The criminal corruption probe into illegal coordination between Scott Walker, his campaign, and outside third parties must continue.
That’s the argument the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is making as prosecutors and attorneys for right-wing special interests head to court today to make oral arguments before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the multi-year John Doe investigation into what a bipartisan group of prosecutors allege was a nationwide criminal scheme.
Prosecutors seek to overturn a lower court’s ruling that temporarily halted the investigation.
As the Journal Sentinel editorializes, “To put it charitably, Randa's decision was overzealous — a federal judge big-footing a state investigation. His remedy — stamping it out — was too severe for the alleged offense.”
The Journal Sentinel also argues that two pieces of information from the largely secretive corruption probe are “discouraging for democracy”: that Walker, the same governor who promised to run “the most transparent administration in the history of the world,” encouraged donors to funnel corporate donations through Wisconsin Club for Growth to avoid disclosure, and that Walker benefited from $700,000 in campaign cash from out-of-state mining special interests -- "certainly an appearance of corruption," according to a nonpartisan special investigator.
The latter point is also echoed by the Appleton Post Crescent in a scathing editorial that rips the “eye-opening,” “appalling” $700,000 donation from Gogebic Taconite (GTac).
“The court record has shown without a doubt that Scott Walker and RJ Johnson were involved in the biggest pay to play scheme in Wisconsin history. At minimum there is an appearance of corruption when wealthy special interests can donate huge sums of money and then write their own legislation,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. “We have faith that the court will allow the investigation to continue so that all Wisconsinites can have reassurance that their government is free from corruption.”