January 16, 2014

"'John Doe' Target Demands Wisconsin Prosecutors End Retaliatory Probe or Face Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit."

A press release:
Washington, D.C. (January 15, 2014)—Eric O’Keefe, who has been identified in media reports as a target of a secret “John Doe” investigation in Wisconsin, today demanded that state prosecutors end their action against him or face a federal civil rights action. O’Keefe is director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which was also targeted for alleged unlawful “coordination” with Governor Scott Walker’s campaign for fiscal reforms.


“This investigation is political payback by elected prosecutors against conservative activists for their political successes in Wisconsin,” stated O’Keefe. “They are violating the constitutional rights of private citizens and must be held accountable.”

In a letter to the prosecutors, O’Keefe’s lawyer, Washington attorney David B. Rivkin, states that the probe has no basis in Wisconsin law and violates Mr. O’Keefe’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association. The prosecutors’ legal reasoning, the letter states, “is unsupportable as a matter of law and crystal clear evidence of bad faith.”

“I am confident that any federal court that reviews the facts will see your investigation for what it is, put a stop to it, and hold you publicly accountable,” the letter states.

The letter demands that Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and the other prosecutors close the investigation immediately, publicly exonerate Mr. O’Keefe and the Club, and dissolve the gag order that bars discussion of the proceeding. Despite the gag order, the investigation has been widely reported in the media, apparently due to leaks to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel from the prosecutors’ offices, Rivkin’s letter states.

O’Keefe is a veteran political activist who has promoted limited government for more than 30 years. The Wisconsin Club for Growth is a statewide network of thousands of pro-growth Wisconsinites who are dedicated to promoting economic freedom through public education and issue advocacy.

Due to the secrecy order, O’Keefe is unable to comment on the probe or his anticipated federal action.

35 comments:

David said...

No comment.

Except that this is no gag.

Humperdink said...

Muzzling and intimidating the political opposition?

The IRS tactics hits the Cheesehead state.

Sorun said...

Democrats are such fucking assholes.

FullMoon said...

It costs a lot of money, time and worry to defend yourself against false charges. I would enjoy seeing someone punished for this phony investigation.

garage mahal said...

O’Keefe is a veteran political activist who has promoted limited government for more than 30 years. The Wisconsin Club for Growth is a statewide network of thousands of pro-growth Wisconsinites who are dedicated to promoting economic freedom through public education and issue advocacy.

Yes, limited growth of government to anyone outside their circle of donors. Inside the circle, it's a big-government, right wing orgy.

Thanks for that 2.3 million, suckers!

Humperdink said...

Read your link Garage. I am missing how this relates to political intimidation. Or gag orders.

Mark said...

So the same guy who is leaking court documents to the Wall Street Journal is suing about supposed leaks of information by the prosecutors?

I wonder how much of WI Club For Growth's budget is spent on legal fees. The bill must be staggering.

garage mahal said...

I commented on the Club for Growth press release. I assume that's what it's from, there is no link.

MadisonMan said...

'Club for Growth' always makes me picture an actual club.

At some point, even garage will admit, fishing expeditions have to end. You either run out of bait, or the fish obviously aren't biting.

EDH said...

I's still sue them, even if they dropped the probe.

garage mahal said...

At some point, even garage will admit, fishing expeditions have to end

The first John Doe was called a fishing expedition and they caught 6 people. I have no idea what they are investigating but all the squealing and running to the Wall Street Journal indicates to me they are worried about being caught.

Chuck said...

I know that there are some very knowledgeable observers of Wisconsin law here at the Alt-house.

Can somebody please explain clearly and concisely in plain English how a civilized place like Wisconsin ever enacted this Star Chamber procedure?

When has this law ever been used to a credible purpose?

I'm thinking that there must be some example of a real public corruption case, or perhaps a sophisticated and far-reaching racketeering or conspiracy case where this bizarre procedural mechanism was thought to be worthwhile.

Or, perhaps, it has never been a legitimate legal tool.

Anybody? What is the procedural explanation about this case?

Dr Weevil said...

Caught 6 out of how many investigated? If someone were to take (say) 100 friends of garage (assuming he has so many), or 100 random union members or professors, or 100 random Wisconsinites, and run them through the wringer, examining every phone call and credit-card charge, it's a safe bet that 6 of them could be put in jail for some crime or other.

Perhaps someone could remind us: how many of the 6 were convicted for things the investigation was specifically aimed at investigating, not things that turned up along the way?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

This could be a big problem for the Milwaukee DA. So far they've been able to bury the cost of these witch hunts. It will be much harder to keep lawsuit related costs private. Should be interesting to see the response of taxpayers if this information is revealed.

garage mahal said...

Release all the work the DA and prosecutors have, and let's see what kind of witch hunt this is. If taxpayers are getting fleeced they deserve to know.

Would O'Keefe, Walker, or anyone else go for that?

We might get to see a glimpse of some John Doe inner-workings soon, there is a ruling coming down whether or not the press are entitled to see them.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Mark said...

So the same guy who is leaking court documents to the Wall Street Journal is suing about supposed leaks of information by the prosecutors?

Is he leaking court documents that he has a legal obligation to keep confidential? Do you have evidence of that?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

garage mahal said...

Release all the work the DA and prosecutors have, and let's see what kind of witch hunt this is.

In other words, release information about all donors so the leftists can protest outside their houses? No thanks.

gadfly said...

@Garage

I ran a google search to find some link between Eric O'Keefe, Club for Growth and Taron and/or Rodney Monroe but found nothing.

After years of operating the Milwaukee voucher program, I am sure that the $2.5 million in "stolen" payments to the Monroes is offset substantially by educating kids at half the cost of the actual costs to operate the Public Schools. Additionally, the need to build more public schools has been slowed.

You certainly cannot be implying here that the Monroe couple are the only dishonest folks connected to any and all politicians in the state, are you?

Manhattan Institute's Sol Stern, who a couple years ago more or less renounced his once-avid support for school choice, drolly opined, "So after 20 years of the most comprehensive voucher program in the country, the voucher students 'are achieving on the same level' as their peers in the Milwaukee public schools. Left unsaid is that Milwaukee black students in the public schools have the lowest reading scores of any cohort of black students in the country."

garage mahal said...

After years of operating the Milwaukee voucher program, I am sure that the $2.5 million in "stolen" payments to the Monroes is offset substantially by educating kids at half the cost of the actual costs to operate the Public Schools.

No students attending LifeSkills were proficient in reading or math in 2012-'13, except for a single fourth-grade student, according to the most recent state achievement test score results.

Now they go back to public school and these scam artists get to keep the money. Grifters going to grift.

RoBanJo said...

Ann - what is this "John Doe" law. From some of the commentariat it sounds a whole lot like Soviet style law. My belief has been the Democrats picked up the mantle the Soviets lost. And would love for this law to confirm that.

Curious George said...

MadisonMan said...
'Club for Growth' always makes me picture an actual club.

At some point, even garage will admit, fishing expeditions have to end. You either run out of bait, or the fish obviously aren't biting.

Jesus Christ, you're not new around here. How can you not know that there will never come a time that he thinks these assholes shouldn't stop going after conservatives.

He continues to, again in this thread, point to some delusional success in John Doe #1 because of six convictions, none of them related to each in any way, and none having anything to do with Walker's actions. Two years, millions and millions spent, and a grand total of one person serving time. Wow!

He is too fucking dumb and partisan to understand the dangers of unchecked powers.

Mark said...

Ignorance in Bliss - It is quite clear that Mr. O'Keefe has spoken out multiple times to the WSJ about this.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304799404579155953286552832

Check Althouse's links on prior discussions for multiple examples of secret documents being released to the WSJ and others.

O'Keefe is not directly named in all the stories of the leaked documents, but having read the stories over time it's quite clear it's either him or a close associate.

But never mind the spot on his own eye, someone else has a speck on theirs!

Ann Althouse said...

"I commented on the Club for Growth press release. I assume that's what it's from, there is no link."

There's no link because I received the press release in email.

damikesc said...

The first John Doe was called a fishing expedition and they caught 6 people. I have no idea what they are investigating but all the squealing and running to the Wall Street Journal indicates to me they are worried about being caught.

Was the Starr investigation a witch hunt? I ask because he got 2 and a half times more convictions in his investigation.

damikesc said...

The first John Doe was called a fishing expedition and they caught 6 people. I have no idea what they are investigating but all the squealing and running to the Wall Street Journal indicates to me they are worried about being caught.

Was the Starr investigation a witch hunt? I ask because he got 2 and a half times more convictions in his investigation.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Yes, limited growth of government to anyone outside their circle of donors. Inside the circle, it's a big-government, right wing orgy.

Thanks for that 2.3 million, suckers!"

And the connection between the two organisations is?

Nothing.

But these people are pikers compared to the fucking WEA. WEA Trust revenues went down $70 million after Act 10. Please share your outrage with that!

Sam L. said...

Good for him!

eelpout said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

And the connection between the two organisations is?

Nothing.


It's all one big funnel. Wisconsin is one giant right wing piggy bank. Club for Growth are advocates for vouchers and other scams on the Wisconsin taxpayer. You're starting to see the results.

Michael K said...

Scams on the Wisconsin taxpayer have a colorful history, most of which is also Democratic Party history.

Nice try garage,

eric said...

This is Garage Mahal's form of logical thinking.

Premise 1: Some people who put up a voucher school in Wisconsin were bad. Specifically, they were thieves who worked the system.

Premise 2: The John Doe Investigation was investigating people who, among other things, support voucher schools.

Conclusion: Therefore, the Jon Doe investigation targets bad people and thieves.


This is called Democrat logic, people. Don't try and fight it, it'll just turn into Ad hominem.

MadisonMan said...

I agree that the Voucher Program is at times completely broken in Milwaukee County. I don't see how anyone can argue otherwise given the school that just quickly shut down, after grabbing as much money as it could to no good end.

James said...

Garage, what do you have against black people?

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
I agree that the Voucher Program is at times completely broken in Milwaukee County. I don't see how anyone can argue otherwise given the school that just quickly shut down, after grabbing as much money as it could to no good end."

Of course "at time" it is...it's a government program after mall. But this pales in comparison the waste in public schools, or the union cabal fleecing WI taxpayers for hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

Patrick said...

To the extent that voucher schools have failed, it is even worse with standard public schools. At last the voucher schools have the courtesy of shutting down when they fail, instead of draining more public funds to extend the failure.