Tag Archives: Recall Election

Wisconsin judge defends free speech rights of conservative groups against Democrat fascists

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

From the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

Chalk up a big victory for the First Amendment. On Friday a Wisconsin judge struck a major blow for free political speech when he quashed subpoenas to conservative groups and ordered the return of property to the targets of a so-called John Doe campaign-finance probe.

John Doe probes operate much like grand juries, allowing prosecutors to issue subpoenas and conduct searches while gag orders require the targets to keep quiet. We wrote about the kitchen-sink subpoenas and morning raids by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz that targeted dozens of conservative groups that participated in the battle to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker (“Wisconsin Political Speech Raid,” Nov. 16, 2013).

Now we learn that Judge Gregory A. Peterson ruled on Friday that at least some of those subpoenas were improper. They “do not show probable cause that the moving parties committed any violations of the campaign finance laws,” he wrote. His opinion remains under seal but we obtained a copy.

The quashed subpoenas were sent to Friends of Scott Walker, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Inc., the Wisconsin Club for Growth, and Citizens for a Strong America, as well as their officers and directors. Judge Peterson’s order doesn’t apply to other subpoena targets, but they can presumably get the same result if they file a motion with the judge and have a similar factual basis.

[…]“There is no evidence of express advocacy” and therefore “the subpoenas fail to show probable cause that a crime was committed,” Judge Peterson wrote. Even “the State is not claiming that any of the independent organizations expressly advocated” for the election of Mr. Walker or his opponent, he added. Instead they did “issue advocacy,” which focuses on specific political issues.

This means that prosecutors essentially invented without evidence the possibility of criminal behavior to justify the subpoenas and their thuggish tactics. At least three targets had their homes raided at dawn, with police turning over belongings, seizing computers and files, and even barring phone calls.

The judge’s order vindicates our suspicion that the John Doe probe is a political operation intended to shut up Mr. Walker’s allies as he seeks re-election this year. No one has taken public credit for appointing the special prosecutor, but we know the probe began in the office of Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf.

Charlie Sykes, the famous Wisconsin-based radio talk show host, had more to say about it on Right Wisconsin.

He writes:

The IRS scandal — which is ongoing — is not that Tea Party groups may have engaged in political activities; it is the abuse of government power to target, harass, and intimidate political opponents. It involves singling out conservative Tea Party groups for special scrutiny and harassment if they sought tax exempt status. 

But that pales next to the Doe, which targeted dozens of conservative groups and individuals and subjected them to criminal investigations. Prosecutors cast a breathtakingly wide net –- 29 separate groups, including Wisconsin Club for Growth, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), the League of American Voters, Wisconsin Family Action, Americans for Prosperity, American Crossroads, and the Republican Governors Association, along with other innocent bystanders.

In the IRS scandal, Tea Party groups were threatened with the denial of tax exempt status and subject to legal and financial inconvenience. In Wisconsin, conservatives were threatened with imprisonment.

[…]The anti-Walker probe included raiding the homes of targeted activists, seizing their private correspondence, phones, and computers – including the computers, phones, and emails of their spouses and other family members. Under the Doe’s draconian gag orders, conservatives subjected to such raids were threatened with imprisonment if they spoke about it. And because the probe was secret, the prosecutors could not be held accountable for their conduct. 

[…]So, what is the motivation/agenda behind the witch-hunt?  The office of Milwaukee Democrat district attorney, John Chisolm, presided over a three-year-old long John Doe aimed at Scott Walker that resulted in charges only against a handful of functionaries. Dozens of members of Chisholm’s office signed Walker recall petitions; the chief investigator had a recall sign in his front yard, and some of Chisolm’s aides reportedly were panting at the prospect of charging Walker himself.  Their disappointment has been palpable.

Sources describe deputies Bruce Landgraf and David Robles as particularly vindictive and aggressive in pursuing the new probe.

I just finished reading Governor Scott Walker’s new book about his effort to limit public sector unions in Wisconsin, and their (failed) effort to recall him. I believe this man has what it takes to be President one day. I believe in experience, and Walker is getting a lot of experience passing bold, innovative reforms as governor of Wisconsin. He could. Go. All. The. Way.

Related posts

Scott Walker defeats Tom Barrett to win 2012 Wisconsin recall election

Wisconsin Recall Election Results 2012 Map
Wisconsin Recall Election Results 2012 Map

Human Events reports.

Excerpt:

The cheers were almost deafening at the Expo Center, Gov. Scott Walker’s headquarters, Tuesday night as CNN projected that the Republican governor had won Wisconsin’s nationally-watched recall election.

[…]Walker’s fellow Republican, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, appeared headed for an easy win.  However, results in the four Republican-held state senate seats on the ballot remained uncertain and a Democratic victory in either could end the GOP’s control of the now-evenly divided state senate.

Most GOP activists and state political pundits who spoke to Human Events credited Walker’s political team with energizing party activists throughout the Badger State and turning out his likely backers. In addition, national Republicans led by Republican National Committee Chairman (and Walker’s fellow Wisconsinite) Reince Priebus, weighed in for the embattled governor.  All four Republican presidential candidates voiced solidarity with Walker when they stumped in the state’s presidential primary earlier this year, and GOP Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Nikki Haley of South Carolina stumped for Walker in the special election.

[…]Perhaps sensing defeat, national Democrats aside from Clinton distanced themselves from Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told reporters on May 25 “there aren’t going to be any repercussions nationally” if Walker wins and, five days later, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney seconded her opinion.  President Obama did nothing for Barrett until the day before the voting, when he sent out a one-sentence endorsement of him on Twitter.

The current results as of 10:30 PM show 58-41 in favor of Walker.

It’s very important to understand that this victory will have national repercussions for Barack Obama and the big-spending Democrats.

Look:

But Walker’s triumph may yield other benefits for the GOP in Wisconsin and the conservative movement overall.  Although Barack Obama carried the state’s 10 electoral votes in 2008 and leads Mitt Romney in most statewide polls, Republicans are now expected to make a major effort to put Wisconsin in the Romney column in November.  With the number of reliable campaign volunteers clearly enhanced and motivated by the Walker effort,  the Romney camp’s chances of wining the state are enhanced.

As Steve Walters, senior producer of the Wisconsin Eye public television program, told Human Events: “I can’t believe Romney won’t make Wisconsin a priority after tonight.”

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas, whose county had a turnout of more than 70 percent and supported Walker handily, agreed, predicting “Romney will be here next week.  The state went from being leaning blue to leaning red overnight.  Gov. Walker put fire in the belly of a lot of people.”

Among Republican activists we spoke to, there was also a fresh confidence in the ability of any of their four candidates this fall to pick up the open Senate this November.

What has been really encouraging for me to see is how the majority of union workers stopped paying dues to the unions as soon as Walker enacted the right-to-work reform which allows people to work without being forced to pay dues to wealthy, corrupt union bosses. I think it really opened my eyes to the fact that just because a person is a member of a union, it doesn’t mean they like it.

Here is a map of the results county-by-county. You can also read my previous post about Scott Walker’s pro-business reforms which lowered the unemployment rate in Wisconsin.

Should Wisconsin voters recall governor Scott Walker?

Central United States
Central United States

A couple of articles to get you situated, in case you haven’t been following the recall election. Basically, Republican governor Scott Walker saved a leftist-dominated state from bankruptcy, and now the labor unions want his head on a platter.

Here’s George Will in the liberal Washington Post:

On Tuesday, in this year’s second-most important election, voters will judge the attempt by a populism of the privileged — white-collar labor unions whose members live comfortably above the American median — to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

[…]Wisconsin, normally a paragon of Midwestern neighborliness, has been riven by furious attempts to punish Walker for keeping his campaign promise to change the state’s unsustainable fiscal trajectory driven by the perquisites of government employees. His progressive adversaries have, however, retreated from their original pretext for attempting to overturn the election Walker won handily just 19 months ago.

He defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. A recall is a gubernatorial election, and the Democrats’ May primary was won by . . .Barrett.

In 2010, government employees unions campaigned against Walker’s “5 and 12” plan. It requires government employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their pay to their pension plans. (Most were paying less than 1 percent. Most private-sector workers have no pensions; those who do pay, on average, much more than 5.8 percent.) Walker’s reform requires government employees to pay 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums (up from 6 percent but still less than the 21 percent private-sector average). Defeated in 2010, the unions now are demanding, as frustrated children do after losing a game, “Let’s start over!”

Here’s Tim Stanley in the UK Telegraph to explain whether Walker’s plan worked:

On the one hand, last year Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state and private sector growth has been sluggish. Walker cut tax relief to low income families and the state’s Medicaid program. He also forced Planned Parenthood to restrict some of its services. Anti-union, anti-women and anti-spending – no wonder Justin Beiber is so angry.

On the other hand, unemployment has actually fallen in the state and the budget is balanced. That last thing was a major achievement, because Walker inherited a deficit of $3.6 billion when he took office in 2010. By reducing the cost of public services, the Governor has not only held the line on taxes but also cut them.

I don’t see what’s wrong with either of those hands. I like them both!

More:

Walker earned his narrow lead by breaking the Democrats’ inbuilt advantage in state politics – perhaps permanently. He did it with one simple reform. Before Walker, union member dues were paid straight from the employer to the union. The member never got to see the money and, likely, never thought about how much he was losing. After passage of Walker’s reforms, the money now goes into the employee’s pay packet first and they then get to choose whether or not to give it to the union. Unsurprisingly, workers have taken one look at the substantial contributions they have been asked to make and… said, “Hell no!” To quote the Wall Street Journal, “Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — the state’s second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers — fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011 … Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.”

The latest polls from PPP and Angus Reid show governor Scott Walker leading Barret by three points and six points, respectively. I urge all of my Wisconsin readers to vote FOR Scott Walker. People should have a right to work for a living without being forced to fund political organizations.