If We're Lucky, All The 2016 GOP Candidates Could Land In Jail Before The Election


Did you guys know it is hella tough to bring the funny when it comes to campaign finance scandals, because you have to explain coordination and superPACs and oh Christ we're bored already. We'll make an exception, though, for this bit of finance fuckery -- possibly maybe criminal finance fuckery! -- involving Scott Walker, because who wants to pass up an opportunity to bash Scott Walker? Certainly not yr Wonkette.

So Scott Walker's cronies have been under investigation forfuckingever, and it seemed like we were circling ever closer to a genuine bit of illegality on Scott Walker's part. Now, Scott Walker was not really down with all this investigating, so he kept begging judges to shut it down, and now there's a super-complicated procedural history to deal with and oh look we dozed off again and we're just going to have to cut and paste the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explaining that part.

Federal Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook unsealed the court documents Thursday as he reviews a lawsuit attempting to end the John Doe probe. Two unnamed individuals this week tried to intervene in the case to prevent the release of the records, but Easterbrook rebuffed their request.

The lawsuit was brought by Wisconsin Club for Growth and one of its directors, Eric O'Keefe. They allege the probe has violated their First Amendment rights to free expression. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa ruled last month to halt the investigation.

Did you follow all that? Us neither, really. All we care about is that there are now a whole bunch of documents floating around that basically say that Scott Walker was at the center of a criminal enterprise illegally coordinating campaign fundraising when he was trying to beat back that pesky recall election a few years ago. Not only did Walker and his staff ALLEGEDLY WE TOTALLY SAID ALLEGEDLY control the spending of external groups, they also bragged about it via email. Why is this thing so hard for politicians and their cronyfriends to learn? If you are going to do evil and/or illegal shit, do not brag about it in your emails!

The documents include an excerpt from an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove [...] that [Walker staffer R.J.] Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also Walker's longtime campaign strategist and the chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a prominent conservative group.

"Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities)," Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011.

Why do we care about this, particularly given that it is hard to understand and, truth be told, kinda boring? Besides, of course, the fact that we're deeply excited by anything that raises even the remotest possibility that Karl Rove could rot in jail? Because this is exactly the sort of thing that the Supreme Court told us wouldn't happen when they opened the Pandora's box that was Citizens' United.

In his 5 to 4 majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that outside groups running “independent” campaign ads would not lead to corruption or even the appearance of corruption. “The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy. By definition, an independent expenditure is political speech presented to the electorate that is not coordinated with a candidate,” he argued.

Justice Scalia made Justice Kennedy edit out the rest of that portion of the opinion, which was just "jk lol" written 100 times.

So if there's any justice in the world, this sort of ALLEGED criminal activity might be a blow to Scott Walker's possible 2016 run, but let's face it, this is probably considered a virtue for the GOP base.

Speaking of 2016 prospects, things apparently aren't looking up for Chris Christie these days either.

Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, wades through the sewage of Christie’s stewardship. Two sources with intimate knowledge of the case say Fishman’s pace is quickening -- he has empaneled a second grand jury, and the U.S. Justice Department has sent assistant prosecutors and FBI agents to work the case.

Couldn't happen to a nicer pair of guys, really. Ladies and Gentlemen, your modern GOP. Maybe we should be taking bets on who gets indicted first.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Esquire/Think Progress]


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