Congress Shall Make No Law...
8:04 PM
Public Campaign Action Fund Manufactures Scandal in Wisconsin, Part 2

An update to yesterday’s post concerning Public Campaign Action Fund’s manufactured scandal in Wisconsin.  The Washington Post has a copy of PCAF’s letter demanding an investigation of Gov. Scott Walker.  In addition to the charge of attempted coordination (which we debunked yesterday), the letter also charges Gov. Walker with illegally soliciting political contributions using state facilities.



Just like PCAF’s coordination charge, this charge is also fatally flawed.  First, it is extremely doubtful that Gov. Walker’s request for messages “[r]einforcing why [proposed legislation concerning unions] was a good thing to do for the economy, a good thing to do for the state,” could be considered a solicitation for “political purposes” under Wisconsin Law, because the requested messages do not pertain to an election or a candidate.  If PCAF were correct, it would mean that it is illegal for legislators to use their office resources to promote legislation, merely because doing to might produce electoral benefits for the legislator or his colleagues.  That reading of the law cannot be right because it would essentially outlaw politics


But even if we accepted this absurd interpretation of the law, PCAF’s claim would still fail because, again, Gov. Walker was talking with a prank caller, not David Koch.  This means that, at most, his statements would be an attempt to solicit candidate support using public resources.  But this is not illegal under Wisconsin law.  Actually soliciting candidate support using public resources is a misdemeanor and, like almost all misdemeanors, is exempt from Wisconsin’s criminal-attempt law.  Wis. Stat. § 939.32.  In other words, in Wisconsin there is no such crime as attempting to solicit candidate support using public resources.


Once again, this is something that PCAF could easily have discovered if they had bothered to read Wisconsin’s laws before leveling their frivolous allegations.  But when your main interest is using campaign finance laws for partisan advantage, why bother with details.