Walker Emails: What We’ve Learned So Far

Scott Walker knew about his staff’s illegal activities, failed to stop them, and may have even encouraged them.

Headline: John Doe Transcript: Scott Walker Must Have Known Of Private Email, Laptop System [Wisconsin State Journal, 2/19/14]

Headline: Unsealed Emails Tie Scott Walker To Secret Email System [Journal Sentinel, 2/19/14]

Washington Post: “Walker Instructed A Top Aide To Organize A Daily Conference Call That Involved Both Official And Campaign Staffers”; Said Disclosures  “Could Complicate Walker’s Future”  According to The Washington Post, “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) instructed a top aide to organize a daily conference call that involved both official and campaign staffers when he was executive of Milwaukee County in 2010, according to documents released publicly for the first time Wednesday that could complicate Walker’s future as he eyes another term and a possible run for president.” [Washington Post, 2/19/14]

“The Inner Circle” Included Walker; Non-County Emails Were To Be Checked “Throughout The Day”

In A Private Email, Walker Aid Welcomed Rindfleich To The “Inner Circle”, Said “I Use This Private Account Quite A Bit To Communicate With SKW” According to Journal Sentinel, “Included in more than 27,000 pages of emails and other documents unsealed Wednesday are the closest links yet between Gov. Scott Walker and a secret email system used in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive. ‘Consider yourself now in the ‘inner circle,’ Walker’s administration director, Cynthia Archer, wrote to Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch just after the two exchanged a test message. ‘I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW and Nardelli. You should be sure you check it throughout the day,’ she wrote, referring to Walker by his initials and to Walker’s then-chief of staff, Tom Nardelli.” [Journal Sentinel, 2/19/14]

John Doe Investigator Told Judge “The County Executive Would Appear To Be Aware” Personal Laptop Usage On County Time

Investigator: “The County Executive Would Appear To Be Aware That Laptops Were Used In The County Executive’s Office For Accessing Things On Non County Networks”  According to a John Doe Hearing Transcript, “‘Investigator: The significance of this e-mail is that it shows that the County Executive would appear to be aware that laptops were used in the County Executive’s Office for accessing things on non County networks. And it also is very significant because it shows that the various members of the County Executive staff worked in concert to conceal laptops and/or networks – wireless networks that were in existence in that office suite, and these items were not present when we did our search warrant later in the day on Mary 14, 2010’” [John Doe Hearing Transcript, Page 80, 11/1/10]

Walker Sent Email Morning Before Search Warrant On His Office Was Executed; Ordered “No Laptops, No Web Sites, No Time Away From The Workday” “According to a John Doe Hearing Transcript, , “Investigator: The County Executive replies to Russell at 8:46 am on Friday May 14, 2010. So the County Executive’s replying only to Russell and says, and I will quote the entire e-mail, I talked to her at home last night. Feel bad. She feels worse. We cannot afford another story like this one. No one can give them any reason to another story. That means no laptops, no web sites, no time away from the workday, et cetra.” [John Doe Hearing Transcript, Page 80, 11/1/10]

Investigator: After Walker Sent Email, “County Executive Staff Worked In Concert To Conceal Laptops And/Or Networks… And These Items Were Not Present When We Did Our Search Warrant Later In The Day” According to a John Doe Hearing Transcript, “‘Investigator: The significance of this e-mail is that it shows that the County Executive would appear to be aware that laptops were used in the County Executive’s Office for accessing things on non County networks. And it also is very significant because it shows that the various members of the County Executive staff worked in concert to conceal laptops and/or networks – wireless networks that were in existence in that office suite, and these items were not present when we did our search warrant later in the day on Mary 14, 2010’” [John Doe Hearing Transcript, Page 80, 11/1/10]


Scott Walker’s Chief and Deputy Chief of Staff sent racially insensitive emails.

July 2010: Walker’s Then Chief Of Staff Sent An Email That Consisted Of An Email Forward Recounting The Story Of A ‘Nightmare,’ Involving Waking Up Black, Gay, Jewish, And Disabled According to Buzzfeed, “In July 2010, then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s then-chief of staff, Thomas Nardelli, sent an email to his deputy, Kelly Rindfleisch, and other unknown recipients that consisted of an email forward recounting the story of a ‘nightmare,’ involving waking up black, gay, Jewish, and disabled… American Bridge, one of the Democratic groups digging through thousands of Rindfleisch emails, discovered the email from Nardelli, which was in Rindfleisch’s inbox but was addressed to ‘undisclosed-recipient,’ suggesting Rindfleisch wasn’t the only person who received the forward.” [Buzzfeed, 2/19/14]

Walker Deputy Chief Of Staff Praised An Email That Joked Welfare Recipients Are “Mixed In Color, Unemployed, Lazy, Can’t Speak English And Have No Frigging Clue Who The R [Sic] Daddys [Sic] Are.”  According to Buzzfeed, “The deputy chief of staff to then-County Executive Scott Walker praised a racist email forwarded to her in 2010 that joked welfare recipients are ‘mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r [sic] Daddys [sic] are.’ The email tells the story of dog owner who asks the government for canine welfare checks because the dogs match the criteria detailed above. Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s then-deputy chief of staff in 2010, wrote that the email was ‘hilarious’ and ‘so true.’ The email was sent to Rindfleisch from someone outside Walker’s staff.” [Buzzfeed, 2/19/14]

Walker Chief Of Staff Forwarded Photoshopped Picture Of President Barack Obama With A Giant Acorn Cap For A Hat Captioned “Acorn Cap With The Nut Still Attached”  According to Talking Points Memo, “Top aides for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) made a habit of forwarding off-color emails. Case in point: one email from former Walker chief of staff Thomas Nardelli featured a photoshopped picture of President Barack Obama with a giant acorn cap for a hat. The text in the email, sent in October 2010 to other staffers read ‘New fall hat… Acorn cap with the nut still attached,’ a clear reference to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which conservatives in Congress defunded in 2009 after selectively edited videos by right-wing filmmaker James O’Keefe appeared to catch organizers helping a ‘pimp’ set up his business. Congress has voted to defund the organization several times after it has folded.” [Talking Points Memo, 2/20/14]


Scott Walker fired a competent county doctor when it was discovered she had once worked as a lingerie model.

Walker Ordered Staffers To “Get Rid” Of A County Doctor Who Was Discovered To Have Worked As A Lingerie Model In The Past According to The Huffington Post, “In April 2010, Scott Walker and his staff realized they had a potential problem on their hands that would require them to quietly fire a woman who appeared to be completely competent at her job. The issue was that she had what they perceived to be a ‘checkered’ past: She used to be a thong model…. ‘It isn’t pornographic,’ wrote Nardelli, ‘but it is quite suggestive (I’m told – I don’t know her name). He (sic) apparently models thongs and wasn’t forthright in sharing that with staff prior to her hire as an hourly paid MD at (Behavioral Health Division).’ He added that Behavioral Health Division leadership was looking at how to ‘release her without much fanfare’ because John Chianelli, who was then the director of the division, was ‘concerned about having her on staff and subsequently having her Googled by staff only to learn of her ‘other life’ out side of her medical work. Apparently she’s competent, but even the Medical Director is dismayed that she has a varied life style outside of her medical profession.’  In response, Walker replied, ‘Get rid of the MD asap.’” [Huffington Post, 2/19/14]