MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing anonymous sources, reports that Gov. Scott Walker may be ready to cut a deal with prosecutors. That deal would end the second John Doe investigation.
That investigation is looking into the possibility that Gov. Walker's campaign broke the law by coordinating with outside political groups like the Wisconsin Club for Growth, during the 2012 recall election.
"I think to the outsider looking at this, it's not surprising that Governor Walker's campaign might be interested in ending this investigation," said Jay Heck, Executive Director of Common Cause Wisconsin, a non-partisan group that advocates for good government. "This is after all, an election year, and if this is strung out over the summer and into the fall, it's probably not helpful to Walker."
But the reports of a possible deal have upset Walker's allies -- like those in the Club for Growth, who say the entire investigation is a witch hunt. Those groups were encouraged when U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa stopped the investigation, saying it violated the First Amendment.
A WSJ editorial published on Tuesday, May 27th said: "The understandable concern among the direct targets of the John Doe is that Mr. Biskupic will cut a deal that would exonerate Mr. Walker while wrestling concessions from some of Mr. Walker's allies. "...Sounds like Mr. Walker has to decide whose side he's on--his own, or the larger principles he claims to represent."
Speaking to reporters in New Berlin on Wednesday, Gov. Walker said he could not discuss the case because of the secrecy order.
"As I pointed out before, the bottom line is, per the law, people who know anything about it are prohibited from talking about it, and people who don't know anything about it shouldn't be talking about it. So either way I don't talk about it," said Gov. Walker
"What is interesting are the very groups -- Club for Growth, the Wall Street Journal -- which have always strongly favored Governor Walker have sort of said, 'Well, no. Don't settle, let's take this all the way through to its conclusion," said Heck.
The WSJ editorial had a harsh warning for Gov. Walker: "Mr. Walker is a hero to many for his fight against public unions, but he will tarnish that image if he sells out the cause for some short-term re-election reassurance."
"It's going to be a political issue in the Fall whether Governor Walker settles it or not," said Heck.
The investigation is on hold right now because of Judge Randa's order. Prosecutors have appealed to the 7th Circuit in Chicago. In the meantime, neither prosecutors nor Walker's campaign are speaking on the record about a potential deal.