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Democrats’ ‘intelligence-gathering’ spreads in Wisconsin

By   /   October 31, 2013  /   No Comments

Part 4 of 42 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War
AP file photo

TOO POWERFUL?: A source tells Wisconsin Reporter that Gov. Scott Walker is being targeted because he is too powerful.


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.

SPREADING OUT: Sources tell Wisconsin Reporter that the secret John Doe investigation targeting conservative groups has moved into Iowa and Columbia counties.

SPREADING OUT: Sources tell Wisconsin Reporter that the secret John Doe investigation targeting conservative groups has moved into Iowa and Columbia 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 mkittle@watchdog.org

Part of 42 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War
  1. Sources: Secret probe targeting conservatives is abuse of prosecutorial powers
  2. Scary! Phantom prosecutor in Dems’ war on conservatives disappears inside courthouse
  3. EXCLUSIVE: Judge in Democrat-led John Doe probe recuses herself
  4. Democrats’ ‘intelligence-gathering’ spreads in Wisconsin
  5. Democrats tap anti-terror expert to head secret probe of Wisconsin conservatives
  6. Sheriff Clarke: John Doe case shows Milwaukee DA is ‘weaponized for political purposes’
  7. Clarke: John Doe into conservatives ‘unbridled,’ ‘dangerous’ and ‘tainted’
  8. Sources: New judge named in Democrat-led secret probe
  9. Vendetta justice? Criticism growing about John Doe prosecutor Bruce Landgraf
  10. Will Wisconsin’s own ‘Miserable’ inspector jail conservative activist for speaking out about Dem probe?
  11. Conservative targets bring in big guns to Democrat-led John Doe fight
  12. ‘Dangerous’ game: Former FEC official blasts Democrats’ secret investigation of conservative groups
  13. Center for Media and Democracy: Liberals are morally superior
  14. Wisconsin Dems suddenly support political investigations
  15. WI Republican attorney general to represent judges in Democrat-led John Doe probe
  16. Republicans speak out about silent John Doe targeting conservatives
  17. Biggest secret in John Doe may be just how judges and special prosecutors are selected
  18. WSJ: John Doe judge deals body blow to secret probe targeting conservatives
  19. Vos: Wait until John Doe in ‘rearview mirror’ before revisiting law
  20. Lawsuits looming in Wisconsin’s crumbling John Doe probe?
  21. Conservative to Democrat prosecutors: Shut down secret political probe or face civil rights lawsuit
  22. John Doe target O’Keefe taking on IRS, too
  23. Lawmaker: Wisconsin’s John Doe like Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’
  24. Target files civil rights lawsuit against Wisconsin’s John Doe prosecutors
  25. Disparate treatment: Civil rights lawsuit claims conservative speech trampled
  26. Liberal group looking to take Wisconsin’s John Doe national
  27. John Doe judge: ‘Results of the John Doe speak for themselves’
  28. John Doe special prosecutor appeals judge’s ruling quashing subpoenas
  29. John Doe prosecutor pushed for brain-damaged man’s conviction in ATF debacle
  30. Conservatives counterpunch John Doe prosecutors’ move to stall injunction
  31. Shadowy John Doe investigator invokes federalism in civil rights lawsuit
  32. John Doe prosecutors wanted higher-priced lawyers, source says
  33. Secret agent Dean Nickel’s defense: ‘Dean Nickel is not responsible’
  34. D’oh! John Doe prosecutors claim secrecy protection – after filing secret documents
  35. Recusal in John Doe case raises questions of fairness, purpose
  36. Absolute immunity makes it tough to prosecute the prosecutors of John Doe
  37. Poll suggests Dems’ big ‘secret’ weapon against Walker is backfiring
  38. ‘Easy target’: Kelly Rindfleisch breaks silence about John Doe probe
  39. SCOTUS ruling on campaign finance shows abuse of John Doe, targets say
  40. Nobody will say what John Doe’s shadow man did, but taxpayers are paying his legal bill
  41. Judge denies John Doe prosecutors’ move to dismiss civil rights suit
  42. Civil rights expert: John Doe law is ‘un-American,’ like something from ‘Nazi Germany’

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M.D. Kittle