Monday, January 09, 2012

The Latest John Doe News and Things to Consider

People all over the state have been talking about the latest John Doe news that broke last week. Many people are speculating about many different things but in the end there are only a handful of people that actually know what is really happening. I certainly don't claim to have any special insight into the status and direction of the John Doe but I do have my share of questions. I also think that there are several important things to at least consider. So permit me to think out loud for a moment.

General John Doe

  1. The investigation is ongoing: I know that Walker fanatics want to believe that the John Doe is over but there is nothing besides their own wishful thinking that indicates it. The beginning of Tim Russell's criminal complaint says as much, even if indirectly. It explains that a John Doe is a secret proceeding but that the responsible judge has allowed the details from last week to come out so that charges could be filed. Further, the district attorney continues to refer to the John Doe as an "ongoing" investigation. And he refuses to answer questions regarding the larger investigation for that very reason.
  2. The other involved parties: If this John Doe were only about the charges that were issued last week, then how do we explain some of the other involved parties thus far? There are several that don't' appear to have anything to do with the Operation Freedom funds or any of the other charges issued last week. What about Cullen Werwie and others getting immunity? What about Jensen, the real estate big wig, getting arrested? What about Cynthia Archer's home being searched by the FBI? What do any of them have to do with the charges from last week? I can't think of anything, so what other elements of the investigation are they connected to?
  3. The other conviction: Remember that there has already been a conviction in the John Doe and it had nothing to do with the charges that were filed last week. That again indicates that this investigation is very broad and not solely about one specific issue.
  4. Still no Walker interview? Am I the only one that finds it odd that Scott Walker has still not been interviewed in this John Doe investigation? Given what we already know it would only make sense that he would have been interviewed by now. But he insists that has not happened and I'm wondering why?
  5. What's up with the legal bills? The Walker campaign's last filing shows a large burst of spending on lawyers toward the end of the filing period. They paid nearly $60,000 to the firm that was hired late in 2010 to respond to questions raised by a John Doe. Money speaks and this large stash of money tells me that Walker's campaign is concerned about the John Doe regardless of what they say in a press conference.

Specific to Operation Freedom Funds

  1. Kevin Kavanaugh Questions: Some members of the Walker administration apparently became suspicious about Operation Freedom funds sometime in 2008. One of them didn't report anything to the district attorney until mid-2009. If they were suspicious enough to actually report it in 2009, why would Walker go on to put Kavanaugh on his "Veterans for Walker" leadership team in 2010? We know that Walker appointed Kavanaugh to the Milwaukee County Veteran's Service Board but how long did he allow him to serve? Did he allow him to continue serving even after financial questions arose? Why?
  2. Tim Russell Questions: I still don't think that we have received an adequate answer for exactly why Walker moved the bookkeeping for Operation Freedom from an American Legion post that did an "exemplary" job to that of his longtime political crony Tim Russell. Furthermore, if he was going to make that move why didn't Walker require at least some level of oversight over Russell? If the board for Russell's org was made up of fake members then clearly Walker didn't require even basic oversight measures.
  3. Point of Order: Remember, someone from the Walker admin reported problems before they moved the money to Russell. There is no indication that Walker's administration had anything to do with the detection of the issues with Russell's handling of funds. So kindly stop giving him credit for something that he apparently didn't do.

More Reading: John Doe rips open Walker’s ugly patterns

1 comment:

Larry StCroix said...

So far as why Walker does things, a mixture of stupidity and arrogance