacks:

“The past few weeks have revealed Scott Walker to be the least prepared, least knowledgeable Republican presidential wannabe, but now he’s making a run at being the most hypocritical, too. These cheap, political attacks are ignorant of Governor Walker’s record–and reality.”

Here’s Scott Walker’s spokesperson in the Daily Caller:

“Hillary Clinton’s potential evasion of laws is something she should answer questions about,” Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for Walker’s new political action committee, Our American Revival, said in an email.

Added Kukowski: “Wisconsin has a strong open records law with a broad presumption of access to records and the governor has very specific policies in place in his office to assure that the laws are complied with fully.”

And here’s Scott Walker’s record:

In Wisconsin, as a result of a three-year probe of Gov. Scott Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee County executive — an investigation that ended in 2013 — prosecutors asserted that some of Walker’s aides set up a separate, private Internet network. Through that, staffers could send emails, via Gmail and Yahoo accounts, about both political and official business, and the use of private accounts took place even beyond that server. While Walker never faced charges, the private emails and the mixing of county and political work proved central to charges levied against two former staffers. Both pleaded guilty, though one is appealing.

Walker And Secret Emails

Walker Aides Campaigned On Taxpayer Time Using Secret A Computer System In County Executive Office

John Doe investigators discovered a secret email system within the County Executive’s office, and discovered it was being used to engage in campaign work on county time, and to avoid public records disclosure laws. Walker’s campaign was found to vet official press releases from the Government side, and Walker’s campaign directed county staffers to take actions to boost Walker’s candidacy.

MJS: “Thousands Of Documents… Link Gov. Scott Walker To A Secret Email System Used In His Office That Would Avoid Public Scrutiny When He Was Milwaukee County Executive. According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ” Thousands of documents unsealed Wednesday link Gov. Scott Walker to a secret email system used in his office that would avoid public scrutiny when he was Milwaukee County executive. The records also show that on the day before he was elected governor in 2010, the secret investigation into links between Walker’s county government staff and his political campaign was widened to include four more aides. That same day, search warrants were executed on Walker’s campaign and county offices, as well as the homes of some of his assistants. ” [The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/19/14]

Complaint: A ‘Secret Email System’ Existed In County Exec’s Office; Was ‘Routinely Used By Selected Insiders Within The Walker Administration’ For County Business As Well As Unofficial Purposes Such As Campaigning According to Journal Sentinel, “The complaint reveals a ‘secret email system’ that was ‘routinely used by selected insiders within the Walker administration’ for county business as well as unofficial purposes such as campaigning.” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

  • Investigators Found Boxes For Two Wireless Routers In Walker’s County Executive Office; Packing Labels With The Boxes Had Deputy Chief Of Staff Tim Russell’s Name On Them According to The Huffington Post “Investigators found boxes for two wireless routers in an armoire in Walker’s County Executive office. Packaging labels found with the boxes bore the name ‘Timothy Russell.’ The allegation is that Russell (who was Deputy Chief of Staff before becoming Housing Director) set up an unofficial networking system so that staffers could conduct campaign business on their personal laptops while their salary was being paid by the taxpayers. The secret email system was available for use by certain staff for both official and unofficial business.” [The Huffington Post, 1/30/12]

Investigation Found That Walker Often Comingled Official And Campaign Business

Walker And His Top Campaign And Milwaukee County Aides Were Named As Part Of A Team That Routinely Commingled Political And Official County Business. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Gov. Scott Walker and his top campaign and Milwaukee County aides were named Monday as part of a team that routinely commingled political and official county business. The disclosures came during the sentencing of a former aide to Walker during his last year as Milwaukee County executive. Kelly M. Rindfleisch, 44, was sentenced by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher to six months in jail and three years of probation on a single felony count of misconduct in office. The judge stayed the sentence pending Rindfleisch’s appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals or the state Supreme Court. In a lengthy presentation during Rindfleisch’s sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf displayed numerous emails between Rindfleisch and key members of Walker’s campaign staff in which they discussed how to manage county government in 2010, while Walker was a candidate for governor. […] 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 Mc-Laughlin; housing director Timothy Russell; and Rindfleisch.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/20/12]

  • Prosecutor: The Campaign Group Vetted News Releases That Were Issued From Walker’s County Office. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The Campaign Group vetted news releases that were issued from Walker’s county office, Landgraf said. They included messages about a federal disaster declaration the county was seeking after torrential rains in July 2010; news reports in the Journal Sentinel in August that year about patient sexual assaults at the county Mental Health Complex; and the acknowledgment by Darlene Wink, a county office assistant, of sending campaign related emails criticizing Barrett from Walker’s courthouse office.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/20/12]

  • Prosecutor: E-mails Showed That Walker And His Campaign Directed County Staffers To Take Official Actions To Boost Walker’s Candidacy. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, “Scott Walker and his gubernatorial campaign directed Milwaukee County staffers to take official actions in 2010 to boost Walker’s candidacy, including how to respond to a fatal incident at a county parking garage and requiring that press releases from the county executive’s office be reviewed by the campaign, according to emails released Tuesday. Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf presented evidence in court Monday that former Milwaukee County staffer Kelly Rindfleisch traded 3,486 emails with top Walker campaign staffers, including 2,216 during regular work hours between January and October 2010. At the time, Rindfleisch earned $59,560 a year from Milwaukee County as Walker’s deputy chief of staff.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/21/12]

Investigators Determined Darlene Wink And Kelley Rindfleisch Were Campaigning On County Time

Two Staffers In Walker’s County Executive Administration Were Charged With Illegally Doing Extensive Political Work While Being Paid By Taxpayers To Do County Jobs According to The Journal Sentinel, “Two staffers who worked directly for Gov. Scott Walker while he was county executive were charged Thursday with illegally doing extensive political work while being paid by taxpayers to do county jobs. One of the two, Darlene Wink, cut a deal with prosecutors under which she agreed to provide information in a related investigation about the destruction of digital evidence and to aid in further prosecutions. This is the first indication that the multifaceted John Doe investigation may be pursuing charges of evidence tampering.” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

Criminal Complaint: Walker Staffer Told A Friend Shortly After Taking The Job With Walker That ‘Half Of What I’m Doing Is Policy For The Campaign.’ According to The Journal Sentinel, “On Thursday, prosecutors charged Kelly Rindfleisch, deputy chief of staff to Walker in 2010, with four felony counts of misconduct in office for working for then-Rep. Brett Davis’ 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor while on the county clock. Davis, who lost in the Republican primary, is now Walker’s state Medicaid director. The complaint says that Rindfleisch told a friend in an Internet chat shortly after taking the job with Walker that ‘half of what I’m doing is policy for the campaign.’” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

Walker Staffer Sent More 1,380 Fundraising Emails During Work Hours According to The Journal Sentinel, “During work hours between February 2010 and early July 2010, it says, Rindfleisch sent more than 300 emails to Davis and 1,380 fundraising emails. The John Doe also turned up more than 1,000 emails between Rindfleisch and top staffers on Walker’s 2010 campaign during work hours over the same period.” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

While Doing Political Work On Taxpayer Time, Walker Aid Said To A Colleague: “I Just Am Afraid Of Going To Jail” According to the Journal Sentinel, “Wink worked on campaign fundraisers, phone banks, Reagan Day dinners and Milwaukee County Republican Party matters while working in Walker’s office. In one 2009 chat with Timothy Russell, a longtime friend and fellow Walker aide, Wink asked how she could clear a document from her chat session. Russell told her it would disappear when she logged out. ‘I just am afraid of going to jail – ha! ha!’ Wink wrote in August 2009. Russell replied, ‘You wouldn’t, not for that.’” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

The John Doe Investigation Involved Charges That Aides In Walker’s Milwaukee County Executive Office Were Working To Elect Brett Davis For Lieutenant Governor While Collecting Checks From The Taxpayers. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, “When Rebecca Kleefisch ran for lieutenant governor in 2010, she actually beat Scott Walker’s favored candidate, Brett Davis, in the Republican primary. (Much of the current John Doe investigation involves charges that aides in Walker’s Milwaukee County executive office were working to elect Davis while collecting checks from the taxpayers.)” [Wisconsin State Journal, 5/27/12]

Public Records Laws Were Bypassed

John Doe Investigation Revealed That A Walker Campaign Staffer Urged The Milwaukee County Staff To Drag Out An Open Records Request From The Democratic Party Of Wisconsin. According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, “Last November, the John Doe probe revealed that a Walker campaign staffer urged that Milwaukee County staff “drag out” an open records request from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. One Wisconsin Now has suggested this is part of an ongoing pattern.” [Green Bay Press-Gazette, 3/16/13]

Secret Email System Was Hidden From Public Records Officer According to the Journal Sentinel, “The existence of the email system was a closely held secret, and it was not made known to the county employee responsible for gathering county emails in response to requests for information by the public, reporters and groups, the complaint said. The secret system used personal Internet email accounts.” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

Secret Computer Network Was Also Used For Official Business, Including Records That Should Have Been Subject To Public Records Laws According to Journal Sentinel, “Rindfleisch and Wink did campaign work on the unofficial network, the complaint says. The secret email system also was used for county business ‘which could have and which did include communications’ subject to the state’s open records statute, the complaint says.” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

System Was Set Up In Office 25 Feet From Walker’s Office According to the Journal Sentinel, “The complaint does not list all the officials who used the secret system, but it does say the unofficial networking system was set up in the county executive’s office suite by Russell while he was Walker’s deputy chief of staff. Russell’s county office was less than 25 feet from Walker’s on the third floor of the courthouse, the complaint notes. The complaint does not say whether Walker was aware of the secret email system.” [Journal Sentinel, 1/26/12]

Published: Mar 5, 2015

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