Because Scott Walker asked
September 14, 2016 7:45 AM   Subscribe

One copy of the "John Doe files," Wisconsin's preliminary investigation into Scott Walker's campaign finances, survived destruction.

"The John Doe files published today open a door onto how modern US elections operate in the wake of Citizens United, the 2010 US supreme court ruling that unleashed a flood of corporate money into the political process. They speak to the mounting sense of public unease about the cosy relationship between politicians and big business, and to the frustration of millions of Americans who feel disenfranchised by an electoral system that put the needs of corporate donors before ordinary voters."
posted by holmesian (27 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ugh, this is never about the good Scott Walker.
posted by Kitteh at 7:52 AM on September 14, 2016 [18 favorites]


We live in an age of leaks, and I, for one, welcome it. It's interesting to see the raw materials that will (hopefully) influence a major SCOTUS ruling.
posted by jetsetsc at 8:29 AM on September 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Ugh, this is never about the good Scott Walker.

To be honest, I'm glad that "good" Scott Walker is not involved in this sordid affair.

(edited to add context)
posted by NoMich at 8:29 AM on September 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is a well written autopsy of the democratic process.
posted by benzenedream at 8:30 AM on September 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


Christ, if all it really took was the appearance of impropriety to took to shut this crap down we'd be fine since virtually the only thing the bottom 90% of the populace agrees on is the corruption rampant in our political system. We might not all agree on who is most benefiting, but almost everyone sees that the outside influence is there. Any justice even trying to claim otherwise is flat out delusional or a scoundrel.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


We Americans have really got to get over this notion that we are still living in a democracy.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:39 AM on September 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


This is a well written autopsy of the democratic process.

Or rather its necrotized parts.
posted by hat_eater at 8:48 AM on September 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Surely this.
posted by Slinga at 8:50 AM on September 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Horrifying. Grotesque.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:53 AM on September 14, 2016


There ya go. Where there's smoke stink, there's fire shit.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:28 AM on September 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Corporations are people too, my friends.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:30 AM on September 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've slowly stopped using products from Molex (Koch Brothers) and U-Line (Uihlein family with their in-catalog rants), didn't realize Menard's was in that mix too. Crap.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:32 AM on September 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm still digging through this, and this particular bit isn't entirely news -- it's actually part of the appeal being made to the Supreme Court -- but, nonetheless, this sticks out:
The John Doe files obtained by the Guardian give clues as to why the prosecutors have raised doubts about impartiality in the state courts. They suggest that two of the conservative judges on Wisconsin's top court who voted to halt the John Doe investigation may have themselves been intimately connected to the same campaigning network of rightwing politicians, lobbyists and major donors that the prosecutors were investigating.

Take David Prosser. He was one of the four conservative judges who approved the July 2015 ruling that terminated the John Doe investigation, sacked Schmitz from his position as special prosecutor and ordered the destruction of all the documents that had been collected ...Prosser was in his own electoral fight for survival. He was up for re-election in April 2011...[and]...By the end of the bitter campaign, some $3.5m was spent by outside lobby groups channeling undisclosed corporate money to support Prosser's re-election...That included $1.5m from WCfG and its offshoot Citizens for a Strong America, and $2m from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), all of it in unaccountable “dark money”
...
Both of the two outside groups that channeled the recall election money (WCfG and WMC) are named as “movants” of the John Doe criminal investigation into alleged campaign finance violations...[y]et when it was suggested to Prosser and a second conservative judge on the court, Justice Michael Gableman, that they should recuse themselves from deliberations in the case, they both refused.

In their petition to the US supreme court, the prosecutors challenge that refusal, arguing that “the special prosecutor did not receive a fair and impartial hearing”. The petitioners go on to discuss Prosser in detail, but the passage is so heavily redacted that their argument is obscured. They do say at one point, quoting constitutional law, that “No jurist 'can be a judge in his own case or be permitted to try cases where he has an interest in the outcome'.”
I don't know whether Prosser's and Gableman's declining to recuse themselves was legal; but on its face, that decision does seem unethical, and Prosser's defense -- that, to paraphrase, 'time time had passed between the donations in 2011 and the ruling in 2015 that there was no appearance of impropriety' -- is not compelling. What the proper remedy for this is, I don't know, but I do hope the Supreme Court takes up the case.
posted by cjelli at 9:35 AM on September 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


JoeZydeco: "(Uihlein family with their in-catalog rants)"

So that rant is about how Mexico is stealing our jobs, written by a corporate exec mulling things over at the Mexican supply location for the American company she runs? Did she ever think that maybe moving her own company supply center to America might help that? Cognitive dissonance all over the place.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:55 AM on September 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Cognitive dissonance all over the place.

If you can find older U-Line catalogs (if you work in any kind of office that ships anything, you probably have a few hundred lying around your mailroom), there are some classic ones in there.

Liz owns the company she inherited from her father. I think her husband really runs the show and grew it to what it is today (their HQ off I-94 is beautiful) but lets her have her soapbox in the back of the book.

Oh and just to get more random, she's a massive Hall and Oates fan. They used to offer some of Darryl's and John's solo CDs as free premiums in the catalog itself. We've received a couple of them for no reason at all. And I think H&O have played the company picnic a few times.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:09 AM on September 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


And once again a foreign based news organisation, as so many times previously it's The Guardian, does the heavy lifting.
posted by adamvasco at 10:39 AM on September 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


So that rant is about how Mexico is stealing our jobs, written by a corporate exec mulling things over at the Mexican supply location for the American company she runs?

It seemed more like "dad hated the unions for raising costs, mexico makes stuff cheap, paying only $4/hr, so a lot of stuff sold in the US is made there, but then people in the US lose jobs, so it's complicated."
posted by zippy at 10:53 AM on September 14, 2016




Homeless people are scary!
So, what is the answer [to scary homeless people all over the street outside a Michael McDonald gig]? I dont know for sure.

We would like to hear your thoughts.
Well, the answer's "some form of socialism". I don't know if that recalibrates your interest level downwards?
posted by Grangousier at 12:37 PM on September 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


The answer is to build them safe homes and let them stay there. There was that thread a while back showing that the most effective way to fight the homeless problem is give homeless people a stable place to live.
posted by VTX at 12:53 PM on September 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well, the answer's 'something form of you would mistakenly call socialism'..."

Suggested revision. Please consider.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:59 PM on September 14, 2016


Well, Liz's answer was to move her HQ out of Waukegan after seeing Michael McDonald and homeless people in the same evening. So there's that.

Maybe that encore of "What a Fool Believes" really sucked that night.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:28 PM on September 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Now the Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos (and future Republican candidate for governor) wants an investigation... Oh no, not into the snubbing of election laws. No, he wants a special prosecutor to perform an investigation into the leak, which is especially rich because the Club for Growth leaked about the investigation a few years ago.
posted by drezdn at 11:01 AM on September 15, 2016


No, he wants a special prosecutor to perform an investigation into the leak

The main lesson of the last half-century of American politics: It's not the crime, it's the exposing of the coverup.

Wait, that's not right...
posted by Etrigan at 11:02 AM on September 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


For anyone who forgot or didn't hear about it, a salient event during the 2011 Wisconsin protests was when someone from The Beast of Buffalo, NY called Walker's office pretending to be David Koch and was put through to him by staff and Walker immediately picked up and generously engaged in conversation. Citizens of the state trying to get in touch with their governor had not had anywhere near as much luck, he was always too busy.
posted by XMLicious at 1:04 PM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, what is the answer [to scary homeless people all over the street outside a Michael McDonald gig]? I dont know for sure.

We would like to hear your thoughts.


I know! Free wifi enabled porn browsing kiosks on every corner!
posted by spitbull at 7:15 PM on September 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


If I understand correctly, the thoroughly corrupt Wisconsin Supreme Court lifted a bit of the gag order they had on this case to let some documents be released to the case today. Not all of them, just a small part.
posted by drezdn at 3:24 PM on September 20, 2016


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