Jan 31, 2014

Wisconsin AG and GOP Spurred John Doe Probe, Docs Show

Wisconsin Probe Looks at Alleged Illegal Coordination Between Unnamed Candidate and 'special interest groups' with federal 501(c)(4) nonprofit status, Newspaper reports

Update: See also "legitimate investigation into possible crimes against our democracy."

A Wisconsin Court of Appeals panel unanimously knocked down the effort by GOP-aligned political allies to halt the Wisconsin John Doe probe looking into possible violations of campaign finance law in the 2011-2012 Recall elections, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported yesterday.

GOP forces and Scott Walker have all criticized the John Doe probe, but new documents show Wisconsin's GOP attorney general and two GOP district attorneys were involved in requesting the John Doe probe.

Walker publicly made innuendo casting doubt on the legitimacy of the probe in October 2013, though he refuses to hold a listening session on this issue, or any other issue.

Republican forces spent $10s of millions in their effort to protect Scott Walker and GOP senators from electoral defeat at the hands of Wisconsin voters in the Recall elections.

Walker and the GOP received money mostly in large checks from out-of-state billionaires.

"Overall an estimated $137.5 million was spent on the unprecedented 15 recall races for governor, lieutenant governor and state Senate in 2011 and 2012," reports the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Despite cries of foul from the Wall Street Journal and other political rightwingers, documents made public yesterday show Wisconsin's GOP Attorney General and two GOP district attorneys were involved in asking a judge that Wisconsin's John Doe statute be used in this investigation to determine if and by whom crimes have been committed.

"Also, the documents reveal that the special prosecutor in the case, former federal prosecutor Francis Schmitz, was appointed at the request of [Milwaukee County DA] Chisholm and four other district attorneys — two of them Republicans, two of them Democrats," the Journal-Sentinel reports.

The 2013 Wall Street Journal editorial condemning the probe stated "Another reason for skepticism is the probe's timing as Mr. Walker's 2014 re-election campaign looms. This is the second such investigation against Mr. Walker in three and a half years, following one that began in the office of Milwaukee County Democratic District Attorney John Chisholm in spring 2010."

If one takes seriously the Wall Street Journal editorial, then Wisconsin GOP legal forces are out to get Scott Walker.

So, it has now been conclusively put on the record that Wisconsin's AG J.B. Van Hollen stepped aside pointing to the perception of conflicts of interests, GOP district attorneys collaborating with three other district attorneys properly followed Wisconsin law, and received permission to conduct a John Doe probe under Wisconsin's specific John Doe statute.

Are Wisconsin's GOP propaganda outlets—Wisconsin Reporter, WTMJ, Charlie Sykes, Media Trackers and so on—now going to issue retractions? Not likely. 

Facts are no concern to the GOP.

Wisconsin statute 968.26 on John Doe proceedings is the statutory authority for conducting John Doe probes in Wisconsin.

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