Voters say ‘yes’ to Walker, ‘no’ to John Doe, law expert says

Part 141 of 141 in the series Wisconsin’s Secret War

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker’s big re-election win Tuesday wasn’t just a victory for conservative principles and for Walker’s national prospects in 2016. It was a “vindication for the rule of law,” according to one national legal expert.

William A. Jacobson, Cornell University Law School professor and publisher of Legal Insurrection, an online publication, said Walker’s 7-point defeat of Democratic challenger Mary Burke, was a voter repudiation of the never-ending partisan John Doe investigations into Walker’s campaign scores of the Republican governor’s conservative allies.

WALKER WINS: Gov. Scott Walker delivers an impassioned victory speech Tuesday night following his defeat of Democratic challenger Mary Burke.

“For four years liberal Wisconsin prosecutors have waged an all-out taxpayer funded witch hunt to try and silence and ultimately destroy Walker and conservative groups who support his pro-growth, pro-reform policies,” Jacobson said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

“Led by Democratic Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, prosecutors launched a politicized probe to try and build a case around Walker and his allies for campaign improprieties. Marked by pre-dawn, SWAT-style raids on homes, the probe has turned up nothing except frightened families and children.

“Tonight Wisconsin rejected this assault on free speech,” Jacobson said.

The latest John Doe probe into 29 conservative organizations was launched by Chisholm more than two years ago. Under a legal theory that issue advocacy equals express advocacy if there is coordination between outside groups, prosecutors have been digging for evidence that the conservative 501(c)(4) groups illegally coordinated with Walker’s campaign during his last forced election — the big labor-led recall campaign against the governor in 2012.

Two judges, the presiding John Doe judge and a U.S. District Court judge, have ruled that the prosecutors had provided no evidence a campaign finance crime had been committed.

For now, the John Doe probe remains on hold, awaiting direction from the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Now that the gubernatorial election is settled, the court may have more incentive to act some 10 months after the case was first submitted for review.

Burke’s campaign pushed the ongoing John Doe investigation as one of its principle themes, the Democratic Party narrative that Walker was involved in a “criminal scheme,” as the mainstream media headlines earlier screamed, despite the fact that the governor has never been charged with any wrongdoing related to the probes.

Conservatives such as Eric O’Keefe, who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the prosecutors, have asked for an investigation into Chisholm and his office.

Jacobson agrees the time has come to investigate the investigators.

“Now it’s time for a thorough investigation of the investigators, and for the people of Wisconsin to be thankful they — and not the prosecutors — decided the election.”