Caging, Schmoozing, And Catching Up With Walker’s Email
Gee, the last time I looked, “caging” voters could get you into a heap of legal trouble*:
Emails released this week appear to show Governor Scott Walker’s top aides engaging in an illegal scheme to “cage” Wisconsin voters in the weeks ahead of the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Voter caging is an illegal campaign practice used to purge voters from the rolls. Neighborhoods with large minority concentrations are most typically targeted by caging operations.
On page 15,037 of WalkerDocs 1, an email exchange between Walker staffers Kelly Rindfleisch and Nicole Simmons spells it out pretty plainly.”If you come this Saturday I can show you how to cage,” Simmons writes. “That will be priority on the weekend.”
Another email, on page 1,321 of WalkerDocs 2, shows Walker’s chief of staff Keith Gilkes ordering Rindfleisch, Fran McLaughlin and Dorothy Moore to bring friends who can help with the caging effort.
Meanwhile, the then-candidate for governor
from Koch Industries of Wisconsin was pushing county employees and campaign staff to act as his publicists:
In the heat of the 2010 governor’s race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show.
It was just such anonymous posts by a county worker on campaign issues that prompted prosecutors to expand a secret “John Doe” investigation — launched to probe into missing money in a veterans fund — to also examine whether taxpayer dollars were being used illegally to finance political operations.
In one instance in May 2010, for example, a close ally posted online a portion of a Walker email almost verbatim on a Journal Sentinel story just minutes after receiving the directive. Walker had sent the note to an inner circle that included county administrators as well as campaign operatives.
Tapping out a message on his campaign Blackberry on the afternoon of May 4, 2010, Walker urged county aides, campaign staffers and other trusted volunteers to go to an online Journal Sentinel business story and respond to critics of his plan to privatize the airport in the comments section below the story.
And this morning, as Alan pointed out, things did not go well for Scott on FOX News Sunday:
WALLACE: Did you have your own private e-mail account?
WALKER: It’s one of those where I point out district attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues.
WALLACE: But sir, you’re not answering my question.
WALKER: No, because I’m not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information.
One thing is certain: Scott Walker will never rise to the Francis J. Underwood league.
* Hat tip: Crooks & Liars