Ducey’s dicey pals: Scott Walker ‘John Doe’ probe docs unsealed by court

The candidate from the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), “Cathi’s Clown” Doug Ducey, is also supported by the bag man for “Kochtopus” dark money campaign money laundering, Sean Noble, who was at the center of the largest “campaign money-laundering [scheme] in California history.” Dark Money Groups Pay $1 Million in Fines in California Case.

TotalRecallSo it comes as no surprise that Cathi’s Clown was endorsed earlier this week by “the goggle-eyed homunculus now serving as local sales director of the Koch Industries subsidiary once known as the state of Wisconsin,” Governor Scott Walker. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker endorses Doug Ducey for Governor. (h/t to Charles Pierce at Esquire for his descriptive language).

Cathi’s Clown might want to reconsider his Walker endorsement with news breaking out of Wisconsin this afternoon. Ducey’s dicey pals just got a whole lot dicier — some of this taint might rub off on him. Prosecutors accuse Scott Walker of running ‘criminal scheme’ during campaign:

Prosecutors accuse Gov. Scott Walker of personally overseeing a sweeping “criminal scheme” to illegally coordinate fundraising and campaign activity among conservative groups in a broad effort to help him — and Republican senators — beat back recalls in 2011 and 2012, newly released court documents show.

In the documents, unsealed Thursday by a federal appeals court, Francis Schmitz, the investigator for a secret, wide-ranging John Doe investigation into alleged campaign coordination, said the coordinated effort involved conservative groups, Walker, his campaign and top allies of the governor, including political consultants R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.

Writing for prosecutors in five counties, Schmitz alleged that Walker and his allies raised money and coordinated spending with about a dozen conservative groups during the recall elections. Those activities and contributions weren’t disclosed in campaign finance reports as required by state law.

Schmitz cited a May 2011 email from Walker to prominent Republican strategist Karl Rove saying that Johnson would lead the coordination.

“Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities),” Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011, according to the filing.

Johnson is also a top adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group that was active in the recall elections. Prosecutors allege Johnson used Club for Growth as the “hub” for coordination between the Walker campaign and conservative groups engaged in issue advocacy.

The documents released Thursday are part of a federal lawsuit brought by Wisconsin Club for Growth and director Eric O’Keefe to end the John Doe investigation, which they say infringes on their First Amendment right to free speech.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa ordered the investigation to stop, writing that O’Keefe and others had found a loophole in Wisconsin campaign finance law and that any law prohibiting their activities would be unconstitutional. But his order is on appeal. A similar lawsuit is pending in state court.

On Thursday, Walker suggested that the documents mean little or nothing, given that his campaign’s position has already prevailed in Randa’s courtroom and in a similar state lawsuit.

* * *

In court filings, Samuel Leib, a lawyer for the prosecutors in the federal lawsuit, said the John Doe, which spans multiple investigations by district attorneys in Milwaukee, Dane, Iowa, Dodge and Columbia counties, is legal.

“Nothing short of ignoring evidence, it seems, will satisfy the plaintiffs that the proceedings are lawful,” he said. “The court should ignore their blog-worthy pleas of conspiracy and put an end to this lawsuit.”

On Thursday, 7th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Frank H. Easterbrook denied a motion from two unnamed people to block the release of the documents, and ordered the unredacted copies — totaling 266 pages — be placed in the public court docket. [Read the John Doe II court documents Here (.pdf)]

The unknown parties had tried to intervene, arguing that making the documents public could reveal their identities and invade their privacy.

Prosecutors and attorneys for the Wisconsin Club for Growth did not object to the release of the documents. But Club for Growth had attempted to block some court exhibits from being released.

The documents reflect the most detailed public account of the investigation by those who are conducting it. They include portions of orders, briefs and entire exhibits that were previously shielded from public view.

Among them is the state’s response to attempts to quash subpoenas, which were filed by Friends of Scott Walker, the governor’s campaign apparatus, and conservative groups including Wisconsin Club for Growth, Citizens for a Strong America, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. In it, prosecutors detail an alleged scheme to raise money nationally and funnel cash to other conservative groups.

“The investigation focuses on a wide-ranging scheme to coordinate activities of several organizations with various candidate committees to thwart attempts to recall Wisconsin Senate and Gubernatorial candidates,” the response reads. “That coordination included a nationwide effort to raise undisclosed funds for an organization which then funded the activities of other organizations supporting or opposing candidates subject to recall.”

Schmitz describes how in 2011 Wisconsin Club for Growth contributed $4.62 million to Citizens for a Strong America, of which Johnson’s wife Valerie was treasurer. That accounted for all but $25 of that year’s revenue for the organization, which then provided funding to Wisconsin Family Action, Wisconsin Right to Life and United Sportsmen of Wisconsin. Those groups were all involved in absentee ballot application activities during the 2011 recalls, Schmitz wrote.

Schmitz said Club for Growth also gave $2.5 million to Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which through its Issues Mobilization Council ran ads supporting Walker and criticizing his recall opponent Tom Barrett. Schmitz also said WMC senior vice president James Buchen participated in conference calls with Walker and others involving the Senate and gubernatorial recall campaigns.

Schmitz alleged that in their court filings Walker’s campaign and other groups “tacitly admitted to violating Wisconsin campaign law.”

He added, “The purpose of this investigation is to ensure the integrity of the electoral process in Wisconsin.”

The documents reveal that Walker’s campaign, Wisconsin Club for Growth, Citizens for a Strong America, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and WMC’s Issues Mobilization Council sought to halt the John Doe investigation in state court last fall.

Arizona is already in the clutches of the “Kochtopus.” Do we really need a Scott Walker clone as governor? Where is the media’s concern trolling for “dark money” organizations when it comes to Doug Ducey and his dicey pals?

UPDATE: The Washington Post today has a handy-dandy flow chart of “dark money” corruption in Wisconsin. How the State of Wisconsin alleges Scott Walker aides violated the law, in 1 chart.


7 thoughts on “Ducey’s dicey pals: Scott Walker ‘John Doe’ probe docs unsealed by court”

  1. Here’s another take on the same document dump: that two judges, looking at the information released yesterday, have declared they found nothing illegal in the prosecutors’ so-called evidence. The fact that Wisconsin papers and the NY Times missed the story is hardly surprising:


    • You clearly missed the part where the Court of Appeals stayed the trial judge’s order with some unusually harsh commentary,previously reported at the time it occurred. The documents released are the documents the trial judge had ordered destroyed. That’s a pretty strong indication how things are going to go on appeal.

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