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.