MADISON, Wis. — Newly released records show that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign partnered with a Republican lieutenant governor candidate in 2010 to tap wealthy donors who had already given all they could to Walker, a move designed to bolster their potential ticket.
The behind-the-scenes navigating of Wisconsin's campaign-finance laws by Walker staff members was revealed Wednesday as part of the release of 28,000 pages of documents collected during a criminal investigation into one of the governor's aides.
Walker, who faces re-election this year and is considering a run for president in 2016, was not charged with any wrongdoing in the investigation that closed last year with convictions against six of his former aides and associates.
The investigation didn't stymie him in his 2010 run for governor and recall attempts in 2012, and it hasn't hurt his fundraising ability. That gubernatorial race broke state spending records at $36 million, and the recall hit $81 million, largely because state laws limiting donations don't apply until a recall election is officially set. That allowed Walker to collect checks as large as $500,000 from backers.
The newly released records show how Walker's campaign was working closely with Republican lieutenant governor candidate Brett Davis' campaign to milk all they could out of Walker's supporters during his first run for governor, in 2010. The plan eventually fell apart because Davis lost in the primary election. Walker at the time was the Milwaukee County executive.