Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law on Wednesday measures that transform campaign finance rules and a government accountability board — two bills pushed by the very same conservative political groups implicated in an investigation into his campaign. The new laws arrive five months after Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court closed a three-year investigation into whether Walker and moneyed conservative nonprofits illegally coordinated campaign strategy during the Republican’s 2012 recall campaign for governor. The court cleared Walker and conservative allies of any wrongdoing on the basis that Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws were “unconstitutionally vague and broad,” opening the doors for legislative rewrite.
Then the same groups named in the investigation, Wisconsin’s Manufacturers and Commerce and Wisconsin Club for Growth, pushed for the bills through lobbying and robocalls.
Now, with the victory in hand, they and other groups will be permitted to coordinate more with candidates on campaign strategy, the same activity that prompted what was known as the John Doe investigation.
A separate measure dismantles the Government Accountability Board, the same state agency that launched the probe into Walker’s purported coordination with his conservative allies.