The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the largest paper in the state, is today calling for Scott Walker to cut ties with Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Gary Ellerman.
Gary Ellerman is a former Human Resources executive for Trek who was fired by the successful Wisconsin bike manufacturer in 2004. Ellerman was the sole source for a desperate, false, last minute smear campaign against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. The GOP operative, who once ran as a fake Democratic candidate during the State Senate recall elections, has a bone to pick with the Burke family and a partisan motivation for going on the record less than a week before Election Day.
Ellerman's GOP fanaticism runs deep, as he reportedly had a Facebook page filled with racist, homophobic, bigoted postings about Democrats and President Barack Obama.
Those elements of Ellerman's history prompted the Journal Sentinel editorial board to call for Walker to demand Ellerman's resignation from his position as a county chair, writing, "The problem is poor judgment, and Walker shouldn’t tolerate it in a party leader."
This isn't the first time Walker's close allies have come under fire for unacceptable or even criminal behavior. Six of Walker's long-time trusted aides were charged with crimes in the first John Doe investigation with four of those aides seeing the inside of a prison cell as a result.
A document release from the first John Doe investigation revealed disturbing racist and sexist emails from top Walker-aides which went unchecked by Scott Walker or any members of his administration.
Walker's record of associating himself with individuals who practice vile, disgusting behaviors prompted the Journal Sentinel to look past the transparent intentions of Gary Ellerman and the Republican Party and ask important questions about Walker's feelings about Ellerman's deeply offensive social media practices, "Does Walker condone that in a county chairman of his party?" the paper asks.
The Journal Sentinel asks a question which deserves an answer as Walker asks the people of Wisconsin for another four years as governor. Walker's first term has been chock-full of scandal, divisiveness, and extremity - that's not the Wisconsin way, and neither are the racist, bigoted views posted by Ellerman online.
"Scott Walker owes the people of Wisconsin answers to the questions posed by the Journal Sentinel editorial board today. For instance, does he agree with Gary Ellerman's offensive, slanderous posts about both the President and First Lady of the United States?" said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate on Friday. "This is a close race, and desperate parties do desperate things, but this has no place in Wisconsin politics. Unless Walker agrees with Gary Ellerman's views he should denounce Ellerman's claims immediately and demand he resign from his leadership position in the Republican Party."