VIDEO REPORT: Barrett Demands Walker Explain Legal Defense Fund

UPDATED Tuesday, May 15, 2012--5:20p.m.

MADISON--In a letter to his rival for the state's top job in next month's recall election, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett calls on Governor Walker to disclose more details of his legal defense fund.

The letter asks Walker to detail how and why he was allowed to create a legal defense fund.

WisDems attorney Jeremy Levinson stopped by the GAB today to talk about the call for more information. "He is a governor running to keep his job, asking the voters to keep him in office but he won't explain why he's got a fund that can only exist in connection to a criminal investigation," said Levinson.

The fund's creation came as some of the Governor's associates are being investigated as part of the highly-publicized John Doe investigation, which centers on Walker's time as a Milwaukee County Executive. Five people have been charged; allegations include campaigning on county time and embezzlement.

Levinson said the public ought to know who contributed to the fund.
"The public is entitled to know who gave the governor's campaign money, so the governor presumably could get his message out, tell the state why he should be re-elected," said Levinson. "But then they decided they were comfortable using that money instead to pay for Scott Walker's criminal defense lawyers."

In an e-mail response to Barrett's letter, a Walker spokeswoman wrote: "Tom Barrett is completely incapable of explaining to voters why he has presided over a 28 percent jump in unemployment in his city, ......he turns to floundering around, desperate for something he thinks will distract voters from Governor Walker's successful time in office. Since his campaign is devoid of any credible policy ideas, these frantic political stunts are all he has left."

It's also important to point out that the Governor has not been charged as part of the investigation.


Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 --- 11:11 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wants Republican Gov. Scott Walker to explain why he was allowed to create a defense fund in connection with a secret probe into his associates.

Barrett, a Democrat, is challenging Walker in a June 5 recall election. He sent the governor a letter Tuesday demanding Walker explain what's going on.

The investigation has centered on people who worked for Walker during his stint as Milwaukee County executive. Five people have been charged; allegations range from campaigning on county time to embezzlement.

The governor hasn't been charged and has said he isn't the focus of the probe. However, he has set up a legal defense fund -- a move allowed only for officeholders who have been charged or are under investigation for election or campaign violations.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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