Gardner Putting Corporate Cash Into Campaign = Two Felonies... Walker Conspiring to do the Exact Same Thing = Crickets | Wis.Community

Gardner Putting Corporate Cash Into Campaign = Two Felonies... Walker Conspiring to do the Exact Same Thing = Crickets

On Monday, railroad executive William Gardener was charged with two felonies for funnelling corporate dollars into Scott Walker's campaign-- an illegal contribution, because Wisconsin law strictly forbids the use of corporate dollars in Wisconsin campaigns.

What is the difference between what Gardener did and what Gov. Walker did when he walked into a "To Catch a Predator" trap and asked someone who he believed to be billionaire CEO of Koch Industries, David Koch, to run ads in Wisconsin in support of State Senators that were "swing areas" in both the "short term" and in the "long term."

Walker was well aware that the money Koch would be spending on the ads would be funded by corporate dollars and that when you coordinate such ads, it is viewed in the eyes of the law as an illegal in-kind contribution, because it is tantamount to using corporate dollars directly on a campaign. (That's why such ads are always referred to as independent issue advocacy ads-- because coordination with the candidate's or a party official such as Walker is illegal.)

When asked about this, Walker said that he was doing nothing wrong, because he said there was no campaign going on when he made the request.

First of all, there is a good argument to be made that Wisconsin's bans on corporate cash and illegal coordination applies to all elected officials, regardless of whether they are officially in "campaign mode" or not.

Second, in the call, Walker clearly mentioned running "longterm" ads in "swing areas," clearly referring to the next campaign.

Third, there WAS a campaign going on when he made that request: Several of the recall petitions had already been filed with Government Accountability Board and were in the process of getting the petitions filled out. That sounds like a campaign to me.

The Dane County District Attorney and the GAB needs to stop sitting on this and start investigating this immediately.

 

 

Published

April 13, 2011 - 5:37pm

Author