What was once described as "creeping" fascist is now in full sprint to the finish line under Walker and the Republican majority. The facade of government simply conceals the private special interest takeover of our state.
Removing the legal impediments that keep corruption at bay are behind the John Doe reforms. Muzzling judges and prosecutors while giving suspects the full force of the media and putting an arbitrary time limit on investigations are just a few dead giveaways. WSJ:
This bill would limit the secrecy aspect of the law, allowing secrecy orders to be placed only on judges and prosecutors. It would also limit the length of investigations to six months. A probe could be extended for additional six-month periods, with no cap on the number of extensions, provided a majority of 10 judicial administrative district chief judges find good cause.
The political crimes of the past will be seen now as "standard operating procedure" by our strong freedom loving leaders.
It would also limit the scope of crimes that can be investigated in a John Doe probe to the most severe felonies and some violent crimes.
Of course, Republicans will market these changes as something they are not:
Rep. David Craig, R-Big Bend said the bill is designed to increase judicial oversight, protect the constitutional rights of individuals and ensure accountability to the people of Wisconsin.
The inconvenient truth?
But former Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann argued that John Doe laws should be stronger, not more limited. McCann suggested the real purpose of the bill is to end the second Doe investigation, noting that the investigation would no longer fall under the jurisdiction of the law.
As Milwaukee County District Attorney, McCann netted two felony convictions through a John Doe investigation for Democratic then-Sen. Chuck Chvala, along with convictions of several other Republican and Democratic former lawmakers in the "caucus scandal" of the early 2000s.
The bill "removes from the reach of the John Doe all of the statutes under which Chvala and (Republican then-Rep. Scott) Jensen were charged," McCann said. "Senate Bill 43 guts the strength of the John Doe by removing numerous crimes for which public officials have been convicted in the past," McCann said.
While my conservative friend in Milwaukee still thinks the first John Doe was a waste of time and won't acknowledge the convictions, it still happened:
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm 's first investigation resulted in convictions for six Walker associates during his time as Milwaukee County executive.
The most unashamed corrupt special interest Republican, Sen. Tom Tiffany, concentrated on parsing out acceptable commonplace political "crimes," to those more "appropriate" outright violent crimes and felonies. From WKOW and WISC: