May 8, 201512:19 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Chris Rickert, hand over your laptop and cell phone this instant!
(page 1 of 2)
Most of the time, Chris Rickert is the Great Equivocator. He can find more sides to an issue than a diamond cutter with double vision.
But when it comes to the speech police, the Wisconsin State Journal columnist squares up with Big Brother.
Pre-dawn police raids on private homes, seizing computers and even the children’s cell phones, and then forbidding the victims to talk about it — all while a favored metro newspaper reporter gets a juicy tipoff? Kwitcher bitchin’.
Complaining about this assault on political speech is only “self-righteous whining,” says Mr. Rickert, who makes his living off the First Amendment, undiluted, thanks to a generous exemption from campaign finance law. (Read it and weep here.)
“Besides,” he rationalizes, “the John Doe police raids were at least thoroughly vetted.”
“Thoroughly vetted”? M.D. Kittle at Wisconsin Watchdog recounts that in October 2013 then-presiding John Doe Judge Barbara Kluka managed to review “every petition, subpoena, and search warrant sought in the case, and purportedly reviewed hundreds of pages of affidavits and evidence, in just one day’s worth of work. Kluka suddenly and without explanation recused herself from the investigation shortly after the raids.” Her successor as overseeing judge, Gregory Peterson, for all practical purposes shut down the witch hunt, which all began on a prosecutor’s “theory.” There was never any hard evidence.
Which doesn’t stop the likes of Rickert from going all Graeme Zielinski. “But let’s not pretend that what the targets of the raids are suspected of doing is significantly less wrong than, say, drug-dealing, gang-banging or other crimes worthy of a police raid,” he writes. Wow!
What laws were they breaking? Laws that forbid one group of citizens from discussing matters of public policy with another group of citizens. “Coordination” is the operative word. In any case, the prosecutors got the law wrong, said one federal judge, in a ruling overturned only on jurisdictional grounds. The case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.