The dark money groups that are supporting Scott Walker and other Teapublicans really want to end any and all campaign regulation laws.
First, Wisconsin Club for Growth, funded by the Koch Brothers, the Bradley Foundation and other dark money groups filed a federal lawsuit to stop the John Doe investigation into the illegal collaboration between Walker and the dark money groups. Randa put a stop to the investigation until a federal appeals court overruled him and sent the case back to the state courts, where it is currently sitting in limbo.
Then another front group, hilariously named Citizens for Responsible Government, manipulated the legal system to get their lawsuit in front of Randa. Again, he ruled in the favor of the dark money group. And again, he was overruled and it was sent to the state courts, where it also sits in limbo.
Now they are at it yet again.
Attorney Christopher Wiesmueller, has filed his own lawsuit regarding the John Doe investigation. Wiesmueller is the attorney that had represented Walker aide Darlene Wink in the original John Doe investigation. Wink took a plea deal and was convicted of illegal politicking. In exchange for the plea deal, Wink was to testify for the state against her fellow defendants and to the destruction of digital evidence.
It was only recently learned that Wiesmueller was the person who destroyed the digital evidence from Wink's laptop. (Waukesha County District Attorney and Wisconsin Attorney General elect Brad Schimel chose not to charge Wiesmueller for his crimes.)
Weismueller's lawsuit, which he filed against the presiding John Doe Judge, Neal Nettesheim, echoes the previous two lawsuits in an effort to dismantle the John Doe laws:
On Monday, he sued Reserve Judge Neal Nettesheim in federal court, claiming that as the judge overseeing the case that became known as "John Doe I," Nettesheim could not be "detached and neutral" when deciding whether to issue search warrants as part of that investigation.
Wiesmueller's office was searched pursuant to a Nettesheim-approved warrant in December 2011, according to the lawsuit, which names Nettesheim a defendant in both his official and unofficial capacities. Wiesmueller is representing himself in the suit.↓ Story continues below ↓
Wiesmueller contends that not only did Nettesheim's role inherently present a conflict, the judge had a "financial interest in perpetuating" the John Doe, "as a source of income."
Wiesmueller seeks a federal court order that any Wisconsin John Doe judge is in reality part of the investigation process, and any search warrants such a judge issues as part of the John Doe violate the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches.
Wiesmueller also seeks an injunction barring Nettesheim from issuing any search warrants related to John Doe duties he might take on in the future, as well as monetary damages and attorney fees.
Wiesmueller's suit argues that Nettesheim is not entitled to immunity, since as "a highly competent Wisconsin jurist," he knew or should have known that issuing search warrants as part of a John Doe he was presiding over violated the Fourth Amendment.
The open-ended secrecy provisions of John Doe proceedings are unlawful as well, Wiesmueller contends, because they prohibited him from discussing the search of his office under threat of contempt. He still can't talk about it, his lawsuit claims, because the order is in effect forever.
"Perpetual bans on witnesses disclosing their own testimony or investigatory experiences, even after the termination of the secret proceeding, violates the First Amendment," according to the suit.
Basically, Wiesmueller is throwing everything he can at Nettesheim in order to give the dark money groups a stronger choke hold on the democratic process.
And yes, this case is scheduled to be heard by Randa. I don't think that there should be any questions on how this will end up.
There is an added bonus to this lawsuit as well because there's more. There's always more.
The taxpayers will get to pay for legal counsel to defend Judge Nettesheim in this frivolous lawsuit, which had already been decided through other cases which appeared in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court:
Wiesmueller's Nov. 3 federal lawsuit contends that as the judge overseeing the John Doe investigation, Nettesheim essentially became part of the investigation, and could no longer be the kind of neutral magistrate who normally reviews requests for search warrants. By doing so, Nettesheim violated his Fourth Amendment rights, Wiesmueller claims. Though Wisconsin Supreme Court cases have found that John Doe judges function in an administrative, not investigative, role and can approve subpoenas and search warrants from the John Doe, and that they can keep it all secret.
Wiesmueller's Nov. 3 federal lawsuit contends that as the judge overseeing the John Doe investigation, Nettesheim essentially became part of the investigation, and could no longer be the kind of neutral magistrate who normally reviews requests for search warrants. By doing so, Nettesheim violated his Fourth Amendment rights, Wiesmueller claims.
Though Wisconsin Supreme Court cases have found that John Doe judges function in an administrative, not investigative, role and can approve subpoenas and search warrants from the John Doe, and that they can keep it all secret.
The silly season of the election cycle might be over, but in Wisconsin, the insanity and corruption remain.