MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has released copies of an email from Carlos Lam, an Indiana prosecutor, to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in which the Johnson County deputy prosecutor suggested a fake attack on Walker to discredit workers protesting at the Capitol here.
Yesterday morning, expecting that the story would break by today, Lam called his boss, Prosecutor Brad Cooper, and told him that, after having been up all night thinking about it, he was resigning.
"He wanted to come clean, I guess, and said he was the one who sent the email," Cooper said.
Until then Lam had been telling the investigative journalism center here that his e-mail address matched the Hotmail address appearing on the Walker e-mail, but claimed he had never written to Walker.
In the email he now admits to having sent Walker, Lam suggests that the Wisconsin governor carry out a "false flag operation" to win the sympathy of the public and portray the peaceful demonstrators as violent.
"If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions. Currently, the media is painting the union protest as democratic. Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support the media may be creating in favor of the unions. God bless, Carlos F. Lam."
Governor Walker today denied that he or anyone else in his office saw the e-mail or contacted Lam.
Walker, of course, has already been exposed for considering illegal tactics against protesters.
In February, a caller pretending to be right-wing billionaire and Walker campaign donor David Koch reached the governor and suggested he plant troublemakers in the crowd to incite violence that could be blamed on unions and their supporters. Walker admitted, "We thought about that."
Lam is now the second Indiana prosecutor to lose his job for suggesting Walker use violence against protesters.
In February, Attorney General Jeff Cox was fired after a tweet he sent that said "live ammunition" and "deadly force" should be used to disperse protesters in Madison.
When he was still claiming that he was innocent Lam told Kathy Golden at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that he was "flabbergasted and would never advocate for something like this, and would like everyone to be sure that that's just not me."
Asked his views on Scott Walker, Lam said, "I think he's trying to do what he has to do to get his budget balanced. But jeez, that's taking it a little bit to the extreme," he said of his own e-mail's call for faked violence. "Jeez!"
He said he was with his family shopping for a mini-van when the e-mail was sent.
The Wisconsin Center discovered the e-mail to Walker among tens of thousands released to the media last week as part of an open records lawsuit settlement with Isthmus and the Associated Press. It was in a folder produced by the governor's office marked "Pro," full of e-mails supporting the governor's "budget repair" bill. If the governor's claims about the e-mail are true, the person in his office who put the copy of the e-mail in the "Pro" folder did not actually see what he or she was doing at the time.
Before he came clean Lam told the Wisconsin investigators that "the person who wrote this seems to know a lot about me" and that his account "had been hacked in the past. He also told the investigators that on the advice of Cooper he had taken down his Facebook page, changed his cell phone number, e-mail address, passwords, library card, medical records and student loans" and "was afraid for my family's safety."
Lam's blog posts and writings on the Internet reflect those of a committed ultra-right politician.
On a stock investor's site he called Indiana "an unsustainable public worker gravy train bubble." In another, he said "unions and companies that feed at the government trough will fight tooth and nail against anything that un-feathers their nests."