Washington, D.C.—CREW’s voters already named Wisconsin’s Scott Walker the Worst Governor in America last year, but the Badger State Republican still found a way to sink lower. As evidence piles up suggesting that the governor and his aides illegally coordinated with outside groups to beat a recall effort, Gov. Walker’s political operation once again finds itself in the crosshairs of a criminal investigation. For apparently failing to learn his lesson after the first time CREW called him out, Gov. Walker earned the title of August’s Scoundrel of the Month.
Prosecutors in Wisconsin are investigating whether Gov. Walker and his staff illegally circumvented the state’s campaign contribution limits by coordinating campaign activity with outside groups during a 2012 recall election. Gov. Walker’s allies have repeatedly condemned the investigation as a partisan witch hunt by the state’s Democrats. Documents released last month, however, show Gov. Walker and his aides were deeply involved in fundraising for groups supporting his campaign, especially the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Aides to the governor advised him to solicit donations to the group from major Republican donors, including the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson.
“Rather than address the evidence of his campaign’s wrongdoing, Gov. Walker’s cronies took a page out of the Rick Perry playbook and claimed a partisan conspiracy. There is nothing partisan about ensuring candidates for office follow the law, and the real question is why Scott Walker and his buddies find it so hard to do so,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said.
Illegal activity connected to Gov. Walker’s campaign is nothing new. As CREW detailed in its Worst Governors in America report, prosecutors spent years investigating Gov. Walker’s first campaign for governor in 2010, while he was Milwaukee County Executive. The probe uncovered evidence that aides to Gov. Walker in the county executive’s office engaged in campaign activity on official time, while a donor offered to illegally reimburse employees for donations to Gov. Walker’s campaign. The investigation resulted in several convictions, although Gov. Walker maintained that he was unaware of his aides’ misconduct.
Nominations are already being accepted for September’s Scoundrel of the Month. People, entities, and agencies are all eligible. Submit your choices by Friday, September 26th. Voting will begin the following week.