Walker and his supporters thought that they struck gold when they got Federal Judge Rudolph Randa to overstep his authority and ignore the law by putting a stop to the investigation and threatening the prosecutors because they dared to enforce the law. Even more egregiously, he tried to order the prosecutors to destroy all the evidence that they have gathered thus far.
Randa, who has a long history of being a loose cannon on the bench, was quickly smacked down by the federal appellate court for that last bit.
On Wednesday, the appellate judges came back to send Randa reeling again by overruling him completely, for a multitude of reasons. Not only did the judge box Randa's ears, but laid waste to the whole argument that had been repeated ad nauseum by Walker and his allies:
The ruling written by Judge Frank Easterbrook also poked holes in the plaintiffs’ argument that coordination between political campaigns and ostensibly independent groups was legally protected so long as those efforts did not expressly advocate for or against the election of any candidate. The court found that Randa’s decision “broke new ground” — but not in a good way.Even as damning as that sounds, keep in mind that these jurists have had access to information that has not yet been made available for public consumption. They have a much better understanding of just how deep the rot has gone and they are indicating that the corruption has sunk deep into Walker's clandestine affairs.
“Until the district court’s opinion in this case, neither a state nor a federal court had held that Wisconsin’s (or any other state’s) regulation of coordinated fund-raising and issue advocacy violates the First Amendment,” Easterbrook wrote. “The (U.S.) Supreme Court has stated repeatedly that although the First Amendment protects truly independent expenditures for political speech, the government is entitled to regulate coordination between candidates’ campaigns and purportedly independent groups.”
The judges also rejected the arguments by O’Keefe and Club for Growth that the prosecution, including John Doe prosecutor Francis Schmitz and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, should be held personally liable for allegedly violating their civil rights. “Public officials can be held liable for violating clearly established law,” the judge wrote, “but not for choosing sides on a debatable issue.”
And is it me or does this seem like they are opening the door for John Doe's big brother, RICO?
While this is unquestionably good news, I hope that further action is taken by the proper authorities. Randa has proven himself to be less than pristine himself:
...Also keep in mind that Randa is looking to be as corrupt as the rest of them, having heard the case even though the wife of Scott Walker's attorney works for him, or that Randa's wife is a big time donor to Scott Walker or that Randa himself has gone on junkets paid for by the same people that pay O'Keefe and these other front groups.Randa needs to be investigated for his own corruption and persecuted to the full extent of the laws that he has flouted for years.
That's not entirely true. The judge put an injunction on some of the subpoenas, but not on the investigation per se. And that ruling is going through the appeal process. Undoubtedly, the case will eventually end up before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a body in which four of the justices make Randa look like a piker.
But there is something about Walker's statement regarding this fact that really makes me wonder:
Walker said in Milwaukee that the John Doe is halted for now and will likely come before the state Supreme Court.Having dealt with Walker and his lies for more than decade just might have made me extraordinarily cynical, but when Walker is trying that hard to convince people, it usually means that there is something afoot. I'm not going to say that the state judge is corrupt because I have no proof of that. It might be that Walker is just trying to distance himself as far as he can from Randa, knowing that that level or corruption and just plain goofiness is going to have blow back on him.
"It's still something that a respected judge in the state of Wisconsin at the state level who has no political ties to me or anyone I'm affiliated with said should not go forward," Walker said at an event at the War Memorial Center.
Either way you read it, it is a sure tell that Walker is in deep trouble and he knows it.