And finally, the intense, lasting anger on the union side led to a recall election for Walker himself. And in the final hours before that vote, anti-Walker activists have spread ugly and baseless rumors that Walker is about to be indicted and — in perhaps the lowest and most ridiculous point of the entire spectacle — that Walker fathered an illegitimate child in college.

The indictment rumor was the work of the lefty television network Current, relying on what appears to be guesswork and supposition. Walker called it “100 percent wrong.” But the report shot through a liberal blogosphere desperate for anything to use against Walker.

Then, over the weekend, an organization called the Wisconsin Citizens Media Co-op, which bills itself as “a group of citizen journalists who began covering the Wisconsin Uprising in February, 2011,” posted an article on its website recounting the story of a woman who said her roommate had been Walker’s girlfriend at Marquette University. The woman said her roommate became pregnant by Walker in the 1980s, that Walker had encouraged the roommate to have an abortion, and that when she chose not to abort the child, Walker denied paternity and took off.

None of it is true. The actual mother in question told a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter that Walker was not the father of her child, and it appears the accusers may have confused a 1980s paternity case involving a Scott A. Walker with the governor, who is Scott K. Walker.