Scandal-tainted Scott Walker’s fortunes grew even dimmer yesterday when newly released documents showed that prosecutors have alleged he was at the center of a criminal scheme to evade Wisconsin election laws. Now, Walker is coming out firing, claiming that the accusations are nothing more than unfounded partisan attacks, and pointing to a ruling from a state judge and a ruling from a federal judge that’s under appeal
Only there’s one catch. The federal judge who halted the original campaign finance probe against Walker, Rudolph Randa, has attended multiple expense-paid judicial summits funded by Koch brothers’ groups who explicitly fight against campaign finance laws. Those would be the same Koch brothers who poured money into the very Pro-Walker outside groups that lie at the heart of this investigation.
And Judge Randa didn’t just halt the probe. He originally ordered prosecutors to destroy the evidence they had obtained. But according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “the appeals court found he couldn’t issue such an irreversible order in the early stages of the case.” What’s more, Randa’s assistant is married to a Walker campaign attorney.
Yes, Scott Walker has been temporarily cleared of wrongdoing by a federal judge. A federal judge who is part of the same shadowy conservative network as Walker, the Koch brothers, and the outside groups that helped flood the Wisconsin recall elections with dark money; and a federal judge who seems extremely eager to make this case go away.
John Doe Judge Attended Expenses Paid Junkets Funded By Koch Brothers
Judge Who Paused John Doe Probe Into Walker Campaign Finance Regularly Attended Expenses –Paid Judicial Conferences Funded By The Koch Brothers. According to The Center For Public Integrity, “The federal judge who ordered an end to an investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and conservative groups during two recent recall elections regularly attended expenses-paid judicial conferences sponsored by conservative organizations including the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation — groups that have funded efforts against campaign finance reform.” [Center For Public Integrity, 5/27/14]
Order Stopping John Doe Probe Was Originally Found To Be Illegitimate;
Judge Randa’s Original Motion To Stop The John Doe Probe Was Blocked By The 7th Circuit Court Of Appeals; Court Said Randa Lacked The Authority To Issue The Order. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “The on-again, off-again investigation of campaign spending during Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall election was halted Thursday for the second time in less than 48 hours. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa in Milwaukee stopped the secret probe Tuesday night, but that order was blocked Wednesday by a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. That court said Randa didn’t have the authority to make Tuesday’s decision but gave him a road map to reissue his order — and on Thursday he did so.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/8/14]
Randa Originally Ordered Prosecutors To Destroy Evidence; Appeals Court Found He Couldn’t Issue An Irreversible Order So Early In The Case. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Randa’s first injunction told prosecutors to return material they had seized from conservative groups and destroy their copies of it. The appeals court found he couldn’t issue such an irreversible order in the early stages of the case, and Randa’s latest order does not include that provision.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/8/14]
Judge’s Decision Overturned Core Of Wisconsin’s Campaign Finance Law
Campaign Finance Attorney Said Randa’s Decision Ignored Years Of Settled Law, “Undoes The Guts Of Campaign Finance Law And Creates Total Uncertainty In The Months Before The (November 2014) Gubernatorial Race,” According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “But Jeremy Levinson, a Democratic campaign finance attorney in Milwaukee, said Randa ignored years of settled law and opened the door to large unlimited donations that could skirt oversight. ‘It provides for the massive financial support of campaigns in a way that can be kept separate and is not subject to any oversight or limits,’ Levinson said. This ‘undoes the guts of campaign finance law and creates total uncertainty in the months before the (November 2014) gubernatorial race,’ Levinson said.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/8/14]
Husband Of Assistant To John Doe Judge Was A Walker Campaign Attorney
Wife Of Walker Campaign Attorney Worked As Assistant For Judge Randa. According to The Wisconsin State Journal “An assistant to the federal judge who ordered a halt to the state’s secret investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination between Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative groups is married to a lawyer for Walker’s campaign — which could be grounds for a judge to step down from a case. Steven Biskupic, a former U.S. attorney who is representing a party in the secretive John Doe probe, wouldn’t say Thursday whether his wife Cary Biskupic’s employment with Judge Rudolph Randa posed a conflict of interest.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 5/9/14]