MADISON -- Governor Scott Walker hasn't answered questions about the ongoing John Doe investigation into several of his aides during his time as Milwaukee's County Executive, saying legally, he can't. Thursday, May 24th, Milwaukee Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett called on Walker again to release information on his role in the scandal, before voters take to the polls June 5th.
"This goes directly to the issue of transparency in government," Barrett said.
Barrett said "honesty in leadership" is the central issue in the recall campaign, and said his concerns with Walker's leadership are crystallized in the John Doe corruption probe into Walker's former Milwaukee County staff.
"Governor Walker continues to bob and weave, and duck and run," Barrett said.
Investigators found more than 1,000 campaign emails were sent on a secret internet system set up near Walker's taxpayer-funded County office.
Now, Barrett is running TV ads, asking Walker to explain himself.
"I am asking Governor Walker in this commercial -- all e-mails between him and former associates who are charged with and pleaded guilty to criminal wrongdoing," Barrett said.
Regarding whether he will release the emails, Walker said Thursday...
"The mayor of Milwaukee is the only lawyer in this race, and as a lawyer he should know, that per the parameters of an investigation like that, you can't. You'd be violating the law," Walker said.
"The second question is even more basic. Why won't Governor Walker identify the campaign donors who are funding his criminal defense funds?" Barrett said.
"That office asked us not to comment. I was commenting on it a while back because I said it's like fighting a battle with both hands tied behind your back. There's a lot more things I'd love to talk about, but that office asked us not to comment on that because they thought it would undermine their ability for us to be able to cooperate with them and so I'm honoring their request," Walker said.
Barrett has been hammering this issue for about two weeks now, and says polls are showing it's sinking in with voters.
Barrett says he plans to confront Walker in Friday night's debate.
Walker's plan for the debate is simple - just like Kevin Costner's character in the baseball movie "For the Love of the Game," when he needs to concentrate, he's just going to focus on the catcher's mitt. In other words, he won't let anything distract him from making his pitch to the voters.
FOX6 News is helping to sponsor the gubernatorial debate Friday night, May 25th at 8:00 p.m.
The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association will moderate the hour-long event.
The debate starts at 8:00 p.m., and will be broadcast on TV 6.2 — Channel 986 on Time Warner Cable and Channel 967 on Charter Cable.
The debate will also stream live at FOX6Now.com.