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Walker defends coordination between county office, campaign

Published On: Nov 21 2012 08:38:56 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 21 2012 09:21:53 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

Gov. Scott Walker is assuring state residents that there is a campaign "firewall" in his office.

That defense comes after allegations in court this week that Walker's gubernatorial campaign and official offices in Milwaukee County were repeatedly commingling their work during the 2010 campaign for governor.

Walker maintains that a daily conference call between county and campaign workers was legitimate and routine and for communication streamlining purposes only.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf on Monday showed documentation of those meetings in the sentencing for former Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch and also produced emails between Walker, his official and campaign staff that were approving or discussing the content of press releases and media responses during the 2010 campaign.

Walker told WISC-TV Wednesday that his office can be trusted.

"We have a very clear firewall, something that's run through our ethics code and our legal counsel," said Walker. "In terms of what we do now, that's something clearly we hold ourselves to a higher standard than even the law requests, and if there were problems in the past those are certainly things that will be looked at."

Walker maintains that he also had a strict policy at the county level and once again said when it was discovered someone had violated the policy, as he said aide Darlene Wink did in 2010, she was immediately let go.

Wink was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in Milwaukee County on misdemeanor charges. Her sentencing was once again delayed to compel her cooperation in another case related to the John Doe investigation.

Democrats have lashed out at Walker, saying the newly released emails show he clearly engaged in illegal campaigning while he was Milwaukee County executive. The state Democratic Party issued a release Tuesday saying there's no doubt Walker himself was involved in criminal activity.

Walker has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the investigation, which has now stretched on for more than two years.

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