, , ,

Walker Criticizes Burke Campaign For Aide’s Past

Democratic Candidate Said Emails Showed Walker Set Low Bar For Campaign Ethics

Photo Credit: Wisconsin Public Television

Gov. Scott Walker is joining the criticism of a member of the campaign staff for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke for illegal campaign activity in her past.

Burke said this week that some of the comments in the recently released 28,000 pages of emails showed that Walker set a low bar for campaign ethics. This prompted officials with the Republican Governors Association to fire back. They pointed to Burke’s own campaign employing Tanja Bjork, who was convicted of illegal campaigning about 10 years ago.

In Milwaukee on Thursday, Walker was asked about Burke’s low bar comment.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“(It’s an) interesting statement for a campaign that actually has someone on their staff right now who has been involved in things like that in the past,” the governor said.

But in 2010, then-County Executive Walker hired Kelly Rindfleisch — who was given immunity in the legislative caucus scandal that included former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen and state Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala — to work for the county. Rindfleisch subsequently got caught doing political work on county time.

On Thursday, Walker also said Keith Gilkes, his 2010 campaign manager, who is now being criticized for some of his emails four years ago, is an advisor to Walker’s re-election bid.

State Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Baldauf said Gilkes’s actions in 2010 were questionable.

“He’s very involved in every aspect of managing not only the campaign in 2010 as what we saw from these emails, but as well as working to run Milwaukee County as an adjunct of Walker’s campaign,” she said. “Not with a concern of what was in the best interest for the people, but with a concern for what was the best for Scott Walker.”

Baldauf said that as far as Burke’s campaign, Bjork’s legal problems were more than 10 years ago and Bjork has acknowledged responsibility.