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Nov 27, 201308:17 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Meet John Doe 2: an assault on political speech

(page 1 of 2)

Pre-dawn raids on private homes. Imprisonment until the suspect “talks.” Orders to empty your pockets to see what we can find. No, not Putin’s Russia. But, like his reaction to Pussy Riot, Wisconsin’s speech gauleiters are convinced that someone, somewhere might be committing political speech without jumping through the authorities’ hoops.

That is the essence of John Doe 2. The secret investigation is pursuing conservative campaign fundraising and spending during Wisconsin’s recent recall elections precisely because his progressive Inspector Javert cannot defeat Scott Walker at the polling place or in the civil courts. So successful is Wisconsin’s governor that he is given serious consideration for the presidency. He must be stopped!

• Is it any wonder, then, that the same progressive movement that caused the IRS to selectively harass the Tea Party would resort to the investigation that never quits?

“Odd that there are only investigations into conservative groups breaking campaign finance laws. Sort of like the IRS only vetting conservative groups’ tax-exempt status,” commented UW law professor and blogger Ann of Althouse (quoting one of her readers).

• Is it mere coincidence that the judge at the center of the secret investigation, a former Democrat(ic) district attorney and appointee of Jim Doyle, signed the recall petition against Gov. Scott Walker? (Citation here.)

• Or that the chief investigator posted a Walker recall sign in his front yard, and 43 staffers in the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office, which conducted John Doe 1 and the current investigation, signed Walker recall petitions.

• This is a fishing expedition that presumes guilt until proven innocent. It demands “all memoranda, email ... correspondence, and communications” internal and external between about 30 conservative groups, plus “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing.” Empty your pockets, we’re looking for lint!

• The confidentiality of these organizations’ donor lists is normally protected by law; the prosecutors’ demand for their disclosure is a powerful dissuasion for future contributions.

• This investigation is punitive. It has conducted pre-dawn raids on private homes (as the Wall Street Journal reported) as if hostages were being held or bombs manufactured. It follows the heavy footsteps of John Doe 1, which jailed a motorcycle dealership owner for not divulging confidential information about his customers. (“Vendetta Justice”)

The conspiracy to commit free speech

What is John Doe 2 hoping to find? Evidence of coordination between the Walker recall campaign and so-called third-party issue groups. By law, they are supposed to keep at arm’s length.

Let’s cop to the worst-case scenario. Someone from the Club for Growth or Americans for Prosperity inquired whether the governor might be campaigning the same day and in the same news media market as their planned event? Scandalous! If there was communication, what of it? What voter was denied the legal right to vote? What candidate was forced off the ballot? What issue went undebated?

Progressives have been trying to hose the First Amendment ever since their disastrous Chicago convention in 1968. That was the purpose for the McCain-Feingold legislation that forbade voluntary associations of voters organized as corporations from speaking on political matters 60 days before a general election. Newspaper corporations loved it; they got a carve-out from the law. Citizens United v. FEC overturned that draconian assault on free speech.

The entire affair is predicated on the progressive belief that voters cannot winnow the wheat from the chaff without the kind ministrations of progressive gatekeepers. The heavy breathers on the left should pray that no convictions result. The assault on free political speech and freedom of association — so central to the First Amendment — is ripe for reversal at the nation’s high court.


Old to new | New to old
Nov 27, 2013 11:32 am
 Posted by  Leo

Salem, Massachusetts tried the same thing around 1692 and managed,
on mighty thin "evidence', to hang some so-called witches for show. It's much the same thing going on in Milwaukee County right now. But, so far, minus the hangings or burning at the stake. But the zealots know no bounds.

Nov 27, 2013 12:57 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Apparently D Blaska no longer believes in "law and order."

What a whiney baby! The author of this post, "The victimy victimhood of Scott Walker under John Doe 2.0", nailed it.

"...a rightie gets charged with doing something bad, a leftie does not have to get charged. A John Doe investigation is not a televised debate with each side getting their “turn”."

Nov 27, 2013 01:05 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

This man is a terrible writer. His arguments remind of recess on the playground in 5th grade. OK, maybe 6th grade.

And all the crying about victimhood is nothing more than a distraction from rampant lawbreaking.

Nov 27, 2013 01:41 pm
 Posted by  uwbiz96

How do you know the probe doesn't also include Democrats? The only reason we know that it's targeting Republicans is because those who shouldn't be talking about it are. Loudly and frequently. The Wall Street Journal opinion page is the only place where any particulars about targets, left or right, are mentioned and that's by someone who has a lot to gain by getting out in front of it.

If you don't like the law, work to overturn it. Don't simply break it.

I fully believe that unions are coordinating with the Dems, just like corporations are coordinating with Republicans and so does everyone else. I thought part of the Tea Party movement was to be opposed to both and all of this special interest skullduggery. Do you not subscribe to that part? Does it have anything to do with your career as a GOP water carrier?

I appreciate the intellectual distance on this particular image, but don't try to make it seem like you actually weighed the arguments. You were root, root, rooting for the home team all along.

Nov 27, 2013 01:56 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

So, the claim is Governor Walker coordinated with third parties, but clearly, Kathleen Falk did not?

Funny how an independent third party organization "Wisconsin for Falk" (not to be confused with her "direct" campaign organization Falk for WI) was able to obtain all of this B-roll footage of the candidate herself walking into the capital, talking to students, etc. without any coordination. How could she know what they were up to?

Nov 29, 2013 07:37 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Isn't Blaska the one who always writes dismissively about how our legal system coddles the criminals because they claim they're persecuted, that they're "victims" of their environment or race or whatever? These whiney political "victims" of John Doe 2 seem to have lawyered-up at a national level. I'm guessing our own sleepy-eyed boy governor and his local, state henchmen are not the real targets. They're gunning for the Dark Money purveyors further up the food chain. Oh well, maybe he'll be forced to accept career-ending immunity to testify against the Kochs et al to avoid prison. A boy can always dream.

Dec 3, 2013 12:22 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

What difference does it make whether this star-chamber probe "includes" Democrats? The process is totalitarian regardless of whom it is directed at. The fact that it is always directed at Republicans has nothing to do with it -- random variation, no doubt. It is puzzling that Republicans waste their time in state courts to obtain relief. The Dane County judiciary is as political as the General Assembly, and it feeds from the same trough as the Act10aniacs. Wisconsin has neither a republican nor a democratic form of government. Instead, it has an unaccountable bureaucracy that is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the "Progressives," whose first idol was Mussolini and whose arguments always amount to, "It should be (is, in Wisconsin) illegal to think/say that"; everyone else needs to shut up, suck on it, and keep sending their money to the Madison Imperium.

Dec 3, 2013 02:47 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I just plan to open my pocket book and give more to conservative causes and individuals. More investigations = more money donated. Wonder who will win in that round?

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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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