Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is claiming that the release of a huge volume of internal documents conveyed via a secret e-mail system is “old news.” He claims the investigation and court case have been decided and so it should be of no interest to anyone. According to the breaking Associated Press (AP) story, six former associates and aides of Walker who were convicted had been investigated for executing campaign work while they should have been conducting official Milwaukee County business.
The controversial Republican, who made news shortly after he became governor in 2010, was the county executive during his run for governor. According to a March, 2011 story in the Washington Post, one of his first broad actions was to present sign into law a bill that cut collective bargaining for state employees. The move prompted statewide protests and had even been met with a remarkable action by 14 state Senate Democrats who took up temporary residence outside the state in an attempt to block the bill by preventing a quorum.
The law was ultimately passed and sparked a national debate regarding the future of the middle class as well as the wages and worker’s rights and compensation. The law was said to target teachers above all else, and according to MSNBC has made Walker a significant opponent to organized labor.
In 2013, Walker sought to target police and firefighters unions, groups which he had initially spared in 2011 and which had formally endorsed him for his run in 2010. When the news broke of his intention, he appeared to back-pedal a bit and said that he didn’t have anything specific that he was promoting.
In this latest event, he has attempted to dismiss the release of the documents by telling reporters that the issue is “old news” and that since the decisions have been made, there is no reason to discuss it any longer. What he wouldn’t discuss is that few media outside local papers discussed the case and that the release of the thousands of documents makes it news.
Although six people said to be professionally related to Walker were convicted in 2013, Walker was not charged. He has compared his case being closed and therefore “old news” to embattled Governor Chris Christie’s present ordeal just getting started.
Christie and a number of his current and former aides and boyhood friends are currently under investigation for what appears to be an unwarranted and intentional closure of the new Jersey side of the George Washington bridge. The Jersey side is in Fort Lee and the other is in New York City. The event caused a massive traffic delay for at least three days in September, 2013.
It is unknown why Walker chose such an analogy. It is known that both Walker and Christie are considering a run for U.S. President in 2016.
The recently released documents are said to number approximately 28,000 pages and according to the Wisconsin community newspaper Leader-Telegram, show a significantly different picture of Walker’s management style during his run for governor while he was a county official. Walker has for the last two years denied any wrong-doing with respect to campaign activity despite three former aides being convicted of using the secret e-mail system that he is calling “old news.” The three aides were among the six convicted.
By Randall Fleming
Follow Randall Fleming on Twitter: #BreweryObserver