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Wed Feb 11, 2015, 02:58 PM

 

John Doe: "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

http://www.prwatch.org/node/12725


For over two years, Republican and Democratic prosecutors in Wisconsin have been part of a criminal investigation into whether Governor Walker’s campaign coordinated with “independent” electoral groups, particularly Wisconsin Club for Growth, which spent $9.1 million on the recall elections and funneled millions more to other groups. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Board also supported the investigation, with Board Chair Gerald Nichol--a former Republican elected official--recently noting the Board was presented with "credible, hard evidence" the law had been violated. The probe is conducted under Wisconsin's "John Doe" procedures, which is like a grand jury but conducted in front of a judge.

Judge Clevert's decision blocking the enforcement of some Wisconsin limits on independent political spending was not related to the Walker investigation, but instead came in the context of a separate challenge to Wisconsin campaign finance laws. Critics of the Walker probe claimed that Clevert's ruling had the effect of upending the John Doe prosecutors' legal theory, thereby prohibiting the investigation from continuing even if the Wisconsin Supreme Court gives it the greenlight.

But these claims are erroneous. Wisconsin law is in the same state that it has been since May of 2014, when a decision from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down those same Wisconsin limits on independent political spending. That decision, referred to as Barland II and authored by Judge Diane Sykes, left intact the rules that apply to candidates and campaign contributions--including the coordinated expenditures at issue in the John Doe investigation, which are not "independent" and instead considered in-kind campaign contributions.

Judge Clevert's January 30, 2015 order was essentially a formality, codifying at the district court level what had already been decided by the 7th Circuit appellate court in Barland II. This is important because Barland II had been decided several months before a different 7th Circuit panel, in a decision authored by Judge Frank Easterbrook, rejected claims from Wisconsin Club for Growth that the investigation relied on an unconstitutional interpretation of campaign finance law. That ruling reversed an earlier decision from district court Judge Rudolph Randa halting the probe.



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Reply John Doe: "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." (Original post)
Scuba Feb 2015 OP
Jackpine Radical Feb 2015 #1
midnight Feb 2015 #2

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 03:05 PM

1. Very interesting, Scuba--

but there's always the barrier of the State SC. I bet Prosser & Co. protect the weasel's ass.

And I hate to be such a cynic.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 04:42 PM

2. "The Walker probe is not dead." The most important sentence of this great read.

http://www.prwatch.org/node/12725

And while the probe moves through the courts unconstitutional moves threaten our WI. Cheif Justice salary.

Walker Moves Pay Cut for WI Chief Justice in the Budget Bill -

See more at: http://www.prwatch.org/news/2015/02/12729/walker-moves-cut-pay-wisconsin-chief-justice-budget-bill#sthash.Su5yMF1Y.dpuf

Move Is Unconstitutional
"The drafting file shed few clues on the strike-out, although the section was flagged by a star. CMD contacted some legal experts to talk about the text.

UW law professor and constitutional law expert David Schwartz explained that Wisconsin Constitution Art. IV, sec. 26 (2) “flatly forbids diminishing the compensation of any public officer, including justices of the Supreme Court, 'during the term of office'.”

Schwartz said that he believed “the purpose of this provision in the Wisconsin Constitution is in part to safeguard the independence of the judiciary by protecting judges from politically motivated attacks on their compensation. Changes to a judicial salary must either be implemented before the start of a judge’s term or else must be the result of an across-the-board salary adjustment applied to all judges. This rule is designed to prevent the legislature from singling out a particular judge for a politically motivated reward or punishment by means of a salary adjustment.”

Because Abrahamson is in the midst of a ten-year term her salary cannot be singled out for diminution prior to the end of her term."

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