On Monday, Eric O'Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments by prosecutors and investigators in the current John Doe investigation.
The suit names as defendant Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz, Milwaukee Co. District Attorney John Chisholm, Milwaukee Co. Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, Milwaukee Co. Assistant District Attorney David Robles, GAB investigator Dean Nickel, and John Doe Judge Gregory Peterson.
Despite significant redaction, here is what we can glean from the document. The new lawsuit alleges bias, selective prosecution, prosecutorial misconduct, political targeting, and violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
Central to O'Keefe and Wisconsin Club for Growth's argument is that the John Doe probe is a politically motivated and selective prosecution. The suit lists numerous instances in which liberal or progressive groups and candidates engaged in coordination without investigation or prosecution by those leading the John Doe proceedings.
- January 2010 - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's campaign spokesman Jeff Fleming receives a contract to do public relations for the Mayor's office, private business work, and campaign work for Barrett.Correspondence regarding campaign activities were sent to both Fleming's city account and his personal account.
- Spring 2010 - Milwaukee DA declined to prosecute liberal blogger Christopher Liebenthalafter he was caught engaging in "excessive political blogging" on his taxpayer-funded computer.
- September 2010 - Wisconsin Republican Party files complaint after SEIU employee John-David Morgan boasted that unions and Democratic candidates were coordinating a plan to attack Scott Walker over an incident involving an accident at a Milwaukee County parking structure.
-November 2011 - The Committee to Recall Scott Walker brought unions, liberal groups, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, and even the Barack Obama campaign together for regular meetings to plot recall strategy.
-March 2012 - Democratic candidate for Governor Kathleen Falk appears in ads with voiceover for a third party union-funded group Wisconsin for Falk.
- May 2012 - Michael Dean on behalf of Anthony Ostry filed a GAB complaint against the AFL-CIO over an advertisement constituting express advocacy that was only legal if sent to members only. Anthony Ostry was not a member of the AFL-CIO.
- September 2012 - AFL-CIO claimed an expenditure of $69,500 to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) for "political activities and lobbying." GAB records show that CMD was not a registered lobbyist during the relevant period.
-November 2012 - The Federal Election Commission (FEC) find the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin and eleven board members for knowingly and willfully violating campaign laws. Wisconsin officials declined to investigate the committee that gave to state and local Democratic candidates.
"Defendants, acting under color of state law, have singled out Plaintiffs as targets for investigation... while others in similarly situated were not targeted." Attorneys for O'Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth said. "This conduct has deprived and continues to deprive Plaintiffs of their rights under the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, causing them irreparable harm."
Editor's note -- Full disclosure: Wisconsin Club for Growth is an advertiser on RightWisconsin.