People ask me who my opponents going to be, said, the person doesn't matter, it will be the big govmint union bosses here in Washington who will pour probably limitless amounts of money into our state and will try to influence our vote.Walker already spent $5 million on television in the last few months, according to Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. And he probably got half that money from out of state. The Huffington Post reports,
According to his latest campaign finance report, Walker has raised $5.1 million since the start of the recall effort on November 15th. Nearly half of that amount, $2.4 million, has come from outside of Wisconsin.Now we learn Walker plans to be in Naples, Fla., on Feb. 8, to speak to another
If you haven't been keeping up with Walker, you may have missed this charming story from the How Low Can You Go? files: yesterday Walker's former aide, Tim Russell, was arrested for embezzling from a charity for wounded veterans and the families of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russell is also the Milwaukee County GOP treasurer. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports,
Two Milwaukee County officials appointed by Scott Walker when he was county executive were charged Thursday with embezzling more than $60,000 intended for veterans and their families, instead using the stolen funds on everything from Caribbean cruises to wedding expenses to renewing Walker-for-governor websites.
Prosecutors are accusing the two men - Timothy D. Russell, Walker's one-time deputy chief of staff, and county veterans official Kevin Kavanaugh - with multiple felonies as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers.(See the perp walk here.)
It gets worse. Russell's roommate and domestic partner was also charged with sending pictures of his genitals to a 17-year-old boy. That's a sex crime. Again, the Journal Sentinel explains,
Brian Pierick, 48, was charged Thursday with child enticement and exposing genitals, felonies related to a series of text messages he exchanged with a 17-year-old Waukesha boy in 2010, according to the criminal complaint.Chris Liebenthal wrote a terrific explainer of the federal investigation around Walker's aides here.
The big question on many people's mind is whether Scott Walker is the John Doe being investigated. Again, this can't be answered with absolute certainty.
It is known that the investigation has involved Walker's staff at the highest levels of his administrations as county executive and as governor as well as his campaign staff, which are often the same people.
Given these facts, it is still impossible to say that Walker will be indicted. But it can be said that even if Walker is not indicted, the slow but steady drip of information about the John Doe investigation is a big problem for him and his attempt to win the support of Wisconsin voters during a high-stakes recall campaign.