John Doe Probe Has 29 Conservative Groups In Its Sights

Nov. 18, 2013
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What a tangled web they wove—allegedly. 

According to a weekend report in the Wall Street Journal, John Doe #2 has up to 29 conservative groups in its sights—including the Friends of Scott Walker, Walker’s gubernatorial campaign committee.

The Wall Street Journal based its report on an interview with Eric O’Keefe, a longtime “free-market” activist who’s also on the board of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, one of the groups that was named when we thought that only three groups were caught up in this investigation.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Mr. O'Keefe says he received his subpoena in early October. He adds that at least three of the targets had their homes raided at dawn, with law-enforcement officers turning over belongings to seize computers and files."

Well, O’Keefe must be running scared and trying to get ahead of the story to spin it his own way.

The WSJ is portraying the “flurry of subpoenas” as a “raid on political speech.”


My bet is that the 29 state and national right-wing groups—which allegedly include Scott Walker’s campaign, Wisconsin Club for Growth, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), the League of American Voters, the anti-gay Wisconsin Family Action, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, and the Republican Governors Association—were more likely coordinating fundraising, shuffling money from one group to another to evade campaign disclosure rules, timing their ads and/or synching their messaging during the 2011 and 2012 recalls.

If you’ve been reading the Shepherd, you know that Walker’s top campaign aide, R.J. Johnson, has longtime connections to Wisconsin Club for Growth.

Did Johnson cut those ties when he went to work for Walker’s campaign in 2009? When he was being copied on Milwaukee County emails? Was Johnson still working for Walker after Walker took office in 2011, while appearing as a spokesman for Wisconsin Club for Growth?

That’s something the prosecutors are probably taking a look at—among other things.

I’ll have more about this development in this week’s Shepherd, but for now, here’s my coverage on the new John Doe investigation and the Koch brothers’ dark money in Wisconsin.





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