Showing posts with label John Doe investigation into Scott Walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Doe investigation into Scott Walker. Show all posts

Jun 25, 2014

Wisconsin Democrats, Don't Let This One Slip Away

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate, Scott Walker's
Most Important Ally Besides the Koch Brothers.
Image: Wisconsin Public Television
Update: Someone got to Mike Tate and in the colorful lexicon of politics suggested he is not proceeding correctly. See Democrats go after Walker on John Doe allegations (Craver, The Capital Times), green-lighting the release of a video and press release two days after Tate told Wisconsin reporters that blasting Scott Walker's criminal corruption and Walker's failure on jobs is too complicated for Tate to communicate clearly.

If Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair, Mike Tate, Were Coach of the Packers, He Would Find a Way to Screw-up a Game against a Junior-High School Team That Doesn't Have the Plays Down Yet. He Should Resign and Here's Why

What's the Matter with Kansas? (Thomas Frank, Holt Paperbacks, 2005), Thomas Frank famously asked, eyeing the authoritarian and statist political leanings of working-class Kansans who vote with elitist, big-moneyed interests and religious extremists.

Prairie populism is gone from Kansas, and 700 miles to the northeast in Wisconsin, the Badger state is headed the same way under the direction of the bureaucratic groupthink and grab-a-paycheck electoral strategy encouraged by Mike Tate, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, supposed opposition party to Scott Walker, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Koch brothers.

Facing Scott Walker and an enemy so rich in political targets, a given opposition political party could metaphorically grab a pistol, close its eyes, fire and hit dead-center, Tate and the Dems keep missing the mark.

Mike Tate and the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, Mary Burke, have made a strategic calculation to ignore the dirtiest and most spectacular political scandal in state history: John Doe II, right as the story was beginning to penetrate the casual voter in central and northern Wisconsin.

It would distract from jobs and the economy, Mike Tate explains.

"We had volunteers that knocked on over 3,000 doors this past weekend to talk about Mary Burke and Democratic candidates," said Tate. "What we heard at the doors wasn't whether the governor was at the center of criminal scheme. What we heard was that they wanted Wisconsin to get back to work" (Halstad, WPR).

No shit, you better focus on jobs and corruption and the environment and public schools.

Tate and the Democratic Party communications team are as effective as a 1970s television receiving signals through its rabbit-ear antennae.

This does contrast with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's web site of course where a fund-raising page presently reads, "Wisconsinites are tired of Scott Walker’s legal troubles, controversial proposals and absence from the Governor’s office as he ramps up his Presidential run," but put that aside.

This is the massive Republican implosion, with more to come, that Wisconsin's non-Scott Walker candidate needs.

Tate decided to do "a conference call with reporters" this week and let it be known that the most effective way to hype Walker's terrible record on jobs is to minimize Scott Walker's criminal corruption (Stein, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Where does the Democratic Party of Wisconsin draw up this strategy?

John Doe coverage is filtered through the Gannett Co. and local broadcast media; most people don't read the news often anyway, but Scott Walker being at the center of a nationwide criminal scandal is a sexy story with legs that reinforces what most people already believe about Scott Walker: He's a crook.

Watergate was awful, but it was also a spectacular news story that took down a president, and brought in a new age of crusading journalism. [If anyone wants a quick history, I recommend Jimmy Breslin's How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes from an Impeachment Summer.]

A candidate today has to sell the story (one would hope with the help of a political party), expand the narrative of criminal corruption to jobs, water, erosion of public education and giving away and destroying what took generations of Wisconsin families to build.

A couple of questions for Mike Tate?

Do you think Scott Walker's corruption and extremism have caused a net loss of jobs? (Hint, think rejection of $800,000,000 (that's $800 million, lots of zeroes) in federal funds to build labor-intensive railroad infrastructure.)

Do you think the message that 'Scott Walker is not for you, Walker sold out family-supporting jobs to special interests and out-of-state billionaires' has political appeal? (Hint, think single-mother families, rejection of $4.4 billion in federal Medicaid money through 2020 (Bauer, AP), and the underemployed.)

In the 2011-12 recall elections, Scott Walker benefited from the air-dominance of TV spots resulting from the temporary no-contribution-limit-for-recalled-candidates election rule allowing no caps on individual donations, resulting in Scott Walker receiving numerous six-figure individual contributions mostly from out-of-state interests.

Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now, said in August 2012, "Scott Walker bought the (June 2012 Recall) election with a waterfall of money no other candidate could legally raise."

Turns out Walker did not legally raise the money; he purposely and with malice of forethought broke Wisconsin election laws to win and screw the people of Wisconsin.

"Walker and his allies were able to stay on television non-stop across Wisconsin from late October 2011 until Election Day in June (2012) nearly 225 straight days," notes Ross.

To no one's surprise it turns out the numerous "issue advocacy" groups working for the election of Scott Walker were coordinating with Scott Walker, in apparent violation of Wisconsin campaign finance law, explaining why Walker and other big-moneyed interests do not want law enforcement looking anywhere near Walker's communications to Karl Rove and other Republican operators and big-money donors.

So, John Doe investigators have come upon a nationwide criminal scheme of corruption and a network of dark money centering on Scott Walker and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

The new and innovative response of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and its chair, Mike Tate: Look away, nothing to see here.

Several excellent candidates and officeholders have won here in Wisconsin, mostly by ignoring Mike Tate and running progressive campaigns accurately painting a compelling picture of out-of-touch Republicans selling out the Wisconsin people.

As for Mike Tate, I do have constructive suggestions: How about you take your undisclosed salary and contribute it to the political citizens groups, Protect Wood County and Its NeighborsGreen Bay Progressive and Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Hills Mine. (Facebook, open site)

Then resign gracefully.

Jun 20, 2014

Two Governors Face Scandals, Only One Governor Faces the People

Scott Walker avoids questions as DAs
say Walker is at center of massive
criminal scheme to illegally funnel
$ 10s of millions
Update II: Chris Christie Says He'll Campaign for Scott Walker at the Appropriate Time (Arco, NJ.com)

This would be before Scott Walker is formally charged with a crime.

Notes John Amato at Crooks and Liars:

Gov. Chris Christie says Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is "a good man" and voiced support for his fellow Republican, who faces allegations he took part in a nationwide criminal scheme to coordinate fundraising with conservative groups.

Christie defended Scott Walker this evening after greeting patrons of a New Hampshire restaurant during a campaign stop for a Republican gubernatorial hopeful. Christie dismissed the allegations against Walker, a potential GOP presidential candidate, as nothing more than attacks from enemies.
"Listen, we all understand that the more you try to bring change to your individual state, and that change starts to sweep the country, the more you’re going to be attacked by your opponents," said Christie, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate.

'That’s just something you’re going to have to deal with in this job," he said. "But I’ve already communicated with Scott today, he’s doing well. I completely support him and I look forward to going to Wisconsin and campaigning for him at the appropriate time."
---
The thesis advanced by Walker and Christie remains: Walker secretly planned to destroy the right to collectively bargain and gut environmental protections of water (uncontroversial), so the five John Doe District Attorneys (two of whom are Republicans) and the Republican special investigator are retaliating and attacking Walker, alleging a contrived "criminal scheme," because Walker-initiated "change (has started) to sweep the country."

Interesting theory out of two guys from whom most people will no longer buy bridges.

Love to see this Wisconsin-DAs-are-corrupted-by-big-government line voiced by Walker in front of a citizens' town hall meeting.

Update: Whether Scott Walker decides to turn around and face the people of Wisconsin, something qualitatively different is happening after this latest release of John Doe documents—the story is penetrating local broadcast and print (old) media. See WDIO-TV (serving Duluth, Superior and northern Wisconsin) Prosecutors: Gov. Walker Part of 'Criminal Scheme,' and National media pounce on release of John Doe II documents (Joyce, The Capital Times).

One thing to bear in mind after Judge Frank Easterbrook of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit shreds Judge Randa's opinion, John Doe II is a law enforcement investigation conducted by Constitutional Officers (under the Wisconsin Constitution) acting under the specific authority of Wisconsin's John Doe statute that Walker and others desperately are trying to stop. Now, we know why.

Wisconsin John Does are conducted under the statute that is a reformist initiative, written to ensure an orderly and fair investigation.

As attorney Marcus J. Berghan writes: "As the investigation in Milwaukee County has shown, the John Doe proceeding may lead to criminal charges. Those charges need not be directly related to the complaint that started the proceeding. When complete, the judge will determine whether probable cause exists to charge any additional individuals with a crime."
---
Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Chris Christie of New Jersey face legal-political crises as reports broke yesterday revealing escalating criminal investigations placing both pols near or at the center of criminal conspiracies.

"Indictments against four Christie cronies are near certain, sources say," reads an exclusive in Esquire (Scott Raab and Lisa Brennan). Christie has held over 100 town hall listening sessions and open call-in radio appearances, apparently taking all questions and offering his unvarnished view.

This accessibility would be a shocking departure for Scott Walker's in-the-bubble communication strategy.

"Prosecutors in Wisconsin assert that Gov. Scott Walker was part of an elaborate effort to illegally coordinate fund-raising and spending between his campaign and conservative groups during efforts to recall him and several state senators two years ago, according to court filings unsealed Thursday." (Davey, Confessore, New York Times)

Walker issues quick one-answer, unresponsive lines to non-GOP press, refusing to hold even one town hall-style listening session.

The gravity of the charges, constituting the reasonable suspicion predicating the John Doe investigation, are pooh-poohed by Walker who says the bipartisan investigation is partisan, and the heavily criticized U.S. District Judge, Rudolph Randa (who temporarily halted the John Doe probe in a results-oriented, contrived order and opinion), is "independent."

The $ tens of millions raised and apparently illegally coordinated is on a massive scale.

"Beginning in March 2011, there were 'open and express discussions' of the need to coordinate the activities of entities like Americans for Prosperity, Wisconsin Club for Growth, the Republican Party of Wisconsin, the Republican State Leadership Committee and the Republican Governors Association, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz wrote. Conference calls were held between the Walker campaign, the governors association and the business lobbying group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, he wrote."

The scope of the criminal scheme under investigation 'is expansive,' Schmitz wrote. 'It includes criminal violations of multiple elections laws, including violations of Filing a False Campaign Report or Statement and Conspiracy to File a False Campaign Report or Statement.' (Patrick Marley, Daniel Bice and Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) [See also Lisa Kaiser, Milwaukee Shepherd-Express, and Philip Bump, Washington Post]

David Koch told a reporter that he took credit for the fact the Republicans maintained control of the Wisconsin legislature in the Senate recall elections held in August 2011. Koch has given $ millions to the group, Americans for Prosperity and openly acknowledges his support for Americans for Prosperity and its activities in Wisconsin. It remains to be seen whether Koch was involved in Walker's scheme to funnel money.

"The accusation of any wrongdoing written in the complaint by the office of a partisan Democrat District Attorney by me or by my campaign is categorically false," said Walker. So why avoid the people of Wisconsin?

Walker's statement, though short, is full of errors.

Actually, there are five district attorneys, and two of them are Republicans. [One would hope this fact would follow reporting of Walker's statement, but this has not been the case.] And there has been no allegation of partisanship made by the presiding judge overseeing the five prosecutors.

As for the investigators' statements being categorically false, how about Walker holds a long question-and answer session, if Walker is truly innocent?

Even as Scott Walker refuses to face the Wisconsin people and offer an explanation for his role in the conspiracy, Walker's true constituents work to shut down the probe.

For an excellent summary of events, see The Chris Hayes show segment below:

Jun 19, 2014

John Doe Prosecutors: Scott Walker at Center of 'Criminal Scheme'

Scott Walker email to Karl Rove made public as John Doe probe reveals Walker at center of illegal coordination

A record tens and tens of millions of dollars were spent in a gubernatorial race in 2011-12.

But this was in Wisconsin, a middling state with a population of only 5.7 million people.

Now, in what is already being widely portrayed as a tipping point in the corruption of Scott Walker being laid plain, the bipartisan Wisconsin prosecutors allege in documents just released that Scott Walker "was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican state senators fend off recall elections during 2011 and '12, according to documents unsealed Thursday," report Patrick Marley, Daniel Bice and Dave Umhoefer in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Write Marley, Bice and Umhoefer:
In the documents, prosecutors lay out what they call an extensive 'criminal scheme' to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top Republican political operatives — R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.

The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors' filings.

The documents include an excerpt from an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also Walker's longtime campaign strategist and the chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group active in the recall elections.

'Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities),' Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011. ...

Federal Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook unsealed the court documents Thursday as he reviews a lawsuit attempting to permanently halt the secret investigation into the so-called John Doe probe into the recall elections.
Scott Walker was enchanted with speaking to Karl Rove early in Walker's term in 2011 during the period when Wisconsin Act 10 was rushed through the legislature in violation of Wisconsin's open meeting statute, it has been widely alleged.

Evidently, Walker felt a little too enchanted as he has again been demonstrated bragging about his proximity to money and directing how the money is spent.

May 30, 2014

Scott Walker Implosion May Be Imminent with New Release from Secret Comm System

Scott Walker's corruption featured
in February episode of Chris Haye
s
Update: Milwaukee County Executive announces he will have possession of the emails within days of June 4, and then release as fast as possible.  Look for a late June-July release of Scott Walker and staff emails on secret and illegal router system, installed in Walker's office during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. One prediction: It will begin to dawn on the most dense D.C. pundit that Scott Walker will never become the GOP nominee for the presidency.
---
Tens of thousands of emails will soon be released featuring communications among aides to Gov. Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive (2002-08), current Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced.

The emails were seized in the first John Doe investigation that found massive misconduct in public office, and resulted in convictions of six Walker aides, appointees and associates.

The emails follow the February release of 28,000 emails that were made public as part of litigation by Walker's aide, Kelly M. Rindfleisch and her appeal of her conviction for misconduct in public office.

Walker in the past has refused to answer questions about ethics and criminality during his tenure as County Executive, pointing out the fact that the first John Doe investigation did not result in criminal charges against Walker as explaining away any questions why he used and allowed to be used a secret email communication system in the Milwaukee County executive's office.

This next release of emails will speak loudly, demonstrating a micromanager who ignored the law and any sense of ethics, and will be much more difficult for Walker to evade, and will almost certainly stop talk of Walker running for president, possibly torpedoing his run for reelection for governor as well.

The new release of secret emails also follows the March 1 revelation by Bob Kiefert that he worked at the Milwaukee County Executive's office as an employee and explained how to set up another secret Internet system in 2002 in the physical presence of Walker aide and convicted felon, Tim Russell, and Scott Walker himself, who smiled and waived at Kiefert when Russell tried to introduce the two as Walker was on the phone.

Russell explained to Kiefert that the Internet system was done at the behest of Walker, (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal) who was to personally thank Kiefert for his help.

"Kiefert said the 3G broadband network described in the (criminal complaint against Walker aides) is a faster, more modern version of the equipment he helped install in 2002," reported the Wisconsin State Journal's DeFour.

May 8, 2014

Update: Judge Rudolph Randa Declares District Attorneys' Argument Frivolous

Update V: The Steven Biskupic-Rudolph Randa conflict-of-interest story is knocked down. "Steven Biskupic, a former U.S. attorney who is representing a party in the secretive John Doe probe, indicated Thursday in an email to the State Journal that there was no conflict of interest for Judge Rudolph Randa, whose judicial assistant is Cary Biskupic, Steven Biskupic's wife. (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal)

Update IV: From Greg Neumann (WKOW, Madison): "@Burke4WI says she does not think Judge Randa should have the final say on the John Doe investigation into GOP recall campaigns and groups." Better than nothing.

Update III: Mary Burke, Scott Walker's presumptive Democratic Party opponent, has nothing to say about this naked display of corruption in the judiciary. Nothing.

Update II: Here's Brendan Fischer's take from PRWatch: "Judge Randa's May 6 decision halting the investigation is extraordinary. It involves a federal court injecting its own interpretation of state law into a high-profile criminal probe of political operatives of the party that appointed him to the bench, while state court proceedings are ongoing. It deploys a strained reading of U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the facts of the case, portraying the investigation -- led by a bipartisan group of District Attorneys and a Special Prosecutor who voted for Walker, and approved unanimously by the bipartisan group of retired judges on Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board -- as politically-motivated retaliation against Republicans. ....

Update: Naked corruption by Judge Rudolph Randa (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin)

Randa just dove into the depths of corruption, and certified the law enforcement attorneys' arguments "frivolous," a necessary step for his halting the John Doe probe into Scott Walker's possible campaign and illegal coordination, among other fact-finding done by the criminal probe.

For a finding of frivolousness, a judge must certify arguments to be utterly meritless, and most likely made in bad faith.

Here's a lay definition of frivolous: A legal move in a lawsuit clearly intended merely to harass, delay or embarrass the opposition. Frivolous acts can include ... an appeal which contains not a single arguable basis (by any stretch of the imagination) for the appeal. (Law.com)

I would be surprised if Randa's decision lasts a day. In any event the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Judicial Misconduct Compliant Form is here.

Randa's decision will almost certainly be appealed, and overturned
---
Judge Rudolph Randa's "decision and order," mandating the destruction of evidence gathered in the Wisconsin criminal investigation known as John Doe II reads like a political op-ed column from the Wall Street Journal, in service to the Republican party of Wisconsin, as much as a precisely crafted judicial opinion.

Randa's bizarre order (PDF link from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) was stayed within hours by a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (May 7 order).

The appellate panel's language is measured of course, but reading between the lines, it is the legal equivalent of excoriation, and a complete reversal of Randa's decision.

On Monday, May 5, the Wisconsin district attorneys and other John Doe authorities filed an Emergency Motion for Stay Pending Appeal and Memorandum in Support of Motion.

Randa ignored the filing, and rushed out his decision and order the next day, May 6.

Wisconsin jurists cannot state on the record that Randa's actions are corrupt, reckless, and in disregard to settled legal procedure, but what Randa did was precisely for a corrupt purpose in support of the GOP and in opposition to the rule of law.

Chief Judge Diane P. Wood, William J. Bauer, and Frank H. Easterbrook write in their May 7 order:

Apostol v. Gallion, 870 F.2d 1335 (7th cir. 1989), once a litigant files a notice of appeal, a district court (like Randa's) may not take further action in the suit unless it certifies that the appeal is frivolous. The district court failed to follow that rule when, despite the notice of appeal by several defendants, it entered a preliminary injunction. This court accordingly stays the injunction, and all further proceedings in the court, until [Judge Randa] has ruled definitively on the question posed by Apostol. (emphasis added)
Why didn't Randa know this?

And why did Randa rush out his decision and order, a maneuver that lasted mere hours before being reversed in the appellate panel's order?

Randa's decision is replete with editorializing, minimizing the crimes of Scott Walker appointees and aides who embezzled from military veterans funds and committed misconduct in public office as "minor offenses."

Randa even refers to Walker's Act 10 Bill as "reforms," ["...Wisconsin Club for Growth (WCFG) argued that the reforms of the Budget Repair Bill were fair ..."] (p. 3) and presents as fact that "left-leaning organizations" (p. 3) are in political opposition.

Randa goes on and on, attributing the political motives of Eric O'Keefe (of the Wisconsin Club for Growth) and R. J. Johnson (a respected Wisconsin GOP politico) as benign and in the public interest.

Writes Randa: "The initial focus of the first (John Doe) proceeding was the embezzlement of $11,242.24 that Milwaukee County had collected for the local Order of the Purple Heart while Walker was serving as Milwaukee County Executive.  From there, the first John Doe developed into a long-running investigation of all things Walker-related." (p. 4)

"All things Walker-related?" Does this really strike anyone as anything but editorializing, and biased against and hostile to the John Doe investigation?

Randa's background of the case including his editorializing is not addressed on the appellate panel's order; it is not blasted by Wisconsin jurists (who ethically cannot criticize the ethics of a fellow jurist), so if falls to lay citizens and journalists to tease out what happened.

In none of the reporting from Wisconsin media outlets have we seen the facts of Randa's inappropriate and inaccurate editorializing reported on and condemned.

What happened this week is that a corrupt federal judge, a former member of the rightwing Federalist Society, fronted and shilled for the Republicans and other right wingers, and only the integrity of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit saved the rule of law in Wisconsin.

Nowhere does Randa even cite the Wisconsin John Doe statute that serves the Wisconsin people as a law enforcement tool.

One can read a scholarly and unbiased judicial opinion and find the arguments of both sides of the litigants' presented, analyzed, and refuted or sustained. Not so Randa's.

Randa's opinion makes a laughingstock of his tenure on the bench, already tarnished by the ludicrous Georgia Thompson prosecution and his unethical ruling on the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy proceedings settling the mass child rape and molestation cases.

In this case, Walker's attorney, Steven Biskupic, is married to Cary Biskupic who is a Judicial Assistant for Randa. No appearance of impartiality there, in Randa's view who should have recused himself from this case.

One thing Randa did get right is this: "According to the prosecutors, R.J. Johnson controlled WCFG and used it as a 'hub' to coordinate fundraising and issue advocacy involving FOSW (Friends of Scott Walker) and other 501(c)(4) organizations such as Citizens for a Strong America, Wisconsin Right to Life, and United Sportsmen of Wisconsin." (p. 8)

There is certainly reasonable suspicion for a John Doe probe, as the five Republican and Democratic district attorneys agree.

Randa did a service in demonstrating that Wisconsin Republicans (including Randa) today feel they are above the law.

Walker hopes that the criminal investigation will "move on," but not for Walker's benefit Walker says, but for the people of the state.

Right. I wonder if Scott Walker has any comment about Randa's characterization of stealing from veterans as a "minor offense" since Walker appointed the embezzlers who had no veterans' advocacy experience and no non-profit experience.

Walker also says the John Doe investigations are distractions. Yes, criminal investigations usually are distractions from those who have engaged in criminal activities.

It is incumbent on those Wisconsin citizens in the legal profession to borrow the courage of appellate attorney and author, Sidney Powell—who blows the whistle on massive corruption in the U.S. DoJ and federal judiciary in her new book, Licensed to Lie ...—and call for impartiality in the judiciary and the rule of law in Wisconsin.

May 7, 2014

Emergency Appeal Filed Against Order Halting John Doe Probe of Scott Walker, Rightwingers

"Less than a day after a federal judge halted a probe into conservative groups and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker, prosecutors filed an emergency appeal Wednesday of the unprecedented decision," reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Mike Maistelman, an election-law attorney, agreed that the case could very well end up before the nation's highest court.

'This is significant,' said Maistelman, who has represented primarily Democrats in the past. 'For the federal judicial branch to halt an investigation conducted by a constitutionally elected official is huge.'
John Doe probes are law enforcement tools to determine if and by whom crimes have been committed in Wisconsin under Wisconsin statute.

Writes attorney Marcus J. Berghahn:

The John Doe proceeding is an institution sanctioned by long usage since Wisconsin’s territorial days. The provisions of Wis. Stat. section 968.26 currently define the scope of a John Doe proceeding in Wisconsin, which is intended as an independent, investigatory tool to ascertain whether a crime has been committed and if so, by whom.

The goal is to allow the judge to determine whether it appears probable from the testimony given that a crime has been committed, and whether to file a complaint.
What Judge Rudolph Randa (of the rightwing Federalist Society) has done is to stop a law enforcement investigation, and order that evidence of possible criminal activity be destroyed.

Randa has a history of bizarre rulings including refusing to recuse himself in child molestation scandal-bankruptcy proceedings by Creditors of the Milwaukee Archdiocese (Goodstein. NYT).

Randa also presided over the trial of an innocent Georgia Thompson, ordering her imprisoned on appeal, until a panel on the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ordered her freed in a spectacular opinion in 2007 after oral arguments, ordering her acquittal.

Randa is described as a loose canon by several attorneys speaking on background.

Mar 5, 2014

Scott Walker and Aides Shared Confidential County Business on Private Emails

Scott Walker and his aides saw the Milwaukee County Executive's office as their political fiefdom, not an elected office, responsible to the people.

Lisa Kaiser reports:

"Gov. Scott Walker’s aides in his Milwaukee County executive’s office used their private emails to share information protected by attorney-client privilege, confidential contract bidding details, and updates from closed-door meetings, a survey of the newly released John Doe emails shows."

No staffer in Walker's office is revealed to be stating, 'we can't be doing this.'

That taking confidential, private information and giving the information to Walker's political campaign was standard operating procedure shows that this abuse of office is what Scott Walker believed he was entitled.

Mar 4, 2014

Washington Post: A behind the scenes look at Scott Walker

Update: John Nichols comments on Scott Walker and his stonewalling of the Wisconsin people after "Tens of thousands of emails detailing the ethical and legal lapses, political misdeeds, insensitivity, sexism, racism and homophobia of his 'inner circle' of closest aides were released." Notes Nichols:  "The headlines in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal, newspapers that endorsed Walker’s initial election and refused to support the recall, were tough — going so far as to suggest that the governor must have known about secret political operations set up in his Milwaukee County Executive Office. Both newspapers have used their editorial pages to demand answers from Walker, as did other papers."
The Washington Post has a piece out portraying Scott Walker as a "leader on the rise," during Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County Executive (2002-10).

The piece says Walker was fixated with "cultivating his political image," and features numerous emails and accompanying descriptions supporting this characterization.

What is striking about this obsession of Walker's is that this campaign for governor reveals an almost pathological disregard for the people of Milwaukee County—"in the hours after a boy was killed at a county owned garage, Walker's staff was quickly concerned about his public image."

What about the kid killed?

"A 13-ton concrete slab had come loose and fallen from a county-owned parking garage in Milwaukee, crushing and killing a 15-year-old boy, and within minutes, aides feared the worst for their boss, then Milwaukee County’s top elected official," writes Rosalind S. Helderman in her piece.

It comes as no surprise that most of the people on the emails are convicted criminals or struck immunity deals with the John Doe probe.

These are Walker's people.

We read emails from Tim Russell (felon who embezzled from a veterans' fund) and Kelly Rindfleisch (misconduct in public office) and the whole bunch of Walker's staff who hijacked a public office and used it as a campaign in Walker's rise to power.

Left out of the Post report is the fact that Milwaukee County Asst DA Bruce Landgraf presented evidence in court this year that Walker's top campaign and County staff sent emails between January and October 2010 [election for governor was in November 2010] using the secret and illegal email system installed in Scott Walker's office. Hence, we have all these emails made public after Rindfleisch appealed her criminal conviction.

Walker's press secretary now wants Wisconsin to believe that Walker's office was not using a secret Internet system as early as 2002, as was recently reported.

Mar 2, 2014

Winning Definition of Scott Walker: Conniving, Two-faced and Against You

Scott Walker: Don't look at me or anything I've done
Update: "Walker and his people hijacked government to serve his own political interests rather than the interests of the people." (Conniff. The Progressive)
---
When Republicans define a political opponent, they do so prior to the declaration of candidacy.

This means Republicans fabricate and lie, hoping not many folks are paying attention, and certainly not thinking.

Democrats on the other hand attempt to use facts and reality-based arguments seeking a mandate to win an election.

This is a difference in ethics between the parties, emphatically in the post-Citizens United world.

Every effective communication—working the press on stories, jumping on stories, feeding stories—all to help define, say Scott Walker with free media is an imperative to winning an election.

Conclusion: Do that.

In Wisconsin, the plausible definition of Scott Walker is a conniving, two-faced rat, against You and against veterans home from war.

By the way, for the George Lakoff "framing" freaks who believe they found the new, revealed code to political communications, they have not.

The political act of convincing communications in support of a compelling message has been used for almost 100 years—it's called PUBLIC RELATIONS, ... freaks.

Feb 23, 2014

Two Largest Wisconsin Dailies Call for Scott Walker to Hold Press Conference on Emails

From left to right: Tim Russell, Scott Walker and Brian Pierick
"Don't think for a minute that Walkergate or its effect will end ... ." 
Update: Even Fox News host, Chris Wallace, grows frustrated with Scott Walker's evasions.

WALLACE: Did you have your own private e-mail account?

SCOTT WALKER: It’s one of those where I point out district attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues.

WALLACE: But sir, you’re not answering my question.

SCOTT WALKER: No, because I’m not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information.
---
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal are both editorially supportive of Scott Walker to a fault.

Now, the two largest Wisconsin dailies are calling on Walker to come clean with an extended press conference that ends when the press is done with questions, not when Scott Walker declares this is "old news."

It's not old news when the probe that resulted in 15 convictions involving his former top aides, who as the emails reveal, acted on Scott Walker's orders, is now a public fact shown in black and white. Walker knew, was a participant and lied about it. Why?

Scott Walker cannot weasel away on this one.

From a PR perspective, as the editorials writers at the Journal-Sentinel and State Journal are aware, a hours-long, question-and-answer session explaining and apologizing is the right thing to do.

From a good government perspective, it's imperative.

Everyone is wondering why Scott Walker was not prosecuted when the court-ordered release of the 27,000 emails shows Walker was the top dog in the conspiracy to run a secret political campaign out of a public office.

Scott Walker even parades this fact of not being prosecuted in his seconds-long encounters with friendly, GOP-aligned journalists.

I wasn't prosecuted is a fair point.

As are the voluminous emails proving Walker knew and directed action on the secret email system, and after his aide was caught ordered that the use of the secret email system stop, shortly before the Milwaukee County Executive office was raided by law enforcement.

As noted by Ruth Conniff in The Progressive Magazine, there's nowhere left to hide now.

Scott Walker Is Desperate So Wisconsin State Journal Runs Pathetic Flack Piece

Here's Steven Verburg's (GOP) fronting for Scott Walker in his piece on Sunday's front page.
More than 28,000 pages of secret emails and other documents released under court order last week illustrate in sharp detail the extent to which modern electronic devices allowed Scott Walker’s top taxpayer-funded staff in the Milwaukee County executive’s office to be secretly converted into political campaign assets in 2010.

But his former aides were betrayed by the supposedly hidden laptops, wireless connections and Web-based email accounts after prosecutors seized hard drives that stored reams of messages. ...
Scott Walker used the secret, illegal router email system; he "urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, " (Stein, Marley and Bice. MJS), and after his aide Darlene Wink was caught, Walker then Walker ordered the system shut down.

To state his aides were "betrayed" is like saying an idiot who fires a pistol at a man for being black was betrayed by the bullet.

No, Walker and his aides were not "betrayed," as Steven Verburg writes while pretending to be a journalist, instead of a Walker flack.

Walker and his aide are perpetrators who ran a campaign for governor from the office of Milwaukee County Executive, and even found time during business hours to sneak in their own brand of humor about Jews, blacks, gays and disabled Americans on emails that no decent person regards as anything but vile.

As Democurmudgeon writes (and I am posting almost his entire text; he won't mind as he as repulsed as I am) watch this video at bottom:

MSNBC's Chris Hayes hit on the real revelation of the newly released stack of emails. Hayes points out "the shear jaw dropping offensiveness" of a few of those emails.
Hayes: "What kind of work environment exactly would it be all okay to get this in your inbox and then forward it to an unspecified amount of coworkers and subordinates...but think about the kind of work environment in which a chief of staff sends this kind of email to his subordinates. An email that is explicitly homophobic, racist, antisemitic and offensive in every way possible? ... These are the thoughts people who are in charge of things like, oh I don't know, running the states welfare system." 
This is who Scott Walker and new Republican Party are.

If anyone is wondering if Republican officeholder criticized Scott Walker's former chief of staff and other Walker aides for this crap, forget it, no GOP officeholder in Wisconsin ever publicly criticizes Scot Walker and his staff.

Feb 22, 2014

Emails: Scott Walker Urged County Staff to Comment on News Websites and Promote Him

"In the heat of the 2010 governor's race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show." (Stein, Marley and Bice. MJS)

We know Walker used the illegal email system; we know he knew about it though even now, incredibly, Walker will not admit this; and we know Darlene Wink got busted for promoting Scott Walker on County time, a crime that Walker urged County staff to commit.

The very first question of Walker if he has the guts and decency to answer questions should be: Governor, do you think you really have the credibility to deserve reelection?

Darlene Wink had to plea bargain for doing precisely what Scott Walker in black and white urged her and others do to.

Feb 21, 2014

Scott Walker Says He's "Done" with Scandal; Claim Not Supported by Facts

Title 18 USC § 201 - Hey, Scott Walker if you do take
questions from the people, I have a question RE the above
federal statute. I just don't trust you, Mr. Governor.
Check out Mining Mogul's greasing Walker and Co.
Scott Walker has still refused to hold one extended news conference, or one listening session to answer questions about the emails bombshells revealing his tenure as Milwaukee county executive that resulted in some 15 criminal convictions, a racist culture and what appears be grounds for criminal investigation into a political operation run out of a public office.

Wisconsin's largest daily newspaper that is editorially supportive of Walker, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, has demanded Gov. Scott Walker must answer questions raised by release of emails.

"The longer he dodges questions, the more he undercuts his reputation as a straight-shooter. There are questions that need answering that only the governor can answer. The people of Wisconsin deserve those answers," concludes the editorial.

One extended news conference won't do the job either; Walker needs to follow the example of Chris Christie and hold regular listening sessions, partially because Scott Walker was in charge.

Jim Myers reports from D.C. that Walker won't answer questions because he says he's "done" now, and hence Wisconsin voters are not owed any explanations.

Reports Myers:
Walker was asked if he would agree to hold a news conference to address the document disclosures, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did when controversy erupted over the closure of lanes heading into the George Washington Bridge.

"No, because I am done," Walker said. "The difference is he (Christie) was just at the beginning of his process. This has been done. Your paper and others have reported on it. You are basically getting a splash because political opponents of mine want to draw attention to something that has already been resolved as of last March."
Actually, Walker is anything but done, because the five district attorneys and supervising judge are looking into a "wide variety of state-related issues, including the recall races, ... a current legislative leader and the governor's contest." the John Doe probe began in part because the "investigation is following up on a number of leads turned up by an earlier John Doe probe ... ." (Bice. MJS; Oct. 21, 2013) So, even the first John Doe is not done in that in carries on into John Doe II.

While Scott Walker may believe he has the power to declare a criminal matter done and resolved, law enforcement, the rule of law and the Wisconsin people are going to have the final word on Walker's scandal.

Walker is exposed to the public and he does not like it. Seeing how petty, hateful, bigoted and obtuse Walker and his minions are is a PR disaster for this bunch.

Personally for Walker is the exposure of the man as a liar, seemingly pathological. As Dave Zweifel writes in his Plain Talk column: "There were several revelations that came from the thousands of John Doe emails released Wednesday by the Appeals Court, but what caught my attention the most was how the emails confirmed just how much Gov. Scott Walker lies.

Yes, he lies and he was in charge of a criminal rise to political power.

The Wisconsin John Doe statute is 968.26. Remember that because attacks on law enforcement investigating Walker and the Money are going to increase.

This is a legal investigation convened and supervised to find if and by whom crimes have been committed. Let's not kid ourselves, there are huge-moneyed forces that want to stop this law enforcement investigation and they have the money to apply pressure to try to get their way. For now, the John Doe probe II is anything but done.

Speaking of not being done, check out the continuing coverage of Wisconsin's venerable The Progressive Magazine, the scourge of Joe McCarthy in 1954 and of Scott Walker 2011-?

My favorite is Walker's Denials No Longer Hold Up by Ruth Conniff.

The Progressive is poring over the 27,000 pages of emails and is pumping out precisely written scoop after scoop daily.

Emails Suggest Scott Walker Aides Ran Illegal Vote-Purging Scheme

From One Wisconsin Now in 2010
Update: This story has been retracted by The Progressive.

This explosive charge should result in another investigation; why haven't these crimes been investigated and prosecuted before?

From The Progressive:
Emails released this week appear to show Governor Scott Walker's top aides engaging in an illegal scheme to "cage" Wisconsin voters in the weeks ahead of the 2010 gubernatorial election.
Voter caging is an illegal campaign practice used to purge voters from the rolls. Neighborhoods with large minority concentrations are most typically targeted by caging operations. Voter caging is an illegal campaign practice used to purge voters from the rolls. Neighborhoods with large minority concentrations are most typically targeted by caging operations.
In 2010, One Wisconsin Now revealed a voter caging plot in Wisconsin:  CAUGHT ON TAPE: Wisconsin GOP and Tea Party Target to block Minorities and College-age Voters in Voter Caging Plot.

The groups involved in the caging scheme were Americans for Prosperity, the Republican Party of Wisconsin and various Tea Party types,

High Wisconsin turn-out rates had to be stopped.

Likely Scott Walker aides teamed up with these idiots.

Illegal Email System Will Cost Scott Walker, Says Expert, as Walker Stands Mute

When Multiple Kelly Rindfleisch learned she is a target
Talking Point Memo has two pieces worth reading as national media pundits are doing their best to pooh pooh the vile racism and Walker's clear complicity in the illegal enterprise run out of the Milwaukee County Executive's office.

See How Scott Walker's Secret Emails Could Doom Him for 2016 and Scott Walker Isn't Taking Questions About Secret Email Club.

TPM's Daniel Strauss writes:
A massive document dump released this week about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has revealed some embarrassing tidbits about former aides to the governor. So far there hasn't been a bombshell directly linking governor to legal misconduct, but the the slow burn of the scandal -- and his reluctance to answer questions about it -- may drag down any presidential or vice-presidential ambitions Walker had in 2016.

"I think it's damaging, not because there was a lot of new information in the emails that were released, but because it put the story back on the front pages and it's really displaced the other things that the governor would prefer to talk about in an re-election year," University of Wisconsin political science professor Barry C. Burden told TPM.
Walker's credibility had been nuked nationally, and his penchant for surrounding himself with dumb, racist hicks is on full display, as the national know-nothing talking heads and hacks laugh off venal racism and duplicity of Scott Walker and his closest staff.

Walker's habit of appointing racists has continued in his tenure as governor. See Scott Walker aide behind ‘Black Friday’ fundraiser fired for racist tweets (December 3, 2013), Top Scott Walker Aide Fired for Recent Racist Facebook Rant Had Earlier Directed Staff to Withhold Information About Free Photo ID to Low-Income Wisconsinites (August 9, 2013) and on and on.

Meanwhile the national treasure known as The Progressive Magazine has more pieces eviscerating Walker:

As for Scott Walker's legal future bear in mind that John Doe investigators under the statute 968.26 (2) (b), under the the supervision of the judge of the investigation may approve subpoenaing (and certainly considering records already subpoenaed) "written records that the judge finds relevant," and this would include rereading the 10,000s of e-mails that the investigators may have missed.

The point is just because the focus of John Doe II appears to be illegal coordination, adding to the scope of the investigation is certainly within the John Doe II's probe's charge, and just like everybody else who has seen the emails by Scott Walker on the illegal email system, there appears to be no reason why investigators and district attorneys could not reach the conclusion that crimes have been committed.

Feb 20, 2014

Scott Walker Meltdown Lesson: Don't Trust National Pundits, Except Nate Silver

From left to right: Tim Russell, Scott Walker and Brian Pierick
"Don't think for a minute that Walkergate or its effect will end ... ." 
Even today the well-regarded Larry Sabato ranks Scott Walker as a "First Tier" candidate, along with Chris Christie and Rand Paul.

Dr. Sabato should perhaps update that Crystal Ball.

Sabato was joined by virtually the entire D.C. commentariat in this ridiculous assertion that this corrupt lightweight from Wisconsin could ever function on the national stage, though most progressives just wanted Walker out front so he could take a fall.

Political writers at Cognitive Dissidence and I am proud to note, this site have been saying for years that Scott Walker as a presidential candidate is a joke that is not going to happen.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice also knew better, saying Walker is not an "ideas guy" who could quickly become the Rick Perry of 2016 if Walker ever threw his hat into the ring.

Now, that Walker's political trajectory is plunging towards the bottom of Wisconsin's Lake Mendota, time to say I told you so. From last year:

Put aside the fact that the national press would look much more carefully than the Wisconsin press has at the machinations of WalkerGate and Walker's aides stealing money from veterans.

Put everything aside that we know about Walker's extremist, Tea Party-crazy ideology, and the growing currency of the Walker image as a petty, vindictive politician.

The heavies in the GOP know they cannot go with this crazy hick—way too much baggage, horrible optics, and the guy is a lightweight. 

And about that other guy from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan ... Paul Ryan will never be president of the United States. He's as fake as Walker, just not as dumb.

Scott Walker Hides; Chris Christie Holds Town Meeting Question and Answer

Update: From the former office of Scott Walker: Walker Aide Uses the “C” Word.

The latest from Scott Walker's document central is that Walker is linked to the destruction of evidence. Other revelations are just as repulsive, keep updated at The Progressive Magazine.

Scott Walker is singing his Swan Song with a Tweet from an undisclosed location, as his competition for the most corrupt governor, Chris Christie, is holding a listening session and answering their questions.

Walker says he's off to D.C. to the National Governors Association meeting, while Chris Christie who is chair of the National Governors Association was in the Middletown Township in New Jersey today to face his constituents and answer their unscripted questions.

Christie has held 105 listening sessions; Scott Walker: ZERO. Christie is hostile, loud and often rude, but unlike Walker Christie answers the questions posed to him.

Walker's idea of a listening session is to talk to reporters by answering questions not asked, and then running away before a follow-up can be posed. Can anyone imagine Walker facing Wisconsin citizens and taking their questions in the same straight, direct manner that Christie handles the task?

Mary Bottari at PR Watch has an excellent piece out, The Top Five Things You Need to Know about the John Doe Emails.

Bottari finds more illegal fundraising, lies, coverups, and the fact that Scott Walker was in charge of the criminal enterprise of running a political campaign out of a public office.

"Repeated emails from Walker show that he was a hands-on manager of the 'inner circle,'" notes Bottari.

Check out her piece.

The more we find out about Scott Walker, the less credible he becomes, explaining perhaps why he is in hiding when he is in Wisconsin, (he refuses to post his public schedule) and why he spends so much time out of state.

Walker wants to run for office with the money he raises from D.C., Texas and New York, never having to explain to the Wisconsin people what he is doing to our state.

Here from PR Watch are the shots of the people convicted by John Doe 1, the people whose company Scott Walker kept in his criminal rise to power.

Scott Walker Exceeds Probable Cause for Criminality and Venality

Wisconsin John Doe probe is testimony to
our faith in the Rule of Law
Update: A corrupt U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa steps in and orders halt to John Doe probe.
---
Last October, Scott Walker refused to engage a question about the John Doe II probe and offered an evasive statement, "We expected that with a new Democrat candidate for governor in the race that there would be stories like this along the way." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) and (WPR)

No Wisconsin journalist expects a straight answer from Scott Walker anymore, something the nation is now finding out as another republican mentioned as a presidential candidate has fallen in a spectacular fashion.

Right about now, it can be said with certainty that Scott Walker did not expect the myriad stories after the court-ordered release of some 27,000 documents reveals the depravity and duplicity of his former top aides and him in black and white.

Walker is now drawing unfavorable comparisons to Chris Christie, and it won't be long before national Republicans begin to walk away from Walker with the same urgency they now employ in avoiding Christie.

Not that this white flight matters a great deal in this post-Citizens United era in which billionaires determine who the Republicans nominate for president, and not GOP politicos or voters.

Now that a fraction of emails from Walker's secret and illegal email system used to campaign in the offices of Milwaukee County has been released, Walker and his administration are equally evasive about John Doe I as about John Doe II: "The recently released communications of a county staffer from several years ago are part of a legal process that was completed early last year,' said Jonathan Wetzel, the spokesman. "Governor Walker is confident that during that legal process, these communications were thoroughly reviewed by the authorities." (Davey, Yaccino. NYT)

Wetzel's two former two predecessors have been granted criminal immunity, and 15 criminal convictions resulted, including Walker's top aides, with no claims of innocence from this "legal process" referenced by Walker.

Yet, one wonders if Walker truly expects this New York Times report as well, as he claimed last year:

The (court-ordered) messages showed how actively Mr. Walker’s campaign coordinated with county workers in 2009 and 2010, when he was running for governor. They shared emails about the proper wording of campaign news releases. They exchanged emails on county time promoting a birthday fund-raising event for the campaign. Some used private email accounts to communicate even, apparently, with Mr. Walker, according to an email from the county’s administrative director, who at one point advised a colleague to do the same, adding imprecisely, “Consider youself [sic] now in the ‘inner circle.’ ” And plans for a daily conference call, the newly released emails show, included members from both his campaign for governor and his county executive staff.
As noted here, John Doe I began after Walker and his aides stonewalled investigators looking into missing money embezzled from an event honoring veterans, and law enforcement investigators subsequently found a criminal political racket run by Walker.

Stealing from veterans was later found to exceed $10,000s by two perpetrators with no veteran advocacy experience, both of whom were appointed by Scott Walker.

Walker did not bring anybody else with him to the governor's office from his tenure of Milwaukee executive so his line that the governor's office is not staffed with convicted felons is meaningless.

On "May 5, 2010, Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed a petition with court officials asking if his office could initiate a secret investigation into what happened with $11,000 in donations intended for Operation Freedom, an annual event honoring veterans," that was staffed with Walker appointees, reported Dan Bice. That's how this criminality that is Scott Walker and his aides began.

After the Milwaukee DA failed to bring charges against Scott Walker, and the DA implied the John Doe probe was a mini-trial requiring guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to move forward, many wondered why the John Doe proceedings did not result in Walker being charged.

With Walker now implicated in black and white, foiled by his own illegal email router system he personally used for electioneering, Walker may have a tougher time escaping criminal charges no matter how much money his billionaires pay Walker's criminal defense fund in exchange for Walker doing their bidding as Wisconsin governor.
 
Checking with jurists the past couple of years, without exception the belief is that Wisconsin statute 968.26, the John Doe statutory authority in Wisconsin, is a law enforcement tool used to establish probable cause, a standard or quantum of evidence typically sufficient to bring criminal charges.

Ask a black man in Milwaukee if probable cause is sufficient to convict him, and the reply is likely, 'no.' Just being black is sufficient.

But Scott Walker and his contributors are recipients of billionaires' treatment under the law.

The Wisconsin BenchBook reads in part regarding John Doe Proceedings:

"Proceeding to determine whether crime committed and by whom." ...
D. "Must conduct self as neutral detached magistrate in determining probable cause [47.47.]

Still, the prevailing consensus appears to be that in Wisconsin John Doe probes, determining whether to bring criminal charges is up to the prosecutor and supervising judge, who employ a standard of proof that is not clear.

As the late Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice John Coffey (1978-1982) wrote in Wisconsin v. Hooper, (No. 79-1580-CR.) (Supreme Court of Wisconsin) (April 29, 1981):

"(P)rosecuting attorneys possess broad discretion in determining whether or not to charge a defendant and thereby initiate criminal proceedings," and DAs enjoy "quasi-judicial prosecutorial discretion;" hence the enormous pressure brought to bear on the current John Doe judge, Judge Gregory A. Peterson, and the five bipartisan district attorneys whose probe is facing legal challenge in federal court and Wisconsin's Supreme Court from forces with seemingly unlimited financial resources.

The Koch-funded GOP front groups such as the Wisconsin Reporter have been attempting to apply political pressure to the John Doe proceedings as well.

It's not just prosecutorial discretion that will decide John Doe II, but also jurists able to withstand the pressure brought to bear by the huge-moneyed interests supporting Walker.

The courage of John Michael Doar and Robert H. Jackson is needed against this challenge to the rule of law supported also by hateful and bigoted political movements, the most prominent of which are underground.

Feb 14, 2014

Report: Republican Governors Association to Run Six-Figure Ad Buy Next Week

AP writer Scott Bauer has a piece today running the story first reported in the Washington Post that the "Republican Governors Association will go to bat for one of its all-stars with an early advertisement aimed at bolstering Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign."

This week, Walker, after benefiting from some $15 million in past support from the Republican Governors Association (RGA) of which Christie is now Chair, praised Chris Christie:

"He told me the same thing in private that he did to the press in New Jersey, and I have every reason to believe that the information he said is consistent with the truth, and so I still support him in his role as governor and his role in the RGA," Walker said of Christie at an economic conference. (Politico)

Walker's loyalty to Christie is being amply reciprocated by the coming statewide attack ad that implausibly attributes the national Bush-Cheney recession of 2007-08 to Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle, while claiming credit for the Obama recovery through the efforts of Scott Walker.

Walker's 250,000 new jobs campaign promise continues to be regarded as a cruel joke, and Wisconsin has underperformed the rest of the country and the Midwest in recovering from the Bush-Cheney recession.

Few outside of Scott Walker's circle see Chris Christie as anything but corrupt and a likely future criminal defendant whose fall has been a spectacular political story for months.

Why Walker's presumptive Democratic opponent, Mary Burke, passed on hitting Walker's praising the butt of late night jokes and the paradigm of corruption has left many Wisconsin progressives shaking their heads in silence.

The RGA statewide ad buy will run as 1,000s of e-mails are released from Scott Walker's secret campaign e-mail system that Walker ran from his office of Milwaukee County Executive, a scandal investigated by a John Doe probe that resulted in Walker's top aides and appointees being convicted of criminal felonies.

Walker's former aide, Kelly M. Rindfleisch, tried unsuccessfully to keep the e-mails secret so their release next week is expected to shed more light on Walker's scandal that has been largely buried by Wisconsin's Gannett newspapers and local broadcast media.

Thirteen Scott Walker associates and staffers took immunity deals to keep from being criminally charged in the John Doe probe as provided by Wisconsin's John Doe statute, a move now trumpeted by Walker aides that they say proves Walker ran a clean office.

No mention of the six Walker aides, appointees and associates convicted of crimes typically follows this line from Walker's office.

In fact, it is a distinct possibility that the e-mails will show Scott Walker hip-deep in the illegal campaign run out of his office during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive.

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said the ad buy was no surprise in light of the $ millions spent by special interests on Walker as Wisconsin's middle class shrinks under Walker's tenure.

Burke's campaign is not being run as a grassroots operation, she a Democratic Party placeholder candidate whose primary political qualification is that she is not Scott Walker.

But Scott Walker is so dependent on ad buys by huge out-of-state interests, with massive corruption charges looming heavily that anti-Walker forces hope Walker's political house of cards could tumble in time for the November general election.

National politicos wondering 'what's the matter with Wisconsin,' need only look at the shell of the Democratic Party that has withered under Chair Mike Tate who evidently harbors an aversion to political infrastructure and a communications team.

Grassroots citizen organizations are about the only thing that has kept the radical and corrupt Republican Party at bay, such as it is, replete with $10s of millions from special interests such as the Republican Governors Association.

Dec 19, 2013

GOP Apears Intimidated by Wisconsin John Doe Probe

When the Wisconsin recall movement bloomed in 2011-12, many wise men and women warned that Wisconsin could expect vast sums of money from out-of-state GOP-aligned interests to defend Scott Walker and the GOP.

These warning proved true.

"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. This is Wisconsin, not populous Florida.

When news broke in October 2013 that a new John Doe probe had been launched (Bice. MJS) looking into what appears to be criminal campaign funding in the 2012-12 recall elections, Republicans and their front groups went ballistic.

The Wall Street Journal called the investigation, which finds out if and by whom crimes have been committed, an attack on GOP speech.

John Doe probes in Wisconsin are begun when a district attorney, under supervision of a judge, has more than reasonable suspension and perhaps less than probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, and investigation is/would be obstructed, is impractical, or might unnecessarily harm innocents, hence the secrecy.

Wisconsin John Doe probes are closely regulated, but the GOP and its GOP propaganda sheets believe that if the GOP is investigated, then by right the Democratic Party must also be investigated.

Other Republicans say the John Doe probe is a fishing expedition, but when pressed for facts to back up the assertion, no Republican offers anything beyond not liking the "unchecked, unbridled scope of these investigations," as Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. told the Wisconsin Reporter.

Left unasked by the GOP Party sheet is the question: How do you know this, Sheriff  Clarke? How do you what the John Doe is investigating, who and why? Who did you talk to?

But something has the GOP spooked.

In a new development, the Franklin Center for Government and Integrity, is attaching the Wisconsin John Doe investigation using anonymous sources and a variety of we-don't-like-you statements, devoid of facts like Clarke. This is typical, as Bill Lueders writes under the "Talk is cheap in John Doe probe':

A lot of folks — perhaps too many — are spouting off about the John Doe probe launched by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office into the campaign of Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and more than two dozen conservative groups, among others.

Lueders could write a new story, Talk is desperate in John Doe probe; see Why Is the Franklin Center Attacking the John Doe Probe? in The Progressive and PR Watch.

Wisconsin used to be the butt of friendly jokes for it fair and clean elections. Not any more.

Republican illegal collaboration with independent groups is suspected across the political spectrum.

As David Koch told a Palm Beach Post reporter in 2012, "(Koch) took credit for the fact the Republicans maintained control of the legislature in the (Wisconsin) Senate" recall elections held last August. He said it 'was the work our people did, what Americans for Prosperity did and the money spent that enabled them [the Republicans] to keep control in the [state] senate."

For now the public GOP line is: Stop looking at me that way, leave me alone, and quit asking all these questions.

If the GOP members served with a subpoena are sticking to this line, improbable, their politcal and legal futures are not very bright.