With apologies to Winston Churchill, the ongoing John Doe investigation surrounding Gov. Scott Walker is quickly turning into a riddle, shrouded in mystery and hidden in an armoire. Every new revelation just brings more questions.
On Thursday two former Walker aides were charged with illegal fundraising and campaigning on Milwaukee County's dime.
Kelly Rindfleisch, 43, is accused of doing political campaign work for Lt. Gov. candidate Brett Davis while working for Walker in Milwaukee County. Darlene Wink, 61, is accused of arranging fundraisers and "robo-calls" and writing campaign-related press releases in 2009 while working in the Milwaukee County executive's office.
Much of this was accomplished, investigators say, with a secret computer system used by Walker insiders. They kept some of the computer equipment in an armoire in Rindfleisch's office.
Buried in the complaints filed by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and a court settlement agreement with Wink are a series of revelations and accusations that range from illegal to unsightly.
But there is one revelation that while not illegal, could certainly be uncomfortable. It turns out that Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch really was not the Walker campaign's first choice for running mate.
Investigators found email after email in which it was made clear that Davis, then a state representative, was the favored candidate for the Friends of Scott Walker committee and Walker's campaign manager, Keith Gilkes.
Walker has said he voted for Kleefisch. We guess it's possible that the governor voted against the wishes, and efforts, of his own campaign staff. Anything is possible.
Speaking of uncomfortable:
Biggest grifters in the west
Sen. Mike Ellis might have to tread lightly around the Capitol for a few days. The Republican from Neenah was recorded recently in a bar (uh oh) having dinner and drinks with fellow lawmakers, including state Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester.
In the course of more than seven minutes of video, Ellis managed to offend a school in Green Bay and the two most powerful lawmakers in the Legislature.
Ellis called Green Bay's Preble High School a "sewer" and accused Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, of being the "biggest grifters in the west."
Now, there but for the grace of God goes OTC. We certainly have made our fair share of regrettable statements in bars. Fortunately we aren't nearly as well known, or as interesting, as Ellis.
The senator has apologized to the school, saying "Boy, did I miss the mark. I apologize, and I have sent a letter apologizing. It is not a failing school."
So far, no word on whether he has extended the same courtesy to the Fitzgerald Boys.