Silence of the news media lambs abets slaughter of civil liberties

Still waiting for one Wisconsin editorial page, one good government goo-goo to speak out against the secret and partisan witch hunt trying to undo what was done in the ballot box: get Scott Walker at any cost.

A mid-level staffer named Kelly Rindfleisch was convicted of a felony for not telling the star chamber court what it wanted to hear about Walker. She is collateral damage in this partisan prosecutorial vendetta. (The chief prosecutor is a Recall Walker booster.)

Her weekend interview with The Wall Street Journal, “Caught in the Political Grinder,” is must reading.

It turns out Ms. Rindfleisch used her own laptop computer, phone, etc., for political campaign work in the Milwaukee County administrator’s office. She says she quickly responded to emails rather than take the 10 minutes or so to physically walk out of the Milwaukee courthouse and back in (which would have kept her in strict compliance with the law). Says she worked 50-hour weeks so taxpayers were not short-changed.

Even at that, the lady did wrong, but where is the proportionality? The strong arm of the law descended on Kelly Rindfleisch hard; she was denied access to an attorney and a telephone, physically detained and isolated, and prohibited from discussing the injustice (which she finally did for Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, at some peril):

I have no doubt there will be repercussions for me for talking. They’ll figure out a way to do it. But it’s going to be harder for them to try to do that. If they put me in jail at least people will know exactly what they are doing. … I’m not telling my story to help [Scott Walker], or to hurt him. … I don’t care who is doing it, the right or the left. I don’t want this to happen to anyone. I’m hoping that by telling my story I can wake people up to realize what’s happening.

For not giving up someone higher on the food chain, Ms. R. was charged with four felonies when a misdemeanor was clearly called for — punishment for not giving prosecutors their mounted trophy kill.

“When the secret investigation turned up nothing on the governor, prosecutors made Ms. Rindfleisch their consolation prize.”

And it’s not over. Ms. R. is being ground roundly through John Doe #2, which is looking into illegal coordination between Walker’s recall election campaign and conservative organizations. In other words, did they talk? Did they communicate? Damn the First Amendment, the future of democratic government is at stake! (Snark alert!)



The presiding judge of this witch hunt acknowledges there does not seem to be a smoking gun but somehow rationalizes this madness by saying the prosecution “is entitled to explore its theory.”

Sorry, judge. The prosecution is required to present a prima facia case. The burden is on them, not the citizenry.

As for Ms. Rindfleisch, the judgment of a mafia character in Godfather 2 comes to mind: She’s small potatoes. This otherwise anonymous woman has lost her life savings, stands to lose her home, has been rendered unemployable. Does this vendetta not remind you of the Georgia Thompson railroading?

Have any local news media attempted to talk to Ms. Rindfleisch? Or are they too much onboard with the vendetta? Where are the civil libertarians? Who can be brave?

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