This morning, over nearly 27,000 emails from the first Milwaukee County John Doe investigation into former Gov. Scott Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch will be released. And Democrats are foaming at the mouth to get ahold of them in hopes of finding anything to tar Gov. Walker. They are not even waiting for the "evidence" to materialize before using the emails to shake down donors for thousands of dollars.
DPW alleged in a Tuesday email that the new RGA ad targeting Burke is meant "to distract from whatever is going to be revealed in connection to the John Doe criminal corruption probe."
And the American Bridge PAC - a national opposition research outfit already pledged to support Hillary Clinton in 2016 is arriving on the scene to assist in the effort to mine the trove for damaging emails.
A memo from American Bridge President Brad Woodhouse documents exactly what Democrats will be looking for in the digital trove. "How much involvement did Walker have in the mixing of county government and campaign business by his staff? Do emails with his staff support Walker’s claims that he was unaware of their corrupt and illegal actions? Did Walker himself use the "secret email network"? Was Walker involved in his campaign’s attempt to delay responding to public information requests related to the O’Donnell Park tragedy?"
The release of the emails will be ugly and embarrassing. But remember, Walker was not indicted. So Democrats will mine the documents to try and find anything that they can use to tar, smear, and insinuate.
It is undeniable that the John Doe investigation is integrally linked with a Democratic political strategy.
In Tom Barrett’s 2012 recall campaign, smearing Walker with the John Doe became a central theme in the final weeks of the campaign. Democratic spokesman Graeme Zielinski peddled the lie to reporters that Gov. Walker’s indictment was imminent. Barrett’s last gambit was to demand John Doe emails. The final ads of the campaign all insinuated corruption and crime.
But none of it worked. Gov. Walker won by 7 points.
Going all-in on the John Doe is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Democrats desperately hope that a criminal investigation can do what they and their candidates have failed twice to do - to remove Walker from office. If nothing else, it is hammer to wield and allege corruption and criminal wrongdoing - a strong charge.
But by going all in, Democrats surrender the issues that matter to voters. Tom Barrett desperately turned to the Doe when the economic picture in Wisconsin improved and Act 10 was no longer the hot button issue.
Thus far, Mary Burke has been reluctant to mention the John Doe. She has left that to others and attempted to focus on jobs, debt, and the minimum wage. But, as the economy improves and the tax cuts pass the legislature, it seems unlikely that Burke will be able to resist going all-in on the John Doe.
Scott Walker = Chris Christie?
"What does one scandal-plagued Republican governor say to the other?" starts a Democratic Party of Wisconsin email from Melissa Baldauff. "Send more money."
A follow-up email on Tuesday says, "Clearly Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and their deep-pocketed friends in DC are scared that another scandal is about to start making headlines."
"Here we go again," wrote Brad Woodhouse of the American Bridge PAC on Tuesday. "A Republican governor under investigation. Again."
The strategy here is obvious. Gov. Chris Christie leads the Republican Governors Association (RGA). RGA began running an ad attacking Mary Burke this week. Therefore, it’s Chris Christie to the rescue.
Add in that Gov. Christie is navigating his way through the "Bridge-gate" investigation and Gov. Walker has a John Doe investigation lurking - Democrats just can’t help themselves.
This is a two birds with one stone strategy. Both Christie and Walker are legitimate contenders for the GOP nomination in 2016. So why not connect the two and try and drag them both down.
The interest of American Bridge, a group already pledged to support Hillary, makes the strategy clear. This isn’t about 2014 - it’s about 2016.
Rep. Gwen Moore was Wisconsin’s Most Truant Member of Congress in 2013
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI-04) missed more votes in 2013 than any other member of the Wisconsin delegation to Congress. According to GovTrack, Moore missed 5.9% (38 of 641) of last years votes.
To her credit, this is an improvement on the 12.2% of votes she missed in 2012.
GovTrack says that since 2005, Moore has missed 4.8% of votes which is worse than the average of 2.3% held by all members of Congress.
In 2013, Moore was followed by Rep. Ron Kind (3.3%), Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (2.3%), Rep. Sean Duffy (1.9%), Rep. Reid Ribble (1.1%), Rep. Paul Ryan (0.3%), Rep. Mark Pocan (0.2%), and Rep. Tom Petri (0.0).
After Monday’s Roth Report floated the names of potential conservative primary challenges to Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI-06), Petri took on the ethics cloud surrounding his stock purchases. I suggested an House Ethics Committee investigation might cause Petri to retire. Instead, Petri is taking a firm and confident approach by asking for the investigation himself. Keep an eye on this situation.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has a pretty slick new campaign website. As Clarke faces a Democratic primary from the Left, Clarke’s campaign will draw on the theme of "The People’s Sheriff."
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the NAACP/Voces de la Frontera lawsuit against Wisconsin’s Voter ID law for February 25.Disgraced Hawks Quindel attorney Richard Saks, last seen in the headlines for his arrest with a prostitute possessing crack, remains the lead attorney.
Democratic candidate for Attorney General Ismael Ozanne’s campaign appears to be in disarray. His two most senior advisers left the campaign on Tuesday.
American Majority reports that all 66 of their trained candidates in Wisconsin advanced to the April 1 primary. American Majority has been actively building the conservative bench at the local level with tremendous success.