More John Doe Revelations: Secret Network Messages Discuss “Political Operation” in Walker’s Administration

Mar 21, 2012

MADISON – Transcripts released yesterday as part of the criminal prosecution of former Scott Walker aide and fundraiser Kelly Rindfleisch for four felony counts of illegal campaigning from Scott Walker’s office reveal even more details about the extent to which Walker’s administration was set up as a political machine.

Documents previously released in the John Doe criminal corruption probe that has led to criminal charges against six of Scott Walker’s top aides and advisers showed that employees in Walker’s administration were using a secret email network, set up just steps away from Walker’s desk, to subvert open records laws and conduct illegal campaign activity on behalf of Walker’s campaign and that of his preferred Lt. Governor candidate, Brett Davis.

The latest documents reveal internet chats between Rindfleisch and top Walker adviser and former Chief of Staff Jim Villa.

In the chats, Villa reassured Rindfleisch that she has the “political chops” to handle her promotion to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff to Walker and alludes to Rindfleisch working successfully with Walker’s campaign staff while at her county post.

As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“YOU are the political operation in that office now; Tom is an IDIOT,” Villa writes. He doesn’t identify who Tom is, but the only Tom working in Walker’s county office at the time was Nardelli.”

“Villa opines in the online chat that “Keith will work better with you than with Tim” Russell. The transcripts don’t spell out who Keith is, but hint at a direct connection between Walker’s campaign staff and his county staff. Walker’s campaign manager was Keith Gilkes.”

“Evidence that Scott Walker’s County administration was focused not on doing the taxpayers’ business, but on preserving a shadow government that laid a crooked path for Scott Walker’s eventual march to power, continues to pile up,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Thursday. “The more we learn, the more its clear why Scott Walker is the first governor in Wisconsin history to require a criminal defense fund.”