Personal Animus Drove Democrats’ Lawfare Against Scott Walker [Updated]

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat, has subjected Governor Scott Walker and nearly every conservative group in Wisconsin to a four-year campaign of harassment in the form of a “John Doe” investigation that has now been branded as illegal and enjoined by a federal judge. That case is on appeal; in the meantime, explosive new information has surfaced about Chisholm’s motivation to harass Walker and Wisconsin Republicans:

[A] longtime Chisholm subordinate reveals for the first time in this article that the district attorney may have had personal motivations for his investigation. Chisholm told him and others that Chisholm’s wife, Colleen, a teacher’s union shop steward at St. Francis high school, a public school near Milwaukee, had been repeatedly moved to tears by Walker’s anti-union policies in 2011, according to the former staff prosecutor in Chisholm’s office. Chisholm said in the presence of the former prosecutor that his wife “frequently cried when discussing the topic of the union disbanding and the effect it would have on the people involved … She took it personally.”

Citing fear of retaliation, the former prosecutor declined to be identified and has not previously talked to reporters.

Chisholm added, according to that prosecutor, that “he felt that it was his personal duty to stop Walker from treating people like this.”

Chisholm was referring to Gov. Walker’s proposal – passed by the legislature in March 2011 – to require public employee unions to contribute to their retirement and health-care plans for the first time and to limit unions’ ability to bargain for non-wage benefits.

Chisholm said his wife had joined teachers union demonstrations against Walker, said the former prosecutor. …

Still, Chisholm’s private displays of partisan animus stunned the former prosecutor. “I admired him [Chisholm] greatly up until this whole thing started,” the former prosecutor said. “But once this whole matter came up, it was surprising how almost hyper-partisan he became. It was amazing…to see this complete change.”

The culture in the Milwaukee district attorney’s office was stoutly Democratic, the former prosecutor said, and become more so during Gov. Walker’s battle with the unions. Chisholm “had almost like an anti-Walker cabal of people in his office who were just fanatical about union activities and unionizing. And a lot of them went up and protested. They hung those blue fists on their office walls [to show solidarity with union protestors]. At the same time, if you had some opposing viewpoints that you wished to express, it was absolutely not allowed.”

The Democratic Party has gone around the bend. There is no cure, except for the Democrats to be utterly repudiated at the polls.

UPDATE: Bill Otis, a former federal prosecutor, has additional thoughts about how the forces of good can strike back against the Empire:

In addition to turning the Dems out of office, I have two other suggestions as to what might be done about the Milwaukee DA’s “John Doe” investigation. First, the state attorney general, a Republican, should undertake an investigation of the DA (and his wife) using exactly this same John Doe procedure. While I personally disapprove of inquisitions, I think unilateral disarmament is even worse. If this is how the Dems want to play, OK, let’s play.

This suggestion comes from my experience that the most effective way to deal with a big, menacing bureaucracy is by using an even bigger and more menacing one.

The second thing to do is file an ethics complain with the state bar. The principal count would be that the DA effectively outsourced his office to his wife, who for these purposes is a just another private party.

State bars tend to be dominated by trial lawyers (i.e., Dems), so the complaint would probably go nowhere, but it would be a useful weapon anyway. First, it might possibly get some traction, because state bars are also dominated by the criminal defense bar, and the chance to take a crack at a prosecutor might be too tempting to pass up. Second, merely forcing the DA, and by extension his allies, to play defense might have the same chilling effect he has created for our side.

Again, this is not the way I think prosecutors should behave, and (for example) Eric Holder’s politicization of DOJ is the single worst thing he’s done there, over and above his perverse substantive positions. But, as I say, if this is the game the Dems want to play, and are currently playing, the answer is to play it harder and smarter than they do.

In other words, punch back twice as hard. As some Democrat once said, I forget who.


Books to read from Power Line