Walker threatens to cut off all our noses to spite the court's face

Scott Walker

So - the never-ending political circus in Wisconsin continues. If you've been following from home, the US Supreme court will soon consider whether they will hear a case to re-open the John Doe investigation in Wisconsin.  Call it John Doe III. Yup, worse than the Rocky films.  The point of contention here basically is that the state Supreme Court had a conflict of interest when ruling to shut down the John Doe because several of the court justices had received donations from groups with an interest in the outcome.

The recent cache of documents from the investigation that was released by The Guardian has made this more interesting, since it's now a lot clearer that the suspected coordination between the Walker administration and the Wisconsin Club for Growth was much more real than imagined, and possibly included some extra pay-for-play that nobody seems to have been aware of. But hey, it just involved kids and lead poisoning, so - what the hey.

But in a particularly bizarre turn of events, the Governor has apparently decided that rather than just lie low and wait for the outcome, he was going to start throwing his weight around. Walker is adopting a "there's nothing to see here, and if you look I'm going to cause you a world of hurt" attitude.

"I would think most people in this state think that - after the Supreme Court rules on this - that there's certainly not a lack of work to be done in Milwaukee County on issues related to crime and other issues," said Gov. Walker. "We hear, whether it's in that county (Milwaukee) or others, about the need for additional district attorneys and additional resources. I think a lot of people wonder if they continue to spend time after the US Supreme Court were to rule on this, if that's really necessary."

So --- if the John Doe continues after the Supreme Court rules that it may, the Gov. is making only slightly veiled threats against funding for the DA's in the state. We've heard this sort of "it'd be a shame of something happened to those courts of yours" threats before - something like a bad gangster movie. This is unconscionable - the governor simply cannot threaten the judiciary in  the state for investigating crime.

In response Senator Mark Pocan is asking for an investigation. When the kids get caught with their hand in the cookie jar they cannot threaten to cut off Dad's bank account.

  I include his press release in full below:

Sep 23, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) calling on the DOJ to ensure district attorney offices remain free of politically motivated retaliation after Gov. Walker threatened district attorney offices. Walker insinuated if Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and other DA offices continued the “John Doe” investigation, which included the investigation of potential illegal activity during his recall election, that he would carve them out of a proposed increase in funding for local district attorneys’ offices.

“Scott Walker’s threat is unconscionable. Public officials should not use their office to make politically motivated threats and undermine lawful investigations for their political ambitions,” said Rep. Pocan. “Threatening to cut funding for our District Attorney’s office- a much needed public resource- for their work in lawful legal matters which happen to involve the Governor is outrageous and wrong.”

“When the special prosecutor admits he was unaware of the pay-to-play scheme with the billionaire owner of a lead paint manufacturer, it is vital that a lawful investigation be allowed to be considered without the threat of politically motivated retribution,” continued Rep. Mark Pocan. “It is also important to remember that these potential violations of state ethics laws by Walker could still be prosecuted, even though state laws were changed. I urge the Department of Justice to take any necessary steps to ensure the Milwaukee District Attorney’s office and other offices are able to continue this lawful investigation without the threat of politically motivated retribution, and if necessary intervene in the matter itself.”

Gov. Scott Walker’s threat follows legitimate inquiries by the Milwaukee County District Attorney into the questionable fundraising connections between the Governor and Wisconsin Club for Growth, an independent group. Documents recently released by Guardian US raise further questions about Walker’s efforts to raise millions of dollars for the group and highlight the necessity of a thorough investigation. These documents revealed a number of troubling contributions to the organization, including a check with a memo line reading “Because Scott Walker asked.”

Last week, the Special Prosecutor in charge of explaining to the courts why the “John Doe” investigation should move forward said that he was unaware of a law passed by Republican lawmakers that granted immunity to the billionaire owner of NL Industries and other lead manufacturers against compensation for victims of lead-paint poisoning. This was the same billionaire who cut $750,000 worth of donations during the recall election.

You can find a copy of the letter to the DOJ here.

Add comment

Heyoya

Published on

September 23, 2016