HRC Not the Only ’16er With Unresolved Problem

So as we all await Hillary Clinton’s comments about her personal email account this afternoon, it’s not a bad time to recall that other 2016ers have some, ahem, issues to overcome before fully engaging in a presidential campaign. Most obviously, Rick Perry is still under indictment. You never know when something similar could hit Chris Christie or one of his close associates.

But the one that’s easy to forget since it’s not often discussed in national political circles is the case of Scott Walker, who is along with his staff under investigation for alleged coordination with “independent” outfits spending serious money in Walker’s 2012 recall election. The case is veiled because nearly all documents have been sealed by court order, and at this point the legal maneuvering involves efforts by Walker and company to shut it all down. But what makes it more complicated is that the relevant special prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, is asking that one or more (again, the documents are sealed, so the details are unclear) Wisconsin Supreme Court judges to recuse themselves because they benefitted from heavy spending by the conservative groups in question.

As the New York Times notes editorially today, this is the kind of mess we can expect to keep happening when archaic elected judiciary systems converge with the wonderful world of Wild West campaign financing unleased by SCOTUS in Citizens United.

For Walker, it means he may not be in the clear, if ever, until later this year, when the Wisconsin court rules on its own competence to hear the case and then disposes of it one way or another.

Maybe Republicans enamored of Walker should be thinking about a “Plan B,” eh?

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.