Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

In the News: John D’OH!

Found on the Internets …

Perhaps things have turned out badly


John Doe prosecutors accuse Scott Walker of running ‘criminal scheme’ during recalls

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, a Walker campaign consultant, 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.

Prosecutors: Walker’s Campaign ‘Tacitly Admitted’ Breaking The Law

In a court filing responding to motions from the targets of the investigation, Schmitz countered arguments from Walker’s campaign, which goes by the name Friends of Scott Walker (FOSW), and the outside groups about what kind of coordination was allowed under Wisconsin law.

“Movants argue that ‘coordination’ of political activities that do not arguably involve express advocacy cannot be a crime under Wisconsin law,” he wrote. “These arguments fail to recognize or misinterpret Wisconsin statutes, administrative rules, and G.A.B. formal opinions. Movants have also ignored controlling Wisconsin case law. Indeed, in their submissions, movants – FOSW, Citizens for a Strong America, Inc. (CFSA), Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Inc. (WMC) and Wisconsin Manfacuturers & Commerce-Issues Mobilization Council (WMC-IMC), and Wisconsin Club for Growth (WiCFG) appear to have tacitly admitted to violating Wisconsin law.” […]

Walker’s campaign declined to directly address the contents of the documents released Thursday.

“Two judges have rejected the characterizations disclosed in those documents,” Alleigh MarrĂ©, the campaign’s press secretary, wrote.

Oh, is this one of the judges?

“I am persuaded the statutes only prohibit coordination by candidates and independent organizations for a political purpose, and political purpose, with one minor exception not relevant here … requires express advocacy,” [state Reserve Judge Gregory] Peterson wrote in an order included in documents released Thursday. “There is no evidence of express advocacy.”

In the alternate right-wing universe, “elections” have no “political purpose”. I suspect this is the other judge.


Datamining from BlueCheddar

The [Journal Sentinel] article says there are 12 conservative groups that are suspected of illegally coordinating with Scott Walker and his “close confidants”:

“The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors’ filings.”

So this is why Walker could maintain a placid demeanor through all the turmoil and upheaval that he caused us. It must really ease a man’s worried mind to have a powerful, monied team in the wings doing whatever it takes, laws be damned.

As prosecutors state in Exhibit C of the released documents:

“No court has ever recognized that secret, coordinated activity

resulting in “undisclosed” contributions to candidates’ campaigns and used to circumvent campaign finance laws is protected by the First Amendment. Accordingly, the purpose of this investigation is to ensure the integrity of the electoral process in Wisconsin.”


More news …

From the headlines …


McConnell’s Push To Block Obama’s Climate Rules Spooks Senate Dems

Senate Democrats hit pause on a government funding bill on Wednesday night after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) demanded a vote on an amendment targeting the Obama administration’s new rules to combat climate change.

Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) pulled consideration of the energy and water bill — one of various measures to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1 — after the top Senate Republican offered his amendment to prevent funding for the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules on coal-fired power plants until the administration certified that it wouldn’t harm jobs or raise utility rates.

Here is how you respond to threats to shut down the government one month before a national election: “Please proceed, GOP, please proceed”. p.s. The new EPA regulations are very popular.


House GOP Picks McCarthy For Majority Leader; Scalise Gets Whip

Calif. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been chosen by House Republicans to be their next majority leader, taking the place of Rep. Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning primary upset earlier this month. Louisiana’s Rep. Steve Scalise has been selected to fill the majority whip post left vacant by McCarthy’s promotion.

McCarthy defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative with close ties to the Tea Party, in a secret ballot for the position.

McCarthy, 49, has been in Congress since 2007 and was a close ally of Cantor’s.

How did that insurrection work out for you, tea party?


Rape Victims At Fundamentalist Christian College Say They Were Told To Repent For Their Sins

Katie Landry, who was raped by a coworker several times during the summer before she started attending Bob Jones, didn’t tell anyone about her assault for several years. She was deeply ashamed and failed most of her classes her first year of school. When she eventually sought counseling, the dean of students told her that “we have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape.”[…]

Bob Jones isn’t the only right-wing institution that’s struggled with issues of sexual assault. Nonetheless, some of those Christian colleges aren’t required to follow the federal laws intended to address campus rape because they don’t get any of their funding from the government

Not sure I see any “struggling with issues of sexual assault” at Bob Jones. Unless they consider the “issues” of sexual assault to include how to cover it up more effectively.


Editor’s Note: Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.


  1. I would wonder why my “friends” were so anxious to get these documents released.

    Certainly having a court case to test the limits of a pesky campaign finance law might be a great idea for national conservative groups but that might not be the best way to get their guy re-elected in Wisconsin.

    Need more popcorn …

  2. But Gov. 250,000-Jobs has bigger problems right now

    Wisconsin ranked 37th in private-sector job growth last year, federal employment numbers released Thursday show.

    Wisconsin added about 28,141 private-sector jobs during 2013, a 1.2 percent increase. The state’s growth rate lagged behind the national growth rate, 2.1 percent in that period, according to the latest data. The state also lagged most of its Midwestern neighbors. […]

    The numbers provide a more complete picture of how many jobs have been created in the state since Gov. Scott Walker took office in January 2011. Walker’s pledge to help create 250,000 private-sector jobs by 2015 was a key campaign promise during his 2010 gubernatorial bid, but it appears highly unlikely that he will meet his jobs promise by the end of his term.

    Walker might be able to blame President Obama for not getting to his pledge of 250,000 jobs … except that the rest of the country had the same president … and our Midwestern neighbors had the same climate.


  3. Scott Walker’s Conservative Bubble Shielded Him. Now It Might Sink Him.

    I did not go down the rabbit hole of the John Doe II investigation in my new cover story about Walker and the racial divisions and political polarization in metro Milwaukee. (The piece does quote from racially charged emails released as part of an earlier investigation-“John Doe I”-that produced guilty pleas by six former Walker aides and allies, for misdeeds that include embezzling from a veterans fund and doing campaign work on taxpayer time.) I decided that delving into the John Doe II morass might distract from the piece’s focus on how the metro Milwaukee political landscape, with its stark divides and influential local talk-radio culture, has shaped Walker and in turn been shaped by him.

    But the theme of the cover story and the investigation into coordination between Walker’s team and conservative groups are not unrelated. Both are, at bottom, about the same thing: the protective bubble of adulation and affirmation in which Walker has become increasingly ensconced in Wisconsin.

    To paraphrase Jim Hightower, Walker was placed on third base by right-wing talk radio and national Republicans … and thought he hit a triple.

  4. TPM Cafe: Thank God For Dick Cheney (Really)

    Until today, the sectarian conflict in Iraq has put the mess into messaging. For an administration already in love with nuance, explaining how the United States should engage in Iraq presents the worst on-the-one-hand-on-the-other challenge in the world. But sometimes it’s better to be lucky in communications than good, and for that Obama has Dick Cheney to thank. The more the former vice president talks, the better Obama seems.

    To check Cheney’s facts is to enjoy a target-rich environment. In the video, Cheney accused Obama of lying about Benghazi a day after we learned that the administration was right all along. Cheney snarls that Obama withdrew U.S. troops “with no leave-behind agreement” even though George W. Bush signed the treaty to pull out by 2011. […]

    Cheney is using Obama’s foreign policy struggles to pick a fight with isolationists in his own party in the run-up to the 2016 primaries. Dick mentions Benghazi, but this call is not for Hillary. Rand Paul, line one is for you.

    This is quite true:

    It’s too late for Dick Cheney to rehab his legacy. The American people have made their decision about the Iraq War. Today, we are looking to a future where we use our military only when necessary and instead use America’s leadership role to create free and just societies, and it is in the contrast of Cheney’s gruff style with Obama’s cool pragmatism that the former Vice President proves most useful.

    The author suggests that we have “real interests” in the region and that our leadership is essential to avoid Iraq descending into chaos:

    …we will accomplish nothing if our only two options are Cheney’s invade-first strategy and Paul’s isolationism. . […]

    Before this week, Obama’s options were limited by a public justifiably tired of international entanglements. Now all he has to jab a thumb at the lot of Cheney, John McCain, and the rest of the Iraq War apologists and promise that whatever happens, he’s not repeating their mistakes. At long last, Dick Cheney is finally the right man at the right time.

  5. 2016 poll: N.H. GOP voters pick Mitt Romney

    According to a Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll released Thursday, 24 percent of the likely New Hampshire Republican electorate would vote for Mitt Romney in the state’s 2016 GOP presidential primary. Every other potential candidate received less than ten percent of the vote, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie coming in second with just over nine percent.

    Scott Walker, one-term governor from the state of Wisconsin, received 3% of the votes in that poll, clocking in just above “root canal” but running neck and neck with “uncontrollable rash”.

  6. If We’re Lucky, All The 2016 GOP Candidates Could Land In Jail Before The Election

    “… it is hella tough to bring the funny when it comes to campaign finance scandals, because you have to explain coordination and superPACs and oh Christ we’re bored already. We’ll make an exception, though, for this bit of finance fkery – possibly maybe criminal finance fkery! – involving Scott Walker, because who wants to pass up an opportunity to bash Scott Walker? Certainly not yr Wonkette.[…]

    “Not only did Walker and his staff ALLEGEDLY WE TOTALLY SAID ALLEGEDLY control the spending of external groups, they also bragged about it via email. Why is this thing so hard for politicians and their cronyfriends to learn? If you are going to do evil and/or illegal shit, do not brag about it in your emails!”

    Wonkette reminds us of this precious quote from Justice Anthony Kennedy in his Citizens United ruling:

    In his 5 to 4 majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that outside groups running “independent” campaign ads would not lead to corruption or even the appearance of corruption. “The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy. By definition, an independent expenditure is political speech presented to the electorate that is not coordinated with a candidate,” he argued.

    It is going to be difficult to scrub that out of the record, Justice Kennedy, when the Clubbers for Growth come to your court claiming that ‘coordination’ is no crime at all!! Perhaps you could learn a lesson from Judge Randa on how to spin that:

    “O’Keefe and the Club obviously agree with Governor Walker’s policies, but coordinated ads in favor of those policies carry no risk of corruption because the Club’s interests are already aligned with Walker and other conservative politicians,” Randa wrote. “Such ads are meant to educate the electorate, not curry favor with corruptible candidates.”


  7. And following “Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired for to manage Wisconsin, the former state now doing business as the midwest subsidiary of Koch Industries”.

    Watching Scotty Blow: Things Go Boom

    What we learned on Thursday, when the documents compiled by prosecutors were unsealed, is more than simply trouble for Walker and a shot below the waterline of both his local and national ambitions. It also is a window into the farce that the Supreme Court’s decisions in various campaign finance and voting rights cases have made of our elections. Everything is a fake. Nothing ever happens by accident any more. “Grassroots” are now largely useful only as camouflage for the same old corruption.[…]

    What the investigators refer to as a “criminal scheme” is nothing more than the logical end that comes when all restraints on campaign finance are demolished, and when elections are turned into the playgrounds of plutocrats.[…]

    Wisconsin has laws forbidding some of this activity. However, sooner rather than later, I think, we will see a lawsuit based on the notion that Wisconsin’s laws in this area violate some corporation’s First Amendment right to freedom of assembly, and that a suit to that effect will reach the Supreme Court, and Wisconsin’s election laws will suffer the same fate as Montana’s century-old laws forbidding corporate political contributions did.

    My thought exactly.

Comments are closed.