Among the thousands of pages of emails released this week from the John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s Milwaukee County executive office were more examples of blurred lines between campaign and county business.
For example, in April 2010, Walker’s campaign manager Keith Gilkes sent Walker county aide Kelly Rindfleisch an email describing a meeting between Walker and an IBM executive.
“Can you call him and ensure he has everything that he needs? … I want to make sure we got them everything they were looking for from the CE Office,” Gilkes wrote, referring to the IBM executive. “Thanks – just want to make sure we keep them happy.”
The email doesn’t specify what IBM was looking for, though Rindfleisch responded the next morning indicating she had followed Gilkes’ instructions. The exchange took place over Rindfleisch’s private email account.
The emails also showed Walker aides providing inside information to Walker’s campaign treasurer, John Hiller, about a potential real estate deal. No charges were filed in the case.
Liberal group One Wisconsin Now accused Walker of “hypocrisy” because he was copied on those emails while at the same time promising on the campaign trail to “restore Wisconsin’s reputation for clean and honest government through transparency in the state contracting process.”
Walker’s campaign and IBM did not respond to requests for comment.
Little did we know that something we included in last week’s OTC column would trigger such a hair-raising response.
We admit, we were a bit nervous about writing the item, which detailed Walker’s comments during a visit to the State Journal about how his bald spot was actually started by a scar he got from banging his head on a kitchen cabinet door.
We expected hate mail telling us the governor’s bald spot wasn’t a story. Or readers telling us we were being insensitive.
Instead, bald spot tips started arriving . Critics were willing to go on-the-record to debunk Walker’s kitchen cabinet story.
One Wisconsin Now even accused the governor of a cover-up.
“Gov. Walker, that’s what guys in our mid-40s do, we lose our hair sometimes,” executive director Scot Ross said. “On issue after issue, Gov. Walker has made hair-raising excuses and offered bald-faced distortions.”
We’re not aware of additional public comments Walker has made about the bald spot lately, but the governor did have a bandaged thumb earlier this week. He told folks at a Wednesday event that he hurt it firing a gun, and his campaign wouldn’t elaborate Friday.
Still, the thumb hasn’t gotten nearly the same amount of attention as his bald spot, which was even the topic of a column by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writer Jim Stingl. His column taught us the bald spot actually has its own Facebook page, “Scott Walker’s Shiny Bald Spot.”
We’re ready to attribute the frenzy over Walker’s hair to silly season. That said, we may not be able to resist the urge to ask his wife, Tonette, about those cabinets at her next event.
Walker told supporters this week he needs their votes on Nov. 4 to counter angry Madison voters.
“There are a lot of people who love what we’ve done across the state. There are many people in Madison who are angry and they’re going to vote no matter what,” Walker said Thursday in Pewaukee, according to the Journal Sentinel. “We have got to make sure that people who love what we do understand they have to come out just as strong. If they do, we’ll win this election.”
His opponent, Democrat Mary Burke, a Madison resident and a member of its school board, said she doesn’t think Madison voters are driven by anger.
“I think people are looking at the next four years and seeing whether they have leadership that is going to move Wisconsin forward. And that’s what I think motivates people to go out and vote,” Burke said in Milwaukee, the newspaper reported.