Imagine, after 4 decades (and coincidentally with Republicans firmly in charge), the 4 partisan conservative activist Justices suddenly noticed our campaign laws have been too broad and unconstitutional. The actual unambiguous law blocking coordination between campaigns and outside groups is now seen as ambiguous and too broad. Who knew? Just like that…
…Justice Michael Gableman found collaboration between issue groups and campaigns was not illegal … the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist.
And while the leaders of big money special interests whined and released private information barred by the John Doe law, the Justices decided to prevent the investigators from offering their side:
The justices didn't hold oral arguments to avoid disclosing private information. Key details about the probe have emerged in news reports, opinion pieces and a wave of litigation against investigators.
The most ridiculous complaint centered on the investigations lack of arrests and convictions. Hmm, I wonder why…
…stalled for 18 months after a lower court judge…
The tortured logic of the majority conservative justices...:
…found collaboration between campaigns and issue groups is allowed because such groups don't explicitly tell people how to vote.
I guess if the message is the same between the two groups, that’s just a coincidence from like-minded conservatives. And suspicions of lawbreaking, all theoretical, cannot be investigated because that would infringe on the 1st Amendment:
…it makes clear campaigns can work closely with outside groups … R.J. Johnson simultaneously served as an adviser to the club and Walker's campaign … allowing more political money to flow without the names of donors being disclosed.
Acting as if they were at a bar ranting endlessly about issues not even before their court, the Justices didn’t just trotted out conservative radio talking points, they also played up the “Republicans are victims” card:
Those in the majority raised questions about the way the probe was conducted, with Gableman writing that the search warrants were executed as "pre-dawn, armed, paramilitary-style raids" and Prosser writing in a concurrence that the subpoenas were "so extensive that they make the fruits of the legendary Watergate break-in look insignificant by comparison." The appeals court ruled in favor of prosecutors in the challenge that dealt with technical issues about how the probe was conducted.
Todd Graves, an attorney for the club and its director, Eric O'Keefe, said in a statement that Chisholm and the accountability board until now "acted like playground bullies without fear of restraint from the courts."
Attorney General Brad Schimel said the ruling "closes a divisive chapter in Wisconsin history."
This thing call “law” is so inconvenient. Maybe Schimel missed the time Scott Walker boasted how he would “divide and conquer” labor in the state. That chapter hasn’t closed.
Unconstitutional for 4 decades: Thank god we discovered the mistake when the GOP took over:
The Government Accountability Board's Chairman, Gerald Nichol, said the ruling reverses how election officials have interpreted campaign finance laws for four decades. Daniel Weiner, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said in a statement the court "has made campaign finance law extraordinarily easy to evade. No other court has gone this far and for good reason — it is a misreading of the law and threatens fair and transparent elections."
Balls to the Wall Bizarro World: Connecting the dots on this one was easy. Jaw dropping and outrageous, here's how Wisconsin Manufactureres and Commerce (WMC) bought off the court.
Step 1: Got their justices elected:
WMC, which has received some funding from the Wisconsin Club for Growth and is the state's largest business lobbying group, spent an estimated $2.2 million for Ziegler; $1.8 million for Gableman; $1.1 million for Prosser; and $500,000 for Roggensack.
Step 2: WMC then went ahead and wrote the Justices recusal rules that wiped "conflict of interest:"
2. In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted the Realtors and WMC’s petitions. The petitions sought clarification that a judge does not need to seek recusal where it would be based solely on a party in the case sponsoring an independent expenditure or issue advocacy communication in favor of the judge. the and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (“WMC”) and Wisconsin Realtors Association (“Realtors”) filed separate petitions (that) sought to amend the Judicial Code of Conduct.Step 3: WMC can now drum up taxpayer outrage over the cost of the public's futile effort to stop business from shredding campaign finance laws, and :
WMC president and CEO Kurt Bauer said, "Taxpayers deserve to know how much of their money was wasted on this unlawful and unconstitutional investigation, and the targets deserve an apology from the prosecutors and GAB regulators who have violated their rights."