Investigative Series: Is There a Frightening Political Witch Hunt Going on in Wisconsin?


Not actual depiction of event.

It is the stuff of Hollywood thrillers. The kind of thing you read about happening in other countries, in third world dictatorships, in Communist-controlled nations.

But, not here in America.

We’re investigating allegations that political advocates are having their homes raided by well-armed and armored police officers, their personal items ripped from them, physical threats shouted by law enforcement officials while neighbors look on in curiosity and dismay in Wisconsin.

What’s the crime allegedly committed by those facing criminal charges and persecution? They are conservative groups, supporters of Republican governor Scott Walker.

The National Review’s David French released a report last week in which he spoke to several families targeted in what has become known as the “John Doe Investigations” – in which opponents of Walker have used campaign-finance law to turn conservatives lives into a living nightmare.

Syndicated columnist Rich Lowry referred to these little-discussed tactics being used by liberals in the Badger State as an “ongoing travesty” and “a national disgrace,” the stories being shared by innocent conservatives as “harrowing.”

Shouting officers at the front door in pre-dawn raids, at least once with a battering ram. Armed police rifling through and carting off their belongings, down to and including a daughter’s computer. And warnings to stay silent.

The targets were told not to tell their lawyers, or their friends, or their neighbors. When armed cops storm the house next door, people often wonder why, but the targets were forbidden from discussing what happened. As French points out, this wasn’t the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination, but an order to remain silent and not to make any professions of innocence. They had a keener sense of due process in Salem, Massachusetts.

According to French’s report, “dozens of conservatives” have endured targeted attacks in the years since Walker’s first election. Attacks that included “early-morning raids, multi-year secretive criminal investigations, slanderous and selective leaks to sympathetic media, and intrusive electronic snooping.”

John Chisholm, a Milwaukee district attorney, was the first to open up a John Doe investigation in 2010, exploiting campaign-finance reform law in a manner that allowed officials to keep their targets secret, and compel them to remain silent about their rights being violated. It gave the DA broad power which was subsequently abused in obscene measures.

The prosecutions led to investigators swiping personal e-mail accounts, issuing wide-ranging subpoenas, and harassing donors to conservative groups.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the first investigation led to six Walker aides being convicted on a wide-range of dubious charges, while a second John Doe investigation begun in 2012 was halted two years later when a judge determined that the activities in question were not illegal.

Meanwhile, those targeted conservatives are unable to speak out. As Lowry explained in his column, “for exercising their First Amendment rights, some targets were denied their First Amendment rights.”

He adds, “This is the Bill of Rights, via Kafka and Inspector Javert.”

To his previous point, Lowry is right – there should certainly be a national outrage from individuals on both sides of the aisle at how the system is being manipulated to silence political opposition in Wisconsin.

Let it begin here.

At The Political Insider, we’re determined to dig deeper into these allegations. If these reprehensible things are happening, we want to find out why and we believe our readers do as well.

What conservatives are being targeted and why? What role does District Attorney John Chisholm – a highly partisan Democrat – have in the raids, and are they indeed politically motivated? How have these stories managed to escape the scrutiny of the media in Wisconsin, much less nationally?

Stay tuned to find out more about how Wisconsin conservatives are being targeted, raided, prosecuted, and silenced because of their political beliefs.

Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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