Scott Walker Ex-Aide's E-Mails: How Damaging?

Suddenly, Gov. Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin has hit a bump in the road on his way to an expected presidential campaign.

The release of 28,000 pages of documents connected with two criminal investigations involving former aides has put Governor Walker in an uncomfortable spot. And it has opened the door to efforts by Democrats, and some in the media, to paint him with the same broad brush as Gov. Chris Christie (R) of New Jersey, who faces legal scrutiny over the misdeeds of aides. 

The documents, released Wednesday, showed how, in 2010, aides to then-Milwaukee County Executive Walker worked on his gubernatorial campaign while doing their government jobs, which is against the law. In all, six aides and allies were convicted, including two for doing campaign work on county time. Walker was never a target of investigation and has denied wrongdoing.

In addition, a new investigation launched by prosecutors in five Wisconsin counties is believed to be under way into whether his recall campaign in 2012 illegally coordinated with outside groups. In Wisconsin, people connected with such an inquiry – called a “John Doe investigation” – are generally not allowed to discuss it in public.

“The real test for Walker is how he handles this new scrutiny of the old investigation and answers questions about these investigations,” says Ford O’Connell, president of the conservative Civic Forum PAC. “Remember, he has to be thinking not just about his reelection, but also how what he says now will look two years down the line.”

“Right now, you’re watching the bull’s-eye move from Christie’s back to Walker’s back,” says Mr. O’Connell.  “He’s someone with potential who, at least in the primary, can unite white-collar and blue-collar voters. That scares a lot of Democrats.” 

Read more from Linda Feldmann at The Christian Science Monitor

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