It was big breaking news in February when Scott Walker revealed to the world that he had retained defense attorneys in relation to the on-going John Doe investigation of his campaign staff during his time as county exec.
Today the plot thickened. It turns out that Walker had retained those attorneys well before February of this year. He hired them sometime last year. Today we learned that Scott Walker paid his criminal defense attorneys $55,000 this year alone. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reports:
Gov. Scott Walker personally owed the law firms for his two criminal defense lawyers more than $55,000 at the end of 2011, according to his recently filed financial disclosure statement.
Walker said in Feburary that he had hired former federal prosecutor John Gallo and Milwaukee defense attorney Michael Steinle to assist him with the ongoing John Doe investigation into activities during Walker's tenure as county executive.
But the first-term Republican governor must have retained the pair long before he made it public.
As of Dec. 31, Walker owed more than $50,000 to Sidley Austin, a large Chicago-based firm that employs Gallo. Walker also disclosed that he owed between $5,000 and $50,000 to Terschan, Steinle & Ness, the Milwaukee firm where Steinle is a partner.
The state requires public officials and political candidates to disclose in the annual statement any creditor to which they owe more than $5,000. Wisconsin officials and candidates then must say whether the debt is greater than or up to $50,000.
As our friend Ruth Coniff of the Progressive Magazine has told us, Scott Walker's biggest problem for the recall is his close association with this on-going John Doe investigation. John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for the Nation Magazine, calls this development "VERY interesting and significant".
Meanwhile, out in Washington State, the Republican candidate for Governor is making sure his state's residents know he has nothing to do with Gov. Walker.
Rob McKenna, the two-term attorney general who is aiming to become the Evergreen State’s first Republican governor in more than 30 years, told a gathering of Puget Sound Carpenters last week that he’ll strive for a “positive relationship between labor and management,” even lamenting the agenda pursued by Walker.
“We need to have a good strong relationship between labor and management in this state,” McKenna said at the April 11 meeting, according to the audio that was secretly recorded. “Now unfortunately because of a couple of governors — particularly Scott Walker — everyone thinks that someone who’s going to be a Republican governor, they’re going to be Scott Walker. I’m not Scott Walker. This is not Wisconsin. This is Washington state.”
We're not sure this McKenna guy would be any good for his home state, but we sure think he's doing the right thing distancing himself from Walker.