A John Doe investigation is a secret inquiry sanctioned by long usage since Wisconsin’s territorial days. 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. The question – what will die? – remains unanswered. Will the obituary tell of the death of over reach of Citizens United or of Democracy itself.
We all remember Obama’s statement regarding Citizens United in his State of the Union Address just six days after the Supreme Court decision on January 21, 2010.
“Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections.” Justice Samuel Alito was seen frowning and mouthing the words “not true” when Obama criticized the Supreme Court.
Early in the address the President reminded listeners of the uncertainty of the future strength of our union:
When the market crashed Black Tuesday and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union.
The floodgates have opened to drown out the voice of the people in Wisconsin
The pulse of Democracy in Wisconsin is weak. Survival remains uncertain. In the past four years the voice of the people has been manipulated and muted by the power and treasure of oligarchs. 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 below/right), and most recently has spread into an attack of journalism itself. And now, the dark money is claiming THEY have been wronged! The machinery for maintaining a level playing field for the middle class lies broken. Here lies the crushed and mangled remnants of union rights, women’s health, senior care, public schools, the University system, and the Wisconsin Idea itself. All have been infected by the same Citizens United virus that has opened the floodgates for special interests to take control of every facet of public policy in Wisconsin.
The invading virus first began to attack and feed on healthy ideas and human aspirations with a glittery mutation of greed as might be found in the pages an Ayn Rand novel. And, what better medium to grow the 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!
But this post is to offer hope and point to some light at the end of the tunnel of four dark years of Walker. This “silver lining” may come from a place overlooked and discarded, since it has lingered for so long and disappointed progressives time and again. Yes. The John Doe Investigation. There, I said it.
The chances that progressives will be heard by the Walker Administration or the GOP controlled legislature are slim to nil, whereas the Supreme Court ruling on O’keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth vs. John T. Chisholm PDF may hold the last best hope for Democracy in Wisconsin. If justice prevails, it could lead to a Walker indictment.
Yet, progressives have been so downtrodden and silenced by the “Divide and Conquer” tactics over the Walker years, that many seem to be missing the importance and ramifications of the ruling in this case.
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
Wolf hidden in the sheep’s clothing of responsible journalism of “Franklin Center”
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.”
Why Are the Franklin Center’s “Wisconsin Reporter” and “Watchdog.org” Attacking the John Doe?
Thanks to those unnamed sources, Wisconsin Reporter had a new platform, and used it to recast the John Doe investigation as “an abuse of prosecutorial powers” with “the apparent goal of bringing down Gov. Scott Walker.” The Walker campaign and 28 other groups also reportedly received subpoenas.
“This is a taxpayer-funded, opposition-research campaign,” an anonymous source told the Wisconsin Reporter.
Franklin Center’s Wisconsin Reporter has written 16 stories so far (2013 more now) that are highly critical of the John Doe probe and prosecutors (calling its series “Wisconsin’s Secret War”), but these latest revelations raise questions about whether the outfit has a conflict of interest in its coverage. They would now argue about the Club’s right to keep documents secret?
The language of dark money has moved through 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 in 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. But, to move out of the general and into the specific ploys praciticed and documented before the Senate and Recall Elections.
Suppose you were Lamar Janes of Rolling Ground in Crawford County who is pictured holding the absentee ballot application received by his wife on a Saturday in early August 2011. Neither Janes nor his wife Lynda Shaller are members of American For Prosperity as the accompanying letter states. The application he’s holding states clearly absentee ballots must be submitted to “city clerks” by August 11. However, absentee ballots cannot be submitted after the election, which is scheduled for this Tuesday, August 9. Read more instances of election crimes
Remember the “We Voted Illegally” Billboards?
If you happen to control a hedge fund, the images of a black man and woman, and a larger picture of a white woman, behind bars, with the words “We Voted Illegally”, constitutes “public education”. The Bradley Foundation funded the billboard campaign under the category: “civic growth and prosperity”.Bradley Foundation bill boards
Want to know what happened in Wisconsin in 2010 to elect Walker and Ron Johnson?
Crook/Christian Nathan Sproul is also tied to Club for Growth. The Club for Growth is aptly named since it invaded the state with covert and fraudulent actions to promote and implement a cancer to grow deep within the body politic. Elections Crimes Go Unpunished
Between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. June 5, 2012 – What happened?
The “What just happened?” moment was as bipartisan in its implications as a beer and brat picnic on the governor’s mansion lawn. It happened to Republican’s in the Racine Senate race, it happened to Democrats in the gubernatorial race. “What just happened” was a realization, as deep as string theory, that the people were no longer in control.
June 5 Recall Election
Initial Briefs in Supreme Court case have been filed
Will the ailing patient of Democracy 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.
The secret investigation continues to roll on as it has for over four years while the survival of democracy lies in the balance.