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Gov. Scott Walker's corruption scandal brings shame to Wisconsin

A government that has lost the trust of its citizens is not long for power. Under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin has gone in one year from being a state renowned for open and clean government to one that is shabby and nefarious.

Actually, we need to start before Walker was elected governor -- specifically 1987, when Walker ran for student body president at Marquette University. During that campaign, he was found to be in violation of the school's campaign rules, including engaging in door-to-door campaigning, which was strictly prohibited. Walker was ultimately described to be "unfit for presidency" by the Marquette Tribune. When the Tribune endorsed Walker's opponent, Walker's supporters destroyed as many copies of the newspaper as they could find. This provides a window into our governor's character. Unfortunately, this incident received only cursory media attention during Walker's bid for governor.

Fast forward to July 2011. At that time, a staunch Walker supporter, William Gardner, was sentenced in Milwaukee County Circuit Court for two felony charges related to violations of campaign finance law. Gardner was the majority owner of Wisconsin and Southern Railroad, and during 2009 and 2010, he illegally funneled over $50,000 of company money to Walker's campaign through railroad employees. Gardner's scheme unraveled after his ex-girlfriend reported the activity to the Government Accountability Board. It was reported that Gardner and Walker met just days before Gardner's girlfriend notified the GAB, although Walker insisted later that he only spoke with Gardner about his "transportation philosophy."

Then, in September of 2011, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at the residence of Cynthia Archer, a high-ranking official in Walker's Department of Administration described as having played an active role in the plan to eliminate the collective bargaining rights of public employees. Archer was, by all accounts, a top aide to Walker, and was present during the dinner Walker assembled to announce the collective bargaining bill to his cabinet. It was reported that during the FBI raid, agents seized a box of documents from Archer's home, and a hard drive from a computer that Archer had recently given to her neighbor.

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