Inside Walker’s Campaign/County Coverup

Aug. 7, 2013
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Scott Walker was definitely aware that his campaign and county staffers were working together to shape his image as he ran for governor in 2010. 

During the indictments and prosecutions, we learned how clearly his county staffers were doing political work on the job.

Now, with the release of additional John Doe emails relating to the O’Donnell Park tragedy, we’re learning how much his campaign dictated terms to his county aides.

I just sifted through most of the roughly 1,000 pages of the emails and it’s pretty shocking how campaign and county staffers used their personal email addresses as a way to work together while evading scrutiny via open records requests.

Here’s how the coverup worked:

Someone, typically a reporter, would email Fran McLaughlin, Walker’s spokeswoman, a question. Fran would forward it to a generic personal email address – franmclaughlin@ something [the second half of the email address has been redacted]. She would then forward it to her “gopfran” email account. From there she would email Walker at his campaign, top county staffers via their personal email accounts, and top Walker campaign staffers.

And WHALLAH! the email trail would vanish from the county’s email records. 

Until prosecutors took a look, of course.

No wonder why McLaughlin, currently working for Sheriff David Clarke, had to ask prosecutors for immunity. She was the linchpin of the whole operation. (Read Graeme’s take on Fran here.) 

As I read through the emails, I almost felt sorry for Fran. Almost—until I realized that what she was doing was highly unethical if not downright illegal.

It looks like she couldn’t respond to any queries without getting approval from Walker and/or his campaign aides. And Keith Gilkes, Walker’s campaign operative, was dictating how Walker would be presented after the O’Donnell tragedy. Apparently Walker was taking his cues from Rudy Giuliani’s book on handling 9/11. (My god, Walker thinks highly of himself.)

The truly ironic thing is that these politicos, and their county counterparts on their personal email accounts, were bemoaning the “politicization” of the tragedy. Typical Walker doublespeak.

I’ll have more details soon.




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