Walker and Barrett Talk John Doe Investigation, Campaign Finance

By: Rachelle Baillon Email
By: Rachelle Baillon Email

Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 --- 5:35 p.m.

MILWAUKEE--The John Doe Investigation has been grabbing headlines for months as former associates of Governor Walker--from his time as Milwaukee County executive--have faced charges. "I asked for this investigation almost two years ago, we had concerns about some people involved in county government," said Gov. Walker.

"We asked for a concern we had about the operation freedom which was an outside group that had been involved with the veterans issues, we didn't know all the other details that they've looked at and discussed but that's where it originally started."

The investigation has turned into a hot-button campaign issue though. "I think it demonstrates that there are some very serious issues that need to be told to the public," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate for governor in the June 5th recall election. "And he's called them, for example he's called them a distraction. Well, I can tell you this much, if I had a $100,000 in criminal defense lawyer fees I'd be distracted too. So it is a distraction, it's a distraction to him and it's a distraction to his administration."

The governor has not been charged as part of the investigation, but he has set-up a legal defense fund. His latest campaign finance report says he recently transferred $100,000 to the fund--but we don't know whom that money is coming from. "To be able to continue to be in a position to cooperate, help him [the Milwaukee County District Attorney] out he's asked us and his team's asked us not to be commenting about the details until they're completed," said Gov. Walker.

Mayor Barrett has called on the governor to say whose money has gone into the fund. "The district attorney has never said that he can not disclose who is paying his legal defense fees, the Government Accountability Board has never said that he cant disclose who's paying his legal defense fees," said Mayor Barrett. "Only Scott Walker has refused to answer that question."

As for who's backing both candidates' campaign bills, reports say Walker raised about five million dollars over the last month, while Barrett brought in about three million. Overall, Walker's collected close to 31 million dollars, while Barrett's at just over four million.

With out-of-state funding being a much talked about topic, we asked both candidates if outside groups are trying to buy this election for them. "I think they're trying to buy it but not for me, but against me," said Gov. Walker. "I mean the money that's come in since last February is overwhelmingly been from special interests particularly big government unions in Washington who tried to take me out."

"Look at the primary, in the primary all these groups that he complains about none of them were with me," said Mayor Barrett.

"The fact that you have some labor organizations that are now supporting my candidacy shouldn't be a shock to anybody, I'm a Democrat and so you shouldn't be shocked by that.......This isn't evening anything out hes trying to have a 25-to-1 ratio and complains if I try to make it 25-to-2."

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