Keyword: gab

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  • Bad Santa: John Doe prosecutor delivers letters to the people he spied on

    01/07/2016 1:35:36 PM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 21 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 1-6-16 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 315 of 314 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wis. - He walked into work Tuesday morning to find he had received an "unbelievable" notice. Opening the manila envelope, the Wisconsin conservative learned that government agents had secretly seized his emails - professional and personal - sent and received over a two-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2009. He found out he had, without his knowledge, been dragged into Wisconsin's notorious John Doe investigation, one of perhaps dozens of individuals who in recent days have received similar notices from former John Doe special prosecutor Francis D. Schmitz. Some, like...
  • Bill creates legislative committee to investigate John Doe investigations

    12/17/2015 10:53:25 PM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 2 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 12-17-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 308 of 308 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wis. - In the wake of Wisconsin's notorious John Doe investigation, lawmakers unveiled a bill Thursday that would create a legislative committee armed with subpoena power to investigate closed John Doe proceedings. The legislation, authored by state Rep. Dave Craig, R-Town of Vernon, and Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, delves into the broader, scarier reaches of secret investigative technologies and techniques, creating a committee that would have oversight of law enforcement and investigations at large. "One of the constitutional duties and powers of the Legislature is to make sure that...
  • With Walker’s signature, the GAB is dead (WI)

    12/16/2015 3:09:03 PM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 21 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 12-16-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 305 of 305 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wis. - Ding dong, the witch-hunter is dead. More than a month after the Republican-led Legislature passed a bill dismantling the state Government Accountability Board, Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday finally signed the bill into law - with a partial veto. The bill's supporters, including conservatives targeted by the GAB and Milwaukee County prosecutors in the unconstitutional and politically driven John Doe probe, rejoiced while the left prophesied biblical-proportion campaign finance and election law disasters. "Reform to this broken agency was long overdue and I'm proud of today's accomplishment,"...
  • Attorney General: John Chisholm broke campaign finance law

    12/10/2015 9:06:21 PM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 12-10-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. - Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, the Democrat who launched Wisconsin’s politically driven John Doe investigation into conservatives, appears to have broken state campaign finance law, according to state Attorney General Brad Schimel. "...(I)t does appear on its face that two maximum contributions were received (by Chisholm's campaign) from the same individual in the same election cycle," Schimel told Wisconsin Watchdog Thursday. Chisholm did not return a call seeking comment. He has not returned any calls from Watchdog. As Wisconsin Watchdog exclusively reported this week, Chisholm's campaign accepted donations in excess of single-contributor limits during the same...
  • Walker yet to sign GAB overhaul bill (WI)

    12/01/2015 7:32:01 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 4 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 12-1-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 294 of 292 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wis. — More than two weeks after the Assembly finalized passage of a bill that would dismantle the state’s rogue political speech regulator, Gov. Scott Walker has yet to sign the legislation into law. And it’s not clear when he will do so. “I don’t have an update beyond what I have previously provided, which is that he will review this legislation and supports overall reform of the Government Accountability Board to provide a replacement that is fair, transparent, and accountable to Wisconsinites,” Walker press secretary Laurel Patrick told...
  • Lawmaker advises GAB’s Kevin Kennedy to ‘obey the law’ (WI)

    12/01/2015 7:26:07 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 12 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 11-30-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 292 of 292 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wis. – The state’s political speech cop again is resisting a lawmaker’s request for information about the costs of a secret John Doe investigation into Wisconsin conservatives. State Government Accountability Board director and general counsel Kevin Kennedy has “partially denied and partially fulfilled” an open records request by state Rep. Dave Craig, R-Town of Vernon. At least Kennedy insists as much in a seemingly conflicted response to the lawmaker’s request for information on the costs incurred by the GAB in the political investigation dubbed “John Doe II.” Craig, in...
  • Senate passes GAB overhaul, campaign finance reform in ‘extraordinary’ session (WI)

    11/07/2015 11:02:10 PM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 4 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 11-7-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 280 of 278 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wisconsin – After lengthy delays and an extraordinary session that extended into the wee hours of Saturday morning, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill that overhauls the rogue state Government Accountability Board. But does the final version of the bill, with a controversial amendment, protect and defend the constitution? At the end of the day, the cold feet coalition prevailed. The amended bill goes a long way in decentralizing the GAB, the agency that oversees Wisconsin campaign finance, election, ethics and lobbying laws. But while it divides the political...
  • Memo to Legislature: Take a closer look at GAB Judge’s conduct (WI)

    11/06/2015 9:03:35 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 3 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 11-5-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 279 of 277 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wisconsin — As the Senate seems to be coming to terms on a “compromise” that would retain at least a couple of retired judges on the state Government Accountability Board, one of the targets of the rogue agency’s unconstitutional investigation is asking senators to think again. On Thursday, Eric O’Keefe of the Wisconsin Club for Growth sent Wisconsin policymakers a detailed communication outlining “potential misconduct” by GAB chairman Gerald Nichol.” O’Keefe cites several “troubling statements” Nichol has made in recent weeks that have exposed the judge’s partisanship serving on...
  • Senate preparing to vote on compromise GAB reform bill (WI)

    11/05/2015 3:48:18 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 7 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 11-5-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. – Government Accountability Board Judge Gerald Nichol has said he has no regrets about the early-morning raids and other constitutionally challenged tactics used to go after conservatives. “I don’t have a problem with the way we played that role,” he said last month when asked about the GAB’s integral involvement in an unconstitutional John Doe investigation that upended the lives of dozens of citizens who were never charged with any wrongdoing – all in the name of political speech. “It obviously angered one specific party,” he added. Nichol and his fellow retired judges who preside over the state’s...
  • EXCLUSIVE: Wisconsin Senate majority leader, others also targeted in John Doe

    10/29/2015 5:04:16 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 8 replies
    Wisconsin Wat ^ | 10-29-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wisconsin — This week the Wall Street Journal revealed just how expansive Wisconsin’s political John Doe investigation was, targeting not only Badger State conservatives but national political figures such as Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich. Now Wisconsin Watchdog has learned the unconstitutional probe also went after state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and other Wisconsin conservative leaders who may not be aware that they, too, were targets of a widespread spying operation. The information comes from the same sealed court documents referenced in the Wall Street Journal editorial board piece published Tuesday. Sources have shared with Wisconsin Watchdog the...
  • Kevin Kennedy’s spin to save the GAB and his job contradicts the record (WI)

    10/28/2015 5:24:22 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 7 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 10-28-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 274 of 272 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog MADISON, Wis. – As Kevin Kennedy goes about trying to save his job and his rogue state agency, the director of the state Government Accountability Board is twisting, if not torturing, some facts. In his supplemental testimony on the agency released this week, Kennedy takes issue with state Sen. Leah Vukmir’s question on the GAB’s early involvement in a political John Doe probe into 29 conservative organizations and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker. The Supreme Court in July ruled the investigation unconstitutional and...
  • Target of political John Doe targets reluctant senators in robocall campaign

    10/27/2015 5:32:27 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 2 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 10-27-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 273 of 271 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog MADISON, Wis. While Senate Republican leadership attempts to woo a few members cool to a key provision in a Government Accountability Board overhaul bill, a vocal target of the GABs secret probe is using his constitutional rights to target lawmakers holding up reform. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, tells Wisconsin Watchdog that the bill will be taken up, although likely not until next week. The proposal, which passed last week in the Assembly along party lines, could be...
  • WSJ: Wisconsin's political John Doe targeted national conservatives

    10/27/2015 9:52:16 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 13 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 10-27-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 272 of 270 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wisconsin The four Republicans reportedly with cold feet about reforming the rogue Government Accountability Board would do well to read the latest piece from the Wall Street Journal on the expanded abuses of the political John Doe probe. Court-sealed documents, according to the publication, show the GAB, working with the Democrat-led Milwaukee County District Attorneys office, looking into several national conservatives in their star chamber. The John Doe team searched the digital cache for information related to their now-discredited theory of campaign-finance coordination, but they didnt stop there....
  • Lawmakers want answers on GAB director Kevin Kennedys IRS conversations

    10/26/2015 9:22:25 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 4 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 10-26-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 271 of 269 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wisconsin The authors of a bill reforming Wisconsins controversial John Doe law want answers from state Government Accountability Board director Kevin Kennedy about his conversations with the Internal Revenue Service regarding a now-dead, political John Doe probe. State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and state Rep. Dave Craig, R-Town of Vernon, are particularly interested in an email from former GAB staff counsel Shane Falk to Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney David Robles. In the Feb. 28, 2013, communication, Falk tells Robles: As you may know, things are really heating...
  • Newly released John Doe docs reveal much more about rogue GAB (WI)

    10/23/2015 9:47:58 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 10-23-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 270 of 268 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wis. Newly unsealed documents in a lawsuit against the state Government Accountability Board further reveal a rogue agency all in from the beginning of a political John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker even as their hapless special prosecutor was really questioning the validity of the case. Thursday evening, Waukesha County Court released 182 pages of emails, transcripts of closed-door meetings and other previously sealed documents after attorneys for the GAB and the plaintiffs came to terms on precisely...
  • A Win for the first Amendment

    10/21/2015 8:29:08 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    Watchdog.org ^ | Erik Telford
    This bill is about people being terrorized in their own home. Those were the words of Wisconsin State Rep. state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, (R-New Berlin) last night at the state legislature debated a bill that would limit the power, scope, and length of the states John Doe procedure. Im sure by now youve seen the exciting news as our Wisconsin bureau chief, Matt Kittle,emailed me in the wee hours of this morning to let me know that the bill passed both houses and is headed to Gov. Scott Walkers desk. I wanted to take a moment to thank you...
  • Fireworks coming on GAB and campaign finance reform debate

    10/21/2015 12:25:53 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 4 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 10-21-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 267 of 265 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wis. Get ready for more fireworks Wednesday as the Assembly takes up two bills aimed at reforming Wisconsins troubled campaign finance law and overhauling its even more troubled political speech regulator. Under a Republican proposal, the state Government Accountability Board would be split into two commissions, an elections entity and an ethics operation. The six election commission members would be partisan, evenly appointed by both parties and the governor, and the directors of the commissions would be appointed to four-year terms, subject to reappointment. Created in 2007 with...
  • Judge holds off on release of GABs very embarrassing records

    10/17/2015 10:53:36 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 15 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 10-16-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 263 of 262 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wisconsin The public will have to wait for trial to see the brunt of hot documents attorneys have said will be very embarrassing to the state Government Accountability Board. On Thursday, Waukesha County Judge Lee Dreyfus Jr. opted against lifting the protective order on 181 pages of records from a lawsuit alleging the GAB overstepped its authority at taxpayer expense in driving a politically charged John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker. Dreyfus said the documents would probably come out...
  • Why did accountability board use Gmail accounts to talk John Doe? (WI)

    10/15/2015 6:31:05 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 8 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 10-15-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 262 of 260 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wisconsin Lost in the heated rhetoric of this weeks legislative hearing on a bill to overhaul the state Government Accountability Board (See: Joseph Welch impersonations), was an important question the GABs director has yet to adequately answer. State Sen. Dave Craig, R-Town of Vernon, still wants to know why the states election, campaign finance and lobbying law regulator used Gmail accounts to communicate about the secret John Doe investigation. I find it very concerning that the GAB, which is charged with ethics and things related to open records,...
  • Fiery GAB hearing resurrects ghost of Joe McCarthy (WI)

    10/13/2015 3:59:19 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 15 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 10-13-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 261 of 259 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog MADISON, Wis. It was only a matter of time before someone invoked the ghost of Joe McCarthy. This is politically hyperbolic Wisconsin after all, the home of the U.S. senator disgraced by his crusade against communists in federal government and wherever else he believed them to be. On Tuesday, it was Government Accountability Board director and chief legal counsel Kevin Kennedy resurrecting the long-dead senator. It was an interesting invocation for a guy who is accused by conservatives of helping to push a...
  • GAB chairman: I wasnt offended by John Doe raids (WI)

    10/08/2015 8:52:42 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 19 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 10-8-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. Gerald Nichol says he has had no problem with the way the state Government Accountability Board has operated over its eight years in existence. And Nichol, chairman of the troubled political speech regulator, said hes good with GABs involvement in predawn, paramilitary-style raids on the homes and offices of conservative targets in the unconstitutional John Doe investigation. Those October 2013 raids included armed officers serving a warrant on a 16-year-old boy who was home alone. Though the teens father was the target of the political probe, the boy was told he couldnt call his parents, or even...
  • Sources: Bill would overhaul controversial GAB (WI)

    10/08/2015 8:37:37 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 3 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 10-7-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wisconsin Despite word that some members were getting weak-kneed about sweeping reform, GOP Assembly leadership is rolling out an overhaul of the state Government Accountability Board a bill aimed at decentralizing a rogue agency its critics charge is run by left-leaning bureaucrats. Sources tell Wisconsin Watchdog the proposed bill, to be laid out Wednesday afternoon, will replace the existing accountability board with two separate and distinct commissions ethics and elections. The GABs six presiding retired judges will be replaced. Under the proposal, the Legislature would appoint four citizen members of the Elections commission, two from each...
  • Judge orders GAB to turn over emails with liberal groups (WI)

    10/06/2015 3:39:51 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 10 replies
    Wisconsiin Watchdog ^ | 10-4-15 | M. D. Kittle
    Part 254 of 252 in the series Wisconsin's Secret War MADISON, Wisconsin A Waukesha County judge has ordered the state Government Accountability Board to turn over communications it had with liberal political groups. The GAB last month had argued against the release to the conservative targets of the unconstitutional John Doe investigation. But Waukesha County Judge Lee Dreyfus Jr. on Friday declared the GABs communications to and from the left-leaning groups, although shielded from public consumption at this point, must be turned over to the conservative plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the agency. Long-time political activist Eric OKeefe and...
  • Will the voices of the John Doe victims be heard?

    10/01/2015 2:44:52 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 1 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 10-1-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. The state Government Accountability Board has launched a desperate public relations campaign to save the rogue agency. And the left including Wisconsins mainstream media has been more than willing to provide backup for the states campaign finance, election and ethics regulator. What you will find in the GABs PR campaign is a plea for more delay in reforming a nonpartisan agency found to have been extremely partisan in pushing a political probe into dozens of conservative groups and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker. Delay has been the modus operandi of the GAB in defending...
  • Still no word on GAB emails to left-leaning groups

    10/01/2015 12:38:27 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 4 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 9-30-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wisconsin Conservative targets of Wisconsins political John Doe investigation were still waiting Wednesday for a judges decision on whether the state Government Accountability Board must turn over communications it had with liberal political groups. Waukesha County Judge Lee Dreyfus Jr. was expected to rule two weeks ago, but the court doesnt have Microsoft Outlook software, and the judge was unable to view the correspondence in question. Attorneys for the GAB have since sent the documents in PDF. Eddie Greim, attorney for conservative activist Eric OKeefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, both plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging the...
  • GAB head asks lawmakers to delay overhaul of elections agency

    10/01/2015 12:30:23 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 1 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 9-30-15 | Patrick Marley
    Madison The head of the state's elections board has urged legislative leaders to slow down their plans to overhaul the agency, but top GOP lawmakers say they will unveil their restructuring plans next week. Gerald Nichol, chairman of the Government Accountability Board, in a letter to lawmakers raised concerns about restructuring the board 13 months before the high-turnout presidential election. His request to slow down fell on deaf ears. On Wednesday, aides to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said they reached a deal on the matter. They declined to provide details, saying they...
  • New emails show GAB assisting in John Doe defense after judge said stop

    09/22/2015 7:38:52 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 17 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 9-22-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. The state Government Accountability Board has long attempted to downplay its role in the political John Doe investigation. Documents obtained by Wisconsin Watchdog, however, show just how involved the rogue agency was in assisting John Doe special prosecutor Francis Schmitz and other partners in defending the unconstitutional campaign finance probe into Gov. Scott Walkers campaign and dozens of conservative organizations. Its clear that the GAB continued to defend the bogus legal theories in the John Doe long after the board voted to shut it down and after a federal judge enjoined the agency from continuing to...
  • More Wisconsin Emails -- How investigators Targeted Conservative Supreme Court Justices

    09/17/2015 2:45:20 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 18 replies
    Our liberal friends in Wisconsin are unhappy. They think someone is leaking emails that make the states partisan campaign regulators look bad. Well plead guilty to having sources, but the emails are news and they sure are revealing. Todays installment from court documents concerns how a special prosecutor and regulators at the Government Accountability Board (GAB) targeted the states conservative Supreme Court justices. The partisan goal was to force some justices to recuse themselves from hearing a constitutional challenge to their probe of Governor Scott Walker and his political allies. In a Feb. 11, 2013 email, then-GAB staff counsel Shane...
  • Memo to Wisconsin lawmakers: Fire director of rogue agency

    09/01/2015 11:27:05 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 8 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 9-1-15 | Eric O'Keefe
    The Wall Street Journal and Wisconsin Watchdog disclosed that the staff of the Government Accountability Board was engaged in partisan calculations during an investigation into the activities of the Wisconsin Club for Growth and various citizens. Kevin Kennedy responded to the disclosure with a statement that GAB staff members feel passionately about ensuring that all parties comply with campaign finance laws. Passionate is a strong word; here is the dictionary.com definition: Passionate: having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid. And this is the dictionary.com definition of its opposite: Dispassionate: free from or unaffected by passion;...
  • What you didn't just read in the Journal Sentinel

    08/31/2015 12:46:19 PM PDT · by Monitor · 7 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | Aug. 31, 2015 | Rick Esenberg
    The Wall Street Journal somehow got its hands on internal GAB e-mails regarding the John Doe. The Journal Sentinel reported on the revelation but decided to make the thrust of its story the belief of one GAB staff attorney, Shane Falk, that Scott Walker really was a target of the investigation. This contradicted a public statement by Special Prosecutor Fran Schmitz that he was not. There was, apparently, bickering among the prosecutors. I think the paper missed the story. Completely. The more significant revelation - completely unreported by the Journal Sentinel - was that Falk was concerned about the impact...
  • The Wisconsin Targets Tell Their Story (John Doe)

    07/22/2015 7:31:11 PM PDT · by Diana in Wisconsin · 17 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | July 22, 2015 | Collin Levy
    The John Doe investigation of Wisconsin conservatives collapsed last week with a powerful decision from the Wisconsin Supreme Court that called state prosecutors theory of campaign-finance law unconstitutional and unsupported in either reason or law. But the legal exoneration shouldnt pass without noting the hardship the secret probe imposed on its targets and on political debate in Wisconsin. For the past few days, Ive been talking to the targets of the task force of Milwaukee Democratic prosecutors, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz. Their experiences, on the record here for the first time, reveal the nasty...
  • Eric OKeefe: GAB rewrites abusive history with myths (WI)

    07/22/2015 10:40:13 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 4 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 7-22-15 | Eric O'Keefe
    In an attempt to limit the damage to its viability, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) has issued two press releases since the state Supreme Court ruled last Thursday to terminate the agencys secret investigation of conservatives. The releases contain a single truthful sentence: The Legislature expected and intended the Government Accountability Board to operate in a professional, unbiased, and nonpartisan manner. The rest is myth-making. Myth 1: GAB was a bystander in the John Doe investigation and ensuing litigation, and merely filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court.The truth is GAB Director Kevin Kennedy and the GAB began...
  • Midnight raids, secret subpoenas: IRS' Lerner close friends with leader who targeted Scott Walker

    07/13/2015 8:16:37 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 14 replies
    The Washington Examiner ^ | 7-11-15 | Barbara Boland
    The official behind the IRS' conservative nonprofit targeting scandal, Lois Lerner, was friends with the Wisconsin regulator who targeted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's conservative aides and allies. Lerner and Kevin Kennedy, director of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, were friends for 20 years and traded emails on campaign finance, politics, and personal matters between 2011 and 2013, emails obtained by the Wall Street Journal reveal. That was the same time frame the IRS increased its harassment of conservative groups and Wisconsin prosecutors conducted a secret John Doe probe of Walker's allies, raising the troubling question of whether they coordinated their...
  • Vos: Time to double down on GAB reform in wake of reported IRS links (WI)

    07/10/2015 11:28:19 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    Wisconsin Watchdog ^ | 7-10-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. The reaction from Republican lawmakers was outrage and the response was swift Friday following the Wall Street Journals bombshell revelations that the director of the states political speech regulator and the head of the IRS division accused of targeting conservative groups may have shared information about Wisconsins political John Doe investigation. Republican leadership called on the Legislature to double down on finalizing reforms to the states Government Accountability Board, the agency that oversees, election, campaign finance and ethics laws. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Rep. Dean Knudson, R-Hudson, called for a reform bill to be ready...
  • Surprise, Surprise: Lois Lerner Had Friends in Wisconsin

    07/10/2015 3:42:28 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 18 replies
    National Review ^ | 7-10-15 | David French
    It turns out that the vast left-wing conspiracy isnt all that vast. From the Wall Street Journal: Wisconsins campaign to investigate conservative tax-exempt groups has always seemed like an echo of the IRSs scrutiny of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. It turns out that may be more than a coincidence. Former IRS tax-exempt director Lois Lerner ran the agencys policy on conservative groups. Kevin Kennedy runs the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) that helped prosecutors with their secret John Doe investigation of conservative groups after the 2011 and 2012 recall elections of Governor Scott Walker and state senators. Emails...
  • Key State Lawmakers renew call to overhaul elections board (WI)

    07/10/2015 2:44:40 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 3 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 7-10-15 | Patrick Marley
    Madison Key Assembly Republicans renewed their call Friday for overhauling the state's elections and ethics board after The Wall Street Journal reported the agency had been in touch with the Internal Revenue Service as it investigated conservative groups. "Nothing should be more important than free speech and it's outrageous that there's a coordinated effort to undermine this basic constitutional right," said a joint statement issued by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson). "Now that the state budget is complete, it's time to double down on finalizing the necessary reforms for the (Government Accountability Board) so the...
  • Democrats sue state election officials over 2011 redistricting

    07/08/2015 11:28:46 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 16 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 7-8-15 | Patrick Marley & Meg Jones
    A group of Democrats sued state election officials Wednesday over election maps Republicans drew in 2011 that helped give them a firm grip on the Legislature. The lawsuit comes two years after a panel of three federal judges in separate litigation redrew two Assembly districts and blasted GOP lawmakers for drawing the maps in secret. That panel found the two districts on Milwaukee's south side violated the voting rights of Latinos, but it upheld all the other legislative maps, allowing Republicans to keep their advantage in elections. The new lawsuit seeks to change that by arguing the maps are so...
  • Will discovery reveal more bombshell information about rogue GAB?

    05/10/2015 8:02:29 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 14 replies
    The Wisconsin Reporter ^ | 5-7-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. The state Supreme Court is weighing several key questions related to Wisconsins political John Doe investigation, including whether the stalled probe will be allowed to resume. But testimony is now being taken in another John Doe-related lawsuit that could further shine light on the abuses perpetrated by the prosecutors and their partners at the state Government Accountability Board. In December, following the release of bombshell documents that exposed the GAB as a rogue agency fixated on its parallel probe into Wisconsin conservatives and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker, the attorney for plaintiffs in the lawsuit against...
  • Elections chief: State needs to revise laws on campaign giving

    03/24/2015 10:40:18 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 10 replies
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 3-24-15 | Jason Stein
    Madison The state must revise its laws governing political spending especially that done by independent groups in light of recent free speech decisions by federal courts, the head of Wisconsin's elections agency told lawmakers Tuesday. Spurred by federal judges, outside groups and their own preference for less regulation, GOP lawmakers are considering changes to the state's complex campaign laws that would likely make it easier for independent groups to spend money to influence Wisconsin politics. Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the state Government Accountability Board, told a joint elections committee of legislators that decisions in federal appellate...
  • John Doe target says they are the victim of identity theft

    03/18/2015 4:23:46 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    Watchdog.org Wisconsnin Reporter ^ | 3-17-15 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. Could it be a case of John Doe collateral damage? At least one target of Wisconsins politically charged John Doe investigation whose home was raided and whose personal information was seized tells Wisconsin Reporter theyre a victim of identity theft. The individual spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe comes with a strict gag order. Targets who speak publicly about the John Doe could go to jail. Wisconsin Reporter obtained a copy of an Internal Revenue Service letter alerting the subject to the identify theft problem. The letter, titled, Identity Verification Service, advises that...
  • Rogue agency defied judges to carry out partisan probe of Wisconsin conservatives

    12/19/2014 6:21:29 PM PST · by tcrlaf · 17 replies
    Wisconsin Reporter ^ | 12-19-2014 | M.D. Kittle
    Agents for the embattled state Government Accountability Board continued a zealous campaign finance investigation into dozens of conservative groups even after judges who preside over the board voted to shut it down, according to a previously sealed brief made public Friday. The documents, from an updated complaint filed by conservative plaintiffs in a case against the GAB, appear to support claims that the campaign finance, ethics and election law regulator is a rogue agency. They also show that the GAB considered using the states John Doe law to investigate key state conservatives and even national figures, including Fox News Sean...
  • Anti-Walker forces in Wisconsin may have broken the law and altered documents in cover-up

    12/10/2014 1:49:35 PM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 23 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | December 10, 2014 | Thomas Lifson
    A major scandal involving a Democrat witch-hunt aimed at crippling the campaign of Governor Scott Walker may be breaking in Wisconsin. Laws may have been broken by prosecutors seeking to discredit Walker, and it appears that documents may have been altered to hide evidence of misconduct. It is too early to know with certainty, but this drama is playing out with zero mainstream media attention, but has the potential to generate headlines. Some background: Readers may recall the outrageous political prosecution attempted by Democrats in Wisconsin, using that states so-called John Doe prosecution system under the Badger States Government Accountability...
  • Vos: There will be reforms to John Doe, GAB (WI)

    11/08/2014 10:34:08 AM PST · by afraidfortherepublic · 14 replies
    The Wisconsin Reporter ^ | 11-7-14 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. Changes are coming to Wisconsins John Doe law and what many conservatives see as the partisan regulatory agency that spurred secret investigations into dozens of conservative groups, according to Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos. Yes, we are going to make those changes period, the Rochester Republican said Wednesday during a celebratory press conference with reporters a day after huge GOP wins in Wisconsin, and nationally. Vos, addressing the press with state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, who co-chairs the Legislatures powerful budget-writing committee, touched on some of the majority partys priorities in the next session, including programs...
  • Election observers face more restrictions this year (WI)

    10/20/2014 7:24:34 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 10 replies
    The Wisconsin Reporter ^ | 10-20-14 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. The same election commission that banned a 78-year-old poll monitor from observing next months election is pushing a policy that would keep election observers farther away from voters. In a letter obtained by Wisconsin Reporter, the City of Milwaukee Election Commission receives guidance from the city attorney on how to comply with a provision in a new state law involving election observers. Wisconsin Act 177, which into effect in April, allows the chief election inspector or municipal clerk to restrict the viewing area of poll observers to an area not less than three feet nor more than...
  • Milwaukee election chief bans 78-year-old grandmother from observing at polls

    10/18/2014 6:59:57 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 23 replies
    Wisconsin Election Watch ^ | 10-16-14 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. Leave it to the Dem-heavy City of Milwaukee Election Commission to ban a 78-year-old poll observer for doing her job, a draconian punishment one election official described as nothing short of partisan intimidation in the remaining days before Wisconsins tightly contested gubernatorial election. Now, the commissions executive director has turned in Marguerite Ingold to the Milwaukee County District Attorneys office, the same agency that has spent the past four years drag-netting conservatives in secret, politically charged John Doe investigations. The reason, according to Ingold: The election director believed this Muskego great-grandmother could have become violent and stormed...
  • Speaker Vos: Its time for Kevin Kennedy to go as GAB Director (WI)

    10/09/2014 10:18:07 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 3 replies
    Wisconsin Election Watch ^ | 10-9-14 | Kyle Maichle
    MADISON During a luncheon yesterday in Madison, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester, 53rd District) said that Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy should go. Speaker Vos made the comment during a lunch-time speaking engagement with Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha, 64th District). The comments made by the Assembly Speaker came after he responded to a question from Jeff Mayers of WisPolitics.com regarding campaign finance laws. Vos said that the GAB will not exist in its current format two years from now. I promise you that two years from now the GAB will not be in the current format....
  • The Day John Doe Rushed Through the Door

    10/03/2014 8:58:17 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 8 replies
    The Wisconsin Reporter ^ | 10-3-14 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. One year ago, about an hour before dawn, police surrounded the homes of several Wisconsin conservatives and then hit them with floodlights. Police didnt draw their guns. They didnt have to. Garish light blinded the groggy targets of the secret probe, startling neighbors. The uniforms, the lights, the early hour got everybodys attention. One of the targets says police threatened to use battering rams to break down the front door, but the targets let them in. Armed with warrants approved at the request of prosecutors, investigators searched the homes for evidence of a political crime. The fact...
  • Target of secret John Doe probe is fighting back and speaking out (WI)

    10/02/2014 8:50:58 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 11 replies
    The Wisconsin Reporter ^ | 10-2-14 | M. D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. On the eve of the one-year anniversary of sweeping raids in Wisconsins politically charged John Doe investigation into conservative activists, Eric OKeefe, one of the targets of that probe, is going public in a big way. Speaking at length for the first time OKeefe, a director of the conservative Wisconsin Club for Growth, tells Wisconsin Reporter he was shocked by the prosecutors tactics: predawn, paramilitary-style raids on the homes of conservatives, and the confiscation of their papers and electronic equipment. We ran a meticulous political operation; not only did we comply with Wisconsins laws we were...
  • Waukesha County judge tosses out GOP lawsuit seeking ballot changes

    09/24/2014 9:00:50 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 15 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 9-24-14 | Patrick Marley
    A Waukesha County judge tossed out a lawsuit Wednesday attempting to force changes to the Nov. 4 ballot. Waukesha County Circuit Judge James Kieffer dismissed the case after 25 minutes of arguments because those who brought the suit had not followed a procedure requiring them to first file a complaint with state election officials. The case was brought last week by the campaign committees of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). In another blow to the lawsuit, Kieffer also ruled that only electors could bring such a challenge, not the political committees of candidates....
  • Wisconsin Elections Board urges voters to not use older registration forms

    07/03/2014 10:09:38 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 9 replies
    Wisconsin Election Watch ^ | By Kyle Maichle
    MADISON The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB) is urging voters to not use old voter registration forms in a press statement issued by the states elections authority on Tuesday. The reason for the advisory is because Governor Scott Walker signed into law new legislation that would require the proof of residency of a voter to be disclosed on the official form used for voter registration. Kevin Kennedy, the Director of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, said: State law changed on April 4, and most voters who register must now provide proof of residence. The G.A.B. has revised the form...