Wow. Thanks to courageous and thorough investigative reporting from The Guardian, which received a leak of thousands of John Doe documents, the public can finally see the extent to which Gov. Walker coordinated and fundraised for third party conservative groups like the Wisconsin Club for Growth during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections.
The leak reveals that Scott Walker targeted super-rich millionaires and billionaires, many from out-of-state, and asked them specifically to help him out by donating to Wisconsin Club for Growth. By donating to Wisconsin Club for Growth, instead of Scott Walker’s election campaign, donors could avoid campaign contribution limits and their donations could remain private, shielded from public scrutiny.
The collaborative network was set up to drown out the voices of average citizens and aid state lawmakers facing recall elections, prop up David Prosser running for Supreme Court Justice, and help Scott Walker facing a recall.
The amounts raised are staggering. We’re talking checks for tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars.
The leak raises legitimate concerns about the influence of corporations and the super-rich on our democracy. One example exposed in the leak is that manufacturers of lead paint donated $750,000 to Walker’s chosen third party groupand shortly thereafter Scott Walker and GOP legislators changed state liability laws to favor lead paint manufacturers, shielding them from being held accountable for poisoning children.
Scott Walker’s action are corrupt and without a shred of ethics. Tapping billionaires for his favorite third party group and then returning the favor with policy paybacks changes should alarm every person even those who voted for him.
As the labor movement, we will continue to serve as a check to corporate power and greed in the workplace and in our democracy. Together, we will continue to hold Scott Walker accountable to the people of Wisconsin.