After today’s Government Accountability Board meeting to discuss certification of six recall campaigns against Republican Senators Fitzgerald, Galloway, Moulton and Wanggaard and Governor Scott Walker and his Lieutenant, Rebecca Kleefisch, I asked Director Kevin Kennedy about the John Doe investigation allegedly centering around Scott Walker’s 2010 campaign for Governor.
Per Chapter 11.64 of the Wisconsin Statutes, “Any candidate or public official who is being investigated for, charged with or convicted of a criminal violation of this chapter or ch. 12, or whose agent is so investigated, charged or convicted, may establish a defense fund for expenditures supporting or defending the candidate or agent, or any dependent of the candidate or agent, while that person is being investigated for, or while the person is charged with or convicted of a criminal violation of this chapter or ch. 12.”
Specifically, I asked Kennedy if the Walker campaign had informed the GAB of an investigation against him, given the news that broke last week of the establishment of a legal defense fund for Walker. Kennedy responded tersely that “the law prohibits” him from answering that question.
I followed up with a question about whether or not GAB had a process in place to distinguish campaign contributions from defense fund contributions, according to Subsection (2) of chapter 11.64. That section states, “No person may utilize a contribution received from a contributor to a campaign fund for a purpose for which a defense fund is authorized under sub. (1) unless the authorization of the contributor is obtained. Notwithstanding s. 11.25 (2) (a), any contributor may authorize the transfer of all or part of a contribution from a campaign fund to a defense fund.”
He told me he could not comment on that process based on legal advice he had been given. GAB member Judge Nichol also declined to comment.