It looks like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is facing an email controversy of his very own. Yesterday saw the release of more than 27,000 emails from Walker's aides written during his time as Milwaukee County executive and leading up to his 2010 campaign for governor.
The documents show that public officials and campaign staffers were coordinating. The related case led to the conviction of six people, including two of Walker's aides for conducting campaign business during public work hours, as well as several other. Walker himself was never charged with any wrongdoing, and prosecutors say that he was not the target of the investigation.
According to The New York Times, staffers "shared emails about the proper wording of campaign news releases," and Walker was also looped in on the campaign's activity. From The Washington Post:
Walker, for instance, directed his county staff members and campaign aides to hold a daily conference call to coordinate strategy, the documents show.
He routinely used a campaign e-mail account to communicate with county staff members, who also used private accounts, the documents show. Prosecutors have said the approach was used to shield political business from public scrutiny.
At one point, an aide wrote to a colleague, "Consider yourself now in the 'inner circle.'"
A spokesperson for Governor Walker, who faced a recall in 2012 and is up for reelection this fall, emphasized that the emails are from several years ago and that the case has been resolved: "Governor Walker is confident that during that legal process, these communications were thoroughly reviewed by the authorities."
Among the embarrassing emails already unearthed is a particularly racist one sent by Thomas Nardelli, Walker's chief of staff at the time. The full email, which has a "sent by your distant aunt to your old email address" aesthetic can be read here, but the punchline is basically that being black, Jewish, and gay (among other traits) is preferable to being a Democrat, with the implication being that being any of those things is bad.