The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Milwaukee branch of the Gannett empire, asked Governor Scott Walker if he had any connection to the infamous Russian dossier created by Fusion GPS about President Donald Trump. Of course, the answer was no, but the newspaper’s Jason Stein just had to ask.
In the story, Stein explains why:
Media reports have revealed that during the 2016 election Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for research by the intelligence firm Fusion GPS into Trump’s ties to Russia.
But media reports say it wasn’t just Democrats who paid for the research in a controversial dossier that leaked out after the election. Still unnamed Republicans involved in the GOP presidential primary also reportedly paid for the opposition research and its findings, which in many cases remain unconfirmed.
With national media outlets now asking GOP presidential primary candidates whether they also helped pay for the research, the Walker campaign jumped to make clear that the GOP governor had not done so.
But we’ve known all along that the dossier had a Republican origin. The media hasn’t bothered to ask the Republican presidential candidates before. It’s only after it was revealed that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, along with the FBI, continued to pay for the research from Fusion GPS that the media has become really, really interested in finding the Republican connection.
Good luck on that, guys. It could have been any Republican or group of Republicans that started it. They were smart enough to stop funding it, which makes them smarter than the Democrats and the FBI.
But we know who the Democrats are, and there are real Wisconsin connections to the Russian dossier story that the media could be following.
From the Washington Post, we know the Clinton campaign used Marc Elias and the law firm Perkins Coie to engage Fusion GPS. Elias was Senator Tammy Baldwin’s political fixer in the wake of the Tomah VA hospital scandal. And, as Reform Wisconsin notes, he was just paid $8990.63 by Baldwin during the last campaign finance reporting period. The newspaper could ask Baldwin about her connection to Elias as we attempted to do on Wednesday.
Or the newspaper could ask Tim Burns, the lefty candidate for the state Supreme Court, what he knows about the political work being done by Perkins Coie, the law firm where he works. The same goes for Josh Kaul, a Democratic candidate for state attorney general who also works for Perkins Coie. Did they have any knowledge of the Russian dossier or the work that Perkins Coie was doing on behalf of the Clinton campaign?
Instead, the newspaper only spent a scant 60 words (the last 60 words) of the story mentioning the Wisconsin Democratic connection to the Russian dossier.
In the wake of the Washington Post report, Wisconsin Republicans have noted that Elias helped U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) respond to criticism over her handling of a whistleblower’s complaint about problems at the Tomah VA Medical Center.
Republicans have also noted that Democratic candidate for Attorney General Josh Kaul and Supreme Court candidate Tim Burns also work at Perkins Coie.
No mention, of course, of RightWisconsin (or the MacIver Institute or Media Trackers). But regardless of whether it was nameless “Republicans” or the conservative media reporting the Wisconsin Democratic connection, the facts are the facts, so why dismiss the connection as Republican claims rather than actually pursue the story, too?
Unfortunately, the Journal Sentinel’s dismissal of the Wisconsin Democratic connection to the dossier in the last 60 words of a story was still better than any other newspaper in the state. Google searches and searches of the Madison newspapers have turned up no other mention of the Wisconsin Democratic connections to the Russian dossier story.
The story is right there for the writing but, like OJ Simpson looking for the real killers, the liberal media would rather chase a phantom Republican than embarrass the Democrats.