Arrest Eric O’Keefe for blowing GAB’s cover, the Left demands

Our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances are in high dudgeon over A.G. Brad Schimel’s unmasking of the star chamber suppression of political speech in Wisconsin, particularly by the Government Accountability Board (GAB). (His report here.)

Our acquaintances are baying for the hides of those who protested their treatment at the hands of the speech police, blinding klieg lights and battering rams at the ready in their pre-dawn raids on private homes.

Top SecretFirst Dan Bice at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Now Matt Rothschild (formerly of The Progressive) at the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Add Bruce Murphy at Urban Milwaukee. They make the same charge:  Schimel went after an illegal leak to The Guardian USA, presumably by the very investigators who were demanding confidentiality from the victims of their probe. (Presumably leaked to influence a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision on the matter.)

“Schimel hypocritically investigated one leak but not another,” Matt grieves. “There is no mystery about one leak of the John Doe material. … it was actually committed by one of the persons being investigated: Eric O’Keefe of Wisconsin Club for Growth.”

He intentionally violated the secrecy order by going to the Wall Street Journal and then bragged about doing it on rightwing talk radio. Schimel did not pursue O’Keefe, however, for leaking. Why the double standard?

In other words, why didn’t you prosecute the victim of this illegal search? Never mind that three different courts, in different ways — ordered a stop to the speech police inquiry.

Imagine reporters and good government goo goos demanding the leakers of the Pentagon Papers be prosecuted but manicuring their fingernails when government agents hoover up dirt on private individuals engaged in the practice of democracy — or advising their daughters on personal health care.

More First Amendment protections than the average bear

Matt Rothschild’s “Democracy Campaign” has this in common with most journalists — people like Bice, Murphy, and Chris Rickert of the Wisconsin State Journal, to name just a few. (Rickert once called the victims of the John Doe “whiners.”)

They believe newspapers deserve special plenipotentiary powers as the unbiased gatekeepers of political information. Only “professional journalists” are qualified to determine what information is true and relevant. More First Amendment protection than the average bear. Everyone else must report to Big Government for permission to speak, what they may say, when they may say it, and with whom they may converse. No “collusion” on issues of their own governance permitted.

It’s why neither newspaper will denounce the “weaponization” of government speech watchdogs “by partisans in furtherance of political goals,” as Schimel put it — even if their haul of half a million e-mails included correspondence between Senator Leah Vukmir and her daughter, some containing private medical information. Much of this information was placed in a folder labeled “Opposition Research.”

No corporate speech unless it’s a newspaper corporation

Which makes this reader letter in today’s Wall Street Journal a timely prophylactic: “The Times is for corporate speech, after all.” Excerpted here:

… The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. F.E.C. that corporations have First Amendment rights, but the Times’s editorial board has despised that ruling from day one as much as it now loathes President Trump. According to the Times, in 2010 Citizens United was a disastrous ruling that “thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century.”

… The New York Times Company is a corporation with the largest share of its publicly traded Class A common stock held by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Now that the Times’s editorial board has pushed the politicking envelope beyond opinion pages and biased news articles into direct grass-roots lobbying against GOP policies, the thin protective veneer of journalistic integrity is gone and raw corporate power and interests are exposed.

Citizens United undermined the old media monopoly that gave a handful of mostly liberal corporations free rein in political reporting and influence over public-policy debates. The monopoly was busted (more by technology and social media than by Citizens United) and organizations such as the Times now are willing to take their journalistic gloves off to advance ideological and corporate agendas.

Murphy suggests citizen O’Keefe is not deserving of sympathy. He is, after all, a “controversial right-wing hit man.” By which he means O’Keefe has worked with conservative organizations and political leaders.

When GAB general counsel Shane Falk groused darkly that “our state is being run by corporations and billionaires,” he was channeling the same paranoia Murphy, Comrade Nichols and Capitol occupiers exhibit when they keep losing elections. The wrong people keep winning. They must be stopped by whatever means. Even with battering rams.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Free speech, Republicans and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Arrest Eric O’Keefe for blowing GAB’s cover, the Left demands

  1. William W. Richardson says:

    Thanks Dave. By now we should enjoy the howling at the moon from the Left. Motto: Free Speech for me, but not for Thee, you Deplorables! You think AG Schimel should do a 4 AM raid on Murphy, Bice, Falk Rothschild, Rickert and a couple of Editors at Cap Times? How about Christmas Day?


  2. David Blaska says:

    Speech police wearing Santa stocking caps!

    Republicans were nestled all snug in their beds;
    While visions of the First Amendment danced in their heads;
    And Leah Vukmir in her ‘kerchief, and under-age daughter in her cap,
    Had just settled their brains for a long winter’s nap,
    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
    They sprang from their bed to see what was the matter.
    Away to the window they flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
    … When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
    But police squad cars and speech police to fear,
    With a little old driver so committed to stalk,
    They knew in a moment he must be Shane Falk.


  3. Pingback: Arrest Eric O’Keefe for blowing GAB’s cover, the Left demands - RightWisconsin

  4. Meade says:

    More rapid than runs, his henchmen all came,
    And he whispered, and signaled, and hissed out each name:
    “Now, Rothschild! Here, Rickert! This, Schmitzy, and Chisholm!
    Yo, Murphy! Com.Nichols! With Dan Bice we’ll fix’em!

    “Top Ms. Archer’s porch to O’Keefe’s garden wall!
    Now flash away! bash away! smash away all!
    Their liberties civil, free speech rights defy,
    We’ll we’p’nize the state paramilit’ry style.”


  5. Meade Laurence says:

    So over Wisconsin the henchmen all flew,
    Sleighs of dirty dox – and old Shane Falk-er too:


  6. AnonyBob says:

    Give it a rest, Dave, and drop the over-wrought klieg light and battering rams drama. I thought Murphy, a competent and experienced journalist, did a good job revealing the hack job that is Schimel’s report. This is the same Schimel that, as DA, refused to reprosecute former Speaker Scott Jensen after his felony conviction was thrown out on a technicality (isn’t that something you righties love to screech about?). Scooter committed the same caucus scandal crimes that others went to jail for, but his former colleagues changed state law (why? because they could!) so he could face pliable local DA Schimel. As AG, he’s proven to be an utter partisan hack who brings dishonor to the state’s reputation along with the WMC-bought Supreme Court majority that ended the investigation. It’s about free speech, you keep insisting. BS, it was about illegal campaigning.


  7. madisonexpat says:

    We Deplorables must be silenced, taxed, assaulted, disarmed. In short, ultimately terrorized like Mrs. Vukmir et al. That pre dawn knock on the door? Just your Progressive, armed betters who hate your door, your privacy, your income, your Constitution, your president, your faith and even your health insurance.
    Hate. Never more obvious than the last eighteen months.


  8. George Mitchell says:

    Excellent piece, Dave.


  9. Balboa says:

    Hack or not, what Schimel released was an injustice to say the very least. Hmm, lawmakers who were elected fairly changed a law. That makes it shady. So duly elected officials cannot change a law, that is fresh. oh yeah I forgot, laws can only be changed by Democrats then they come pure hearts and minds. Riggggghhhht….

    GAB was never non-partisan, but the files upon files prove, that Republicans were correct in this assumption all along. I am not sure the GAB 2.0 will be anything different but seems to be a bit more balanced in it’s approach to who can be on the board.

    The big question is how do we stop this from happening again, not sure we can except by never letting Democrats run WI state government again or for a long long time.


  10. Bruce Murphy says:

    I’ve never advocated for Erik O’Keefe to be investigated and don’t think he should be. But if the AG investigates some for breaking law against secrecy, he must investigate them all. And at this point that would include AG, who appears to be by far the biggest leaker of information. As for the idea I believe “newspapers deserve special plenipotentiary powers as the unbiased gatekeepers of political information,” that’s hilarious, and would have the scribes at Journal Sentinel laughing out loud.


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