“Prosecutors allege” Gov. Scott Walker (R) “was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican state senators facing recall elections during 2011 and 2012, according to documents unsealed Thursday. In the documents, prosecutors laid out what they call an extensive ‘criminal scheme’ to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top Republican political operatives”¦[t]he documents include an excerpt from an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that” aide R.J. Johnson “would lead the coordination campaign.”
Walker “responded Thursday by criticizing the case that prosecutors were trying to build.” Walker: “You’ve got two judges, both a state judge and a federal judge, who said that they didn’t buy into the argument that has been presented at this point. I think their words speak pretty strongly both at the federal and state level.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
All 268 pages of documents released Thursday can be found on the Journal Sentinel site, as can an explanation of the complex progression of the long-running investigation, which is currently on hold and involves no criminal charges, up to this point. The Washington Post also diagrammed the relationship between the staffers and outside groups involved in the accusations.
In an appearance on Fox News Friday morning, Walker “said the John Doe probe has ‘been resolved’ by two judges who have blocked the investigation and asked for grassroots conservatives around the country to back him.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
WELL-TIMED AD BUY. Walker’s campaign “reserved $250,000 worth of TV air time on Thursday,” according to sources. “The sources said the ad flight will last 12 days. … [O]ne campaign source insisted that the buy was long planned, and was not made in response to the documents. Still, the timing of the buy — falling on the day of the documents being released, after Walker has been off the airwaves for many weeks — indicated to many political watchers some effort to respond broadly to the potentially damaging documents.” (Politico)
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Hillary Clinton hopes that television ratings for the candidates' acceptance speeches at their respective conventions aren't foreshadowing of similar results at the polls in November. Preliminary results from the networks and cable channels show that 34.9 million people tuned in for Donald Trump's acceptance speech while 33.3 million watched Clinton accept the Democratic nomination. However, it is still possible that the numbers are closer than these ratings suggest: the numbers don't include ratings from PBS or CSPAN, which tend to attract more Democratic viewers.