Stung by GOP Gov. Scott Walker's efforts to curb the power of public employee unions, Big Labor's Democrat puppets forced failed recall elections. Now, thankfully, a judge's ruling that suggests politically motivated prosecutors trashed their targets' First Amendment rights has blocked further Democrat efforts to undo the will of Wisconsinites.
The ruling remains sealed, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, but The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy. It concerns a “John Doe probe” of whether dozens of conservative groups and Mr. Walker coordinated anti-recall support illegally under Wisconsin's campaign laws. Gag orders kept the targets quiet.
Quashing subpoenas, the judge wrote that prosecutors lack evidence (and don't even claim) that those groups engaged in “express advocacy” — directly urging a candidate's election or defeat — and therefore didn't show probable cause of campaign violations.
The ruling “vindicates our suspicion that the John Doe probe,” begun in a Democrat Milwaukee County assistant district attorney's office, “is a political operation intended to shut up Mr. Walker's allies as he seeks re-election this year,” The Journal editorialized. It added that the subpoenas “failed to demonstrate the narrow and targeted investigation that the First Amendment demands.”
Having been reminded that they can't trample free speech for political gain, Wisconsin Democrats will have to find other ways to do Big Labor's bidding.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The Thursday wrap
- The Moody’s downgrade: Inaction’s price
- The Corbett administration gives itself a headache with selective transparency
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes