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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wisconsin 'John Doe' probe is the latest partisan attack on free speech -- By Steve Forbes, The Washington Examiner

(Thinkstock Image) Score one for the defense of free speech.

Earlier this year, a Wisconsin judge overseeing the secret “John Doe” investigation of conservative groups terminated multiple subpoenas that were used to seize their communications and other records. While this is a victory for First Amendment rights, the abuses continue with the intent to sideline all conservatives before the state's 2014 elections. More ominously, it appears to be part of a larger effort by left-leaning government officials to use campaign finance rules against one party, despite the law.

In August 2012, Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm launched the secret probe of conservatives and recruited DAs in four other counties and a criminal prosecutor with no experience in campaign law to join him. His probe targets every center-right organization that participated in the state’s 2011 and 2012 recall elections and accuses them of supposedly "coordinating" with political candidates. The groups include the Wisconsin chapters of Americans for Prosperity and Club for Growth, the Republican Governors Association, Friends of Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republican Party among others — 29 groups in all.

What’s chilling in this "investigation" is the tactics the Chisholm posse has used — including raids on private homes and government seizure of personal computers, emails and phone records. One of the subpoenas ordered the groups to turn over “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation.” The subpoenas were broad in scope, and in his ruling, Judge Gregory A. Peterson found that they “fail[ed] to show probable cause that a crime was committed.” Along with terminating the subpoenas, Peterson also ordered a return of all of the property seized during the raids.

There is plenty of other evidence to suggest this inquisition has nothing to do with bringing accountability to elections. Instead, it is the continuation of a campaign Chisholm, an elected Democrat, started in 2010 to target associates and allies of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. His secret probe has yielded no convictions for "coordinating" or any other campaign-related transgressions. Instead, it has produced a few random convictions for unrelated activities, two false arrests and a mounting recall campaign against Chisholm by non-political groups in Milwaukee who wonder why their district attorney is not fighting real crimes in his community.

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