Dan Cody at Left on the Lake was first to point out that a business owner that was awarded a cleaning contract by Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, is also a large donor to Walker's campaign. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was not far behind with a story today that also highlights the donations to Walker. These developments have caused at least one conservative blogger to call out Scott Walker on the issue. This incident is certainly not the first time that Walker actions have not passed the smell test. Consider below, what is just a small sampling of typical Walker funny business:
- Spivak and Bice reported in 2002 about Scott Walker's heavy handed approach to fundraising from lobbyists to aid his first run for Milwaukee County Executive. In that story they compare Walker's fundraising approach to famous bank robber Willie Sutton. At that time, lobbyists (including Republican ones) claimed that although he didn't issue explicit threats, the implication was still very clear. Walker called the lobbyists asking for campaign cash reminding them that if he didn't win as Milwaukee County Executive, he would still be a state legislator. When questioned about the allegations (which included a recording of his "pitch") Walker tripped over his words and admitted, "I should be more clear about my pitch about county government."
- After first being elected County Executive, Scott Walker received an "F" by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for his campaign finance disclosures. The grades were based on the total number and value of improperly reported contributions. This has been a continual issue with Walker and his record according to WDC didn't exactly improve in 2005. This problematic pattern resurfaced again this year, as discovered by One Wisconsin Now. These kinds of violations are important because they keep watchdogs from identifying questionable issues such as the current one.
- In 2003 Scott Walker awarded a $389,000 contract to Bear Stearns, which was locally managed by the later-indicted P. Nicholas Hurtgen. Soon after the awarding of the contract, Hurtgen helped arrange two fundraisers worth $25,000 for Walker's reelection campaign. A 2004 investigation found that the Bear Stearns contract had been awarded improperly. They won the contract even though their bid cost $90,000 more than a competing company. When public records were sought during that investigation, it was found that most were either "lost" or destroyed.
Scott Walker promised to clean things up in Milwaukee County but he has actually done the exact opposite. To those that have been paying attention over the last seven years, this latest questionable incident is just the latest chapter in the story about Scott Walker's self serving behaviors. It has been pretty clear to me that he is more concerned with winning the next election than with good and open governance. When people try to examine his actions, he goes to the greatest lengths to obstruct them (including the County Board). I'm sure that this is because Walker knows that most of his questionable actions just won't pass the public's smell test.
UPDATE: Capper gives us more detail pointing out who is actually "cleaning up" at the courthouse.