Prosecutors claim Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a plan to illegally coordinate fundraising with an array of outside conservative groups to help him and several Republican senators survive a 2012 recall election, new court documents show. In the documents unsealed Thursday, prosecutors spell out a "criminal scheme" by Walker and top aides to circumvent state law and raise money and plan spending by a dozen outside groups during the election.
The prosecutors' filings include an email in which Walker tells Republican strategist Karl Rove that a top campaign aide, R.J. Johnson, was leading the coordination effort and praises Johnson's work.
"Bottom line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin," Walker wrote in the May 4, 2011, email. "We are running nine recall elections and it will be like running nine congressional markets in every market in the state."
Johnson also was a top adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of organizations helping to fight the recall. Prosecutors say Johnson used the Club has a hub for coordinating political activities of Walker's campaign and other groups, including the Republican Governors Association and Americans for Prosperity, a national group tied to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.