"In the email written in the form of a fake news release, John Schulze joked about venereal diseases, oral sex and legalizing prostitution to provide jobs for welfare recipients."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Gov. Scott Walker said in an interview Monday that there is no private email system in the governor’s office similar to the one that existed in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive.
He also said that as governor he has complied with laws that restrict public servants from mingling their official duties with campaign activity.
Walker once again refused to say whether as county executive he knew of or used a secret email system set up in his office to avoid public scrutiny.
On Monday he called it a “slippery slope” to answer specifics about the more than 27,000 records released last week, because “once you start on one thing, then there’s hundreds of questions on each of those.”
OK, so first off he said he didn’t know about the first router. So how can he say with such certaintly there is no router now? There could be a bunch of blinking LEDs above the ceiling tiles right now and apparently clueless Scooter would have no idea that the modem is there. Which take are we supposed to believe here: that you’re too dumb to know what’s going on in your own office or that you have a complete understanding of everything going on in your office? Because there’s sort of a logical conflict going on there.
Second, you probably don’t want to use the “slippery slope” argument in this situation, because now we’re all wondering what new questions it is that you’re trying to avoid being asked. Walker’s not making this all go away with this dodge, he’s actually making it seem even more likely that he’s covering something up. “If I start talking about the secret email system, then I’ll have to answer questions about the contact list and — hoo-boy — do I ever want to avoid explaining that, let me tell you!”
Walker’s “lie low and hope everything blows over” strategy is failing spectacularly — not in the least because Walker himself keeps wandering out of “no comment” territory and stirring everything up again.
What Scott Walker has in common with a certain recently deposed Ukrainian criminal.
If you ever come across a “gee, but Scott Walker is swell!” comment under a news story, blog post, or Reddit comment thread, assume it’s paid propaganda and call the commenter out for it — not because the odds show it’s likely to be true, but because actions like this deserve profoundly negative consequences:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: In the heat of the 2010 governor’s race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show.
It was just such anonymous posts by a county worker on campaign issues that prompted prosecutors to expand a secret “John Doe” investigation — launched to probe into missing money in a veterans fund — to also examine whether taxpayer dollars were being used illegally to finance political operations.
In one instance in May 2010, for example, a close ally posted online a portion of a Walker email almost verbatim on a Journal Sentinel story just minutes after receiving the directive. Walker had sent the note to an inner circle that included county administrators as well as campaign operatives.
Tapping out a message on his campaign Blackberry on the afternoon of May 4, 2010, Walker urged county aides, campaign staffers and other trusted volunteers to go to an online Journal Sentinel business story and respond to critics of his plan to privatize the airport in the comments section below the story.
The legitimacy of pro-Walker statements online need to be challenged, because this sort of activity is the very definition of state-sponsored propaganda. It’s also just a hair short of sock puppetry, making it extremely dishonest. If the people who pull this sort of thing wind up worse off because of it, then they’ll stop doing it. So, when an online comment goes something like, “Yah but Walker is so awesome, too!” then just go ahead and assumed they’re on the guv’s payroll.
And this credibility problem is what Scott Walker has in common with a certain corrupt Ukrainian politician, currently on the run from his own people.
Buzzfeed: Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government — and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed.
The Ukrainian campaign began in the run-up to high-stakes Ukrainian parliamentary elections last year, and sought to convince skeptical American conservatives that the pro-Russian Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovych, deserved American support. During that period, articles echoing Ukrainian government talking points appeared on leading conservative online outlets, including RedState, Breitbart, and Pajamas Media.
The emails and documents, which include prepackaged quotes from election officials and talking points that some writers copied nearly word-for-word, offer a glimpse into how foreign governments dodge tight Justice Department regulations on foreign propaganda to covertly lobby in the United States: The payments were routed through a front group in Belgium to an American consultant, who has urged writers not to cooperate with a reporter investigating the campaign.
The model resembles a recent stealth campaign in which bloggers were paid by the Malaysian government to write favorable stories, though the Ukraine campaign appears to have involved smaller sums of money.
So there’s the common thread: American conservatives on the turd-polishing payroll. At this point, there’s ample evidence that a lot of opinion-making on the right is paid propaganda BS — so really, if you take any of it without a massive grain of salt, you’re literally a grade-A, first-class chump. But take a look at the company Wisconsin’s embattled governor keeps on this one: gangsters and dictators.
I wouldn’t trust this guy. And that advice comes unbought, by the way.
Quick Walker scandal update
I was right about not making the headlines on time. So here’s a few from the #WalkerDocs that show this scandal is growing in scope as people have more time to pore over the emails. No comments from me, just the headlines as they appear:
- Wisconsin State Journal: Emails show how Scott Walker blurred lines between campaign and county business.
- Progressive: Ruth [Conniff, Progressive’s editor] Reminds MSNBC: Walker is Being Investigated by Republicans.
- Progressive: Walker Linked to Destruction of Evidence.
- Progressive: Walker Encouraged Anti-Immigrant Rant: ‘Don’t Hold Back’.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Scott Walker won’t say whether he knew of or used secret email system.
- Express Milwaukee: Was Kelly Rindfleisch Also Working for the Realtors Association?
Did Team Walker engage in illegal vote rigging?
The Progressive: Emails released this week appear to show Governor Scott Walker’s top aides engaging in an illegal scheme to “cage” Wisconsin voters in the weeks ahead of the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Voter caging is an illegal campaign practice used to knock voters off the rolls. Neighborhoods with large minority concentrations are most typically targeted by caging operations.
On page 15,037 of WalkerDocs 1, an email exchange between Walker staffers Kelly Rindfleisch and Nicole Simmons spells it out pretty plainly.
“If you come this Saturday I can show you how to cage,” Simmons writes. “That will be priority on the weekend.”
“Outside tea party groups bragged in 2010 that they were joining RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Wisconsin Republican Party to cage voters for Scott Walker, although Priebus denied the charge,” the report goes on.
At this point, I’m having a hard time understanding why Walker wasn’t charged with anything. Did prosecutors believe they couldn’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Scooter wasn’t just stupid and clueless? Because at this point, that seems to be the governor’s only defense.