Is John Doe investigating contagious? It’s “spreading” to more and more counties!
I am a referring to a news story penned by Dan Bice that’s been out since 6AM.
Sourcing is thin and thus the story should be taken as speculation. Bice’s article is peppered with “according to sources” and “insiders said”, “a source familiar with the probe”, and “said a source”. Of course many calls the reporter made were not returned (why not??? LOL!).
I’ve pasted it below for your convenience. If you’d like to see some pretty good ideas of just where the investigation might be going, visit
Walker’s Wisconsin – Now playing John Doe Act 2 at the Free Wisconsin blog.
I love that the post features a photo of Lamar Janes holding his suspicious absentee ballot from Americans for Prosperity.
Secret probe spreads to five Wisconsin counties
Possible violations during recall elections among issues
Oct. 21, 2013 6:00 a.m. No Quarter Blog – – Dan Bice
A former top-level assistant U.S. attorney has been appointed a special prosecutor in a burgeoning, secret investigation into a wide variety of state issues, including possible campaign violations during the recent recall elections, multiple sources said.
Francis Schmitz — who spent nearly 30 years as a federal prosecutor and was once a finalist for U.S. attorney in Milwaukee — is leading the widespread John Doe probe, according to sources.
Overseeing the case is Kenosha County Circuit Judge Barbara A. Kluka, who has been used by Milwaukee County judicial officials in past John Doe cases.
Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, whose office initiated the probe, declined to answer questions about the John Doe on Friday. Insiders said the investigation covers several jurisdictions, including Dane County. Police and prosecutors in these other counties have been lending a helping hand.
“It’s now spread to at least five counties,” said a source familiar with the probe, adding that Landgraf has been investigating “all over the place.”
Another source said one reason that these other counties have been roped into the investigation is a new state law that allows elected officials to be tried in their home counties for violations of ethics, lobbying and campaign laws. Ex-Assembly Majority Leader Scott Jensen had his case moved to Waukesha County under a Supreme Court ruling because of the law.
Sources said the investigation is following up on a number of leads turned up by an earlier John Doe probe, which was led by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm into the former and current aides of Gov. Scott Walker during his time as Milwaukee County executive.
Six individuals — including three former Walker aides, an appointee and a major campaign contributor — were convicted of criminal charges as a result of the probe. The first-term Republican governor said he was not a target of the investigation, which ran for nearly three years.
A John Doe probe functions much like a federal grand jury, allowing prosecutors to conduct searches, subpoena records and other material, and take testimony under oath from witnesses — all in secret.
It appears the state-related case opened in February 2012, meaning it was active at the same time as the one focusing on Walker’s county aides.
However, several sources said they became aware of the newer probe only in the past month and that much of the recent activity has taken place in Madison.
Sources familiar with the probe told the Journal Sentinel that it was scrutinizing a wide variety of state-related issues, including the recall races. Sources suggested the probe is looking at a current legislative leader and the governor’s contest.
“This is activity that occurred since the 2010 election,” said a source.
The legislative leader did not return calls on Sunday.
A Walker campaign staffer did not respond to calls or email. An aide to Walker’s opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said he was unaware of the investigation.
“This is the first I’m hearing of it,” said Patrick Curley, Barrett’s chief of staff.
Walker’s signature legislation curbing collective bargaining rights for public employees sparked widespread protests and later triggered more than a dozen recall elections.
In 2011, six Republican senators faced recall races because they voted in favor of Walker’s legislation. Three Democrats were targeted for recalls after they fled the state in an unsuccessful attempt to stop a vote on the bill.
During the first round of recall races, two incumbent Republicans lost in the recall races, while the rest of the officeholders held on to their seats.
A year later, Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch fended off efforts to remove them from office. Republicans won three of the four Senate recall contests in 2012.
In choosing Schmitz, officials may be hoping to avoid the charges of partisanship that were leveled against Chisholm, a Democrat, for his office’s lengthy probe of the Republican governor’s former associates. It does not appear that Schmitz or Kluka signed the recall petitions.
“Fran makes all the sense in the world,” said one veteran Milwaukee attorney.
Schmitz is a highly regarded career prosecutor who was one of three finalists recommended to then-President George W. Bush for the U.S. attorney’s post in 2001.
Bush eventually went with Steve Biskupic, who was then confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Biskupic, who is in private practice, now represents Walker’s campaign.
David Umhoefer and Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.
Contact Daniel Bice at (414) 224-2135 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielBice or on Facebook at fb.me/daniel.bice.
Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/secret-probe-spreads-to-five-wisconsin-counties-b99124190z1-228569231.html#ixzz2iOUbGTms
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