July 12, 2014

The place of secrecy within "Wisconsin's Tradition of Clean and Open Government."

If you're following the John Doe investigation in Wisconsin, you may be interested in this new development in the state court challenge to the investigation (there's also a federal court challenge):
A Waukesha County judge on Thursday issued an order allowing the state Government Accountability Board to black out parts of its response to a lawsuit filed against it by the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth. The ruling means the public won't be able to fully analyze the election and ethics board's legal arguments as it defends itself against the suit.

With assistance from the accountability board, prosecutors looked into whether the club and other conservative groups violated campaign finance laws in helping [Governor Scott] Walker and other Republicans in the 2011 and 2012 recall elections. Prosecutors conducted the probe as a secret John Doe investigation in which targets and witnesses can be required to give testimony and produce documents but are barred from talking to the public about it....

The accountability board wants to keep its filing confidential because under state law board members and their staff can face criminal penalties if they disclose information about their investigations.
Meanwhile, in federal court, hundreds of pages of documents have been released. Thousands of pages remain secret.

The secrecy requirements, as I understand it, were devised to protect those who are under investigation, but I can see how those doing the investigation could exploit the requirement to shield their work from public scrutiny. With secrecy enforced by criminal sanctions, it's hard to fault the Board for demanding secrecy, but that's an absurd way to preserve "Wisconsin's Tradition of Clean and Open Government" — to quote the mission the Government Accountability Board proudly trumpets.

27 comments:

Bobber Fleck said...

What does it say about the state of government and the justice system when the investigators have more to hide than those being investigated?

EDH said...

that's an absurd way to preserve "Wisconsin's Tradition of Clean and Open Government"

"Now, if you're Mr. Common Sense, you won't believe me when I tell you that I've got an envelope that will clean your car while you're driving it home to work."

Bob Boyd said...

Ahhh....the old we can't tell you that trick.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

And meanwhile the drip, drip, drip of leftist 'news' continues using this poor excuse for news as a hammer against Scott Walker.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Please, Althouse. Tell us this is a joke.

The GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD is closed to public view?

eddie willers said...

The Star Chamber lives.

Original Mike said...

The Government "Accountability" Board shields itself from public scrutiny. Rich.

Original Mike said...

What is the purpose of the Government "Accountability" Board? Is it to administer campaign finance laws that we shouldn't have in the first place? Let's get rid of it.

Michael K said...

"Comrade, you have been found insufficiently supportive of the state."

robinintn said...

"Give me access to the dossier you collected on me." "No, silly. We're protecting your privacy."

SteveR said...

This thing will drip on for the anti-Walker cause, regardless. Its sufficiently muddled to be useful as a weapon to influence the LIV.

This is how elections work now.

Alex said...

It will be a sweet, sweet day when Walker is frog-marched out of the governor's lavish estate into prison.

Alex said...

Leftist execution fantasies

I actually do not WANT to punish them. (none)
I do not think that people like these truly know right from wrong. I do not believe that "punishment" changes those genetically predisposed to a certain kind of criminality.
But I DO know that people of this type are quite aware of self-interest. And they want to be able to play their games. That's what gets them off. They cannot do that when dead, so the generations to follow..at least a couple, while the executions are still fresh in the mind and myth of the country...would be constrained somewhat from ratcheting their larceny up much past being a run of the mill crooked used car salesman or political grifter.

That's the theory, anyway...

Three time losers...and although these people have NOT been brought to justice, they are indeed multiple offenders on a very serious level, with the blood and pain of literally hundreds of thousands if not more on their hands...are hopeless. They do NOT become model citizens through the "penitence" supposedly offered by penitentiaries. PLUS...they are SO powerful, SO rich, these particular criminals, that as long as they are alive they threaten the very fabric of society.

I say off them; give their families enough upon which to to live decent, middle class lives, and spread the rest of their wealth back into the levels of this society from which it was stolen.

Not in my wildest dreams do I think that this will happen...no more than I expect a month of Sundays this February...but nevertheless, that is what I recommend in this case.

If only ONE goes down...that would be sufficient.

Life in jail, execution...whatever we can get.

SOMETHING to deter the rest.

Charles

by Charleslives on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 03:57:26 PM PDT


Wow, wow, wow. Oh wow.

machine said...

....so are secret government email systems.

jono39 said...

The Soviet Union with legal clothing. We need an upheaval.

Krumhorn said...

The problem for Wisconsin is that Chicago isn't all that far down the freeway. The ward healers have vacay lake homes.

-Krumhorn

Lonetown said...

I'd like to see some speculation about what the "accountability" board is trying to hide.

What is their job? What kind of mischief can they create if unfettered by such things as "accountability"?

khesanh0802 said...

Sounds like the GAB and Lois Lerner should go on trial at the same time.

Sam Hall said...

The accountability board wants to keep its filing confidential because under state law board members and their staff can face criminal penalties if they disclose information about their investigations.

If the disclosure is under court order, how can they be held liable?

Mark said...

Attack reputations then use the excuse that you're "protecting" the persecuted by "maintaining their privacy."

Rich.

Unknown said...

----It will be a sweet, sweet day when Walker is frog-marched out of the governor's lavish estate into prison.

Speaking of low information voters, here's one now!

Chuck said...

Can anyone tell me the names of the lawyers and law firms representing all of the parties in both the federal and state challenges?

David Hampton said...

What does it say about the citizens in this country whose battle cry is "The end justifies the means" in pursuit of their so-called glorious, big government future? It would seem that this administration is worried about a rebellion among the legal voters. Importing two generations of Central Americans, various terror groups and the usual suspects from Mexico is the hedge against the Scott Walker types in this country to form a monolithic democratic voting block paid for by taxpayers. Chicago is symptomatic of a nation eating their own. This will only get worse and hiding behind gated communities and a cloud of marijuana smoke will not protect the liberals from the monster they are creating. This will not end pretty.

MountainMan said...

I can remember when growing up in Atlanta in the 1960's - back when Atlanta actually had a really good public school system - that in both 7th and 11th grade American history Wisconsin was held up to us as the ideal state to we all should admire - Robert La Follette, progressivism, "tradition of clean government," etc. - in comparison to our Southern heritage of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, etc. Based on what I've seen on this blog the past few years, I have to agree with Glenn Reynolds comment this morning that it all appears to have been just a lie.

m stone said...

So, we really need to know the prosecutors' theory that Walker was involved in a vast "criminal scheme" for which he was deemed not to be a target?

You can bet that opponents of Walker worked hours into many nights coming up with fiction.

TM Lutas said...

There's a hunt going on in Wisconsin and it's the biggest game around. But who is the hunter and who is the hunted?

Politicians are seeing who gets their head mounted over the fireplace. First it was Governor Walker's turn in the cross hairs but with multiple judges throwing out the legal theories behind the "John Doe" investigations, it's now prosecutors who are in the cross hairs, and their possible backers. Did Democrats pervert justice and illegally try to use the courts for their partisan political ends?

richard mcenroe said...

"Did Democrats pervert justice and illegally try to use the courts for their partisan political ends?"

Did the Bear S*** in the woods when he got loose from the Oval Office?