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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Issue of the Week: Walker Finds Himself at Odds with the ‘Wall Street Journal’

Scott Walker
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Yet another unsigned op-ed in the Wall Street Journal broke news in the long-running investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and allied special interest groups known as John Doe 2. This time, the WSJ’s editorial board let it be known that it wasn’t happy that Walker’s attorney, Steven Biskupic, was allegedly trying to cut a deal with Francis Schmitz, the special prosecutor in the state investigation. Instead of cheering on Walker for trying to come clean, it took a swipe at him for potentially selling out his friends on the right, the groups bankrolled by deep-pocketed millionaires and billionaires who are spending undisclosed money around the country to purchase ads—and candidates—that promote their “free-market” agenda.

Although the Wall Street Journal scolded Walker, it seems that he’s still got the support of his main right-wing benefactors under investigation. The Wisconsin Club for Growth has gone to federal court to try to stop John Doe 2, claiming that the investigation is violating its First Amendment right to influence our elections, but it seems that their argument isn’t all that truthful. As recently as two weeks ago, the Wisconsin Club for Growth sent out an email bashing Mary Burke, Walker’s likely Democratic challenger in this fall’s election. And just last week, the Wisconsin chapter of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity announced that it would drop more than $800,000 in TV ads in support of Walker’s agenda. The ads are called “It’s Working,” which just happens to be Walker’s signature tag line that’s used on his official, state-sponsored website.

The groups are showing their support now, but could pull that support if Walker cuts a deal with Schmitz and leaves his allies to dangle.

Walker’s caught in a jam, and he appears to know it. The ambitious governor is just trying to figure out what to do: cut a deal with the prosecutors now and hope that voters forget about it in November, or hold tight with his billionaire funders and hope that they support him however the chips may fall.