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Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 in Crime, Law, Politics | 7 comments

Looking forward to this perp walk

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Didn’t think it was gonna happen. Oh, joy! They’re going to nail Governor Walker!

Wisconsin prosecutors have alleged that Gov. Scott Walker was part of a wide-ranging “criminal scheme” to coordinate the activities of conservative groups that spent millions to help him and other Republicans fend off recall efforts, according to documents released Thursday. …WaPo

Everyone who follows the news has had a sense that what’s-‘is-name-gubner in Wisconsin, that nasty little con, has been guilty of election fraud. That’s real election fraud, not the fantasy of an immigrant finding a way to get on a county clerk’s list of voters. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker played fast and dirty with Wisconsin law.

The disclosures mark the first time that Walker, who is running for reelection this year and mulling over a 2016 presidential bid, has been singled out for allegedly playing a direct role in what prosecutors have called a “nationwide effort” to mobilize a network of independent groups considered crucial to his recall victory. Included in the documents is an excerpt of an e-mail he sent Republican strategist Karl Rove, describing the outside operation. …WaPo

An e-mail! Idiot!

Whether he’s convicted in the end or not, this is a singularly damaging political mess that has to have effect on his future as ambitious (unscrupulous )politician. What’s more, it shines some much-needed light on the dirty doings of Republican politicians and moneybags right acros the fruited plain. “The episode has highlighted how deep-pocketed independent groups often function as de facto extensions of official campaigns, despite such laws,” Dan Balz writes in the Post.

The proliferation of super PACs and politically active tax-exempt groups that followed the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision means there is now ample opportunity for such activities. Political strategists regularly hop from a candidate’s campaign to an aligned super PAC. And candidates now commonly upload unedited video footage on their Web sites so that allied outside groups can grab clips to use in putatively independent ads.

The newly released documents “draw back the curtain on what’s happening all across the country,” said campaign finance lawyer Trevor Potter, an advocate for limiting big money in politics. Nonprofit groups “are raising large amounts of money, intervening in the political process without disclosing where the money is coming from — and all of this is being done on a broad, deliberate basis.” …WaPo

The Post report acknowledges that this is going to be hard to prosecute. It’s all new — nasty new — stuff.

“It’s incredibly difficult to prove,” said Brett Kappel, a Washington campaign finance lawyer. “You have to have one party provide evidence that there was actually an agreement to do something, which means either you have to have documentary evidence or one party testifying against another, which is extremely rare.” …WaPo

Americans who have been in a state of shock since Citizens United will be watching. This prosecution may provide the needed pressure on the legal system to — finally — do the right thing. Cancerous organizations like “Club for Growth” will be scrutinized. Super PAC’s will be under the microscope. Maybe even the Koch brothers will be having frequent conversations with their lawyers.

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A few leagues to the south — down here in Texas — another famous perp continues to defend himself from dogged prosecutors in an appeals court, prosecutors who really, really think this guy belongs in jail, no matter how hard he tries to avoid having the sentence carried out.

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will go before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as prosecutors attempt to reinstate his conviction on money laundering charges.

It’s a case that goes back to 2002. District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s office will attempt to reinstate DeLay’s 2010 conviction and three-year prison sentence.

In November 2010, a Travis County jury found DeLay guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering in actions connected to his 2002 campaign. Prosecutors claimed DeLay funneled $190,000 of corporate money into campaign donations.

Then last September, a reversal — the judges, split down party lines, determined that DeLay was not guilty in the alleged scheme to influence Texas elections, saying the evidence was “legally insufficient.” …KHOU

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

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