“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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"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.
"Donald Trump on Wednesday parted ways with Rick Wiley, his national political director, just six weeks after the Republican operative joined the campaign." Wiley joined just six weeks ago, as Trump said he would be a "tremendous asset as we enter the final phase." But yesterday, Trump said in a statement that "hired on a short-term basis as a consultant."