Paul Adair is a 21-year Germantown resident, retired scientist, writer, and lecturer.
"Unfortunately, we have a Governor and administration that condones unethical and illegal behavior. The people of Wisconsin deserve better."
This statement was made by Scott K. Walker on January 2006 after a low level state employee, Georgia Thompson, was indicted on federal corruption charges. The Governor Mr. Walker was referring to was Jim Doyle. Ms. Thompson's charges were later thrown-out by a three-judge panel. However, Walker's words from 2006 have never rang truer than they do today. The people of Wisconsin really do deserve better.
Last week, we got yet another behind-the-scenes peek into the illegal campaign machinations of Scott Walker. Under court order, over 250 documents pertaining to the John Doe II investigation were released. The documents revealed a sordid tale of secret meetings, blatant disregard for the law, and outright betrayal of the trust of the citizens of Wisconsin.
Even the most devoted Walker apologists are at a loss to explain-away the facts that have come to light with the document release. These revelations have been extensively reviewed by the state and national media, so I will not recap them here. However, they reveal a crystal clear pattern of illegal campaign coordination.
With his political future put into jeopardy by the new damning information, Walker has gone on the defense as only he knows how. He did the Milwaukee right-wing radio circuit. He did the mandatory softball interview on Fox. He issued a defensive editorial full of fabrication and prevarication. He did everything but actually explaining his actions to the mainstream press and the citizens of our state.
In his self-serving editorial:
Walker stated that the investigation is over. (It is by no means over. It is currently on appeal with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals).
He attempted to portray the investigation as a Democratic witch-hunt. Three separate times in the editorial, he called the investigators "partisan". (They are not. The chief prosecutor is a Republican, two of the five participating county DA's are Republican. The majority of the GAB leadership, which sanctioned the probe, are retired GOP judges).
He poo-pooed the media for making a big deal over "old news". (It may be "old news" to Walker and his staff, but it is brand new news to the public.)
He whined about "slander directed at me and our campaign" (Slander means "a malicious, false, and defamatory statement". The statements made in the released documents were all based on solid evidence, and therefore, are neither false nor slanderous.)
He stated that the prosecutor's "theories have no merit or basis in law." (Both state and federal law prohibit the direct coordination between advocacy groups like "Club for Growth" and a candidate's campaign. The law is clear on this point. The GAB and five county DA's believe that the investigation is well-founded in law.)
There are many other incredible episodes in Walker's attempts to convince us that black is white, wrong is right, and the illegal is legal. Arguably, the most incredible was when his pal and fellow criminal suspect, Chris Christie attempted to reassure us by saying, “I have complete faith and confidence in Scott. I believe he has great integrity." I had to double-check to make sure I wasn't reading The Onion. What is next, character endorsements from Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney?
It is unclear what effect the latest revelations on the ethics and character of our Governor will have on his reelection prospects. Judging from the "comments" section of articles on the story, many Walkerites would make excuses for their hero even if he was caught on film drowning puppies. The question is whether these latest revelations will cause more moderate Republicans and independents to see Walker for what he is. Whether enough of them will flee the ethically-challenged politician to affect the election.
Unlike Scott Walker's incendiary statements concerning Governor Doyle during the "Travel-gate" probe, Mary Burke's response to our embattled Governor's scandal has been one of class. She has not exploited Walker's current ethical and legal problems, instead focusing on what she will do to bring jobs to the state.
As Scott Walker so eloquently stated in 2006, the people of Wisconsin do indeed, deserve better. We deserve better than seeing national headlines such as "Walker At Center Of Campaign Finance Criminal Conspiracy" . We deserve better than a Governor who thinks the law shouldn't apply to him. We deserve better than the prospect of seeing our state executive doing a perp-walk. We deserve a Governor who does not betray our trust.