Update II: Group gamed filing federal lawsuit to be assigned to Rudolph Randa. (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Update: Two other points. Randa has ignored the Pursell principle and changed Wisconsin election law less than three weeks before Election Day. Secondly, through Randa's two rulings against Wisconsin campaign finance law enforcement, Randa has given Scott Walker an arguable defense if the John Doe Probe is allowed to proceed with its investigation though Scott Walker knows what he did is illegal. A federal judge declared what Scott Walker and others did is not illegal, so how can John Doe prosecutors find Walker, for example, guilty of breaking finance law when Randa has imposed ambiguity in the law that will be read against the state in a criminal prosecution.
An obscure rightwing group, Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates (CRG), has filed a complaint in federal court based upon a discredited view of the First Amendment to halt virtually all Wisconsin campaign finance law.
That's good enough for U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa who issued a preliminary injunction "before the GAB (Government Accountability Board) and (Milwaukee County District Attorney John T. Chisholm) had even spoken with the attorney assigned to represent them," notes Brendan Fischer at PR Watch. Nor had the GAB and Chisholm's attorney even filed a brief before Randa ruled.
The federal case is Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates v. Barland et al.
Randa wants to engineer the law to work for political allies and specifically shield Scott Walker from getting criminally charged or politically embarrassed by facts of the ongoing John Doe probe.
Randa heard CRG's complaint and issued a ruling today in this naked attempt to protect Scott Walker in what will likely raise corruption and misconduct questions before the supervising Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit after a likely reversal.
"The general election is only three weeks away. Any further delay threatens to negate the effectiveness of CRG’s requested relief," writes Randa.
"Randa issued his latest order even though those who are being sued didn't have an attorney until Monday. Because the lawyer was only recently hired, he has not submitted a brief to the judge explaining his clients' views on campaign finance laws or why they believe they are valid," notes Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Randa had already made up his mind.
This is typical Randa, using his position on the federal bench to benefit Scott Walker less than three weeks before Election Day by blocking "enforcement of a Wisconsin election law that's at the center of an investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign and more than two dozen conservative groups." (AP)
Wisconsin law enforcement has more than reasonable doubt to believe that Scott Walker is part of a criminal collaboration scheme that Randa is declaring no longer to be criminal, using this case, Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates v. Barland et al to issue this bizarre ruling today.
"U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa on Tuesday barred state election officials and Milwaukee's top prosecutor from enforcing their interpretation of campaign finance laws limiting the ability of candidates and purportedly independent groups from collaborating," writes Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Earlier this year, Randa expressed similar skepticism toward campaign finance laws and halted an investigation into collaboration between Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and groups backing him. That ruling was thrown out three weeks ago by an appeals court that took Randa to task for his decision, in part because the panel said the case belonged in state — not federal — court."
Randa's earlier campaign finance decision was overturned in September in O'Keefe and Club for Growth, Inc v. Chisholm and Schmitz, with Judge Frank Easterbrook writing for a panel of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that included Judges Diane Wood and William Bauer, "No opinion issued by the Supreme Court, or by any court of appeals, establishes ('clearly' or otherwise) that the First Amendment forbids regulation of coordination between campaign committees and issue-advocacy groups ... ."
Knocked down hard by the appellate court, Randa is apparently not guided by the appellate court's admonitions or its orders. Easterbrook called September ruling "imprudent," "unnecessary," and "an abuse of discretion." (Fischer, PR Watch)
Overturning Randa's decision in O'Keefe and Club for Growth, Inc., Easterbrook wrote, "Until the district court's opinion in this case, neither a state nor a federal court had held that Wisconsin's (or any other state's)
regulation of coordinated fundraising and issue advocacy violates the First Amendment. ...It is not possible to treat as 'bad faith' a criminal investigation that reflects (the U.S. Supreme Court's) interpretation of the First Amendment."
This appellate opinion is inconvenient to Randa's political agenda, and could hurt Scott Walker if more evidence of what Scott Walker did goes public.
Randa just thinks up the results of cases and rules, throwing in an opinion at the end.
Critics and most jurists call this "results-oriented" jurisprudence.
Other people call it corruption.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, corruption at its worst, also got in the act.
"In a surprising move, Wisconsin's Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen reversed his office's position on the scope of Wisconsin campaign finance law, and declined to represent the GAB and Chisholm in the lawsuit. In a letter to the GAB -- the agency tasked with interpreting and enforcing Wisconsin campaign finance law -- Assistant Deputy Attorney General Dan Lennington called the agency's interpretation of Wisconsin campaign finance law 'tenuous,'" notes Fischer.