Remember how so many media outlets were swooning last week over the release of documents that supposedly tied Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, into some sort of vast criminal campaign-finance conspiracy? It was damn near ubiquitous across the entire mainstream press. We had a bit of fun around these parts noticing how every big liberal outlet fried up a carefully-worded story that made it sound like these were bombshell career-destroying revelations… and then, maybe a dozen paragraphs in, offhandedly informing readers that it all came from a bizarre politically-motivated Democrat probe that got laughed out of court by both federal and state judges.
You’d have to read past the fold in the newspaper to get to the “by the way, this is all garbage” disclaimer. And of course, none of those outlets saw fit to explain the ludicrous rules of engagement for the “John Doe” probe, which was basically a years-long fishing expedition run by witch hunters. Among the other reasons the investigation was shut down, a federal judge thought it was so unrestrained and intimidating to its targets that it constituted a violation of their First Amendment rights.
But still, liberals kept hope alive, muttering something about how Governor Walker once said nice things about a guy who worked for Karl Rove, waiting for the angry prosecutors to leak some morsel of information they could spin into a devastating attack on Walker. The epilogue to this sad little tale of woe arrives from the Wisconsin State Journal:
Gov. Scott Walker has not been a target of the John Doe investigation into alleged illegal campaign finance coordination, an attorney for the special prosecutor overseeing the probe said Thursday.
Randall Crocker, the lawyer for special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, noted the investigation has been halted, saying, “At the time the investigation was halted, Governor Walker was not a target of the investigation. At no time has he been served with a subpoena.”
But… but… all the headlines said Governor Walker was alleged to be part of a criminal scheme!
Crocker issued the statement a week after a court document Schmitz wrote late last year and made public late last week identified Walker as being part of an alleged “criminal scheme” to coordinate with outside groups and violate campaign finance laws.
Crocker said no conclusions have been made about whether there is enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime.
“Contained in these documents is a reference to the request for production of documents that relates to an alleged criminal scheme. Gov. Walker’s name was included in this reference,” Crocker said. “While these documents outlined the prosecutor’s legal theory, they did not establish the existence of a crime; rather, they were arguments in support of further investigation to determine if criminal charges against any person or entity are warranted.”
Crocker added, “Mr. Schmitz has made no conclusions as to whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime.”
So not only did they fail to charge the Governor with anything, they didn’t even have any allegations, or whatever comes before an allegations. It was all just desperate media wishcasting, because Scott Walker is a dangerously successful Republican governor, and because anyone who isn’t running a properly credentialed left-wing or union group really shouldn’t get involved in politics, no matter what the First Amendment says.
Of course, the total flop of this scurrilous attack on Walker won’t stop Democrats from using it campaign ads, as another Wisconsin State Journal post observes:
Less than a week after saying a John Doe investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination involving Gov. Scott Walker wouldn’t be a focus of her campaign, Democrat Mary Burke issued an ad Thursday capitalizing on recent news about the case.
The 30-second Burke ad splices newscasts from MSNBC, Fox News and Madison’s WKOW to highlight last week’s revelation prosecutors are investigating whether Walker oversaw a “criminal scheme.” It also mentions news that Wisconsin’s job creation record lags other states over the past three years.
“So what does politician Scott Walker do? He launches more attack ads,” the narrator states. “Scott Walker just isn’t working for you.”
You just can’t make this stuff up. Or at least, you shouldn’t.