By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON – Democrats using the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office to launch an investigation into conservative political organizations have targeted Columbia and Iowa counties, a source familiar with the probe tells Wisconsin Reporter.
The source, who asked not to be identified because of his closeness to people involved in the so-called John Doe investigation, said he knew of three subpoenas, and said law enforcement officials have seized electronic devices and papers in Columbia and Dane counties.
“I was told basically that (Gov. Scott) Walker is too powerful; they want to bring him down,” the source said.
Other insiders corroborated that account. They said John Doe Two, as the probe has been dubbed, has gone after such national groups as Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and the Republican Governors Association.
Though gagged by provisions of subpoenas issued by Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf and others, multiple sources told Wisconsin Reporter the manifold legal attack on nonprofit political organizations has included after-hours visits to homes and offices; confiscated equipment and files; and demands for phone, email and other records.
“This is a taxpayer-funded, opposition-research campaign,” one source said. “This is not a question of what conservatives did wrong. It’s a question of one party in this state using prosecutorial powers to conduct a one-sided investigation into conservatives.”
The office of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the investigation in early 2012.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which broke news of the investigation last week, reported that its sources said the probe covers at least five counties, but identified only Dane County. “Police and prosecutors in these other counties have been lending a helping hand,” wrote Journal Sentinel columnist Daniel Bice.
A source told Bice that Landgraf has been investigating “all over the place.”
Iowa County District Attorney Larry Nelson, reached at home Wednesday evening, offered a “respectful no comment,” when asked about the investigation’s reach into his county.
Columbia County D.A. Jane E. Kohlwey could not be reached for comment. A staff member at her office said Kohlwey would not be back to work until next week.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael R. Ozanne has not returned several requests from Wisconsin Reporter seeking comment.
Contact M.D. Kittle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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