By Thomas Madison
Under a weird and clearly unconstitutional law, Wisconsin has permitted liberal Democrat prosecutors to selectively prosecute conservatives, to order middle-of-the-night raids on their homes and offices, and to then place a gag order on them, prohibiting them from defending themselves publicly. Defendants under this repressive law do not enjoy the right to a grand jury.
The bizarre law that allows this authoritarian persecution and prosecution has been nicknamed the Wisconsin John Doe law. It has been used over the past two years to punish conservatives for the crime of being conservative. Victims of the law have been the subject of horrifying, intrusive, and embarrassing police raids.
Supporters of Governor Scott Walker during his rigged recall election process have especially been the targets of unscrupulous and vindictive liberal Democrat prosecutors.
I hope the victims of these scumbag liberal Democrat prosecutors sue those prosecutors to the max, who should then be duly fired and disbarred.
Excerpted from the May 4, 2015, issue of National Review:
‘THEY CAME WITH A BATTERING RAM.”
Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking.
She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.
She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door.
“I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic.
“I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”
The day John Doe rushed through the door
By M.D. Kittle, Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON, Wis. — One year ago, about an hour before dawn, police surrounded the homes of several Wisconsin conservatives and then hit them with floodlights.
Police didn’t draw their guns. They didn’t have to. Garish light blinded the groggy targets of the secret probe, startling neighbors. The uniforms, the lights, the early hour got everybody’s attention. One of the targets says police threatened to use battering rams to break down the front door, but the targets let them in.
Armed with warrants approved at the request of prosecutors, investigators searched the homes for evidence of a political crime.
The fact that Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm is a Democrat and the targets of the simultaneous paramilitary-style raids were all conservatives has generated controversy over the past year.
But now Eric O’Keefe and others have agreed to speak for the first time about what happened the morning of Oct. 3, 2013.But the dramatic details of the raids have been lost in the fog of Chisholm’s war. Under terms of the state’s so-called John Doe law, targets of such investigations are ordered to keep their prosecution a secret.
O’Keefe is a director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth. While his home was not targeted in the raids, he and the Club for Growth were subpoenaed as part of the same John Doe probe. That subpoena demanded “all records and information” from the organization, its employees and officers dating back more than four years, to March 2009.
Despite the gag order that came with the subpoena, O’Keefe has done more than spoken out. He’s fought back. The long-time conservative activist and the club earlier this year filed a federal civil rights complaint against the prosecutors, winning apreliminary injunction that temporarily shut down the investigation. A federal appeals court this month dismissed the injunction and the lawsuit, saying the matter was a state rather than federal issue.
O’Keefe says he has spoken with conservatives whose homes were raided. He knows their stories.
Because of his unique position as an activist who won’t be gagged, O’Keefe may be the only named source of information about the raids. Others whose homes were raided, but who wish to remain anonymous for fear of prosecution, confirmed key details.
“Houses were surrounded and lit up,” O’Keefe said. “Children and spouses were home in multiple cases, and made to suffer through two-and-a-half-hour raiding parties going through all paper files and seizing computers and phones. Children in multiple cases were told they could not inform their schools why they were late.”
After investigators stormed into their homes and rooted through their possessions, the conservative targets and their families suffered the additional insult of the gag order, O’Keefe said.
“So a traumatic event is imposed on entire families, and they are told to suck it up, don’t talk to your friends, relatives, ministers, colleagues,” O’Keefe said. “Don’t explain the deputies’ cars, the boxes they took from your house. Don’t allow your children to tell the truth.”
Like drug dealers?
And these raids, the kind employed in drug busts and gun crimes, were ordered because John Doe prosecutors had a “legal theory” that conservative advocacy groups like the Wisconsin Club for Growth may have illegally coordinated with the campaign of Gov.Scott Walker during Wisconsin’s bitter recall season of 2011 and ’12.
“We ran a meticulous political operation,” O’Keefe said. “Not only did we comply with Wisconsin’s laws — we were over-compliant, because we knew that Kevin Kennedy (director of the state Government Accountability Board, the agency that oversees campaign finance and election laws) was hostile to WCFG as well as independent political speech in general. So we ran only issue ads — and none pertained to the elections for governor.”
“Issue ads” are generally granted wider protection; as the name suggests, they’re ads that address issues. And they’re not subject to the limits imposed on so-called “express ads,” ads that directly support or oppose a candidate.
The prosecutors, assisted — and some say directed — by the Government Accountability Board, insists that issue ads are effectively transformed into express ads if there is any coordination between the campaign and the advocacy groups.
That legal theory has since been rejected by two judges, including presiding John Doe Judge Gregory Peterson. In January, Peterson quashed several subpoenas, ruling that prosecutors had failed to show probable cause that a campaign-finance crime had been
In May, a federal court judge wrote that the prosecutors’ theory was “simply wrong.”