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Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has denied knowing anything about illegal campaign activities in his previous office as Milwaukee County executive.

But about 28,000 pages of staff emails collected during a district attorney’s investigation and released this week present a picture of Walker that clashes with the impression of a top official above the daily fray of his office. They appear to show a hands-on manager in close touch with his staff and carefully tending his public image.

The emails could provide ammunition for political opponents challenging Walker’s candor as he runs for re-election this year and as he weighs whether to make a presidential bid in 2016.

Walker has not been charged in connection with any of the abuses, which involved employees doing campaign work on county time.

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