To Catch a Predator: The John Doe Episode Starring Walker and Koch | WisCommunity

To Catch a Predator: The John Doe Episode Starring Walker and Koch

[img_assist|nid=473568|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=300|height=200]MSNBC's “To Catch a Predator” surprises unsuspecting pedophiles, who engage online with what is really a fake child to their fake residence and then is confronted and arrested for having an intent to commit a crime.  What was actually fake, is very real for the perpetrator, when he gets charged with a felony.

Here in Wisconsin, we had our own to "To Catch a Predator" play out when Governor Scott Walker took a phone call with someone he thought was billionaire campaign front group puppet master, David Koch.  In the phone call, Scott Walker  "David Koch" to carpet bomb "swing areas" because Walker and the rest of the Wisconsin GOP was "going to need a message out reinforcing why this was a good thing to do for the economy a good thing to do for the state so the extent that message is out over and over again, that’s obviously a good thing."

The problem with this request was that is illegal from every angle imaginable and it caught the attention of a lot of people that know campaign finance law, .  Candidates and their campaigns cannot coordinate with (including requesting ads to be run on their behalf) corporations or organizations that receive corporate money, because such coordination is the same as receiving an in-kind contribution from a corporation.  When Scott Walker asked someone he believed to be David Koch to run campaign ads in swing areas, he was attempting to ask either David Koch, either as the defacto head of corporate-funded front groups such as Americans for Prosperity, as the head of several corporations, to run campaign ads in Wisconsin.  Of all the hats David Koch wears, none of them allow Scott Walker to legally coordinate with him about running campaign ads. 

Perhaps, had the story ended there, prosecutors could turn a blind eye.  However, in early 2012,  to Palm Beach Post reporter Stacey Singer that he not only intended to help Walker win the recall election, but that his group had, in fact, successfully won senate recall elections:

JL: Did he explicitly say that his group, Americans for Prosperity, was supporting Walker or wanted Walker to win the recall election?

SS: Yes, in fact, he took credit, via Americans for Prosperity, for the failure of the previous recall to unseat enough state senators to undo the majority, and he indicated he was going to do whatever it took to prevent Walker from losing his seat, lest the recall energize Union Power into the presidential election.  (He had enjoyed a glass of wine or two before I brought up Wisconsin.)

These statements are very problematic for David Koch because groups like his Americans for Prosperity cannot act with an intent of helping a candidate win or lose. They are supposed to do a Kabuki dance—just happening to run issue advocacy ads around election time in swing areas—without coordination with the campaign.  In his interview with the Palm Beach Post, however, Koch stepped out from behind the curtain and bluntly said that he was spending corporate money via his Americans for Prosperity for or against a candidate—and that's illegal.

To make things even more interesting, the summer before Koch's comments to the Palm Beach Post, Scott Walker flew to Aspen, Colorado, for the Republican Governors Association's "Executive Roundtable" event (a fundraiser) which was hosted by David and Charles Koch. There, the Real Scott Walker was able to ask the Real David Koch for help and we know that he asked for help, because in the subsequent interview with Singer Koch told the reporter that he had run the ads in the senate recall elections to help Walker and, as we also know, Koch poured millions into the Walker's recall election.  

Oh, but it gets better:  Perhaps the most humorous angle of Walker's pontentially illegal campaign coordination with Koch and the RGA comes from the potential involvment of the indentical Shrimpf twins.  Mike Schrimp worked for Walker's government office as communications director during the recall campaign while his twin Chris was communications director for the Republican Governors Association, which was heavily backed by Koch and advertised heavily during the recall elections.  Did Chris and Mike coordinate with eachother through twin speak?  Did Chris and Mike occasionally switch places ala The Parent Trap to ensure that the RGA's ads hit all the right notes?  The possabilities are endless for the "based on a true story" movie version. 

When you consider that there are countless more examples of Shrimpf-twinesque oh-so-cozy relationships between decision makers in Scott Walker's campaign and groups that run political ads, the recent  that the John Doe investigation is focusing on the Koch funded Americans for Prosperity, Republican Governors Associaton, and others, for its role in the senate and gubernatorial recall election, it makes all the sense in the world.

The big problem, for both Walker, in the prank phone call, and David Koch, in his conversation with the Palm Beach Post reporter, is that they have been caught red handed, in the same way the subjects on To Catch a Predator:  They flagrantly indicted themselves in moments of rare honesty.  

While most campaign-related violations go uncalled by the refs, Koch and Walker's comments were simply too flagrant to be ignored, which is the reason the two are likely central figures in the current John Doe investigation.  


November 16, 2013 - 1:50pm