RGA says Burke's hands aren't clean on campaign ethics - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

RGA says Burke's hands aren't clean on campaign ethics

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Republican Governor's Association (RGA) is calling Mary Burke a hypocrite for recent comments she made criticizing Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) for setting a "low bar for campaign ethics."

The Democratic candidate for governor made those comments when asked about revelations stemming from emails released last week from the first John Doe investigation into the Milwaukee County Executive's Office in 2010.

As a result of that investigation, three former Walker staffers were convicted for campaigning on county time and some of the recently released emails suggest Gov. Walker may have known that activity was going on before their arrests.

"As Governor, I'm going to bring back the trust and honesty that we deserve for the highest office," Burke told reporters in Green Bay.

But RGA officials say Burke has little room to point fingers, since one of her senior campaign advisers was also convicted for campaigning on state time during the caucus scandal in 2002.

Tanya Bjork, who Mary Burke hired in 2013, was convicted of two misdemeanors after pleading no contest to altering records and illegally soliciting campaign funds when she served as chief of staff to former Sen. Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee).

"Before Mary Burke preaches about ethical standards, she needs to take a good long look in the mirror," RGA Spokesperson Jon Thompson said in the statement released Tuesday afternoon.

The Burke campaign fired back, saying Bjork's conviction pales in comparison to what was uncovered in the John Doe investigation.

"This is nothing more than a desperate attempt by Scott Walker and his allies to distract from the chorus of voices calling for an explanation as to why Walker's past public statements are at odds with the content of the John Doe emails released last week," Burke spokesperson Joe Zepecki wrote in a statement.

Gov. Walker has refused to answer questions about specific information contained in the John Doe emails since they were released.
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