Is Scott Walker Cutting a Deal?

May. 28, 2014
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The Journal Sentinel has picked up on yet another unsigned op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the newest John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker and various conservative special interest groups that may have illegally coordinated with his campaign. 

This latest leak alleges that Walker’s attorney, Stephen Biskupic, is close to cutting a deal with special prosecutor Francis Schmitz to settle the state’s investigation.

“The understandable concern among the direct targets of the John Doe is that Mr. Biskupic will cut a deal that would exonerate Mr. Walker while wresting concessions from some of Mr. Walker’s allies,” the WSJ wrote.

The WSJ warns Walker to stand firm and not negotiate, so that the principles he’s fighting for—allowing candidates to embed special interest groups in their campaigns, essentially, to raise unlimited anonymous funds on the candidate’s behalf—can be upheld in court. (That would be the federal courtroom of Federalist Society member and Koch-brothers-junket-loving U.S. Judge Rudolph Randa.)

I don’t know if Walker is cutting a deal. I kind of doubt it, actually. But I do know that Walker, once the darling of the WSJ editorial page, is getting a very stern warning. The WSJ is looking out for anonymous billionaire benefactors, not the political career of Walker. The editorial folks at WSJ wants to protect the guys who donate to Walker. They wouldn’t blink at sacrificing Walker to do it.

Potential deal aside, I imagine that Walker is feeling a wee bit nervous these days. The latest Marquette poll shows him neck and neck with Democrat Mary Burke, despite large chunks of the electorate not even knowing who Burke is at this point in time.

And Judge Neal Nettesheim, who oversaw the original John Doe, has ordered the release of the county-generated records collected in that case. Now it’s up to Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele to do the right thing and release them in full, quickly, so as not to provide cover for Walker.

Lastly, the Randa case is still moving along, although it’s become bogged down in appeals. I think the prosecutors are quite willing to show their hand to the public and lay out their case in open court. Again, if I were Walker heading into a tough campaign, I wouldn’t feel so great about things right now.


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