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Apr 21, 201501:30 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Wisconsin’s shame: News media acquiesce in persecution of political speech

(page 1 of 2)

The optimists here at the Blaska Policy Werkes believe those who make a living off the First Amendment retain some small respect for the freedom of speech of other citizens, even those they do not employ.

With that tender hope, the proprietor recently emailed a must-read article to 10 working journalists. It is the National Review’s account of police wielding battering rams in pre-dawn raids of private citizens, some with young children, in their homes to seize personal computers and files. These raids were apparently orchestrated in pursuit of prosecutors’ theories that one group of citizens was talking to another group of citizens about public policy issues prior to an election. Yes, America has come to that.

The piece, “Wisconsin’s Shame,” recounts a free-speech raid that occurred on an otherwise quiet street on the Madison isthmus:

Cindy Archer … was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram. She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic.

“I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.” She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. [Full story here.]

Three other raid victims also related their stories. No one has ever been charged. Police reportedly held the victims of this Orwellian nightmare incommunicado, ordered not to contact a lawyer –– so much for Miranda –– or even a friend, under Wisconsin’s unique John Doe proceeding, which more resembles the old medieval Star Chamber courts.

That didn’t stop inquisitors from apparently inviting a news reporter from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Indeed, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, an enthusiastic backer of this inquisition, has profited from selective leaks.

Reporter M.D. Kittle of asks, who was the reporter outside Cindy Archer’s house?

Archer … “looked outside and saw a person who appeared to be a reporter. Someone had tipped him off.”

Supporters of the Democrat-launched political John Doe probes into conservatives have argued secrecy is key to its success, denouncing any leaks that undermine the prosecutors’ case. But Archer’s suspicion that a reporter was present was apparently right –– and indicates that secrecy is a tactic rather than a principle: a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article published on the day of the raid, Sept. 14, 2011, indicates that a Journal Sentinel reporter arrived in time to see “about a dozen law enforcement officers, including FBI agents” raid Archer’s home.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Apr 21, 2015 02:43 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


As a defender of free speech why don't you use your investigative skills to dig into the censorship at the BCPL ? And make sure you include the part where the State treasurer wants to fire people for doing the job they were hired to do. Come on, boy, you can do it!

Apr 21, 2015 02:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Interesting that you would comment on how the townships in Dane County don't want to be covered by county zoning. In the last 4 years there have been a number of local zoning decisions formerly done at the local level that have now been taken over by the state. Cell tower siting and non-metallic mines review to name a couple. Odd power grab from the party of small government wouldn't you agree?

Apr 21, 2015 03:38 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

Deservedly Anonymous 02:43 p.m.: I thought Tia Nelson ware hired to manage the state's surplus lands, not promote climate change ideology. What is your evidence contrary?

Apr 21, 2015 03:40 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

news flash, the sweater looks like it.

not president material.

Apr 21, 2015 04:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

All you need to know about this blog and InBusiness can be summed up with this: Blaska weeps for Cindy Archer, currently collecting a 6 figure taxpayer funded salary, than he does for Tony Robinson.

Well, at least InBusiness puts up a liberal to balance out Blaska. Last updated: December, 2014

Apr 21, 2015 05:36 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


One of the big sources of income for the BCPL is from the sale of timber/forest products off land managed by BCPL. An integral part of forest management, both long and short term, is knowing what the outside influences are on your forest. Many northern species (spruce-fir) for example are now in decline due to warmer temperatures (you can check with UW, they are in the forefront on these studies). Many species of pests and disease not found in the north are now moving into our forested north. Anyone responsible for managing a sustainable forest has to take all these factors into consideration. That is why a discussion of climate change, man-made or otherwise, is a necessary part of forest management. Unless you feel that we don't need to keep the money flowing into the state fund from the sale of forest products? But then science would be involved and that is so out of favor right now.

Apr 21, 2015 07:03 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dear gutless anonymous, what is wrong with the governor being frugal and getting a good bye at Kohls? I can tell you are a coward lib! Maybe the Dane County Exec could take a few hints from the Governor and quit buying property and start using the tax payer dollars wisely by fixing the crap roads they haven't touched for years, ie. County Hwy T and TT for a start but then you probably don't get outside the city much and probably wouldn't know!

Apr 22, 2015 08:06 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

anon 7:03

Are you blaska's kin? I know T and TT are Blaska country (I used to live out there as well). Don't you need to report this free lobbying effort?

Apr 22, 2015 08:11 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


anoy 7:03 pm,

Boy are you tough, you must sit around kissing blaska's a-- all day.

walker is a total a-- and liar. Be a big man, and prove to me that walker does not lie.

put up or shut up.

Apr 22, 2015 09:05 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The entire league of communists at The Cap Times, State Journal and Milwaukee J/S would control all political speech in the state if the stupid Move to Amend idea is passed. A bunch of brainless peasants across several cities were hoodwinked into believing this is a good thing and passed resolutions asking for this to be made law. If this would become law, newspapers and magazines, radio and TV stations and cable news outlets should also be forced to stop providing any political advantage to one party. After all, they are not people, and they are expending resources on campaigns. I'd love to see Crissy Matthews be forced to shut up. But would they be included in the law? Not the way the left wants it to be. Heck, if the law was worded properly, most of the "journalists" at the above named democrat campaign headquarters would have to be let go.

Dave, not B

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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