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Walker Establishing Legal Fund for John Doe Investigation Walker Establishing Legal Fund for John Doe Investigation

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Politics

Walker Establishing Legal Fund for John Doe Investigation

March 9, 2012

Updated at 7:00 p.m. on 3/10

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is opening a new legal fund -- and he doesn't want many people to hear about it.

Walker has incurred legal fees thanks to an ongoing investigation into alleged crimes committed by former Walker staffers during his tenure as Milwaukee County executive. There are no indications that Walker himself is a target of the probe, but he is cooperating with prosecutors. Having pledged not to use any public funds to pay his legal bills, Walker announced Friday that he is setting up a fund to raise money to cover the expenses.

But as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes, state law permits a state government official who is being investigated for "or charged with a violation of campaign finance laws or prohibited election practices to establish a 'legal defense fund' for expenditures supporting or defending the candidate while that person is being investigated for, or charged with, or convicted of a violation of those chapters."

Walker announced the fund at a time when it will receive as little attention as possible: late Friday afternoon. On top of that, Walker's campaign unloaded the story just hours after the state elections board released proposed dates for the recall elections -- news that will likely receive more coverage than the formation of the legal fund.

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