Friday, June 20, 2014

Does anyone doubt that "Slimy Scott" Walker is a crook? Still, don't expect to see him on a chain gang anytime soon


Screen cap from Billionaires for Wealthcare (click to enlarge)

"Shit just got real. 'Scott Walker Involved in Criminal Scheme' is currently the BANNER headline on the front page of 18 Wisconsin newspaper sites. The breath and depth of the coverage is simply devastating. The story is engulfing Walker across the entire state, from cities to suburbia to even rural farm country."
-- from Billionaires for Wealthcare's Daily Kos post
last night,
"Wisconsin Firestorm Engulfing Walker"

by Ken

So now at least we have some idea what it is that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is thought to have been up to by the ad hoc bunch of Wisconsin prosecutors who wanted very much to find out what the hell had gone on in the gubernatorial and state Senate recall elections that should have sent all those pests crawling back under whatever slimy rocks they emerged from originally. What it was that those prosecutors were -- incredibly, it seems to me -- forbidden to continue investigating, at least for the time being, by both a state and a federal judge.

AS USA Today's Fredreka Schouten and Aamer Madhani reported this morning:
Prosecutors claim Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a plan to illegally coordinate fundraising with an array of outside conservative groups to help him and several Republican senators survive a 2012 recall election, newly released records show.

In the documents unsealed Thursday, prosecutors from five Wisconsin counties allege an effort by Walker and top aides to circumvent state law and raise money and plan spending by a dozen outside groups during the election.

The prosecutors' filings include a quote from an e-mail in which Walker tells Republican strategist Karl Rove that a top campaign aide, R.J. Johnson, was leading the coordination effort and praises Johnson's work.

"Bottom line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin," prosecutors say Walker wrote in the May 4, 2011, e-mail. "We are running nine recall elections and it will be like running nine congressional markets in every market in the state."

Naturally, however, as far as our Scott, the Slimy One, is concerned:
This is nothing more than a partisan investigation with no basis in state law. It’s time for the prosecutors to acknowledge both judges’ orders to end this investigation.
If this was actually true, as our Scott is saying to every microphone he can get access to, it would mean that those judges were gifted with powers of divination, that they managed to decide that no laws had been broken without allowing the prosecutors who were investigating to actually investigate.

But of course, that's not what happened. Like most everything that comes out of Slimy Scott's maw, it's not true. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Patrick Harley explained a few days ago (links onsite):
The latest documents set to come out are part of a lawsuit filed in February by the Wisconsin Club for Growth and its treasurer, Eric O'Keefe. They allege the probe violates their civil rights, and U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa in Milwaukee last month sided with them and ordered a halt to the investigation.
Not exactly the same thing as ruling that no state laws were broken by the Slimy Scott Gang. The judges just seemed to think that Baby O'Keefe's First Amendment rights really may somehow be at jeopardy. (In case you're wondering how the pieces of the case fit together, the R. J. Johnson who, according to the e-mail Slimy Scott is alleged to have written to Karl Rove, was so busy trampling laws right and left, is also closely associated with Baby O'K's Wisconsin Club for Growth, which I gather is thought by the prosecutors to have been heavily involved in Slimy Scott's coup.

Baby O'Keefe whines in his legal pleadings that this is all a plot against conservatives. But I don't believe he's that stupid. He knows perfectly well that that isn't the case. What it is is a plot against criminals and criminal conspiracies -- aka law enforcement. It just happens that nowadays criminal conspiracies are a basic tool of conserative activists.

I think I understand the crazed conservatives' logic, though. Since they are, after all, on a mission from God to take complete control of the legal apparatus -- from law-making to law enforcement -- in every state as well as the federal government, and there's not a damn son of a bitch alive who's gonna stop 'em, it's just a matter of time before they get to decide what the law is anyway, as they already have done in Wisconsin, which is now more or less officially not so much a state as a privileged enclave of Koch Industries.

Since it's just a matter of time before the rich and superrich people who bankroll stooges like Slimy Scott will have full control of the law, why should they be penalized for this teensy time gap? Just consider: If Slimy Scott and his politcal henchscum had been forced to, you know, follow the obsolete old laws like a bunch of girlie-boy schoolchildren, that could have slowed down the changing of state laws enough to interfere with their seizure of full control of the Wisconsin legislature? The rich and superrich masters whom Slimy Scott serves are busy and important people; they can't be expected to cool their heels while a bunch of cockamamie prosecutors in Wisconsin try to make a case that Slimy Scott masterminded a criminal conspiracy.

Sorry, SS, but you weren't cleared of anything. Your henchscum have simply done a deft job of blowing smoke all over the investigation. But then, there probably aren't any legal requirements any longer in Wisconsin that the governor occasionally tell the truth about anything.

At issue now is whether the five Wisconsin prosecutors banded together in this case can persuade the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago to toss Baby O'K's lawsuit. It's that court's Judge Frank Easterbrook who allowed the unsealing of the documents that are the subject of the current furor. A whole bunch of other documents remain under seal.

It's another reminder how unsymmetrical our political system is. Right-wingers have made it a standard operating practice to hurl any sort of lies and distortions at anyone who gets in their way with a view to ruining the poor souls' lives. But Wisconsin's Baby O'Keefe knows how to manipulate the legal system to prevent law-enforcement officials from even finding out what he may have done.

I'd like to believe some of the chickens are finally coming home to roost for Slimy Scott. But while media mavens are pondering whether this fracas will hurt his chances, not so much of being reelected this fall but of entering the presidential sweepstakes for 2016, I'm not optimistic.

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