A John Doe investigation is a secret inquiry. Just such an investigation has been afoot in Wisconsin since the days when Scott Walker began his campaign to become governor. It continues to this day. The unending, undercover, underground inquisition has rallied at times, and deflated at others; sort of like a death rattle of democracy itself. The invading virus first began to attack transparency and openness and to feed on healthy ideas and human aspirations with a glittery mutation of greed from an Ayn Rand novel. And, what better medium to grow glitter of greed in the eyes of man….than money. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle….” and all that. Ka ching!
The wolf of the John Doe era came hidden the sheep’s clothing of manipulation of language that was generated to sell, sell, sell. When is the last time you saw a “Help Wanted” sign? A new terminology was created to express the power and control of the owner and expressed itself with “Now Hiring”, “Now Renting”. Thus began the language of “branding”. Eventually this phenomenon hit the political scene with terms like “Freedom Works”, “Americans for Prosperity”, “American Legislative Exchange Council” and “Citizens United” who are “Now Hiring”, “Now Renting” and now offering you just a little bit of the vast abundance they claim to possess.
Wolf hidden in the sheep’s clothing of responsible journalism
The cancer of greed riding on a wave of dark money has spread through the body politic along the organs of over 29 organizations (some listed at right), and most recently has spread into an attack of journalism itself.
Risking prosecution for talking about the latest John Doe, which is conducted in front of a judge but under the strictest secrecy rules, Wisconsin Club for Growth board member Eric O’Keefe told the Wall Street Journal that he was subpoenaed in early October, and that some of the targets “had their homes raided at dawn, with law-enforcement officers turning over belongings to seize computers and files.”
John Doe target groups
A few of the 29 groups targeted
Wisconsin Club for Growth
Republican Governors Association
Republican Party of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
Wisconsin Family Action
The language of dark money has moved trough covert and insidious channels from the corporate sponsored legislation of ALEC, through the fraudulent mailings of Americans for Prosperity and now, into portraying the message of greed as mainstream journalism.
The secret investigation of the hoard of right wing groups in Wisconsin holds national implications for the future of Citizens United and if the secret deluge of dark money that flooded the state over the course of the two recall elections can be made subject to the rule of law.
A central character in the Wisconsin Club for Growth dark money web is John Connors, the Franklin Center’s “Director of Special Projects,” who has close ties to many of the groups receiving funding (9.1 million dollars) from O’Keefe’s Wisconsin Club for Growth.
By the very nature of Capitalism the guy with the capital gets the favor. Never before has so much secret money, and the organizations those funds support, moved into the electoral process as was demonstrated Wisconsin in the past two years. So, the outcome of the on and on going John Doe investigation is really much larger than its parts.
It remains to be seen whether the ailing patient of democracy can survive. So far the dark money has not been successful with its manipulation of the press and filings in the courts to stop the investigation. It has been rather quiet of late.
The secret investigation continues to roll on as it has for over two years while the survival of democracy lies in the balance.