Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is diverting campaign donations to bankroll his legal defense fund. For what charges does he need a legal defense? He won’t say.
Walker’s latest campaign finance report reveals that he recently made two transfers totaling $100,000 toward a fund meant to protect him from a “John Doe” corruption investigation.
The three-year long investigation is targeting Walker employees who may have committed a host of corrupt activities — accusations include embezzlement, coercion, and use of taxpayer funds for campaign work. According to the Huffington Post, “Mike Tate, the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, says state law permits Walker to set up such a fund only if he is charged or under investigation for election or campaign violations.”
No one knows exactly if any allegations have been leveled against Walker, or what those might be. However, at the beginning of this year, a Walker appointee and staffer were both arrested and charged with felony embezzlement. Another Walker supporter — one of his funders — was convicted with exceeding campaign spending limits. Whatever Walker’s legal exposure, he is concerned enough to divert substantial campaign funds to his legal defense just days before the election.
Walker previously made another huge transfer of cash into the fund to pay his legal defense. The AP reports:
Walker’s latest campaign finance report filed with the state on Tuesday shows transfers of $70,000 and $30,000 out of his campaign account to the Scott Walker Trust. He previously transferred $60,000 into the account.
His Democratic challenger in Tuesday’s recall election Tom Barrett has repeatedly called on Walker to disclose who is paying for his legal defense fund. Walker has refused to say.
The Governor is required by law to have donors sign off on a transfer of funds, but the Walker campaign will not reveal who those people are. It has been a contentious issue in the lead up to the June 5 recall election, in which Walker has recently found himself in a dead heat, according to some polling. Other pools show Walker with a narrow lead.