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John Nichols: What did Walker know? And when?

Just hours after he delivered a State of the State address that he hoped would set the tone for his campaign to avert a recall election threat, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was hit with exactly the sort of news that embattled politicians fear most.

Two former aides to Walker — one of whom was in the employ of his campaign until just days ago — have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors in the ongoing John Doe investigation of wrongdoing by aides, political allies and campaign donors with links to the embattled governor.

These charges follow closely on the filing of felony charges against Tim Russell, a former Walker deputy chief of staff and one of the governor’s closest aides over the past decade.

The aides charged Thursday were, according to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, engaged in fundraising and other political activities during work hours while on the staff of Walker when he served as county executive.

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