- Everyone who has worked in politics for more than 10 minutes knows that you can't do campaign work from your official office, on the taxpayer's clock. And what happens if you do? Well, you can actually go to jail. And the secret email system you set up to enable you to do campaign work when you're supposed to be doing official business can be revealed. And then it can seriously undermine your boss' nascent presidential campaign. That's what can happen. And that's what's happening to Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin.
- Six of Walker's former aides and associates have been convicted of using government resources to do campaign work, and as a result of the investigations, 28,000 pages of emails have now been released, most from the email files of Kelly Rindfleisch, who was Walker's deputy chief of staff when he was Milwaukee County Executive and running for governor in 2010.
- In fairness to Walker, he did instruct his people in one of the emails not to do campaign work on official time: "We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the work day, etc."
- On the other hand, his chief of staff, Thomas Nardelli, informed other staffers that Walker wanted a daily conference call including members of his official staff and his campaign staff so they could coordinate their efforts.
- The emails contain some colorful details. In one exchange, Nardelli informs Walker that he has discovered that a doctor working at the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division once did some modeling work. "It isn't pornographic," Nardelli wrote, "but it is quite suggestive (I'm told - I don't know her name). He [sic] apparently models thongs and wasn't forthright in sharing that with staff prior to her hire as an hourly paid MD." Filled with either moral outrage or political foreboding, Walker ordered the woman to be fired forthwith: "Get rid of the MD asap."
- And the sensitivity doesn't end here. Kelly Rindfleisch responded to a question about whether the case of a patient who starved to death at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex could harm Walker's gubernatorial campaign by writing, "No one cares about crazy people."
- In another email, Nardelli forwards a high-larious joke about a nightmare in which the author suffers a series of indignities, culminating in the realization that he's about to meet Barack Obama. "Say it isn't so!!! I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, plead don't tell me I'm a Democrat!" Who says conservatives aren't funny?
- The yuks just keep coming. Another email, this one from Kelly Rindfleisch, contains this joke: "This morning I went to sign my Dogs up for welfare. At first the lady said, 'Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare'. So I explained to her that my Dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddys are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs. So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify. My dogs get their first checks Friday. Damn this is a great country." Har har!
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