It's been another rough week on the right. A high-profile GOP governor, and potential 2016 presidential contender, could be brought low by a trove of scandalous emails. And it's not Chris Christie.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is up for reelection this year, and he’s got a big problem. It’s not Wisconsin’s dismal jobs numbers. Sure, under normal circumstances being ranked 40th in job creation would spell trouble for a guy who rode into office promising to create 250,000 jobs in his first term, but ending up losing over 50,000 jobs. But these are not normal circumstances.
A Wisconsin court released thousands of emails written by one of Walker’s former aides. The emails, over 25,000 pages of them, are part of an investigation into illegal campaign activity by members of Walker’s staff when he was a county executive. The investigation ended, and found no wrongdoing on Walker’s part, but it still has the potential to trip him up as he steps on the national stage.
On the surface, the emails show that Walker presided over an office where aides used personal computers to hide that they were mixing government and campaign business, leading to criminal convictions for two of Walkers’ aides.
Aside from illegal campaign activity, the emails — which were obviously never meant for public consumption — are pretty embarrassing.
- A July 2010 email shows that RNC chair Reince Priebus leaked inside information to Walker about his primary opponent.
- A October 2010 email suggests that a Walker aide did a political favor for realtor Walker Treasurer John Hiller, by “derailing” the leasing of a county building to Hiller’s competitor.
- In one email about a local mental health complex, and how Walker’s Democratic opponent might use the issue, one Walker aide wrote, “Nobody cares about the crazy people.”
- In another email, an aid alerted Walker to a newly hired county doctor who didn’t reveal during her job interview that she also “models thongs” in her spare time. Walker, who identified himself as SKW in the emails, responded hours later: “Get rid of the MD asap.”
- A chain email forwarded to undisclosed recipients concluded with this racist, anti-Semitic, anti-gay, nightmare scenario: "In the nightmare ... I am a homosexual, and on top of that with a Mexican boyfriend. Oh, my God ... Black, Jewish, disabled, gay with a Mexican boyfriend, drug addict, and HIV-positive!!! … Say it isn't so!!! I can handle being a black, disabled, one-armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I'm a Democrat."
- A Walker aide forwarded a link to a video of Chris Christie yelling at a reporter, and suggested that “skw should talk like this.”
Just before the emails were released, Walker said he was sure they contained no surprises. That’s kind of true. The emails offer a detailed look at Scott Walker, and the picture they paint isn’t surprising — but confirms the suspicions about Walker and his closest aides. After all, you can tell a lot about a guy by the company he keeps.
Here’s the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week.
- Tough guy Ted Nugent turned tail and ran from a CNN interview, after Wolf Blitzer called him out for calling the president a”subhuman mongrel.” This one is so bad that even conservatives like Texas governor Rick Perry and Sen. Rand Paul (R, KY) are condemning it.
- At least Nugent still has one conservative on his side. Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX) says its actually President Obama’s fault that anyone listens to Ted Nugent.
- Phyllis Schlafly is at it again. Her latest column claims that President Obama wants to “redefine the First Amendment from 'free exercise' to 'freedom of worship,' which means you would only be able to go inside your church, shut and perhaps lock the doors, and say a prayer where no one else can hear you.”
- Schlafly needn’t worry. Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay is reminding Americans that “God created the constitution.”
- And anyway, before the worst happens, Gen. William “Jerry" Boykin says that Jesus will come back armed to the teeth and toting an AR-15 assault rifle.
- Schlafly also agrees with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that immigrants are “literally” going to make Americans “their slaves.”
- Maybe that’s why Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt says that immigration reform is actually racist.
- Pat Robertson is back to claiming that president Obama is a “Secret Muslim” and a follower of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- One-time presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R, MN) says that Americans aren’t ready for a woman president, because “People don’t hold guilt for a woman,” and the only reason we have a black president is because of “guilt.”