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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Washington Post’s Sudden Interest in Scott Walker



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Today’s Washington Post, above the fold:

The story can be found here; it points out that of the two criminal investigations mentioned in the lead, one “is closed and found no wrongdoing by the governor” but has “the potential to embarrass him.”

One revelation is that “e-mails show he knew county officials were working closely with campaign officials.” Of course, the problem isn’t county officials and campaign officials “working closely” — the public official’s schedule and other matters require communication between the two offices. The problem is when taxpayer dollars are used for campaign purposes, or if public employees work on campaigns on the taxpayer’s dime. One complaint is that the county officials used private e-mail accounts for political communications with the governor, allegedly to “shield political business from public scrutiny.” But if the county officials had used their official work accounts, wouldn’t they be doing campaign work on a taxpayer-funded and supplied e-mail account? The effort to avoid the scandal is being cited as a scandal.

The other investigation is examining “possible illegal political coordination during the 2012 recall election.” Both investigations were begun by Milwaukee district attorney John Chisolm, a Democrat, and it will not shock you to learn there is no investigation of union activity during the recall.

The top of the front page is a fascinatingly prominent placement for what is, to use the term of another Washington Post reporter, a “local crime story.”

Say, did President Obama ever use government resources for his reelection campaign?

“Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as ‘official events,’ thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his reelection efforts,” the complaint letter by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus read.

The president gave speeches on college campuses in North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa in front of large crowds of students in which he called on Congress to prevent a hike in federal student loan interest rates. The RNC noted the location of the speeches, the large boisterous crowds and some of the president’s recent rhetoric in its complaint, saying they created a campaign-like atmosphere.

Campaign fundraising videos taped within the White House? No problem. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling for Obama’s reelection during a taxpayer-funded trip? Yawn. Blatantly political and partisan messages sent through the Department of Defense’s communication system? Shrug. Then of course there’s the IRS’s sudden interest in, and scrutiny and treatment of, conservative groups during Obama’s first term.

The IRS scandal received above-the-fold, page A1 of the Washington Post. The others, not so much.

I guess it isn’t as newsworthy as which e-mail account was used by Walker staffers out in Wisconsin in 2010.


Tags: Scott Walker , Wisconsin


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