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Newly released John Doe docs reveal much more about rogue GAB

By   /   October 23, 2015  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 269 of 376 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog

MADISON, Wis. – Newly unsealed documents in a lawsuit against the state Government Accountability Board further reveal a rogue agency all in from the beginning of a political John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker – even as their hapless special prosecutor was “really questioning the validity of the case.”

Thursday evening, Waukesha County Court released 182 pages of emails, transcripts of closed-door meetings and other previously sealed documents after attorneys for the GAB and the plaintiffs came to terms on precisely what can be made public — for now. The judge in the case has said more records will be made public when the lawsuit goes to trial.

The records release comes just as the Legislature takes up a bill that would overhaul the troubled accountability board.

There’s a lot of black on the records, with lengthy sections, even complete pages, redacted.

AP file photo

GANG’S ALL HERE: (From left) GAB director Kevin Kennedy, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, and Assistant DA Bruce Landgraf at a 2011 press conference on “John Doe I.”

But what remains is a startling picture of an agency that zealously pursued a problem-riddled campaign finance and illegal coordination investigation in the face of multiple warnings that they were on the wrong path. An agency, that despite its public comments, seemed very much in control of a secret probe that has been struck down as unconstitutional and described as a “‘perfect storm’ of wrongs.”

And emails from key GAB employees, like former staff counsel Shane Falk, raise more questions about the partisan nature of the “nonpartisan” agency.

RELATED: Explosive email exposes GAB attorney’s partisan motives in John Doe probe

“Bottom line, he is really questioning the validity of the case,” Falk wrote in an email, dated Nov. 6, 2013, to GAB Director Kevin Kennedy and other key staff members involved in the investigation. Falk was referring to Francis Schmitz, the former U.S. attorney the GAB tapped to serve as special investigator and John Doe special prosecutor at a rate of $130 an hour.

Falk sent the email a little more than a month after law enforcement officials served warrants (applied for by the GAB) in predawn, paramilitary-style raids.

The unsealed records show John Doe investigators obtained five physical search warrants, 17 subpoenas in the Madison area, and 12 subpoenas outside of Madison, including Milwaukee and Washington, D.C.

In the November 2013 email, Falk berates the special prosecutor as a man out of his depth.

“He said he is having a rough time with all the attorneys and is worried about arguing the case to the Judge,” Falk wrote. “Essentially, he was whining that I was beating him up too much and he is really trying to get up to speed on the law.”

Again, Schmitz, the special prosecutor is trying to “get up to speed on the law” a month after investigators raided the homes of Wisconsin citizens and seized millions of pages of their documents.

Schmitz, as special prosecutor, had to appear in court around that time to defend the raids and the John Doe probe at large.

“He said that he has been getting beat up by these attorneys and felt really beat up by Esenberg,” Falk wrote, apparently a reference to Rick Esenberg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, which was involved in the defense of some of the Doe targets.

“He also admitted to me that he, David and Bruce have been discussing things and in light of the motions, were very fearful that they had missed something. He said that he knew we had discussed this before and seemed certain, but they are really worried that we missed something,” Falk wrote, referring to David Robles and Bruce Landgraf, the Milwaukee County assistant district attorneys who were integrally involved in the John Doe probe.

In the same email, there is a statement that permeates the communications from the opening days of the investigation through the initial court challenges, a kind of arrogance that defies the investigator’s creed.

Falk asserts that the conservatives’ legal counsel, attorneys who specialize in First Amendment and campaign finance law, don’t have any idea what they are talking about when they argue that their clients have broken no laws.

“There is the reality of the law and what they think the law should be. They conflate the two and misrepresent the reality,” Falk wrote.

Conservative targets of the long-idle investigation believe the same about the prosecutors and GAB agents, and multiple courts have sided with those conservatives.

From the beginning

The newly released documents on the conduct of the GAB, which regulates Wisconsin’s campaign finance, elections, lobbying and ethics law, show the agency was in on “John Doe II,” as it has been billed, from the beginning.

An email dated Aug. 8, 2012, from Robles to GAB Ethics Division Administrator Jonathan Becker discuss a meeting on the John Doe. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, was getting permission to roll his “John Doe I” into an expanded campaign finance investigation. The first Doe was, according to one whistleblower, a vendetta investigation of Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive. That probe ended with six convictions, but only two of them had anything to do with the original intent of Chisholm’s ever-expanding secret investigation.

In November 2012, Robles sent an email to his partners at GAB advising them to use segregated Gmail addresses for “stuff related to the Badger Doe.”

IRS ‘friend’

Falk seems to take the reins early on, getting the investigative wheels in motion.

“As you may know, things are really heating up here,” he wrote to Robles in an email dated Feb. 28, 2013. “Kevin (Kennedy) and Jon (Becker) would like a status on what is happening with Badger Doe and update you on a communication Kevin had with the IRS.”

Kennedy, as we have learned in recent months, is a longtime “personal friend” of former IRS tax-exempt director Lois Lerner, who led the IRS division accused of targeting conservative groups seeking 501(c)(4) nonprofit status.

The Wall Street Journal in July reported that John Doe investigators asked the IRS to look into a conservative group that was a primary target of the probe.

Asked about his relationship with Lerner earlier this month during a legislative hearing, Kennedy sounded indignant.

“Seriously? Have you no decency?” Kennedy sharply responded to Republican state Sen. Chris Kapenga’s question. “That’s a question right out of Joseph McCarthy,” Kennedy said, his voice rising and cracking with anger.

Setting the table

In a closed session in June 2013, the retired judges presiding over the GAB unanimously approved launching the agency’s investigation (after nearly a year of staff members working closely with Milwaukee County prosecutors). They expressed concerns that the agency needed to accomplish a great deal and quickly.

The notes from the meeting show an agency driving the manifold parts of an unprecedented, multi-county investigation.

Board members wondered whether reserve Judge Barbara Kluka, who was presiding over the Milwaukee County investigation, would authorize the GAB to conduct an investigation. GAB Judge Gerald Nichol, now chairman of the accountability board, said he was confident Kluka would, “based on conversations he had previously” with the judge in which she said she “would be open to any requests from the G.A.B. to get involved in the John Doe.”

Nichol, it appears, was gaming the system before the GAB officially jumped into the investigation.

Kluka, who removed herself from the case a few weeks after the home raids citing a conflict of interest, has been accused of being a “rubber stamp” for the prosecutors and the GAB.

Even though some board members expressed disbelief that the conservative groups, usually “so savvy,” would be engaged in such “blatant” campaign finance offenses, they still seemed unsure of precisely what those offenses were.

Judge Michael Brennan asked what Chisholm and his assistants were “relying on to bring this case.”

“He asked if it is just based on emails that have been obtained, emails believed to still be out there and oral testimony or is if there is something else that is going to be looked into,” the confidential meeting notes state. “Mr. Falk indicated it is a combination of all of that information.”

Photo by Right Wisconsin

DRIVING FORCE: New court records suggest GAB staff counsel Shane Falk was the driving force behind an unconstitutional John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker.

The GAB had no idea what any of it would cost taxpayers, estimating charges for documents storage, for instance, that has come nowhere near the actual expenses three years later.

At that time, the GAB was setting up the meetings that would bring five counties into the probe and put Schmitz at the helm. Before they did, they considered contracting with attorney Paul Schwartzenbart to serve as special prosecutor. Schwartzenbart, who would eventually become the GAB’s defense attorney in the state lawsuit, wanted $240 an hour to do the job.

RINO?

Much has been made about Schmitz’s political background. The mainstream media in its defense of the Doe investigation has declared the special prosecutor a Republican because of his statements in a previously released court document.

The newly disclosed records note:

“Mr. Schmitz indicated that he had very little by way of political background, and his only real entrance into the political forum was when he was applying for the U.S. Attorney position that was ultimately given to Steve Biskupic. He indicated that he joined the Republican Party for this purpose and had minimal contacts with some party officials at that time, but nothing extensive.”

Not quite the conservative prosecutor the John Doe defenders have painted him to be.

‘Vulnerability’

The wheels on the investigation appear to have come off shortly after the raids.

In an email to Kennedy, Falk criticizes Robles for failing to add an attorney to an attorney/client privilege spreadsheet. It turned out the firm worked with the Wisconsin Club for Growth.

“UGH!” Falk wrote. “Fran is really worried now.”

Schmitz had reason to be worried. O’Keefe’s attorneys were indeed asking some very tough questions about the investigation.

On Oct. 10, 2013, Schmitz emailed Falk worried that O’Keefe’s legal counsel was calling the investigators’ tactics “heavy handed.”

Two weeks later, Falk warned his colleagues, “We have some vulnerability here.”

But on several occasions as the John Doe cabal was being challenged in court, Falk attempted to steel the courage of the special prosecutor.

“As I also said, if you think me crazy after reading this, I will shut up. But … me thinks you will start believing big time,” Falk wrote in an email on Nov. 6, 2013. By then, conservative targets were asking Kluka’s successor, Judge Gregory Peterson, to quash the subpoenas. He did, in January 2014, finding that the investigators had shown no probable cause that a crime had been committed.

‘Parallel investigation’ no more

Kennedy has insisted that, contrary to the claims of conservative targets, that the GAB did not lead the probe, that it conducted a “parallel investigation.”

GAB emails repeatedly suggest otherwise.

“Nate and I offered to go through (Landgraf’s) brief today and make some general comments, along with softer suggested language for the GAB references. We offered to do this rather than a straight edit because we were rewriting so much of the brief,” Falk wrote in a December 2013 email to Kennedy.

Kennedy was reluctant to disclose just how involved the GAB was.

“Please note that (Landgraf) relied heavily on GAB involvement. Nate and I are very concerned that he was too strong and will modify it; however, this response will be public and so we need to fish or cut bait as far as GAB’s involvement.”

“I think you must forewarn the Board members that GAB involvement will be public in a big way …”

Partisan ‘nonpartisan’

The unsealed documents contain several partisan tweets sent by GAB staff counsel Nathan Judnic in February 2011. during the battle over Walker’s public employee collective bargaining reform bill known as Act 10.

“Stand in solidarity. Kill the bill. Support public employees and their right to bargain. Rally @ Capitol @ noon Tues. and Wed,” he wrote in one tweet.

“Time for some good old-fashioned rallying. Tuesday and Wednesday @ the Capitol. Stand up for Wisconsin public employees against Guv. Walker,” stated another message.

Kennedy has defended his staff, including Falk, who once chastised Schmitz for public statements that Falk believed would complicate the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. He insists they are simply “passionate” about their jobs.

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]