May 11, 2014

George Will excoriates the John Doe prosecutors.

I should have linked to this yesterday. The grand old commentator is paying attention to Wisconsin. Is he saying anything we haven't gone through already on this blog? Maybe not, but the outside attention from someone so prominent makes a big impression, and he is speaking in notably harsh terms. I think I've made fun of Will over the years for his blandness, so his strong language means something, and I'm just going to highlight the severity of Will's tone:

U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa, revolted by the police-state arrogance of some elected prosecutors... Randa halted the corruption being committed by people pretending to administer campaign regulations... The prosecutors’ cynical manipulation of Wisconsin’s campaign laws is more than the mere appearance of corruption.

Eric O’Keefe’s refusal to be intimidated by lawless law enforcement officials produced Randa’s remarkably emphatic ruling against an especially egregious example of Democrats using government power to suppress conservatives’ political speech.

Wisconsin’s sordid episode began, appropriately, with a sound of tyranny — fists pounding on the doors of private citizens in pre-dawn raids...

The Democratic prosecutors, however, seeking to cripple his 2014 reelection campaign and to damage him as a potential 2016 presidential aspirant, have resorted to a sinister Wisconsin process called a “John Doe investigation.”...

In such investigations, prosecutors can promiscuously issue subpoenas and conduct searches... effective government instruments of disruption and intimidation.

The Democratic prosecutors... ignore [the law] because their aim is mayhem, not law enforcement. Their activity is entirely about suffocating conservative activity....

29 comments:

Unknown said...

Wisconsin: Emerging from Democratic police state.

Neighborhood Retail Alliance said...

Prosecutors are already too powerful-and are basically unchecked in their exercise of discretion under the current "normal" criminal justice procedures. Under this normalcy, grand juries no longer fulfill their original function of the protection of individual rights-as Glenn Reynolds eloquently underscores in his "Ham Sandwich Nation." The "John Doe" process is the grand jury on steroids and is a further erosion of liberty.

rhhardin said...

Once the government controls everything, it's worth being in government and arranging to stay there.

With a small government, these prosecutors get out and go back to organized crime.

Bobber Fleck said...

So the left would have us believe the Benghazi investigation is Republican political overreach, while the Wisconsin John Doe investigation is a properly justified fact finding mission.

Why does Orwell's "doublethink" come to mind?

David said...

My credo is to let the facts speak without adjectives. Most rules have exceptions, and this is a exceptional case.

traditionalguy said...

Nice post. Will is a wordsmith; but how big an audience do his words get?

Will said...

This seems like a Smidgen that even a lawless liar who told the Lie of the Year for 2013 could see

Many parallels to Obama's IRS intimidation.

sane_voter said...

Here is a nice write-up of the John Doe process. Turns out it is very old. Maybe after Walker wins in Nov, the legislature can clean this up.

Hagar said...

@rhhardin,

Isn't it more that this is organized crime, and that with small government, these Wisconsin DoJ lawyers would be obliged to go out into private practice and engage in dis-organized crime?

Michael K said...

The comments over at WaPo show how angry the left gets when the spotlight hits their less than noble maneuvers. It's as if the roaches are mobilizing a counterattack against the lights.

cubanbob said...

I suppose it's too much to expect those in charge of enforcing the law to obey the law. A remedy to curb these abuses would be to strip officials of qualified immunity and to enhance the penalties for acting under the color of law.

garage mahal said...

The Democratic prosecutors, however,

This is the favorite lie of righties. That this investigation is being lead by Walker haters. In fact, the Special Prosecutor is a Republican who voted for Walker. But it fits perfectly into righties persecution complex.

Illuninati said...

garage mahal said...
"This is the favorite lie of righties. That this investigation is being lead by Walker haters. In fact, the Special Prosecutor is a Republican who voted for Walker. But it fits perfectly into righties persecution complex."

Because Garage mahal didn't provide any links I decided to do some investigating on my own. When lefties accuse other people of lying, look out! I don't normally accuse other posters of lying, but since garage has accused us of lying, let's let some sunshine in here. John Chisolm - Democrat - initiated the investigation.

"U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa said the “John Doe” investigation initiated by Democratic Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisolm into the Republican governor’s supporters had morphed into “a long-running investigation of all things Walker-related.”"
http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2014/05/07/judge-calls-secret-wisconsin-probe-a-threat-to-first-amendment/

John Lynch said...

Notice that the courts are acknowledging that campaign donations are the real source of electoral power.

It's out in the open now.

gerry said...

Notice that the courts are acknowledging that campaign donations are the real source of electoral power.

Not quite right.

The courts acknowledged that regulation of campaign donations resulted in persecution (and I mean persecution) of donors with whom the abusers of power disagreed, and that the abusers also desired to silence those with whom they disagreed.

It's liberal "Democratic" fascism that the courts finally acknowledged and that is now out in the open.

kcom said...

"Once the government controls everything, it's worth being in government and arranging to stay there."

Which is the working model of every two-bit banana republic out there, including the one I used to live in. When you continue to move more and more power into government hands, people will do ever more outrageous things to gain or maintain their control of that government because they feel they simply can't afford to lose. The IRS targeting scheme is the most recent pernicious example. Follow that road far enough and you get to murder and military coups (as my banana republic was prone to).

Our founders strove mightily to limit the power of the federal government for many reasons. The concept behind "too big to fail" doesn't just apply to banks. I thought it was highly disturbing to read that the median income around Washington DC is now the highest in the nation. That's a sign of the bureaucratic class displacing the productive class and one more parallel to a banana republic, where generally the capital and who you know means everything and the rest of the country gets squat. I used to tell my students that in our country all power wasn't concentrated in the capital, like it was in theirs. But I guess we just need to give it some time.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...

In fact, the Special Prosecutor is a Republican who voted for Walker. But it fits perfectly into righties persecution complex."

Sure he is.

garage mahal said...

but since garage has accused us of lying, let's let some sunshine in here. John Chisolm - Democrat - initiated the investigation.

Actually, no. The GAB initiated the investigation and the decision was unanimous. Chisomm appointed Francis Schmitz, Republican, as Special Prosecutor, who voted for Walker. Along with Schmitz, there are two Republican DA's from two counties that are involved in the case.

Curious George said...

Two years. Million and millions of dollars.

Convictions: ZERO

Prosecutions: ZERO

Charges: ZERO


garage mahal said...

I bet Schmitz ain't voting for Walker again. But really, why would anyone?

Illuninati said...

garage mahal said...
"Actually, no. The GAB initiated the investigation and the decision was unanimous."

Again garage mahal has not provided evidence to support his statement. The Forbes' article states that the investigation was "initiated by Democratic Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisolm". On the other hand, Mahal claims that it was actually initiated by the Government Accountability Board (ABA)of Wisconsin. It is an entirely different proposition for a state board to initiate an investigation than for the board to permit one promoted by a DA to proceed. That is the heart of the issue, who was the mastermind behind the project.

After the project is already initiated, the political label applied to the attorneys who are hired to proceed with the project is not so important. Anyone who has ever hired an attorney knows that a good attorney can understand and work on both sides of an issue.

Big Mike said...

As usual, garage is trying to hijack the thread.

Irrespective of anything else, the Gestapo-like tactics involved have no place in a democracy and everyone involved, from the prosecutors right down to the deputies who hammered down the doors at night needs to be fired as a lesson in avoiding overreach.

Jeffrey said...

How does Garage Mahal know that Francis Schmitz voted for Walker? Did he announce this? Surely it's not just a function of Schmitz's registered affiliation, which tells us very little in this day and age of people strategically registering (either to vote in particular primaries, or for job-seeking purposes). It could also be a legacy registration no longer reflective of the man's politics, in much the same way that most Southern states have a ton of registered Democrats who actually vote straight-ticket Republican.

Until and unless I see some reliable evidence that this guy actually was a Walker supporter (i.e. a history of recent donations, or his own public statements), I'm considering this another talking point on GM's part.

fizzymagic said...

garage said:

Actually, no. The GAB initiated the investigation and the decision was unanimous.

Hmm... the decision says:

In August of 2012, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm initiated a new John Doe proceeding in Milwaukee County.

So either garage is lying or the judge is lying. I know which one I would pick.

We seem to have hit a nerve here. garage is flailing even more than usual.

The Godfather said...

I don't care who some government attorney did or did not vote for. In a free republic, which is what we are supposed to have, the government should not be allowed to harass the citizens this way. Garage, join with me and all other decent people to call on the repeal of laws that allow this kind of abuse. Will you do that, Garage, will you stand up for decency?

Paul said...

"Will you do that, Garage, will you stand up for decency?"

Hilarious.

Brent said...

Poor garage . . . though I almost never agree with his viewpoints, I always feel a bit sorry for how he gets pured on some much.

Today however, garage old buddy, you're kind of in over your head on the proof levels. Too much assuming there partner.

And you know what the definition of "assume" is, right ?

Brent said...

Poor garage . . . though I almost never agree with his viewpoints, I always feel a bit sorry for how he gets pured on some much.

Today however, garage old buddy, you're kind of in over your head on the proof levels. Too much assuming there partner.

And you know what the definition of "assume" is, right ?

Douglas said...

Garage,

Assuming, arguendo, that the investigation had some lawful basis, what was the justification for the SWAT raids? Why not just show up in the afternoon with an assistant DA, a sheriff, and a subpoena? Were the prosecutors expecting armed resistance? Or could it possibly be that they wanted to intimidate the targets of the investigation and anyone else who might have possibly been thinking about contributing money to conservatives in Wisconsin?

Just asking.