« Representative: Nearly One in Ten Donors to Tea Party Groups Were Audited | Main | Boko Haram Now Armed With Weapons Gotten From... Post-Invasion Libya »
May 08, 2014

Federal Judge Shuts Down Secret "John Doe" Investigations of Scott Walker and Right-Leaning Groups

I haven't written about this because honestly I continue not to understand it. I read almost the entire order shutting down the investigation (providing injunctive relief telling the progressive prosecutors from five counties to Shut It Down) and I looked up other writers discussing it but I still don't really understand what the prosecutors were doing.

John Ekdahl brought it up on the podcast a few times, and I didn't understand it then, either.

Well, I understand only the vaguest outline of it:

Prosecutors from five, get this, progressive-leaning counties were conducting a never-ending investigation into groups that just happened to support the union-limiting reforms in Wisconsin, based on a flawed reading (or deliberate misreading?) of campaign finance laws, and furthermore demanded that each target of the probe (and there were many) remain absolutely silent about it.


A judge has shut this anti-democratic, thuggish abuse of conservatives down.

The four-year effort by Democratic prosecutors to criminalize political speech in Wisconsin has hit the wall of the U.S. Constitution. In a ruling that could have consequences nationwide, federal judge Rudolph Randa issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday ending the secret John Doe probe of allies of Governor Scott Walker.

We've been telling you for months about the secret Wisconsin John Doe, which operates like a grand jury and forces targets to remain silent. The targets are right-of-center groups disliked by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, his special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, and the left-leaning state Government Accountability Board that regulates campaign finance...

Prosecutors had justified their dawn raids and harassment in the name of exposing illegal coordination between the Walker campaign and conservative groups. But Judge Randa ruled that the investigation was based on a mistaken reading of campaign-finance law that violated Mr. O'Keefe's First Amendment's rights.

One of the judge's key findings was that the law, supposedly put in place to prevent corruption and the rigging of political contests, cannot be permitted to be used as a club for corruption and the rigging of the political contests.

There's a minor epilogue as Judge Randa's order was technically defective but now he's reissued a correct order.

Update: This 2013 Legal Insurrection post seems to explain some of it.

As I understand it, the main complaint was that prosecutorial resources were being warped for partisan purposes.

As Wisconsin Reporter first revealed, the investigation, launched in early 2012 by the Democrat-led Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, aims to prove conservatives illegally coordinated activities in the historic recalls of Gov. Scott Walker and Republican state senators, multiple sources say.

One source with knowledge of the investigation has told Wisconsin Reporter the ultimate goal is to bring down Walker, the bane of Wisconsin liberals.

Conservative targets and others close to Wisconsin’s latest politically charged John Doe contend the probe is nothing more than a “taxpayer-funded, opposition-research campaign.”

“This is not a question of what conservatives did wrong. It’s a question of one party in this state using prosecutorial powers to conduct a one-sided investigation into conservatives,” said one source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to his proximity to the probe.

What is striking is that no liberal organizations appear to be targeted in the John Doe, particularly interesting in light of the tens of millions of dollars pumped into Wisconsin’s unprecedented spate of recalls in 2011 and 2012 by union and left-leaning groups.

And it should be noted that these prosecutors were searching for evidence in their probe. One can then wonder why they didn't also think of searching for evidence of illegal coordination among Walker's opponents.



digg this
posted by Ace at 05:32 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
JTB: "I continue with the LOTR audio and it is turning o ..."

Trimegistus: "First off: Tolkein's Beowulf. I liked both his ver ..."

OregonMuse, AoSHQ Thought Leader, Pants Monitor & Austere Religious Scholar: "[i]38 That photo of Nads...tell me it's photoshopp ..."

[/b][/s][/i][/u]Muldoon: "[i]...weave a suspenseful tale featuring seafaring ..."

mnw: "24 AHL & Your Holiness My kids are SOL, then, b ..."

Anonosaurus Wrecks, Tyrannosaur Wrangler: "I watched the movie Timeline (which sucked) and re ..."

FloridaMan: "I don't know. A love of reading is a better gift. ..."

Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd: "Mom locks a brother a sister up for years, they ev ..."

saf: " Horny Scotsmen attempting to switch from she ..."

Pine-scented Druid philosopher James Comey: "I'm as honest as the day is long. In Antarctica. I ..."

Secret Square: "Question for the Horde: I've been accepted as a ve ..."

vmom planning her campaign platform: "VC Andrews is still writing books today, long afte ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64