|Protesters at Koch lobbying office in Madison|
Washington, D.C.—National campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund sent a letter to the Dane County (WI) District Attorney and Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB) today urging that they open concurrent investigations into Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-Wisc.) possible double violations of state campaign finance and ethics statutes. The letter is in response to yesterday’s release of a taped phone call between Gov. Walker and a person he thought was out-of-state, billionaire campaign donor David Koch.
The group asked the District Attorney and GAB to look at two questions:
1) Did Gov. Walker illegally solicit political expenditures for independent spending to benefit Republican Senators from swing districts?
2) Did Gov. Walker illegally solicit donations from the state capitol using state resources?
“Governor Walker, while on state grounds supposedly doing his job, thought he was speaking to out-of-state billionaire David Koch, and over the course of that conversation he asked Koch to spend money to help Republican Senators from electorally vulnerable districts,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “The District Attorney of Dane County and the Government Accountability Board have concurrent jurisdiction over this matter, and both should immediately investigate whether Walker broke two state laws.”
The letters were faxed this afternoon to both offices. Download the letter to the District Attorney and the GAB [at Public Campaign Action Fund] .
The letter concludes:
“No one should be above the law. Governor Walker’s conduct in this reported conversation indicates he does not believe the Wisconsin campaign finance statutes or ethics rules apply to him. We strongly urge you to open an investigation into these violations to restore the confidence of Wisconsin’s citizens that theirs is a government of laws.”
“Of course, the bigger story here is the ease with which major donors can gain access to Gov. Walker,” said Donnelly. “While he can’t be bothered to talk to his political opponents, he found twenty minutes to spend with a wealthy oil tycoon. It’s a shameful statement on our broken political system.”
On Tuesday, blogger/reporter Ian Murphy released a recorded phone call between Gov. Walker and himself, pretending to be David Koch. During the discussion, Walker makes references to ways Koch could help state Republicans deal with the public opposition to Walker’s budget. Download the full transcript at Public Campaign Action Fund.