Blaska Policy Werkes

Now will the State Journal and Journal Sentinel finally condemn the speech police?

Vicki McKenna among those GAB spied on

Thank the Good Lord for Brad Schimel, the first conservative state attorney general in long memory. Thank you the heavens above for the too few brave souls — Eric O’Keefe, the Wall Street Journal, Vicki McKenna (her interview with Schimel), and Matt Kittle (his report) among them — for speaking out against the government gag orders.

The AG

The public release of the Wisconsin A.G.’s report confirms that the Legislature did the right thing in blowing up the Government Accountability Board (GAB) and scattering its tainted staffers to the winds. Now it is time to prosecute the secret government speech police named in the report. Now it is time for the state’s news media to — at long last — stand up for The First Amendment.

This is Attorney General Brad Schimel’s money quote:

The Department of Justice is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponization of GAB by partisans in furtherance of political goals, which permitted the vast collection of highly personal information from dozens of Wisconsin Republicans without even taking modest steps to secure this information.

The Department of Justice investigation found:

Government seized ‘breathtaking’ amount of information

Only someone with an intimate knowledge of the case and familiarity with the leaked documents would know which documents to leak that would correspond directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s opinion in Two Unnamed Petitioners.

Conspiring to commit free speech

What was the crime being investigated by the Government Accountability Board and its agents in the Milwaukee and Dane County district attorneys offices?

The crime was this: one group of citizens “colluding” with another group of citizens on matters of their governance before an election. Just as the Act 10 opposition had done before the Walker/State Senate Recalls.

The John Doe was not an investigation, it was a persecution. The government — acting in secrecy with full police powers — intimidated, prosecuted, and selectively targeted political speech with which they disagreed.

If ever there was doubt about the partisan nature, consider the quote of GAB lead counsel Shane Falk, who should be disbarred:

“Remember … our state is being run by corporations and billionaires. This isn’t democracy.”

Then again, neither are speech police raids and battering rams.

Had the victims of this oppressed speech been Black Lives Matter or the Socialist Workers Party, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would have been in full howl. The ACLU would file lawsuits. Garrulous old Neil Heinen would steam like a teapot. The Madison Common Council would issue a pronunciamento. John Nichols would blow into his bullhorn in front of the Monument to Communism in James Madison Park. Ambulances would be halted on John Nolen Drive. Tammy Baldwin would write a campaign fund-raising letter.

But it was just a bunch of conservatives — white, at that. Anyone who complained was guilty of “whining,” according to former State Journal columnist Chris Rickert.

Platinum Bonus material seized by the government speech police:

From the DOJ report.