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Center for Media and Democracy: Liberals are morally superior

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Part 13 of 41 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. – If Madison’s Center for Media and Democracy has its way, government investigators armed with subpoenas may soon raid the homes and offices of conservatives across the country in a national campaign that began right here, in the Democrat-controlled Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office.

Beginning with a press conference last week and promising a yearlong coordinated effort, CMD has spent several days speculating on the links between free-market political organizations. Any kind of cooperation among those groups to elect a conservative – for example, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – is evidence of wrongdoing, CMD suggests in a rambling post on its website.

… “(A) John Doe in Wisconsin may be needed to unravel the elaborate dark money web. But what is truly needed is to put citizens back in the driver seat, and enact (and enforce) disclosure laws that prohibit the shell game and let the public know who is meddling in state and local politics,” the center writes in its concluding shot.

“The question for those monitoring the situation is whether the organizations were serving as front funding groups for the Koch brothers, creating a twisted web of donations that potentially allowed Koch funds to flow into the state undetected, with the end goal of hoisting Walker to victory,” asserts a publication that pulled heavily from CMD’s “reporting.”


LISA GRAVES: The face – and mouth – of the uber-liberal Center for Media and Democracy.

Multiple sources tell Wisconsin Reporter that CMD’s claim is the basis of the Milwaukee DA’s investigation into about 100 people representing some 29 conservative and libertarian groups.

Despite CMD’s assertions, there’s no law barring cooperation among political groups. That fact may derail the Milwaukee DA’s probe, now headed by special prosecutor Francis Schmitz.

It was left to a reporter to make that point during last week’s CMD conference call.

“Why should we be surprised conservative-funded groups are funding conservative causes?” the reporter asked. Doesn’t the same thing occur on the left?

The answer, according to CMD executive director Lisa Graves: Yes, but the left is morally superior in its motives.

“The question of conservative funders versus liberal funders, I think, is a matter of false equivalency,” Graves responded. “Quite frankly a number of these (corporate donors) like Koch Industries … they’re advancing not just an ideological agenda but an agenda that helps advance the bottom line of their corporate interests. That’s quite a distinct difference from some of the funders in the progressive universe.”

At the heart of CMD’s campaign is the suggestion that conservative political groups cannot legally work together. Liberal groups? That seems to be okay.

“It’s just the end justifies the means,” said a target of the Milwaukee DA’s probe who spoke to Wisconsin Reporter on condition of anonymity. “They see conservatives as money-grubbing that must be stomped out by whatever means necessary.”

As one reporter at last week’s CMD press conference pointed out, the left-based organizations that pushed out the reports about conservative organizations certainly coordinated their efforts. Dozens, if not more, liberal organizations and media outlets – from Reader Supported News to the AFL-CIO – ultimately picked up on CMD’s “dark money” narrative.

“If there’s any justice in Wisconsin,” a conservative who has been subpoenaed told Wisconsin Reporter, “the Milwaukee DA will either drop this investigation – or open a second one into liberal groups, starting with the Campaign for Media and Democracy.”

Contact M.D. Kittle

Part of 41 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

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M.D. Kittle