Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

John Doe Investigations Abused

Politics, Wisconsin

The Journal Sentinel article this morning titled “Judge halts John Doe probe of recalls” is a frightening story about the power of the John Doe investigation and especially such an investigation that is suspect and was from its very beginning.  This is a story about a judge who ruled without having to wend his way through a tortuous process of another Federal judge that was witnessed just days ago.  He makes his statement point blank.

He is quoted as stating, “The (Wisconsin Club for Growth and its treasurer) have found a way to circumvent campaign finance laws, and that circumvention should not and cannot be condemned or restricted.  Instead, it should be recognized as promoting political speech, an activity that is ‘ingrained in our culture.’”  He said that prosecutors are using an unconstitutional legal argument in pursuing the investigation.

This, from my perspective, shows the damage that can be done by prosecutors run amok and shows how dangerous these kinds of things are to personal freedoms.  This certainly appears to be a politically-driven witch hunt that has already served to damage those targeted.  The middle of the night attack by authorities will not soon fade from the memories of those who were accosted.  Their reputations have been assaulted.

The issue hinges on ‘issue advocacy’ where a position is taken on an issue without any mention of for whom a person reading the advertisement ought to vote.  Issues espoused by Governor Walker were supported but there was no call to vote for him involved.

We need to get the entire John Doe process under better control than appears to now be the case.  That won’t happen unless and until those who apparently are inclined to use John Does for their own political gain are forced to pay a price for such improper use of such a potentially devastating legal tool.  Reputations cannot be restored to the condition that existed prior to the raid brought on by the John Doe.  The memories of squad cars with flashing lights in the middle of the night are visions that remain long after the flashing lights have gone out.  The innuendo of continuing press coverage lingers.

Judges are expected to use their judicial powers exclusive of political positions that may be held by them.  If that power is found to have been abused, those judges ought to, at the least, be removed from office under the cloud of their misapplication of so-called “justice”.  They ought to forfeit any retirement benefits they may’ve accrued, and they ought to be disbarred.

Maybe if there were real penalties involved for improper use of their office, they might think more seriously about the “evidence’ presented to justify yet another John Doe.

We appear to have entered open season on John Doe investigations…and they are all aimed at the Republican Party and those who are conservative in their positions.  That should tell us everything we need to know.

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