The release last week of the "John Doe Probe" emails is raising the question again of where does government work end--and campaign work begin? I think part of the reason that Scott Walker didn't actually face any charges from a District Attorney hellbent on taking him down is that for all intents and purposes, the line between the two activities has been blurred beyond any and all recognition.
When Kelly Reindfleisch was told to clean up some talking points in a speech Walker was giving in 2010 was she doing that for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker talking about economic development in Southeast Wisconsin--or for Republican Candidate for Governor Scott Walker talking about economic development in Southeast Wisconsin? Were daily schedules coordinated for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker or for Republican Candidate for Governor Scott Walker?
That's a difficult question to answer because everything that those involved in government do today is ONLY about the next election. Today's proposed bills are all about appealing to one's electoral base. Floor speeches aren't about debating the actual merits or detriments of an issue, they are a series of talking points--carefully crafted to fit into radio and TV stories about the debate--and into campaign ads further down the line.
Take it from someone who has been inside the factory and has seen how the sausage is made. Legislative staffs that may at one time been in charge of handling constituent concerns and getting the legal language of draft bills just right, now concentrate fully on positioning their employer for the next election cycle. And when election time comes around, they are given "leaves of absence" in order to work on the campaigns of other candidates (to avoid any appearance that they are just "political workers" for their own lawmaker) with the assurance that they can go back to their old jobs in their old offices after November.
In the late 1880's and early 1900's patronage was the norm in politics. People were given government jobs for which they were not in any way qualified, simply because they were political supporters of the man who held office. Today, those working in government are perfectly qualified for the jobs they are given--the only problem is those duties only involve getting and keeping their man or woman elected every couple of years.