John Doe Probe Has 29 Conservative Groups In Its Sights
According to a
weekend report in the Wall Street Journal, John Doe #2 has up to 29
conservative groups in its sights—including the Friends of Scott Walker, Walker’s
gubernatorial campaign committee.
The Wall Street
Journal based its report on an interview with Eric O’Keefe, a longtime
“free-market” activist who’s also on the board of the Wisconsin Club for
Growth, one of the groups that was named when we thought that only three groups
were caught up in this investigation.
Well, O’Keefe must be
running scared and trying to get ahead of the story to spin it his own way.
The WSJ is portraying
the “flurry of subpoenas” as a “raid on political speech.”
My bet is that the 29
state and national right-wing groups—which allegedly include Scott Walker’s
campaign, Wisconsin Club for Growth, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
(WMC), the League of American Voters, the anti-gay Wisconsin Family Action, the
Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, and the
Republican Governors Association—were more likely coordinating fundraising,
shuffling money from one group to another to evade campaign disclosure rules,
timing their ads and/or synching their messaging during the 2011 and 2012 recalls.
If you’ve been
reading the Shepherd, you know that Walker’s top campaign aide, R.J. Johnson,
has longtime connections to Wisconsin Club for Growth.
Did Johnson cut those
ties when he went to work for Walker’s campaign in 2009? When he was being copied on Milwaukee County emails? Was Johnson still working
for Walker after Walker took office in 2011, while appearing as a spokesman for
Wisconsin Club for Growth?
That’s something the
prosecutors are probably taking a look at—among other things.