Shortly after posting “What happened in Wisconsin, cont’d” yesterday morning, we received the message below from Wisconsin state Senator Tom Tiffany. Senator Tiffany’s message updates and comments on the story so far. I am grateful for Senator Tiffany’s comments and thought they might be of interest to readers following this important story. Senator Tiffany writes:
Thank you for your continued interest in the John Doe situation in Wisconsin. You ask an important question at the end of your most recent post: “[W]e should probably ask if anyone is paying attention.”
I authored the John Doe reforms in the state senate last session (2015/16) and Senator Leah Vukmir, whom you cited in your post, authored the dismantling of the Government Accountability Board into two separate oversight bodies, the Ethics Commission and the Elections Commission. We believed reforming the GAB and the John Doe laws were a priority at the time so they could no longer be used as vehicles for the gross violations of the civil rights of Wisconsinites who participate in the political process.
I believe then and now it was a good first step. However, there is no doubt justice has not been served for those like Eric O’Keefe who had their homes raided simply for participating in the political arena in Wisconsin.
On Friday Majority Leader Senator Fitzgerald and Speaker Robin Vos issued a call for the respective heads of the Ethics and Elections Commissions to step down, citing “past errors in judgment.” The commission chairmen both were employed by the GAB in leadership positions during the John Doe troubles.
The Majority Leader and Speaker are correct in calling for their resignations. If the Elections and Ethics Administrators do not step down, I am hopeful the Senate will vote on their appointments in January–they are currently serving without having received Senate confirmation. Some of us–I hope a majority–are prepared to vote the nominations down.
Recently I called for the Department of Justice and the Wisconsin Supreme Court to fulfill their constitutional obligation to the John Doe targets like Mr. O’Keefe. With the missing hard-drive in the GAB’s care and the leaking of John Doe documents to The Guardian newspaper in the UK it seems clear the Supreme Court has been treated with contempt.
The WisDoJ has done a great service exposing more details of the John Doe witch hunt with the recently completed report. But some of us believe DoJ has the authority to do more to bring justice to those harmed by Wisconsin’s sordid John Doe investigations.
One tidbit your non-Wisconsin readers may find interesting: the administrator of the now-defunct GAB was Kevin Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy acknowledged a few years ago he was a confidant of the IRS’s Lois Lerner. They communicated frequently. Having a front row seat viewing the Troubles in Wisconsin the past seven years, I have seen the eerie the parallels between the John Doe and the Mueller investigation in D.C.
You are correct, Scott, to ask the question if anyone is paying attention. The John Doe prosecutors and the leadership of the GAB have not been held fully accountable and quite honestly may never be to the extent warranted. However, the wheels of justice continue to turn. I believe the Wisconsin state senate is prepared to fulfill its constitutional obligation of advice and consent for the Ethics and Elections administrators.
You are welcome to share the above with your readers. Thank you for the service provided by Power Line.