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Five years later: America just learning ‘tyrannical’ secrets of Wisconsin’s John Doe

By   /   May 5, 2015  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 198 of 376 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog

MADISON, Wis. – If all of this had gone down a little differently, the prosecutors behind Wisconsin’s infamous John Doe investigations might be marking May 5 – the fifth anniversary of the secret political probes – by sipping Coronas on Cinco de Mayo and boasting about their great successes in taking down Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin conservative activists.

But something happened during the state-sponsored “political opposition research” investigations.

(It’s been five years since Milwaukee County prosecutors began their secret investigations into former aides and allies of Gov. Scott Walker. So what have we learned? Watchdog.org’s Benjamin Yount reports)

Defying the gag orders that silenced them, conservatives spoke up.

And now, five years after a Milwaukee County prosecutor launched a John Doe investigation into the Milwaukee County Executive’s office, the latest iteration of the politically charged investigations is stalled in the courts and on the road, many believe, to extinction. The state Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming months whether the dead investigation can be resurrected.

Contributed photo.

UNINTIMIDATED: Conservative activist Eric O’Keefe broke the silence of John Doe’s gag order, at the peril of his liberty.

The man most responsible for the Doe’s demise is long-time political activist Eric O’Keefe, one of scores of conservatives caught up in the secret investigation launched by the office Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

Chisholm is a Democrat with widely reported ties to the campaign against Walker, a campaign triggered by the Republican’s reforms to Wisconsin’s public employee collective bargaining law. Chisholm now finds himself one of several prosecutors-turned-defendants in lawsuits filed by O’Keefe and his Wisconsin Club for Growth.

“America needs to learn what happened during the five years of Wisconsin’s John Doe abuses,” O’Keefe said in an email Monday. “Wisconsin offers an ominous lesson in how a tyrannical government can fester with arrogant prosecutors, passive politicians and a media establishment that prefers power to truth.”

The truth is that the John Doe investigation which Chisholm launched began, ironically, with a complaint from Walker himself. When his staff uncovered the possible theft of $11,000 from the treasury of “Operation Freedom,” an annual event sponsored by the executive’s office to thank veterans for their service, Walker’s chief of staff ordered the matter turned over to the DA.

The DA sat on it for several months, before using it as the excuse to launch a wide-ranging investigation into all things Walker.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf filed the founding document, a petition to open the investigation, in Milwaukee County court on May 5, 2010.

By that time, Walker, the long-time Milwaukee County Executive, was in the thick of a run for governor. And the DA’s office had some other Walker-related avenues to explore, including allegations that Milwaukee County Executive staffers were campaigning on the government time.

Interestingly, Landgraf asked for the John Doe investigation in part because, he said, he wanted to protect Walker from the potential adverse publicity such an investigation would invite.

“If held publicly, an investigation into this matter will likely be the subject of significant publicity in the print and broadcast media. This publicity of allegations and inferences would be particularly unfair to the county executive, a man who is seeking the nomination of the Republican Party for the office of governor of the state of Wisconsin in this election year,” Landgraf wrote in his petition.

The secret John Doe became very public very quickly, thanks to information published in multiple Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stories, information that appears to have come from investigation insiders.

The secret investigation was a sieve. Landgraf asked for and received permission to allow all prosecutors, support staff and investigators in the DA’s office to have access to information obtained through subpoenas and warrants in the John Doe probe.

Investigators conducted court-sanctioned raids at the Milwaukee County Executive’s office and at the homes of John Doe targets the day before the November 2010 election, pitting conservative Walker against liberal Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

It would all become very public and very political.

In the end, the John Doe probe – perhaps a number of them supported by just one friendly judge – netted six convictions for Chisholm and crew. Only two of those convictions had anything to do with the scope of the theft of veterans funds.

No matter. The narrative of political scandal and Walker’s imminent indictment filled the pages of mainstream media publications and dogged Walker during the union-led recall election of 2012.

“From its inception, this (John Doe investigation) is a scam, a political pursuit,” O’Keefe said in a recent interview with Wisconsin Watchdog.

That charge is central to O’Keefe’s civil rights lawsuit filed against Chisholm, his assistants and John Doe special prosecutor Francis Schmitz.

Landgraf and other Milwaukee County prosecutors were – and are – union members. And Chisholm’s wife, a public school teacher and union leader, was so upset over Act 10 that Chisholm made his John Doe investigation a personal vendetta against Walker, according to a former special prosecutor who claims he was a member of Chisholm’s “inner circle” in 2011.

Chisholm’s attorneys have vehemently denied those allegations, but they have yet to be contested in court.

AP file photo

From left, Kevin Kennedy, director of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, John Chisholm, Milwaukee County District Attorney, and Bruce Landgraf, Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney, partners in the Wisconsin’s five year secret war.

In between, there were what have been described as NSA-style taps into the Internet service providers of targets, many of whom have yet to be charged with any wrongdoing even now, five years later.

“You may have hundreds of thousands of these emails from these (subpoenas), which was the beginning of this fishing expedition that was unrelated to the legitimate purpose of finding this (veterans fund) money,” O’Keefe said.

Eventually, the secret probes would spread into five Wisconsin counties, led by Schmitz, a zealous special prosecutor and self-described Republican who, as a federal prosecutor, had a long and productive working relationship with Chisholm’s office.

In August 2012, Chisholm got permission to roll over all of the information he seized in his office’s previous political investigations into a broader probe into dozens of conservative groups and Walker’s campaign, according to court documents.

The prosecutors’ central claim was that the conservative organizations and the Walker campaign engaged in coordination during Wisconsin’s partisan recall campaigns. Their interpretation of the portion of the state’s campaign finance law, which has been declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court, has been rejected by multiple judges, including the presiding John Doe judge who quashed several subpoenas because they failed to show a campaign finance crime had been committed.

While the probes have been described as “John Doe I” and “John Doe II,” there really is no real dividing line between them. In fact, there may have been many more of the investigations than reported.

Documents obtained last year by the Wall Street Journal editorial board show that this has been one long, bad movie a horror film for the targets who have had their lives turned upside down during and after pre-dawn, paramilitary-style raids on their homes and property.

The documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal also reveal John Doe I was “enlarged no fewer than 18 times over two and a half years.”

It is believed that a September 2011 raid on the home of former Walker top aide Cindy Archer was part of the original John Doe probe into the Milwaukee County Executive’s office, but it may very well have been part of the larger, expanded campaign finance investigations, sources tell Wisconsin Watchdog.

Archer was never charged with any crime, despite the early-morning raid on her home by FBI agents and law enforcement officers armed with guns and a battering ram, according a recent account in National Review.

Schmitz, the former prosecutor with a lot of connections at the FBI, was in charge of the multi-county probe in October 2013 when then-presiding John Doe Judge Barbara Kluka rapidly approved piles of legal documents, including subpoenas and search warrants involved in coordinated raids on the homes of John Doe targets.

“(P)ublic records indicate that she approved every petition, subpoena, and search warrant sought in the case, and purportedly reviewed hundreds of pages of affidavits and evidence, in just one day’s worth of work,” states a brief filed in federal court by O’Keefe’s attorneys.

Kluka suddenly and without explanation recused herself from the investigation shortly after the raids.

The targets of every phase of the John Doe investigations have been gagged by a court-issued secrecy order. They could end up in jail on contempt charges should they speak publicly about the probes.

That secrecy, which a federal appeals court described as “screamingly unconstitutional,” has been at the dark heart of the political John Does since the beginning.

“I request that the court order that secrecy be maintained during this John Doe proceedings as to court docket and activity records, court filings process issued by the court, information concerning the questions asked of the answers given during a John Doe hearing, transcript of the proceedings, exhibits and other papers produced during the proceedings, as well as to all matters observed or heard in the John Doe proceeding,” Landgraf wrote in his May 5, 2010 petition.

The silence has been broken by leaks – not just from targets of the investigation, but also from the investigators and court officials who have dumped, erroneously and intentionally, mountains of personal information collected in the raids.

Chisholm and his assistants haven’t returned dozens of phone calls from Wisconsin Watchdog seeking comment over the past 18 months.

In recent days, the DA broke his long-standing “no-comment” silence to threaten Walker for criticizing the investigations. Chisholm, who has been criticized for conducting secret investigations that have silenced the First Amendment rights of right-of-center groups, suggested Walker could be prosecuted for speaking out against the investigations.

Schmitz did finally return an email last week. Wisconsin Watchdog had reached out to Landgraf and Robles on the private email accounts the prosecutors used to communicate with their ally in the investigation, the state Government Accountability Board. Landgraf forwarded the request to Schmitz who said he wouldn’t authorize the assistant DAs to speak. Schmitz made it clear in his email that he isn’t fond of Wisconsin Watchdog, that he doesn’t believe it is a “reasonably objective media outlet.”

Five years later, Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation that would eliminate the use of John Doe procedures in alleged political crimes. But Republican leaders have stalled that bill, apparently for political reasons.

Conservative targets of the probe said every day the John Doe law remains unchanged is another day of abuse. They worry, perhaps with good reason, that Chisholm, Schmitz and their team will seek another John Doe investigation should the Supreme Court reject the current procedure.

“Wisconsin should be embarrassed that it has a statute like this on the books, but it should also be embarrassed that it has a DA and a Government Accountability Board that didn’t understand the First Amendment implications of their behavior and what they are doing,” former Federal Election Commission member Hans von Spakovsky told Wisconsin Watchdog earlier this year.

“Frankly, everyone on the GAB and these judges that authorized these John Doe investigations ought to resign in embarrassment.”

Part of 376 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War
  1. So what are the odds the Wisconsin Supreme Court will stay its John Doe ruling?
  2. Sources: Secret probe targeting conservatives is abuse of prosecutorial powers
  3. Scary! Phantom prosecutor in Dems’ war on conservatives disappears inside courthouse
  4. EXCLUSIVE: Judge in Democrat-led John Doe probe recuses herself
  5. Democrats’ ‘intelligence-gathering’ spreads in Wisconsin
  6. Democrats tap anti-terror expert to head secret probe of Wisconsin conservatives
  7. Sheriff Clarke: John Doe case shows Milwaukee DA is ‘weaponized for political purposes’
  8. Clarke: John Doe into conservatives ‘unbridled,’ ‘dangerous’ and ‘tainted’
  9. Sources: New judge named in Democrat-led secret probe
  10. Vendetta justice? Criticism growing about John Doe prosecutor Bruce Landgraf
  11. Will Wisconsin’s own ‘Miserable’ inspector jail conservative activist for speaking out about Dem probe?
  12. Conservative targets bring in big guns to Democrat-led John Doe fight
  13. ‘Dangerous’ game: Former FEC official blasts Democrats’ secret investigation of conservative groups
  14. Center for Media and Democracy: Liberals are morally superior
  15. Wisconsin Dems suddenly support political investigations
  16. WI Republican attorney general to represent judges in Democrat-led John Doe probe
  17. Republicans speak out about silent John Doe targeting conservatives
  18. Biggest secret in John Doe may be just how judges and special prosecutors are selected
  19. WSJ: John Doe judge deals body blow to secret probe targeting conservatives
  20. Vos: Wait until John Doe in ‘rearview mirror’ before revisiting law
  21. Lawsuits looming in Wisconsin’s crumbling John Doe probe?
  22. Conservative to Democrat prosecutors: Shut down secret political probe or face civil rights lawsuit
  23. John Doe target O’Keefe taking on IRS, too
  24. Lawmaker: Wisconsin’s John Doe like Christie’s ‘Bridgegate’
  25. Target files civil rights lawsuit against Wisconsin’s John Doe prosecutors
  26. Disparate treatment: Civil rights lawsuit claims conservative speech trampled
  27. Liberal group looking to take Wisconsin’s John Doe national
  28. John Doe judge: ‘Results of the John Doe speak for themselves’
  29. John Doe special prosecutor appeals judge’s ruling quashing subpoenas
  30. John Doe prosecutor pushed for brain-damaged man’s conviction in ATF debacle
  31. Conservatives counterpunch John Doe prosecutors’ move to stall injunction
  32. Shadowy John Doe investigator invokes federalism in civil rights lawsuit
  33. John Doe prosecutors wanted higher-priced lawyers, source says
  34. Secret agent Dean Nickel’s defense: ‘Dean Nickel is not responsible’
  35. D’oh! John Doe prosecutors claim secrecy protection – after filing secret documents
  36. Recusal in John Doe case raises questions of fairness, purpose
  37. Absolute immunity makes it tough to prosecute the prosecutors of John Doe
  38. Poll suggests Dems’ big ‘secret’ weapon against Walker is backfiring
  39. ‘Easy target’: Kelly Rindfleisch breaks silence about John Doe probe
  40. SCOTUS ruling on campaign finance shows abuse of John Doe, targets say
  41. Nobody will say what John Doe’s shadow man did, but taxpayers are paying his legal bill
  42. Judge denies John Doe prosecutors’ move to dismiss civil rights suit
  43. Civil rights expert: John Doe law is ‘un-American,’ like something from ‘Nazi Germany’
  44. Target: John Doe prosecutors making up campaign law as they go along
  45. John Doe, as it is being used, must go, WI senator says
  46. John Doe target says prosecutors latest move another delay tactic
  47. John Doe prosecutors sound defensive in latest court filings
  48. Federal judge denies John Doe prosecutors’ motion to stall civil rights case
  49. Media coalition asks judge to open sealed John Doe documents
  50. Are John Doe prosecutors sweating out federal judge’s decision?
  51. John Doe is dead: Judge stops WI prosecutors’ probe into conservatives
  52. This is what the Fourth Amendment looks like?
  53. What’s next for now-defunct John Doe probe?
  54. Appeals court stalls judge’s order halting John Doe probe
  55. Federal judge’s ruling could open up sealed John Doe records
  56. Federal judge orders John Doe probe shut down again
  57. Lawmakers call for review of GAB’s secret John Doe activities, funds
  58. Lawyers, lawyers everywhere and other dispatches from John Doe Land
  59. Secret’s out: The world is beginning to learn more about WI’s John Doe
  60. Still their little secret? Questions remain on John Doe gag order
  61. Appeals Court declares portions of Wisconsin campaign finance law unconstitutional
  62. John Doe prosecutors suddenly support opening sealed court records
  63. Expert: It’s as if GAB decided ‘Citizens United didn’t exist’
  64. John Doe prosecutors voice phony outrage, legal source says
  65. GAB still reviewing court ruling declaring WI campaign finance law unconstitutional
  66. State Farm still doesn’t want to cover John Doe prosecutor’s legal bills
  67. For the Walker-hating left, John Doe is ‘Mission Accomplished’
  68. Sources: No urgency in WI Supreme Court on John Doe
  69. Would Walker settlement with John Doe prosecutors be a deal with the devil?
  70. Contempt questions surround reported John Doe deal talks
  71. Walker’s John Doe response raises more questions than answers
  72. Sources: Attorney General passes on defending GAB in John Doe cases
  73. Attorney to judge: Don’t let John Doe prosecutor ‘moot’ injunction
  74. John Doe targets sue Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board
  75. Federal judge says his order halting John Doe probe should be clear to prosecutor
  76. John Doe special prosecutor’s bill still shrouded in secrecy
  77. ‘Are these kind of armed pre-dawn raids standard operating procedure?’
  78. John Doe special prosecutor obeys judge’s order
  79. ‘Never-ending’ John Doe never ended, WSJ reports
  80. Appeals court upholds judge’s order shutting down John Doe probe
  81. O’Keefe keeps collecting big wins in John Doe lawsuit
  82. John Doe I judge says he’s not responsible for John Doe II
  83. Will taxpayers have to pay for frivolity of John Doe prosecutors?
  84. John Doe prosecutors jump back into the dark?
  85. What about those prosecutors? Questions surround other John Doe DAs
  86. Humiliated in court, WI Dems take their anti-conservative John Doe probe to the media
  87. Federal judge blasts John Doe prosecutors – again – as he denies records release
  88. Right on cue: Document dump fuels anti-Walker donation drive
  89. Wall Street Journal points out ‘disgrace’ of mainstream John Doe reporting
  90. Expert: John Doe raids raise ‘troubling’ Fourth Amendment questions
  91. Kelly Rindfleisch tells conservatives, ‘Don’t back down’
  92. Mainstream media forced to walk back Walker ‘criminal scheme’ narrative
  93. John Doe prosecutors engaged in premature justification, conservatives say
  94. Is John Doe probe a case of a mini NSA in Wisconsin?
  95. AG opinion means accountability board’s John Doe secrets are safe — for now
  96. Senator asks attorney general to compel GAB to open up its books
  97. GAB now playing secrets in state John Doe lawsuit
  98. Will John Doe prosecutors launch lengthy probe against Trek Bicycle?
  99. John Doe prosecutors engaged in war of words — lots and lots of words
  100. Judge denies conservatives’ request to add GAB to civil rights lawsuit
  101. Oral arguments set in John Doe prosecutors’ appeal
  102. In John Doe Land, the left doesn’t illegally coordinate
  103. John Doe document blitz must have broken mainstream media’s heart
  104. Senator: Looks like accountability board is hiding something
  105. Kelly Rindfleisch appeal to test validity of John Doe digital searches
  106. Conservatives in John Doe battle know disclosure comes with a heavy price
  107. Appeals court orders release of some John Doe documents
  108. Taxpayers on the hook up to $25,000 for GAB’s legal maneuvers
  109. Overheated media erroneously bring back Walker ‘criminal scheme’ theme
  110. ‘Retaliation’: Docs show state prosecutors launched mini-NSA probe of WI conservatives
  111. John Doe prosecutors take desperate, unethical slap
  112. Walker ‘smoking gun’ story has tiny glaring flaw
  113. Wisconsin prosecutors aim to shut down conservatives
  114. Conservatives appeal to common sense in John Doe appeals case
  115. Conservatives say ‘incorrect disclosure’ of John Doe docs no ‘tiny error’
  116. First Amendment big guns back targets of John Doe probe
  117. Was John Doe judge a rubber stamp?
  118. $25,000 and counting: WI taxpayers’ bill so far to defend GAB and its ‘monster’
  119. Another blow for Wisconsin’s restrictive campaign finance law
  120. Wisconsin prosecutors appeal for protection from blowback in partisan probe
  121. Is John Doe story colored with a bit of ‘Macbeth?’
  122. GAB director says agency just following the law in John Doe probe
  123. Kelly Rindfleisch: Where are the tears for the kids the Milwaukee school system failed?
  124. Rindfleisch attorney: Appeals court can protect the Fourth Amendment in Digital Age
  125. Source: Wisconsin Supreme Court doesn’t want political heat of John Doe case
  126. Appeals court reverses John Doe injunction, but Wisconsin’s secret war far from over
  127. A whistleblower’s story: Taking on a ‘hyper-partisan’ district attorney
  128. Conservative O’Keefe seeks investigation into John Chisholm and his John Doe
  129. Who’s paying the bill? Report casts questions on GAB and John Doe payments
  130. Target of secret John Doe probe is fighting back and speaking out
  131. The day John Doe rushed through the door
  132. Rindfleisch: ‘Rape’ not too strong a word for how violated John Doe targets feel
  133. Conservative group asks court to stop John Doe ‘constitutional injury’
  134. Conservatives to appeals court: ‘You don’t know Doe’
  135. Armed and growing: Milwaukee County DA beefs up his ‘police force’
  136. Federal judge stops John Doe prosecutors from bothering conservative group
  137. Wisconsin Supreme Court takes another pass on John Doe case
  138. No surprise: Bice buries the lead, Walker follows the law
  139. Federalism v. individual rights: A conversation with Eric O’Keefe
  140. Report: No district attorney will investigate District Attorney John Chisholm
  141. Appeals court denies request to rehear John Doe civil rights case
  142. Voters say ‘yes’ to Walker, ‘no’ to John Doe, law expert says
  143. Vos: There will be reforms to John Doe, GAB
  144. GAB, Milwaukee County DA bail on key provision behind war on conservatives
  145. John Doe lawsuit could be headed to U.S. Supreme Court
  146. Kelly Rindfleisch will fight on in Fourth Amendment case
  147. John Doe froze conservative speech, targets say
  148. Conservatives to court: Open up records on GAB’s role in John Doe
  149. Did the GAB doctor documents to cover their tracks in John Doe?
  150. Wisconsin’s Van Hollen says goodbye to AG post, John Doe
  151. Rindfleisch appeals to Supreme Court in John Doe Fourth Amendment abuse case
  152. Audit: GAB has failed to follow the law
  153. Wisconsin Supreme Court to take up John Doe complaints
  154. ‘R word’ surfaces in wake of state Supreme Court taking up John Doe challenges
  155. GAB won’t say whether it has reauthorized its role in John Doe probe
  156. Rogue agency defied judges to carry out partisan probe of Wisconsin conservatives
  157. ‘Outside the … law’: Lawmakers call for investigation of GAB
  158. Attorney: GAB’s John Doe justifications don’t hold up to law
  159. Isn’t it ironic: Mainstream silence follows reports of secret GAB Gmail in John Doe
  160. GAB offers contradictory defense of its John Doe activities
  161. O’Keefe officially asks judge to open probe into John ‘Doe’ Chisholm
  162. State lawmakers look to investigate the GAB and its investigators
  163. One year ago, judge’s ruling shakes up John Doe probe
  164. Doe possessed: ‘They have information about every aspect of our lives’
  165. GAB plays victim card in ‘complicated’ John Doe, campaign finance farce
  166. Public defender asks Supreme Court to take up John Doe-related Fourth Amendment case
  167. GAB has a sudden change of heart on campaign finance reform
  168. O’Keefe takes his case against John Doe to U.S. Supreme Court
  169. Conservatives: GAB’s meeting minutes show gap in board’s John Doe oversight
  170. How Wisconsin media support DA’s war on conservatives
  171. Federal judge’s judgment takes John Doe probe off life support
  172. Following judge’s order killing John Doe, what’s next?
  173. First Amendment expert: Wisconsin ought to be ’embarrassed’ by John Doe
  174. Does chief justice have conflict of interest in John Doe case?
  175. Conservative groups ask U.S. Supreme Court to defend rights of John Doe targets
  176. Is John Doe special prosecutor still working with partisan DA, GAB?
  177. Prosecutor misstatements continue to shape John Doe narrative, Walker’s future
  178. $775,000 and rising — Wisconsin taxpayers’ bill to defend John Doe prosecutors
  179. Milwaukee DA to be ‘special guest’ at fundraiser for Supreme Court justice
  180. John Doe reform bill aims to break silence of abusive investigations
  181. Reform bill would open up the John Doe books to taxpayers
  182. John Doe target says they are the victim of identity theft
  183. On Sunshine Week, GAB still operating in the dark
  184. Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects Rindfleisch Fourth Amendment appeal
  185. Secretive John Doe special prosecutor who fancies a good leak screams secrecy breach
  186. Kelly Rindfleisch hopes to avoid becoming first John Doe political prisoner
  187. GAB, friend of the John Doe, just wants to be a ‘friend of the court’
  188. Kelly Rindfleisch, Chisholm’s political prize, to begin sentence on Thursday
  189. U.S. Supreme Court could soon decide whether to take John Doe Case
  190. Did chief justice show her hand in dissenting John Doe opinion?
  191. New documents expose GAB’s ‘parallel’ probe expenditures
  192. Lawmaker: Chief justice’s civil rights complaint is ‘pathetic’
  193. John Doe reform bill stalls in Legislature
  194. Who was the reporter outside Cindy Archer’s house?
  195. U.S. Supreme Court to consider hearing John Doe-related case
  196. Experts: Chances rise that U.S. Supreme Court will take John Doe case
  197. Do Chisholm’s public comments on John Doe cross ethical line?
  198. John Chisholm’s 50 shades of ‘raid’
  199. Five years later: America just learning ‘tyrannical’ secrets of Wisconsin’s John Doe
  200. U.S. Supreme Court could announce decision on John Doe case later this month
  201. Wisconsin as a New Yorker cartoon of itself
  202. Will discovery reveal more bombshell information about ‘rogue’ GAB?
  203. Political prisoner Kelly Rindfleisch on home confinement, working for O’Keefe
  204. Warrants command John Doe targets to remain silent
  205. U.S. Supreme Court denies review of John Doe-related case
  206. Was John Chisholm John Doe distracted?
  207. John Doe reform bill stuck in legislative waiting game
  208. GAB reform stalled, new docs show GAB working closely with John Doe prosecutors
  209. Kelly Rindfleisch takes her Fourth Amendment fight to the U.S. Supreme Court
  210. What happened to Kelly Rindfleisch could happen to you
  211. Justice asks state Supreme Court to reconsider Rindfleisch Fourth Amendment appeal
  212. Justice Gableman: Warrants in Rindfleisch case amount to ‘fishing expedition’
  213. ‘Did they get me?’: Docs reveal long-time John Doe spying operation
  214. Kelly Rindfleisch: ‘I fear I will never get justice’
  215. Former Walker aide to file civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutor
  216. Cindy Archer: Chisholm’s John Doe was ‘campaign of intimidation’
  217. National Review: Political John Doe victimized 16-year-old boy
  218. GAB’s Kennedy had a friend in IRS’ Lois Lerner
  219. Vos: Time to ‘double down’ on GAB reform in wake of reported IRS links
  220. Left’s loud transparency defenders silent on secret John Doe
  221. The John Doe investigation might finally be over; Supreme Court to rule Thursday
  222. Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts down John Doe investigation
  223. Wisconsin Supreme Court shuts down John Doe investigation, affirms First Amendment
  224. Kelly Rindfleisch seeks release following death of John Doe probe
  225. Legal experts on right and left seek review of Rindfleisch John Doe conviction
  226. John Doe horror stories: ‘I felt completely helpless in my own home’
  227. Hillary Clinton plays victim card
  228. Legal expert: Abrahamson and John Doe civil rights cases like day and night
  229. Attorney: audio confirms traumatic John Doe raid of Cindy Archer’s home
  230. John Doe prosecutors open new assault on conservative targets
  231. John Doe prosecutors’ tape of raid raises questions about missing moments
  232. John Doe reform bill starts to move again
  233. Conservatives ask Abrahamson to turn over John Doe-related records
  234. John Doe investigators say there are more tapes of raids
  235. Legal defense of rogue John Doe agents costs taxpayers nearly $1.2 million
  236. Explosive email exposes GAB attorney’s partisan motives in John Doe probe
  237. An open letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Patrick Marley
  238. Wisconsin GAB reform bill could be ready in a few weeks, sources say
  239. Updated complaint shines more light on dark day in John Doe
  240. Partisan Falk once urged GAB to ‘get around constitutional right to free speech’
  241. Legislature to take up John Doe reform in October, GOP leadership says
  242. Knudson on GAB: ‘We need to take this thing apart’
  243. Did the GAB ‘illegally coordinate’ with left-leaning groups?
  244. John Doe prosecutors get a win, practice legal gymnastics again
  245. Wall Street Journal: GAB targeted conservative justices in John Doe defense
  246. Craig says bill to investigate GAB’s John Doe activities coming soon
  247. New emails show GAB assisting in John Doe defense after judge said stop
  248. ‘Nonpartisan’ GAB staff has partisan past
  249. John Doe political prisoner Kelly Rindfleisch nears end of her sentence
  250. Will the voices of the John Doe victims be heard?
  251. Supreme Court will not hear Kelly Rindfleisch’s Fourth Amendment case
  252. Judge orders GAB to turn over emails with liberal groups
  253. The silence of the left is the Dems’ transparency hypocrisy
  254. GAB chairman: ‘I wasn’t offended’ by John Doe raids
  255. Sources: Bill would overhaul controversial GAB
  256. GAB fighting to keep its secrets out of public eye
  257. GAB overhaul would eliminate blank checks on taxypayer dime
  258. John Doe victims to tell their stories in Fox News special
  259. Fiery GAB hearing invokes ghost of Joe McCarthy
  260. Why did accountability board use Gmail accounts to talk John Doe?
  261. Prosecutor plugged into ‘hotspot’ to email sensitive John Doe docs
  262. Judge holds off on release of GAB’s ‘very embarrassing’ records
  263. Craig blasts newspaper for Dem ‘press release’ coverage of John Doe bill
  264. Hyperbole happens as John Doe reform passes on party-line vote
  265. Fireworks coming on GAB and campaign finance reform debate
  266. GAB living on borrowed time?
  267. Back to the Future: Dems walk out on vote again
  268. Newly released John Doe docs reveal much more about rogue GAB
  269. Lawmakers want answers on GAB director Kevin Kennedy’s IRS conversations
  270. WSJ: Wisconsin’s political John Doe targeted national conservatives
  271. Target of political John Doe targets reluctant senators in robocall campaign
  272. Kevin Kennedy’s spin to save the GAB and his job contradicts the record
  273. EXCLUSIVE: Wisconsin Senate majority leader, others also targeted in John Doe
  274. GAB’s defense of John Doe database raises more question than answers
  275. Spokeswoman: Fitzgerald not ruling out extraordinary session on GAB bill
  276. GAB kept pushing political probe despite daunting evidence problems
  277. Memo to Legislature: Take a closer look at GAB Judge’s conduct
  278. Senate passes GAB overhaul, campaign finance reform in ‘extraordinary’ session
  279. Conservatives to court on GAB’s secrets: ‘Enough is enough’
  280. Milwaukee citizens petition Walker to remove DA John Chisholm from office
  281. Rogue GAB pushing strained legal arguments to keep its secrets
  282. GAB just about dead as final overhaul bill passes Assembly
  283. Speech cop, prosecutors argue for secrecy in the face of GAB extinction
  284. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel mentions petition to remove Milwaukee DA — finally
  285. Taxpayers on hook for at least $187,000 to defend rogue GAB
  286. Court filing shows GAB’s Kennedy asking Lois Lerner if IRS ‘would be interested’
  287. Lawmaker asking GAB to open its John Doe records
  288. Did GAB’s Kevin Kennedy break the law in John Doe talks with Lois Lerner?
  289. John Doe victims still in legal limbo four months after Supreme Court ruling
  290. John Doe political prisoner Kelly Rindfleisch completes probation
  291. Lawmaker advises GAB’s Kevin Kennedy to ‘obey the law’
  292. Walker yet to sign GAB overhaul bill
  293. Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule on motion to reconsider John Doe ruling
  294. Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirms John Doe is dead
  295. John Doe prosecutor gets no respect from targets he intimidated for years
  296. Former John Doe special prosecutor has little chance before high court
  297. Political speech ‘watchdogs’ urge continuation of illegal John Doe
  298. Attorney General: End John Doe case now
  299. Attorney General: John Chisholm broke campaign finance law
  300. Milwaukee County Board signals support to fight for illegal John Doe
  301. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s selective outrage on transparency
  302. District attorneys want out of political John Doe business
  303. Did DA who launched political John Doe probe break campaign finance laws?
  304. With Walker’s signature, the GAB is dead
  305. Conservatives, transparency win! GAB settles lawsuit, agrees to open up its secrets
  306. O’Keefe to Chisholm: Go ahead, make my day
  307. Bill creates legislative committee to investigate John Doe investigations
  308. Chisholm quietly returns illegal campaign contribution
  309. John Doe target: ‘Where and when does this abuse end?’
  310. ‘Good government’ group that celebrated Lois Lerner mourns for GAB
  311. Falk blasts incompetence of GAB, prosecutors in John Doe, emails show
  312. Defense attorney: Liberal John Doe cheerleaders beware
  313. Bad Santa: John Doe prosecutor delivers letters to the people he spied on
  314. Craig asks attorney general to compel GAB to open up John Doe records
  315. Former John Doe prosecutor not in compliance with court order
  316. What’s it like to find out the government has been spying on you?
  317. John Doe prosecutors ‘just playing games,’ says Cindy Archer’s attorney
  318. Supreme Court says no to John Doe prosecutors; Abrahamson lashes out
  319. Mainstream media displays selective principles on open records
  320. John Doe targets tell Supreme Court that prosecutor is not complying with order
  321. Schimel says decision coming soon on open records complaint against GAB
  322. Walker’s office won’t open hearing into Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm
  323. Petitioner against John Chisholm: Walker’s office dropped the ball
  324. Chisholm’s use of big guns in John Doe fight raises legal questions
  325. Lawmaker takes one more try at records request with reluctant GAB
  326. Schimel says John Doe prosecutors have no right to illegally obtained ‘evidence’
  327. GAB’s John Doe secrets could soon be released to the public
  328. John Doe targets: Chisholm has no right to share illegally seized ‘evidence’
  329. Conservatives: Attorney General alone has authority over John Doe petition
  330. AG Brad Schimel on John Doe authority question: It’s complicated
  331. Court denies DAs’ motion to open up John Doe records to private attorneys
  332. Chisholm’s unaccountable defense: ‘The records do not exist’
  333. Unsealed John Doe documents show view from Chisholm’s world
  334. Did John Doe cost Larry Nelson an election?
  335. Schimel: John Doe investigators living in ‘Alice in Wonderland world’
  336. First John Doe documents released from lawsuit show GAB’s partisan motives
  337. Vos names commissioners, end of GAB inches closer
  338. Will Senate take up Assembly amendment watering down John Doe reforms?
  339. Important court days coming soon to John Doe Land
  340. John Doe freedom fighter wins big victory against the IRS
  341. Oral arguments set in John Doe civil rights lawsuit
  342. Attorney to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter: ‘Your article is ridiculous’
  343. Judge Lynn Adelman on John Doe records custody: ‘I don’t care about the law’
  344. Documents raise questions about John Doe judge’s review of warrant
  345. Bruce Murphy: When journalists (don’t) attack
  346. New docs show GAB spent more than 2,500 hours on John Doe probe
  347. Chisholm invokes his illegal John Doe probe in re-election campaign
  348. Haas’ emails in GAB’s John Doe probe should give senators pause
  349. Liberal judge dismisses civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors
  350. John Doe victims stuck with GAB retread until at least January
  351. Mark Gundrum, architect of John Doe-driving GAB, could be next Supreme Court justice
  352. Before lamenting the end of the GAB, read this
  353. A year after Supreme Court pronounces John Doe dead, conservatives still waiting for justice
  354. Free-market group sues John Doe ‘ringleaders’ for violating federal law
  355. Cindy Archer appeals John Doe civil rights lawsuit to 7th Circuit
  356. Constitutional law experts come to defense of conservatives targeted in John Doe probes
  357. Schimel opposes John Doe prosecutors’ petition before U.S. Supreme Court
  358. Wall Street Journal: Hold John Doe prosecutors accountable
  359. Where was Russ Feingold’s defense of civil liberties in abusive John Doe probe?
  360. John Chisholm, the Captain Ahab of prosecutors, wants another shot at John Doe
  361. Fitzgerald: GAB’s Michael Haas not long for new administrator role
  362. Craig renews call for legislative investigation into John Doe investigators
  363. Different day, same old tired and faulty John Doe narrative by mainstream players
  364. More evidence points to prosecutors, investigators as source of John Doe leaks
  365. Schimel still weighing options on John Doe leaks
  366. John Doe dies again: Supreme Court won’t hear Chisholm’s case
  367. On John Doe: ‘People shouldn’t face jail time for speaking out on the issues’
  368. Attorney says conservatives still waiting for justice in John Doe saga
  369. Conservatives seek return of possessions, criminal probe of John Doe leaks
  370. Under fire, John Doe prosecutors now seek secrecy
  371. Former John Doe prosecutor continues to practice delay, attorney says
  372. Document suggests prosecutors leaked sealed John Doe records to Guardian
  373. Federal judge scolds John Doe prosecutors for ’emergency motion’
  374. Rep. Dave Craig: Time has come to investigate John Doe investigators
  375. Supreme Court won’t investigate John Doe leaks
  376. Attorney General calls for investigation into John Doe leaks

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M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison. Contact Kittle at [email protected]