Nov 8, 2014

Fed Judge's Ruling on Dark Money Moves to State Court Under Cloud

The Wisconsin Governmental Accountability Board (GAB), Wisconsin's election board, and John Doe officials have effectively acceded to a corrupt federal judge's ruling that was expected to be overturned in federal appellate court in a bizarre legal move yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa (corrupted in service to the Koch brothers, Federalist Society, the Bradley Center; nominally of the Eastern District of Wisconsin) issued an ruling in mid-October declaring Wisconsin's campaign finance regulations—prohibiting coordination among political candidates and dark money 'issue' groups—violate the First Amendment and henceforth are unenforceable.

The case is Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates, Inc., v. Thomas Barland (Case No. 14-C-1222).

Randa faced a judicial slap-down and possible ethical investigations in federal appellate court so now all parties have decided to cover up for Randa by moving the case to state court.

The GAB and John Doe officials have reached an agreement with Citizens ... moving the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) and narrowing Randa's injunction of Wisconsin campaign finance law under Randa's novel and contrived theory of the First Amendment.

Partisan Republicans enjoy a four-to-three majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which has lost legitimacy as an impartial judicial body.

When the rightwing group, Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates, filed its suit in early October, it gamed the court paperwork so Randa would hear the case, which happened and Randa subsequently fast-tracked the case, instead of waiting until after Election Day (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

"Judge Randa first made news in May when he issued an extraordinary ruling halting the criminal campaign finance investigation into Governor Scott Walker's campaign, declaring that candidates and 'dark money' nonprofits have a First Amendment right to coordinate over ads that don't expressly tell viewers how to vote (and ordering the destruction of evidence). That ruling was reversed by a unanimous decision from the 7th Circuit in September, with conservative jurist Frank Easterbrook calling Randa's decision 'imprudent,' 'unnecessary,' and an 'abuse of discretion,'" notes Brendan Fischer of PR Watch.

Randa's October 14 ruling devastating Wisconsin's campaign finance regulations was issued just weeks before the November 4 election in a clear violation of the Purcell doctrine employed by courts as a guiding principle that election law is not changed close to an election, and certainly not before voting had already begun as is the case in Wisconsin where 1,000s of absentee votes were already cast when Randa issued his ruling in mid October.

The effect of the ruling was to legalize coordination among candidates and dark money, allowing Scott Walker's campaign some three weeks to conspire with whomever it chose.

Randa's ruling, not coincidentally, also would absolve Scott Walker of apparent crimes as indicated by documents released in the John Doe probe that show Walker is suspected to have been at the center of a massive "criminal scheme" Marley, Bice and Glauber, (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

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