Public Unions

Inside the Raids and Investigations that Targeted Wisconsin's Conservative Leaders

Sunrise SWAT raids and secrecy orders

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Totally not the target. Nope. Not at all.
Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

Should Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker enter the race to snag the Republican Party nomination for president, it will be his huge battle with public sector unions that will separate him from other candidates. Other Republican governors (and certainly Democratic governors as well) have had their fights to try to rein in government employee unions as their costs (particularly their pensions and benefits) ramp up to dangerous levels. But the recall effort and other campaigns against Walker and union reform supporters brought it all to a whole new level.

Today National Review has a deeper look into the "lawfare" assault on conservative supporters of union regulation reform in Wisconsin. It's chilling in the sense that it's genuinely disturbing to read about massive SWAT-style raids called in on families as part of politically motivated effort to find some sort of crime to pin on conservative supporters. It's also about how these political attacks have been chilling the speech and activism of union reformers and conservatives in Wisconsin.

David French opens his lengthy look at what went down in Wisconsin surrounding Act 10 (that was the law that eliminated a significant amount of public sector union collective bargaining power) with eerily similar descriptions of three different police raids targeting families, complete with warnings not to speak publicly about what authorities had taken from them or to consult a lawyer:

Most Americans have never heard of these raids, or of the lengthy criminal investigations of Wisconsin conservatives. For good reason. Bound by comprehensive secrecy orders, conservatives were left to suffer in silence as leaks ruined their reputations, as neighbors, looking through windows and dismayed at the massive police presence, the lights shining down on targets' homes, wondered, no doubt, What on earth did that family do?

This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform.

Largely hidden from the public eye, this traumatic process, however, is now heading toward a legal climax, with two key rulings expected in the late spring or early summer. The first ruling, from the Wisconsin supreme court, could halt the investigations for good, in part by declaring that the "misconduct" being investigated isn't misconduct at all but the simple exercise of First Amendment rights.

The second ruling, from the United States Supreme Court, could grant review on a federal lawsuit brought by Wisconsin political activist Eric O'Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the first conservatives to challenge the investigations head-on. If the Court grants review, it could not only halt the investigations but also begin the process of holding accountable those public officials who have so abused their powers.

In conservative circles, the basics of this creepy legal fight have been known for a while, though if my Twitter feed is an indication, even they weren't aware of how oppressive these raids were or their larger impact. Here's how O'Keefe described the chilling effect the raids and investigations had on his group's work:

O'Keefe's associates began cancelling meetings with him and declining to take his calls, reasonably fearful that merely associating with him could make them targets of the investigation. O'Keefe was forced to abandon fundraising for the Club because he could no longer guarantee to donors that their identities would remain confidential, could not (due to the Secrecy Order) explain to potential donors the nature of the investigation, could not assuage donors' fears that they might become targets themselves, and could not assure donors that their money would go to fund advocacy rather than legal expenses. The Club was also paralyzed. Its officials could not associate with its key supporters, and its funds were depleted. It could not engage in issue advocacy for fear of criminal sanction.

The raids had the same traumatic effects on families that should be familiar to those who follow police tactics. Fortunately it doesn't appear that any people (or dogs) were injured, though one raid victim was well aware of law enforcement's reputation for killing canines and begged them, "Please don't shoot my dogs, please don't shoot my dogs, please don't shoot my dogs," according to French's report.

O'Keefe started speaking publicly about the nature of the raids last fall, and as is typical in today's political environment, he came under fire about the words he used to talk about it ("rape") and whether it would harm Walker's re-election effort (nope!) rather than the potential implications of what he was saying happened.

Read French's full story here. It's also in the May 4 print issue of the National Review.

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  1. It’s impossible to hear this and not think of the S.A.

    1. Hate the godwinning, but this is very true…

      1. I meant it in the warning sense. Shit like this can’t be tolerated even a little bit. We may not head down the same path using similar means, but the end won’t be anything good, I can assure you of that. Interesting that the left seems to have a much greater propensity for such tactics, isn’t it?

        1. Not interesting at all. One must have missed close to century of history of how the progressive left’s utopian dream plays out to not see this coming. The left has just been real good at hiding how much worse they are than the other side, which shouldn’t be given a pass either. That’s all.

          And you are right that we are all going to pay for this lack of foresight Pro L.

          1. Progressives want the status quo, but better, which requires scientific socialism, which requires Top.Men, which means individualism is the enemy. There can be only The One True Plan. Any obstruction hurts society, therefore individuals must suffer for the greater good.

            1. The Right seems to not understand the evolution of Police States. “First they came for…” And the Right loves its Polices State. Only they call it Prohibition.

              1. Go fuck yourself. Alcohol prohibition was very much a progressive cause. Drug prohibition sprouts from the same garden, with the added paternalistic racism of the left.

                1. And yet the politicians on the Right support it and those on the Left don’t. We have alcohol Prohibition to look too. In 1932 Republicans were its last supporters. It too was a Progressive initiative. So explain how that works. Republicans supporting Progressive efforts.

                  In Medical cannabis votes in the House Democrats support them 4 to 1. Republicans oppose them 4 to 1. You got an explanation for that?

        2. They learned it from the top. A whole lot of people should be in prison over the IRS targeting of political enemies, but they aren’t.

          It’s really unbelievable how the left cheer leads on stuff like this and seem to have no awareness whatsoever that this might not be such a good thing for them when the other team is in power.

          1. They are not worried about the other team being in power, because then the media will suddenly remember their role in the whole sordid affair. This is beyond dangerous and should frighten every single American. The elite in power are fickle and can trun the machine even against other fellow progs. History has already shown how this sort of thing plays out, but progs belief this time they can make it work for the better.

            Or something.

            1. The scary thing is that the media spends so much time up Democrats’ asses that when Republicans do get power, media scrutiny is heightened but still restrained. They have forgotten what it means to truly hold the feet of the powerful to the fire. If you lie down with dogs, …

              1. The problem for them is, the MSM is not the only source of news now. Most people don’t follow news or politics, but the ones who do are increasingly turning to the internet.

                So you basically have a few different flavors of news followers now. The team sheep, who no matter what the news is, only accept the spin that favors their team.

                The independent crowd, like most of us here, who try to figure things out in an objective way and know that things have went very wrong.

                And the more dedicated and educated left, who see the same things that we do, but like what they see.

                This is why the left needs government control of the internet.

            2. Most Americans have their heads buried in the sand. They don’t read the news. News is boring and everything is good anyway. My kid is a great kid (see that bumper sticker on my car that proves it). My neighbor just got a new SUV and I have to get a bigger one, and anyway, my great kid has soccer practice in one hour!

              1. Most Americans have their heads buried in the sand. They don’t read the news. …

                Nominally speaking, not only is there nothing wrong with this, it is in fact the way it should be. You should not spend your life concerned with politics or worse yet trying to make every little thing political.

                In fact, the real problem is that the sorts of people you are talking about aren’t apolitical; rather, they are quite political but don’t care about the consequences to other people. They vote (“it’s a civic duty!”), they hold political opinions (“there ought to be a law!”), etc. The real problem is that people are more concerned with social signaling than principle.

                1. They’ll get more concerned when the train cars arrive.

                  1. They’ll get more concerned when the train cars arrive.

                    If history is any indication, the ones who do get concerned will be the first to disappear, and then everybody else will get real quiet about it. There were lots of Germans who objected (many quite vehemently) to the Nazis and what they were up to. The camps were as much for them as for the other “undesirables”.

                    1. Bah.

                      That kinda thing can never happen here.

                  2. Train cars ? What train cars.

                    That’s so 20th century.

                    It’s monorail baby. High speed monorail.

                2. To put a finer point on what I’m trying to say: many of us assume that our fellows are just ill informed. If they paid more attention, etc. Yet the reality is that they are at best willfully ignorant and at worst just plain evil. Politicians should be subject to intense scrutiny, don’t get me wrong, but they should also play very little role in our lives. Naturally, we have the opposite of both.

                  1. Politicians should be subject to intense scrutiny

                    Used to be the media had a great story if they could expose any crooked government official. Now that the media has joined the party of their choice, they only have a good story if they can expose crooked officials on the other TEAM.

                    When one side gets a scoop it is immediately discredited by the other, regardless of its legitimacy.

                    Bottom line. The introduction of politics means the elimination of truth.

                    1. I am currently working for a newspaper doing research on campaign contributions. For what its worth I can assure you that we will be publishing everything we have on candidates from both parties. However, the research is municipal, where despite partisan hackery team red amd team blue are even less distinguishable than on the national stage.

                    2. “Used to be the media had a great story if they could expose any crooked government official”

                      I’m not so sure that it “used to be” that way.

                      Boss Tweed had quite a long run at Tammany Hall.

                    3. Agreed. It’s been decades now where it was only a story if it hurts Team Red and helps Team Blue. Most of the time the media has and will ignore Team Blue offenses, only reporting on them when they have no choice – like the internets makes them have to cover it – and then, they provide cover. When asked they will tell you that these perps are innocent until proven guilty 9which means without the coverage there will never be a story). On the other side they are quite happy to accuse Team Red of anything and everything and demand they prove otherwise.

                      This is how tyrants end in power. Heck, Obama already demands the members of the media coddle him and the other nutjobs on left while punching twice as hard when it comes to Team Red members, and turns vicious otherwise. This administration has ruled the media with an iron fist, controlling access and even spying on them or throwing them under the bus if they didn’t play along, and yet, the idiots in the media keep doing more of the same, because their team needs them.

                    4. No. The idea that there ever was, or,ever can be, an unbiased Media is a myth promulgated by the Left to excuse their near monopoly. Time was when there were enough different news outlets that most points of view got covered, and most political parties had to watch their Ps and Qs. Read Mecken’s NEWSPAPER DAYS, or his postumously published autobiographies.

                    5. “No. The idea that there ever was, or,ever can be, an unbiased Media is a myth promulgated by the Left to excuse their near monopoly. Time was when there were enough different news outlets that most points of view got covered, and most political parties had to watch their Ps and Qs. Read Mecken’s NEWSPAPER DAYS, or his postumously published autobiographies.”
                      I think you are quite right. Leftists never understand this, the value of diversity of opinion. With both the media and with the universities they insist on doubling down on ‘the one right opinion,’ and intellectual diversity is a threat to the right opinion, and so is more a vice than a virtue. But tolerating or, god forbid, fomenting intellectual diversity, even if it means tolerating incorrect views, is still the only way to keep everyone on their toes and guarantee that someone in power, no matter what color they are, will at least have someone ripping them apart when they screw up.

            3. “They are not worried about the other team being in power, because then the media will suddenly remember their role in the whole sordid affair. ”

              If this had been Democratic groups targeted by Republicans using secrecy laws and police raids, this story would be front page news on the New York Times and The Washington Post every week until somebody responsible for the raids was drummed out of office or arrested.

        3. Well, it’s always the left, isin’t it? And what about “this can’t be tolerated even a little bit?”
          We’re already tolerating it?
          And how do we resist – besides paying lawyers?
          As the article says : the process IS the punishment.

          1. We can tolerate it and are, but we fucking shouldn’t be. There’s no good result from doing so.

            1. Sure there is! The Bad Guys get taught a valuable lesson about fucking with public sector unions, and sure, they weren’t doing anything technically illegal, but those plutocrat-lovers still deserve their suffering.

              This movie scene seems to get more relevant to this country each year:
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBiLT3LASk

      2. Godwinning is rhetorical ploy used when the subject is actually nothing like Nazi Germany. It’s not a Godwin when the subjects are literally acting like Nazis.

        1. Touche…

        2. You know who else literally acted like a Nazi…

          1. Prince Harry?

          2. Kurt Waldheim?

            1. +1 for the monocle

        3. Also, Mike Godwin is sort of a douche. E.g. he had no problem with Mozilla firing Brendan Eich for the wrong sort of campaign contribution. So I now suspect his “law” originated as a way of deflecting criticism of proggy authoritarianism.

          1. Their motto: “But it’s okay when we do it.”

        4. Godwin’s law is a rhetorical gambit intended to take certain comparisons off the table. As such it should be viewed with AT LEAST as much suspicion as those comparisons.

        5. Yes! Too long has the term “Godwin’s Law” been used to silence legitimate comparison to Nazi policy preferences and populist tactics.

      3. Sometimes a Godwin is justified. If the jackboot fits…

        1. It’s hard to keep a Godwin down.

    2. You could think of the Palmer Raids instead…

  2. The major feature of the Left has always been a belief that the ends justify the means. They’re Smerdyakov and they believe that anything is permitted.

    1. Poor Smerdyakov was just a sick young man who did what he thought was best. His intentions were pure; it’s not his fault the old woman’s sister got in the way! Those damn utilitarians poisoned his mind, and in the end he was a victim of great injustice, who should’ve gone free.

      /the prog version

      1. I think you mean Raskolnikov.

        1. Argh, you’re right. Crossed the Dostoevsky streams, I did.

        2. Revision to earlier comment: at least Smerdyakov had the decency to hang himself

          1. That works too.

            Svidrigaylov, on the other hand, went to America.

  3. Nixon was forced to resign for far less than this administration has gotten away with on numerous occasions. Anyone that doesn’t believe that’s because the media has completely given up its job of reporting the news and has become a wholy owned branch of the the big government cadre, is deluded.

    1. Don’t disagree with your overall point, but there’s nothing to indicate there was federal involvement in this scandal.

      1. Of course, there probably should be. This sort of thing has “civil rights violation” (of the classical, state-sponsored, 14th Amendment forbidden variety) printed all over it, and the FBI has a division dedicated to dealing with such matters.

        1. Ha, so now you want the government to some in and protect you! Hypocrite wingnut!

          /buttplug

      2. This is just one of the many scandals tied to leftists in power, and a lot of the money and coordination for the anti-Walker campaing in WI, came from out of state. If they could get away with the IRS scandal, why stop at anything? What I would be surprised to find out is that there was no direction from the WH, rather than the other way around.

        The progrs play for keeps.

        1. I would be pretty surprised (though not shocked) by that. Not, mind you, because I think Obama is somehow above that sort of stuff, but because it seems much more likely that this came from the players directly involved in Wisconsin. Not all local or state-level political corruption has to have federal direction from the WH when these people are more than capable of doing it themselves. Without any evidence indicating that, it’s simply a conspiracy theory.

          Also, this isn’t just about progs. Conservatives and right-wingers are more than capable of political corruption (libertarians too, we’re all human), this is a feature of government and the people it attracts, not just one specific ideology (though in this specific case, there is one group at fault, I think it’s counterproductive to isolate this into a matter of having the Wrong People in charge).

          1. I agree that Obama probably wasn’t involved in this, but as for the “both sides can do it” argument, OK, historically, but can you point to anything in recent decades? I can’t think of anything since the FBI vs. radicals in the early ’70s. Since then, though, we’ve had Janet Reno at Waco, Ruby Ridge, Obama’s IRS, and more.

            1. Maybe I’m missing something, but compared to the shanannigans that Wilson, FDR, Kennedy, LBJ, and Clinton got up to, what Republican corruption I know about strikes me as pretty small beer.

              As for Jug Ears, but I shouldn’t use that kind of language. My tablet might melt.

            2. Prohibition is still in effect.

              “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

              1. And the Proggies continue it to keep up the oppression narrative. I always loathed Nixon, though from what I’ve read and remember, I would have loathed McGovern a tiny bit more when it came time to vote.

                The Left hated Nixon because he had the gall to defeat Helen Douglas, as nasty an old Stalinist as ever ran for office in the U.S., and a Leftwing darling (Gods, but their taste is apalling!), and because he was anti-Communist on Vietnam (where we should have sided with the Hmong, and fought in both directions). On domestic policy he was Left as anybody likely to get elected to anything, the rat bastard.

      3. Let’s also not forget that this smear campaign should have had the DOJ raising the red flag. Instead, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out that the DOJ helped these people that were behind this shit.

      4. The central element is media complicity with left wing politicians. Specific episodes of malfeasance may not be directly linked, but they are still parts of a whole.

    2. The Democratic Party is political corporation not a person and therefore has no expectation of Fourth Amendment rights that are granted to persons, not corporations.

      /consistent Prog

    3. Nixon, whom I loathe, was forced to resign for doing about what the two previous (Democrat) Presidents had done. But Keneddy is a Proggie Saint, and they don’t like to talk about LBJ.

  4. I hope Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth win their suit and that every last person involved in this gets put in “pound-you-in-the-ass” prison for a long time.

    1. Rape culture!

      1. Geez. Glad I didn’t go with my initial inclination to say “gets put in rape cages for a long time”.

        1. Isn’t the proper term ‘federal pound-me-in-the-ass-prison’ ?

    2. I’ll settle for being eaten alive by rats.

  5. This is a wake-up call for those on the Right who were ignoring reports of police and prosecutor misconduct.

    1. It only happens to other people. They all must have done ‘something’ wrong. It can never happen to me.

      /derp

      1. Those are the typical NRO comments. Seeing a very different flavor today.

        1. When reminded that the Police State is strengthened by Prohibition they don’t like it.

      2. + Lots of Old Bolsheviks

  6. This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform.

    I know nothing about this. What’s the evidence to support this? Because if this can be substantiated, then holy fuck. This is the kind of thing that should be national scandal and result in multiple lengthy prison sentences.

    1. Chisholm, a Democrat, two of his assistant DAs, a special prosecutor and a special investigator contracted by the GAB, were defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by conservative targets of a series of politically charged John Doe investigations spanning four years.

      The probe has featured predawn, paramilitary-style raids on the homes of conservative targets and the issuance of scores of subpoenas in the prosecution’s pursuit of campaign finance violations.

      The DA’s case against conservatives hinged on an unusual ? as of Tuesday, indefensible ? reading of state campaign law: Chisholm has tried to argue that any political speech (for example, a television ad supporting lower taxes) that might produce support for a specific candidate can be regulated if he can find evidence that the speakers coordinated with the candidate.

      http://www.americanthinker.com….._ends.html

      How it works is like this. You say something they don’t like. They then get a hack judge to sign off on a search warrant looking for evidence that you coordinated with the candidate’s campaign and they show up at dawn and do a swat raid terrorizing you and your family. And by the way, the hack judge issues a gag order so you can’t tell anyone about the raid. So you can’t complain about it.

      1. And by the way, the hack judge issues a gag order so you can’t tell anyone about the raid. So you can’t complain about it.

        So, find something, anything, to hang that hack judge on. And prosecute to the absolute utter and fullest extent of the law. And sentence with a vindictiveness that will strike terror into even those sympathetic with you (“Gee, you honor, I think we’re going to have to send you to a maximum security facility.”). It’ll be a question of minutes before the judge flips. .

        1. With no chance of being removed from General Population and having to share a cell with someone you sentenced there.

        2. Prosecute with whom?

          Another judge? Even if that other judge is ideologically on your side he is not going to go along with that tactic because being a judge he’ll at least be smart enough to realize exactly what will happen the next time the other party gets into power.

          1. I’m not so sure. Honestly, I think you can communicate to any judge that this is a special case. You can communicate to the judiciary that, if they let crossing this line stand, you won’t hesitate to start playing by the same rules. And a lot of judges can make really easy targets.

            1. Can some of the lawyers here help me understand something in this ?

              I understand how a gag order can prevent a person going to the media about an investigation.

              But can the investigator legally deny one the right to contact a lawyer or is that just extra legal bullying ?

              *scratches head with one eyebrow raised*

        3. So, find something, anything, to hang that hack judge on.

          Something like a lamp post?

          1. Eliminationist rhetoric!

      2. We have become Soviet-era Russia.

        1. Pretty much, especially when you consider that they are likely going to be rewarded for this. The Dem operative media is portraying this as a Scott Walker scandal and are going to use it to attack his campaign.

          1. The next step is people disappearing in the night.

            1. Too bad it can’t be the people that perpetrated this bullshit.

            2. I am sure it has already happened. When there are so many laws we break daily because our legal system is broken, when the people in power want to lock you up and throw away the key, they have plenty of recourse.

              Regardless of how well intended they are or claim to be, the left will always resort to tryanny to control the masses. For their own good of course,

              1. As opposed to the Right with its love of Prohibition?

        2. In response to me?

          No. I don’t think so. Look, what we’re talking about here is someone turning the power of the state as a weapon on their political enemies. In the most direct and extreme way possible. Frankly, unless those willing to do so, experience the full wrath of the state, I only see that sort of thing becoming more common, once it’s initiated.

          1. By this point, most judges and prosecutors were taught in law school that the law is ‘indeterminate’ and entirely dependent on the interpretation of the judge (and their race, class gender, you know, same old shit), and so rather than enforcing the law faithfully according to its intent (that’s impossible they say, because of its ‘indeterminacy’), they should use the law as a tool to help the ‘oppressed classes.’ If that means sending the Gestapo to the houses of political dissidents in the middle of the night save the pensions of the poor oppressed teachers’ union, so be it.

            This is what they call legal realism, and so many law professors swear by it as a juristic framework unfortunately.

          2. Look, what we’re talking about here is someone turning the power of the state as a weapon on their political enemies.

            You mean like this:

            “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

      3. the hack judge issues a gag order so you can’t tell anyone about the raid

        This point really got to me – you aren’t allowed to contact a lawyer? Really?

        1. Yeah, same here. Law enforcement can enter your home, steal your property, etc., and you have no legal recourse? How can this possibly be constitutional?

          1. Because a judge says it is.

            Judicial power in this country has gotten way out of hand. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of check on it.

  7. Stories like this are the reason that stuff like gay marriage and opinions about evolution are at the bottom of my list of concerns.

    1. Global warming. I read an awful article somewhere the other day where some lefty journalist was talking about how Hillary can make global warming a top issue for Americans. They are clueless.

      1. Unless she’s simultaneously running for president of China and India (which is also where all the American industries hit by environmental legislation will flee), then I don’t see what significant thing she can possibly do to fix that.

    2. Hey, look over here, shiny object.

  8. complete with warnings not to speak publicly about what authorities had taken from them or to consult a lawyer:

    Have we now passed laws establishing the secret police that have the authority to bypass 1&5A;?

    I mean, what am I missing here? Why haven’t the people responsible for such an order been burned at the stake?

    1. Because the new season of dancing with the stars just started!

      Seriously. The local cops all around the country get away with murdering people in cold blood, in broad daylight and people don’t care. It’s not their problem, it can’t ever happen to them. The cops are the good guys, the guy who just got murdered had to be a bad guy.

        1. I was at a party at some kids house once, his parents were gone for the weekend and he decided to have a party. There were lots of people there.

          One of the neighbors called the cops. The cops arrived. There were lots of booze and drugs and most all of us were under age. I was 17.

          Everyone ran in different directions. I don’t remember if anyone got caught by the cops, but I managed to get to my car and get the f out of there. No one was shot, or even shot at. Not even the dogs. That was a long time ago. Things have changed. For the worst.

          1. I remember a similar party at a friend’s house in 1994, our senior year of high school. Mom and dad out of town, huge party, quiet neighborhood. Cops were summoned. My buddy, being a quick thinker, answered the knock on the door by saying “Hey, officer, all these people just showed up at my house and I can’t get them out.” Cops come through the house yelling that the party was over, get out. Everyone bugged out. The only people who stopped were those who were a)trying to get out with their beer, since we were all clearly underage or b)going for a car. If they tried to get in a car, they had to take a breathalyzer. Me, I just left the remainer of my 12 pack and mosied on down the block for a while until the hoopla died down, then I went back to my car and drove away. As in your story, no one was shot. No weapons were even drawn. Everyone went home, and as far as I know no one was picked up and cited for underage drinking.

            As you said, a different and better time.

            1. Same thing happened to me – I jumped over a wooden fence, ducked between two houses and then began calmly walking toward my car, which I thankfully had parked a few suburban blocks away.

            2. In my case, I think everyone panicked because most of us never saw any cops, someone just yelled ‘cops!’, and most people ran, because of the obvious reason that there were drugs on the premises as well as alcohol, or at least there was rumored to be. I didn’t even see any drugs but I did see some people drinking beer. But knowing the kid who lived there, I’m sure there was plenty of weed.

              I didn’t have anything on me, and I wasn’t drinking either. We had just arrived and the 2 guys with me were standing right beside me. My car was parked out back across the street and so I thought we’re out of here before they even see us and we were. Not sure what happened after, everyone was running. But I never heard about anyone getting busted or anything.

              1. Ha. I’m even older, and I remember being stopped for some bullshit like window tint being too dark. I had a warrant out for failure to appear.
                I was not arrested. I followed the police in my own car to the police station, where they gave me a new court date (that I went to).
                Do I win?

              2. I used to get stopped by cops all the time for being out after curfew, even though I was over 18 and the curfew didn’t apply to adults. Almost without exception, they were always rude, acted like they were pulling over a reputed felon, not suburban college kid riding a bike. Then I’d show them my ID, and sometimes they would immediately call it a fake and say there’s no way I’m an adult (clean shaven, I could still pas for a high schooler) and act like they were going to take me in; when I refused to relent or “admit” that I was in fact underage, they would eventually give up and go, but make the point of informing me they were doing me a big favor for not causing me trouble for doing nothing illegal whatsoever (and mind you, I never even drank when I was underage. Never) That was the late 2000s.

                I hate suburban cops. Those fuckers are just another cadre of fat overpaid, underworked government employees. Any politician who is willing to raid their pensions has got my vote.

        2. What, you think the cop should just let him run away? Just think, if that cop hadn’t shot him dead, he never would’ve paid his child support.

    2. It does have a certain Star Chamber qualiy to it. I cannot even comprehend a rationalization for it that passes the smell test.

      1. I’ll try to rationalize it…

        It’s an ongoing campaign law investigation. Gag order is to protect the investigation. You’ll be able to talk about it after the investigation is over. Since no charges were filed against you, you do not have the right to speak to an attorney.

        It still doesn’t pass the smell test, but the Feds also use gag orders in a lot of their investigations and seem to get away with it. “Okay Google, we’re going to need everything you’ve got on John Doe. And you can’t tell anybody what you gave us or even that we asked for it.”

        1. I don’t have any charges against me as I sit here yet I can call a damn lawyer if I want to.

          i don’t think there is any rationalization for this and I’m guessing it isn’t legal, or a least constitutional.

          It’s probably just extra legal bullying and scare tactics.

    3. I believe the Patriot Act(or possibly and amendment to it) did that a few years ago.

    4. You are not missing anything. The Supreme Court, when they allowed campaign finance regulation to stand, read in a “but not if it means too much money in elections” clause to the 1st Amendment.

    5. Have we now passed laws re-establishing the secret police that have the authority to bypass 1&5A;?

      FTFY

  9. And this is why all efforts to overturn the Citizen’s United ruling must be opposed at the federal level. It is too much power to give the government looking to see what it can get away with.

  10. I suppose it’s probably too much to hope that the people that authorized and did this are redacted and that they redacted with a rusty redacted and then get locked in a North Korean redacted, right?

      1. Well I do have a newsletter….

    1. I totally redacted with everything you say.

      1. I’m sorry but this is a complete over redadction

    2. html needs an easy tag for just putting up a big black bar instead of text. “c” tag for censored?

      1. That would be nice.

        spoiler type tag maybe?

        1. Maybe you can get some hints from this conversation: http://stackoverflow.com/quest…..yle-in-css

    3. You could also use “marklar” instead of redacted.

      1. Marklar all to Marklar!

        1. “Young Marklar, your Marklars are wise and true.”

          1. A bunch of Marklarky.

  11. This is pretty dire stuff. I’m also wary of anything that requires a massive conspiracy theory at many levels of government.

    Sure, getting a bunch of meat heads to kick in a door because their bosses told them to is fairly easy. But something like this would have to reach pretty high in the management sphere.

    1. Not really. Police unions were one of the targets right? They knew who was coming after them and wanted to do something about it. And they only know a few ways to respond to perceived threats.

      1. And they only know a few one ways to respond to perceived threats.

        FIFY

  12. I have a feeling there will be consequences here. It was a little too big and a little too blatant.

    1. Yep. Most cop victims are too poor and politically unconnected to fight back. These people aren’t.

      1. You can shut most people up with something like this, but you can’t always shut everyone up. Occasionally, someone will fight back. Then you just have to resort to making people disappear. Be interesting to see what happens next.

        1. Too late to make people disappear now. Also, it’s easy to make people on the margins of society disappear. It’s hard to make politically connected people like this disappear. What will happen is that a few mid-level manager types will be thrown to the wolves and nothing else will happen.

          1. It’s hard to make politically connected people like this disappear.

            See: Vince Foster

      2. Yes Lord but this started levels above the cops.

        Too bad the officers weren’t Oath Keepers.

    2. Wrists will be slapped and paid vacations will be assigned.

      And a lucky few will be promoted .

  13. From NRO:

    Chisholm failed to act promptly on the report, and when he did act, he refused to conduct a conventional criminal investigation but instead petitioned, in May 2010, to open a “John Doe” investigation, a proceeding under Wisconsin law that permits Wisconsin officials to conduct extensive investigations while keeping the target’s identity secret (hence the designation “John Doe”).

    What the shit, Archer?!

    1. Looks like a very interesting lever to power. I’m wondering when this law passed and I’m wondering who thought it was a good idea?

      1. Law enforcement needs the proper tools, etc etc. Look, citizen, you don’t want to get in our way.

    2. Of course, “John Doe” investigations are supposed to be substantiated by concrete evidence of criminal activity before they are launched. There’s a bunch of dead people at the bottom of a river with cement shoes, so thus we start investigating mafia activity without knowing who exactly was involved. What it is not supposed to be is a cover for drumming up evidence when you didn’t have any to begin with. Proof that there is no such thing as a limited power.

      1. None of what I said is meant to exclude or downplay the harassment/intimidation aspect, which is of course what this is really all about. I was merely addressing the matter from a procedural standpoint.

      2. Yes. And judges are not supposed to grant search warrants in these cases unless there is concrete evidence of criminal activity. But when you own the judges such that they are political hacks and in on it too, that is no longer a problem.

        1. Is there any way that we could foster an adversarial interaction between the three branches of government? It seems like the non-executive branches are all too happy to live vicariously through the executive branch.

          1. It seems like the non-executive branches are all too happy to live vicariously through the executive branch.

            This isn’t entirely surprising. The other branches are beholden to the executive for maintaining their own privileges. Congressmen and judges get special treatment from the police as long as they toe the line. I think it is in part a flaw inherent to the system: power in the legislative and the judicial branches is diffuse, while in the executive branch, power is concentrated. A single judge can’t do much without the support of his peers; who does the executive have to answer to but the voters (whom he can just buy or outright defraud)?

            1. “whom he can just buy or outright defraud)?”

              I have two issues with this statement.

              1. check your patriarchal privledge, the executive could/should be a she

              2. if you like your Doctor you can……..

              Oh well, carry on.

          2. Is there any way that we could foster an adversarial interaction between the three branches of government?

            But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department, the necessary constitutional means, and personal motives, to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defence must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man, must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government.
            -James Madison, Federalist No. 51

            1. This pretty well articulates the exact opposite of what modern day progressives see as the role of government: the consolidation of all branches and departments into the hands of a “cooperative” group of like-minded people pursuing the same ends under common leadership.

              Nothing could be more frightening.

              1. The Right’s love of Prohibition?

                1. The Right’s love of Prohibition?

                  Uh huh.

                  Prohibition is bad, we already know. This is not in the same league. If you can’t see that, you’re fucking stupid.

                  1. Prohibition is the training ground. If you can’t see that, you’re fucking stupid.

                    And Prohibition was designed to go after the Right’s Political enemies.

                    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

                    But yeah. Using the police to go after your political enemies is totally a leftist thing. /sarc

                    BTW Republicans STILL support Prohibition.

                    1. A lot of Republicans are Establishment Republicans, the Loyal Opposition, the Good Boys who are allowed to sit at the Big Table so long as they don’t upset any Lefty applecarts. But there is some change coming up from the State levels. And taking over from the Democrat Establishment is a harder climb.

  14. If there is any doubt whatsoever why this was launched, look at how the Dem operative media is covering this story. They are not covering at as the unbelievable outrage that it is. No. This is “Scott Walker’s White Water”.

    http://www.politico.com/magazi…..15563.html

    You just can’t overstate what worthless pieces of garbage most journalists are. Here we have the specter of police knocking on the door and terrorizing people for the crime political speech and the media portrays it as a scandal for Scott Walker. That article is just rage inducing. It contains things like “fair or unfair, Scott Walker’s critics are going to make an issue of this” and has exactly one sentence about the 1st Amendment issues which consists of “some critics claim the investigations raises first amendment concerns”. Gee you think? What a piece of human garbage the hack who wrote that article is.

    1. Doesn’t matter how they present the facts. They know that they have their captive audience in a sort of mass hysteria trance.

      They can post this headline:

      “Scott Walker conspires with Koch Brothers to destroy earth and enslave the children!”

      That will get comments like this on HuffPo:

      “Koch brother Teahadists drink the blood of the children!”

      There will be 1000 variations of that same post and each of them will get 1000 likes.

      1. And you just get enough outlets to repeat the same lies and there is no way to stop it. The typical low information voter will think “well there must be something to it”. You just get a critical mass of people believing the lie and the rest of the people fall inline because they don’t want to be seen as out of step with majority opinion. They have done it hundreds of times to people.

        1. I see a lot of sites, like say WaPo, who seem to be able to draw out the worst from both sides. By both sides, I am saying the conservative right and the progressive left.

          There will be horrid comments from both sides.

          The difference is, there will be some forms of disagreement on the right, they will sometimes argue with each other over details.

          But the left are like the borg. They never disagree with each other and will up vote any comment by one of their own.

          1. Notice how Tony, Shreek and Bo never show up at first when there is a story that is bad for the Democrats. They only show up after they have talking points to put out. They went like a week and never said a word about the Hillary Email thing. Then finally they got their talking points and were all over every thread.

            The left in this country is terrifying.

            1. Contra Tony and the Plug, Bo occasionally demonstrates an original thought, even on matters that are bad for the Democrats. He is getting farther into troll territory lately, though.

            2. Well it’s not like this is a serious violation of our rights like a free photo id is, John.

              1. I larfed.

            3. It’s not limited to the left in this country: they should be terrifying no matter where they are, because the game always plays out the same way. Sure, there are those that promise you a unicron will show up to finally make it all work out as they would like it to – and that’s exactly how Black Jesus was sold to the masses – but when their fantasy meets reality, we get exactly what we have now. With these people the end always justifies the means. Because of something something…

              1. It’s not limited to the left in this country

                While true, because the left also gets to control the narrative, it is especially bad when they do it. Every schoolkid is shown the photos of the police blasting civil rights marchers with water cannons from the 1950s and 1960s. How many people are even familiar with shit like this?

                1. Those police were Republicans.

                  1. Those police were Republicans.

                    Assuming sarc, I am well aware of the nuance of the history there but I can’t make every point in every post. The old school Democrats in the South were conservative, in their own ways, which finds them vaguely on “the right” especially by the high-school definition. And while Bo is too stupid to understand nuance, there are definitely some people who are Republicans today for purely economic reasons rather than any love of or support for the party’s civil rights history.

                    The point I was trying to make is that something only gets lots of attention if it’s useful for building the narrative.

                    1. And while Bo is too stupid to understand nuance

                      The context of this statement is his facile belief that the parties “switched” in the 1960s and so every old-school Democrat is now a Republican and vice versa. Nothing I said was meant to support such inaccuracy.

            4. Why terrifying? They are losing. Losing slowly, I admit, amd fighting like the rats they are. But they never had a chance if they failed to disarm the public and coopt the military, and fail they did.

    2. One would think the media would have a vested interest in pointing out 1A violations.

      Oh, nevermind, it’s 1A for me not thee. If the press remains covered, all is well.

    3. Thanks for the rage inducing link, John. I particularly like how Ross explains that the purpose of a “John Doe” investigation is to protect the TARGET of the investigation, as if the secret investigation was for Walker’s benefit.

    4. That piece raised no substantial questions and was pure misdirection and hack whitewashing.

      JR Ross is the editor of WisPolitics.com. He has covered Wisconsin politics for 14 years.

      Obviously JR Ross is so unprincipled he would rip up the 1A if it helped his team.

    5. Thanks for the link, I had forgotten how completely fucking retarded Politico commenters were.

    6. John, one small sliver lining in this is that Scott Walker is now the most throughly vetted candidate in th Presidental election.

      No possibility of a true October surprise. A manufactured one yes, but not a real one.

      When the media’s reaction to this is held side by side with their reaction to Hillary’s direct payoffs through the Clinton foundation and her destroying email it absolutely boggles the mind.

      It is inconceivable to me that anyone but a prog/lib could possibly get elected. Especially more so when the prog/lib can get 120% of the vote in some areas without even an investigation by the FEC.

      1. Real or manufactured doesn’t really matter unfortunately. Once it gets shown to be manufactured, too little too late, can’t unburn down the Reichstag.

      2. Walker likes the Right version of the Police State. Prohibition. No thanks.

    7. Now John, we are all friends here; there is no need to be shy: Go ahead and tell us what you really think.

  15. if government employee wants to play lawfare, he is giving the taxpayers a solution to the pension crisis under the Hatch Act. the taxpayers don’t owe you a pension for politicking all day.

  16. Here is another priceless detail about this case.

    Now a longtime Chisholm subordinate reveals for the first time in this article that the district attorney may have had personal motivations for his investigation. Chisholm told him and others that Chisholm’s wife, Colleen, a teacher’s union shop steward at a school in St. Francis, which is near Milwaukee, had been repeatedly moved to tears by Walker’s anti-union policies in 2011, according to the former staff prosecutor in Chisholm’s office. Chisholm said in the presence of the former prosecutor that his wife “frequently cried when discussing the topic of the union disbanding and the effect it would have on the people involved ? She took it personally.”

    http://legalnewsline.com/news/…..sider-says

    This started because the DA’s wife cried because the State of Wisconsin was no longer going to require teachers to join a union. No kidding.

    1. This is certainly interesting and it at least creates the connection between someone high enough to initiate this type of investigation and someone who had a personal interest in seeing walker political allies suffer.

    2. The DA needs to spend some quality time in the stocks.

      1. America is a better place without lynching, it’s true. But I think something has been lost in these days where government officials no longer need to fear being tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.

        1. After Obamacare passed, the Dem rep here in New Hampshire just stopped having town hall meetings. The proles were just too rude. I wish she had a legitimate fear of tar and feathers vs being spoken to in an unseemly manner.

          1. That’s because you’re just a bunch of tea-staters.

        2. I still maintain that crucifying public officials who violate their oath to uphold the Constitution would do this nation a service.
          Line Constitution Boulevard with the crucifixes and gibbets of these petty tyrants and watch their peers ask of a sudden get real hesitant to overstep their Constitutional power.

      2. Preferably at the bottom of a full swiming pool.

    3. Imagine how much she’s gonna cry when her husband goes to prison. I know, never gonna happen. A man can dream though.

    4. So his wife nagged him into destroying the lives of others. Wow. What a spineless piece of shit.

      1. Methinks she didn’t have to try too hard.

  17. government employees = terrorists

    1. Come on now, at least terrorists raise their own funds.

  18. I suppose we can see one reason why Walker didn’t go after the cops union at the same time.

    1. It takes some balls of brass to do that. Otherwise you’ve got cops tailing you and waiting outside of restaurants so they can pull you over for “drunk driving” and other various moving violations.

      1. Just shows how far gone things are.

        1. We certainly read our fair share of government abuses here. Many of them get us shouting about how this one or that one is almost like the stasi.

          If this one is true, it doesn’t represent a slide toward a darker place, it represents the arrival.

  19. Why was Gov. Walker unwilling or unable to do anything to publicize this investigation? You would think that he would be able to do something either directly of through proxies.

    1. He has. The story has been covered a lot in places like NRO. I think he refranes from going really public with it because the Dem Op media will portray it as a scandal and downplay the abusive aspects of it as “some Walker defenders claim…”.

  20. Anne also describes a new fear of the police: “I used to support the police, to believe they were here to protect us. Now, when I see an officer, I’ll cross the street. I’m afraid of them. I know what they’re capable of.”

    This ought to throw the left: deciding whether to gloat over white familes facing “what African Americans experience all. the. time” while having to excuse these exercises in political intimidation as being legitimate investigations.

  21. Don’t contact a lawyer? How in the sweet muddy fuck is that even legal?

    What would happen if I did? Would I be disappeared? Fuck these fucking fascist cunts and the people that willingly support them.

    1. Disappeared? No. Caught with fifty tons of meth that oddly materialized in your home? Perhaps.

    2. Shot in a traffic stop where you made a furtive movement.

      1. +1 “reached for her waistband”

  22. In international law, the Western world has become familiar with a concept called “lawfare,” a process whereby rogue regimes or organizations abuse legal doctrines and processes to accomplish through sheer harassment and attrition what can’t be accomplished through legitimate diplomatic means. … The John Doe investigations are a form of domestic lawfare, and our constitutional system is ill equipped to handle it. Federal courts rarely intervene in state judicial proceedings, state officials rarely lose their array of official immunities for the consequences of their misconduct, and violations of First Amendment freedoms rarely result in meaningful monetary damages for the victims.

    Here’s the money shot from NRO. I would add that campaign finance laws and laws impinging campaign speech are primed for abuse by the opposition.

  23. I’ve read the article and the crux of the anger by the Milwaukee DA was his wife!

    The anti-union bill would affect her position in the union as the shop steward at the school she taught at.

    The DA went to a Jesuit High School and University. I also am similarly Jesuit trained.

    I have NEVER seen someone turn to the Dark Side like him. He certainly didn’t learn the Jesuit way.

  24. Sounds like the tree of liberty needs refreshing! Too bad that “NY Times best selling” conservative writers Huckleberry, Coulter and O’Reilly can’t sit down at their keyboard and
    widely publicize these gestapo-like tactics. Stossel may be the only libertarian with the clout and the big name to warn those of the public who still give a damn.

  25. So, some identified individuals sent armed men against US citizens, with the express aim of shutting down their political participation and especially ordered them to be quiet in direct contravention of the First Amendment — if there’s anything since Benedict Arnold that meets the definition of treason, this is it.

  26. The most infuriating part of this is the gag orders. It’s the next best thing to just “disappearing” those people. At least banana republic death squads are intellectually honest.
    .
    The prosecutor and the judge who signed those warrants should be hanging by their heels in front of the State Capitol.

  27. Progs are evil scum. Most of them need a healthy dose of tonics 556 and 762.

  28. Secrecy orders? AYFKM?

  29. The Prorgressive Theocracy is after power, and they mean it.

    From Emperor Obama on down, rule of law means nothing to them. Power is power.

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  32. Well, the Kochs have now officially said their billions are going to back Walker – that means they need more Wis. stories on their “reason” and other mouthpieces.

    You can count it down now – Rand is gonna be a goner as they make it clear to those on their payroll (lots of media including Reason) that little Scotty is the Republican to back.

    What a farce! Libertarians? Scott Walkers?

    1. Prohibition is not an important issue.

      It is just the template for this behavior.

    2. Where exactly in the article does the author endorse Scott Walker? This should piss you off no matter what your political persuasion.The fact that you’re trying to turn it into a Team issue is quite telling.

      Principals Not Principles right?

  33. So, how much did any of the media cover this? Outside a Politico piece that it into a Walker scandal.

    And just clicking onto some of these sites, they are full of the most inane and trivial of headlines. This shouldn’t even be a Red/Blue issue at all. It’s a I’m a decent human being or not issue.

    1. Unfortunately, almost everyone loves a ref who makes a bad call that benefits one’s own team, no matter how bad the call.

  34. At NRO they don’t like it that Prohibition is the template for this sort of thing.

    “First they came for….”

    And they like it even less when you tell them who instituted the latest version of the police State:

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

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  36. I like stories showing the hypocrisy of so called liberals as much as the next guy, but I really hope this one ends up being exaggerated…

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