Scott Walker encouraged illegal campaigning
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the largest newspaper in Wisconsin and (usually) a pro-Walker mouthpiece, is reporting that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, then Milwaukee County Executive, encouraged his county staff to promote his 2010 campaign for Governor of Wisconsin via comments on news websites.
Here’s the details:
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.
“Someone should comment on the fact that the only way for the county to benefit from that success is to contract out operations,” Walker wrote in an email. “Having a well performing airport increases the value that the county could receive.”
A half-hour later, Brian Pierick — the boyfriend of Walker aide Timothy D. Russell — posted a comment on the story under the alias “WI_Calvin,” calling rising airport traffic “another example of Scott Walker’s outstanding leadership.”
To put it mildly, this is a BFD. For once, we have proof that Scott Walker encouraged government workers to campaign for him while on government time, which is illegal in Wisconsin. Scott Walker has been dishonest about the allegations of corruption surrounding him from the outset, and we finally have indisputable proof that Walker encouraged illegal campaigning.
One of the Wisconsin diarists at DailyKos has more information about this story here.