Gov. Scott Walker transferred $40,000 from his campaign account to his legal defense fund on the last day of 2012, according to his latest finance report.
The transfer to the Scott Walker Trust raises new questions about the status of the long-running John Doe investigation in Milwaukee that has ensnared former aides from the guv’s days as county exec.
“The transfer covers work done to cooperate with authorities over the past year,” said Walker spokeswoman Nicole Tieman.
Walker has steadfastly insisted he is not a target of the probe. But he announced in March the creation of the legal defense fund to pay two criminal defense attorneys help him review documents and assist in cooperating with the secret probe.
Walker had previously transferred $160,000 from his campaign account to the defense fund, meaning he has now put at least $200,000 into the Scott Walker Trust.
“While Governor Walker is not the subject of investigation, he continues to fully cooperate with authorities as the process comes to conclusion,” Tieman said.
Three former Walker aides have been sentenced in recent months for the charges brought against them stemming from the John Doe probe. That includes Tim Russell, who was sentenced last week to two years in jail and three years supervised release.
Dems have raised a series of questions about Walker’s involvement in the probe.
“Where there is smoke, there is fire,” state Dem spokesman Graeme Zielinski said when asked for comment on the transfer.
– By Staff
Gov. Scott Walker raised $473,719 during the last half of 2012 and will report $793,861 cash on hand when he files his latest campaign finance report with the GAB later today.
A cover sheet showed Walker also spent $1.3 million during the six-month period. The cover sheet did not detail how the money was raised or spent, which will be reported to the GAB by day’s end.
– By JR Ross
Today’s Senate calendar includes legislation that would require the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish acts on the day after enactment and would make that the official date of publication.
The bill was approved in committee 3-2 yesterday along …
Reince Priebus was re-elected today to his post as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
The former Wisconsin GOP chair was unopposed after Mark Willis of Maine tried to challenge him, but could not muster the needed backing of three states to get on the ballot.
Priebus was first elected to the post two years ago, deposing former Chair Michael Steele. Priebus originally helped Steele win the post, but challenged him amid complaints from many party faithful that Steele had mismanaged the party’s finances.
Gov. Scott Walker congratulated Priebus for assuming “the responsibility of coalescing Republicans and moving our party forward with one, unified voice” amid a time of uncertainty.
“He brought the party out of debt, secured a significant surplus and has helped secure a brighter future for all Republicans,” Walker said.
State GOP Chair Brad Courtney credited Priebus with putting the RNC back on track.
“His leadership is, without question, a major reason for the successes of the Party over the last two years and his bold style of management will lead us to further success in the years to come,” Courtney said.
Priebus locked up support from the vast majority of RNC members ahead of the election despite complaints about the GOP’s performance in the November elections, when they fell short of winning the White House and lost seats in both the House and Senate.
State Dem Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski tweaked Priebus on Twitter hoping “may he enjoy more of the kind of success we saw in November!”
– By JR Ross
The public hearing on the mining bill adjourned shortly after 9 p.m. following 12 hours of testimony on an overhaul of the regulations.
Just before 9 p.m., Dem Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa asked Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, how many people were still waiting to testify.
"Not many," was all he said.
Two opponents to the bill testified after that before the hearing was adjourned.
WMC VP for Government Relations Scott Manley told the committee the GOP bill’s 480-day permitting timeline will be enough time to properly permit a mine and that most of the concerns about sulfides and environmental damage are overblown.
Manley told t…
An addendum to the testimony of GTAC: The last few questions from the committee have focused on the volatile price of iron ore on the open market, with Rep. Fred Clark asking if the company would be able to continue operating the mine if the price hit …
Representatives from Gogebic Taconite said the mining company would focus on Wisconsin workers and would pay for most of the infrastructure surrounding the mine.
Bob Seitz, a spokesman for the company, said GTAC plans to pay to build its own roads, water, natural gas lines, rail lines and "would provide their own EMS and fire services."
In addition, Seitz expressed incredulity at a question