Walker: Something ‘odd’ about revelation of probe of conservative supporters
Posted By Alex Pappas On 1:17 PM 11/19/2013
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told The Daily Caller on Tuesday he finds one thing suspicious about the recent revelations that a special prosecutor is quietly probing conservatives who supported him during the unsuccessful 2012 union-backed gubernatorial recall effort.
On October 7, Democrat Mary Burke announced she would run against Walker. Two weeks later, on Oct. 21, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported the existence of the investigation.
The probe was reportedly initiated by Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, who works for Democratic D.A. John T. Chisholm. The probe is overseen by Kenosha County Circuit Judge Barbara A. Kluka. The special prosecutor is reportedly Francis D. Schmitz, who went into private practice early this year after a nearly 30-year career at the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“The story that broke in the Milwaukee paper initially came about the same time the Democrats announced their first opponent [to run against me],” Walker said in an interview, referencing the first public story about the John Doe probe. “The timing of the story itself seemed odd.”
But Walker emphasized several times he doesn’t know enough about the investigation to be able to say whether he thinks the probe itself is odd, just the timing of the story. Walker is gearing up to run for re-election in 2014.
“I don’t have any information at all really that would lead me to believe it [is suspicious] other than the timing of [the story] coming out,” Walker told TheDC.
In an editorial this week, the Wall Street Journal disclosed details about “a special prosecutor [who] is targeting conservative groups that participated in the battle over Governor Scott Walker’s union reforms” and questioned whether this is another example of how “government enforcement power can be used to stifle political speech.”
Walker said he’s unsure if that’s the case.
“I don’t know,” the governor said. “The only thing it shows is it’s never dull in Wisconsin. Particularly around election time…But in this case, I learned a lot myself by just reading that editorial on Saturday. I’m really not in a position to be able to comment on it because I don’t know.”
The Republican governor made the comments as he is promoting his new book about the failed recall effort, “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.”
Check back later for more from TheDC’s interview with Walker.