The release of some 28,000 documents from the now-concluded “John Doe I” investigation into Scott Walker touched off a media frenzy Wednesday, and not just in Wisconsin. Here’s your guide to watching it.

The documents were released at 9 a.m. by the state Court of Appeals from the case of Kelly Rindfleisch, a former aide to Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive. She was convicted in 2012 of illegally doing campaign work on publicly funded time and the probe snared five other Walker aides and associates as well on various charges.

The governor himself was never charged, however. The Wisconsin State Journal’s Dee Hall provides excellent background on the case.

But the high level interest, of course, is about what the emails might reveal about the governor (whose 2012 recall campaign is reportedly under scrutiny in a second John Doe probe). Many news sites have made the emails available online and you can watch a steady feed of revelations on the State Journal’s live blog, The Progressive’s live blog or by following #walkerdocs on Twitter.

Most of those tweeting with that hashtag are journalists or left-leaning bloggers and commentators, though the conservative Right Wisconsin occasionally jumps in with tweets like this:

“Breathless sufferers of Walker derangement syndrome ignore/forget prosecutors had #walkerdocs for years, found no reason to charge him”

One of the most interesting findings so far, discussed by both Hall and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is that a judge expanded the John Doe probe on the day before Walker beat Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to become governor in 2010.

It’s no surprise that major state newspapers like the State Journal have made the documents available online, as well as politically focused ones like Wispolitics and The Progressive, but it’s noteworthy that the Washington Post has done so as well, an acknowledgement of Walker’s all-but-announced 2016 presidential campaign and the fact that he is seen as a serious candidate by many, including the Democratic National Committee.

The Post published a story about the emails’ potential effect on Walker’s 2016 hopes and the New York Times has posted a brief story about the release of the emails as well.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to more accurately describe the relationship between Walker and those convicted as a result of the John Doe probe. Three were aides, one was a Walker appointee, one was a campaign donor and the sixth was the boyfriend of one of the aides.

  • Managing Editor of The Capital Times

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(5) comments


Considering all the underhanded things Walker has done right in front of everyone since coming into office, we don't need a smoking gun (though it may well exist), I'm convinced Scooter must go just based on his record in office.


Pretty sad, when the local news has to tell their readers...."here's what to watch".

The good news, is that is keeps the left wing OCCUPIED?

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

Lynne, go on home before the big storm and put on you Ted Nugent records and chill out, the Nuge, spokesperson for the REPUBLICAN party is hard at it again today. Support him all you can, Wississippi is mostly white men so he plays well here. He is an awesome asset to the REPUBLICAN party!

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

NO STORY HERE! Walker is a republican, crookedness taken for granted, expected, delivered! Go read the sports now!


The Left does not expect a smoking gun here, as stated before these E-mails have been in the hands of investigators for some time now. So, there won't be any ah ha moments.….The Left is looking for a pattern of intent or a pattern of campaigning from the Governor's office.

However, even though they won't show criminal activity that hasn't already been discovered, they may show patterns of bullying, or political strong arming, or pathetic pandering to the very rich. Something the Walker campaign cannot afford to have public, if he runs for President…. Remember the Romney 47% remark?

Of course the Right will come on strong with their talking points about a which hunt and political payback as well as the all so typical Walker derangement syndrome. You know, the typical Right wing bullying and attacking the messenger mantra…..

But they can't deny that six (6) of Walker's closest minions have been convicted already! That's their "inconvenient truth"

Still waiting on those 250,000 jobs your promised Governor…..and told us tax paying voters to "hold you accountable for that number"

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