Jun 26, 201411:07 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
First Amendment raid at Capital Newspapers exposes ‘criminal scheme’
(page 1 of 2)
You may have noticed that there were no local editorials in this morning’s Wisconsin State Journal. There is a reason and it should frighten all those who hold their liberties sacred.
Early this morning, just before daybreak, armed sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at 1901 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison. That is the headquarters of Capital Newspapers, Inc. Among its string of daily newspapers, the corporation publishes the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times.
The raid was conducted in pursuit of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s prosecutorial theory that Capital Newspapers, Inc. is conducting a “criminal scheme” to “pour money into candidates’ coffers in the form of in-kind political ads and other propaganda masked as issue advocacy.” The corporation has never filed a campaign finance report with the Government Accountability Board detailing those contributions.
Documents leaked to Blaska’s Bring It! divulge that the Republican prosecutor believes that the corporation is illegally coordinating with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and the Mary Burke campaign for governor to defeat Scott Walker in this year’s gubernatorial election. The search warrant cites these recent Capital Times headlines:
- “Scott Walker’s desperate defenses just aren’t credible”
- “If campaign coordination is OK, why did Mike Ellis get in trouble?”
- “Scott Walker not looking very presidential”
- “Under scrutiny, Scott Walker’s fiscal record is a jumble”
- “Do we like what Scott Walker has made us into?”
Sealed court documents leaked to this blogge allege that Capital Times editor Paul Fanlund called Walker a racist in a column he wrote on 6-17-14. Further, the Wisconsin State Journal offered material aid to the Burke campaign with the headline: “Prosecutors accuse Scott Walker of running ‘criminal scheme’” on 6-20-14. It did so despite two judges — one state, the other federal — ruling that no law had been broken.
Deputies this morning seized computer hard drives, laptops, flash drives, cell phones, paper files, one Rolodex, and an Etch-a-Sketch used by Dave Zweifel. Plus a handful of Shopper Stoppers, for the coupons. John Nichols escaped the roundup and remains at large. He is believed to be armed with a laptop linked to Wi-Fi and is alleged to be extremely prolific and heavily caffeinated.
The conspiracy has also been linked to two magazines, The Nation and The Progressive. Prosecutors noted the similarity between Nichols’ pieces in The Capital Times and those in the two leftie publications and his appearance on the Radio Slymer’s show — all in support of Democrats, socialism, and unions.
Because the raid was conducted as part of a secret John Doe investigation, subjects of the raid were enjoined under criminal penalty from speaking out publicly about this morning’s search. That’s why neither newspaper reported on the First Amendment bust today. However, one witness (who spoke on condition that he not be named due to criminal reprisal) said State Journal columnist Chris Rickert protested vehemently, although he qualified his outrage by claiming to see both sides.
The witness quoted Rickert to say, “Aside from being pure of heart, the press is mentioned in the First Amendment. By name.” He was briefly taken into custody for “failing to cooperate,” as were State Journal editor John Smalley, editorial page editor Scott Milfred, and a stringer for the prep sports section.