Last week, leaked emails from The Guardian show just how much dark money it tied to Wisconsin politician, Scott Walker.
The Huffington Post reports on how intricate the relationship is between Walker and dark money groups:
Recent elections have turned the Wisconsin Supreme Court from “one of the nation’s most respected state tribunals into a disgraceful mess,” wrote noted author on the courts Lincoln Caplan in 2015.
The dysfunction is on full display in the documents revealed by the Guardian this week in its expose on the “John Doe” investigation into potentially illegal coodination between Scott Walker and dark money groups that were supposed to operate independently of his campaign.
John Doe Judge Fails on Expenditure Coordination
The Wisconsin John Doe investigation was started by a bipartisan group of district attorneys and Judge Barbara Kluka who saw sufficient evidence of probable cause to authorize search warrants of Walker’s top aides and a number of dark money groups. But Kluka stepped down and Judge Gregory A. Peterson was appointed.
The type of high-dollar, high-donor fundraising discussed in this week’sGuardian expose had never happened in Wisconsin before. Yet Peterson quashed the search warrants in 2014 stating in a cursory decision:
“I am persuaded by Friends of Scott Walker that the statutes do not regulate coordinated fundraising. Only coordinated expenditures may be regulated and the state does not argue coordination of expenditures occurred. Therefore, the subpoenas fail to show probable cause.”
But the documents released by the Guardian this week are replete with evidence of expenditure coordination.
In concert with federal FEC rules, Wisconsin Government Accountability Board rules at the time stated that there is coordination “where there has been substantial discussion or negotiation between the campaign or the spender over, a communication’s: (1) contents; (2) timing; (3) location, mode, or intended audience (e.g., choice between newspaper or radio advertisement); or (4) ‘volume’ (e.g., number of copies of printed material or frequency of media spots).”
For more on this story, visit The Huffington Post.