Court documents released Friday provided new details on Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign, including some insight into the role of the governor himself, as prosecutors probe whether the campaign illegally worked with outside groups.
Court documents filed by prosecutors back in June placed Walker at the center of a “criminal scheme” in which his campaign illegally coordinated with as many as 12 outside conservative groups in 2011 and 2012. They later said that Walker was “not a target of the investigation,” but the legal probe into the campaign has continued.
The New York Times reported Friday on newly released emails from the investigation. In particular, the emails point to the Walker campaign’s close relationship with the Wisconsin chapter of the conservative mega-group Club for Growth.
“Stress that donations to WiCFG are not disclosed and can accept corporate donations without limits,” said one alleged 2011 email to Walker from adviser Kelly Rindfleisch as he prepared for a fundraising trip. “Let them know that you can accept corporate contributions and it is not reported.”
There were also alleged emails among Walker aides that hinted at the extent of Walker’s role, per the Times.
“As the governor discussed … he wants all the issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging,” Kate Doner, a Walker consultant, wrote another adviser. “We had some past problems with multiple groups doing work on ‘behalf’ of Gov. Walker and it caused some issues.”
Walker aides urged the campaign to take money from the billionaire Koch Brothers and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. “Ask for $1m now,” Doner told Walker in an email as he prepared to visit Adelson in Las Vegas.
Walker’s current campaign, which is locked in a tight race with Democratic candidate Mary Burke, dismissed the significance of the emails to the Times.
“As previously reported, the prosecutor’s attorney stated that Gov. Walker is not a target, two separate judges have dismissed the allegations, and the Friends of Scott Walker campaign is not a party to the lawsuit in the Seventh Circuit,” said a campaign spokeswoman, Alleigh Marre.