Governor Scott Walker's election campaign says coordination between the 2010 campaign and Milwaukee County staff was routine in the world of politics. That contention comes amid a surprising revelation in a Milwaukee courtroom Monday.
Prior to her sentencing on Monday for misconduct in public office, much of the focus had been on Kelly Rindfleisch's campaign work in 2010 for failed Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Brett Davis. Rindfleisch worked on the campaign while also getting a check from taxpayers as an aide to then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.
While summarizing the case against Rindfleisch, Milwaukee County prosecutor Bruce Landgraf also highlighted several e-mails between Rindfleisch and leaders of Walker's 2010 race for governor. Landgraf cited one note from Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes to Rindfleisch, trying to minimize political damage to Walker after a concrete slab fell off a Milwaukee County parking garage and killed a pedestrian, "He says, and again, I think this is an indication of the close working relationship they had: 'You are the only person capable of overseeing these people.' "
State Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski reacted to the campaign e-mail about the parking garage, "We found out the shocking news about the collapse at O'Donnell Park. It was taken as a campaign event, not as the death of a young man."
Walker campaign spokesman Tom Evenson says balancing the daily calendars, meetings and issues covered by the media for an elected official presents challenges in the course of a campaign that require routine communication by both sets of staff.
Gov. Walker has not been charged in the campaign case stemming from a John Doe investigation. Rindfleisch was sentenced to up to six months in jail and given three years probation.