Despite claims that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is not a “target” in the state’s criminal campaign finance probe, newly-released documents demonstrate that prosecutors are indeed looking at potentially criminal activity by the first-term governor and 2016 presidential hopeful. The latest round of documents released in Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigation shine new light on the stalled inquiry into alleged illegal coordination between Walker’s campaign and outside political groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) during the 2011-2012 recall elections. The documents show that Walker made personal appeals to out-of-state billionaires and millionaires to raise funds for WiCFG — which spent $9.1 million on the recalls and acted as a “hub” for funnelling millions more to other groups — and evidence indicates that his campaign also worked with WiCFG on how those funds were spent.
The investigation was halted in May in a questionable decision by federal Judge Rudolph Randa — a Republican appointee who regularly attends Koch- and Bradley-funded judicial junkets — on grounds that the omission of terms like “vote for” or “vote against” in WiCFG’s ads put them beyond the reach of long-standing Wisconsin law, including laws governing coordination. Prosecutors have appealed Randa’s ruling to the Seventh Circuit, and some documents filed under seal with that appellate court were accidentally made public on August 22.