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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: We Wish This Free Speech Was A Crime

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Posted at RightWisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board has outdone itself.

In an editorial defending a John Doe investigation into the alleged coordination between Governor Walker’s campaign and groups like the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the paper’s case for why the investigation should continue is perfectly aligned with that of the prosecutors and the Government Accountability Board: The alleged activity can be illegal because it should be illegal. 
According to the paper:
Coordination of campaign spending between candidates and outside groups can be illegal for a reason: With so much money sloshing around from outside groups, it is much harder, if not impossible, for voters to know how "independent" groups are helping candidates and campaigns. The public should know which political groups are directly involved in campaigns so it has a better idea of which political groupsmay be getting favors from elected officials that those groups helped get elected.
As a constitutional justification for secretly amassing private phone, email and bank records and raiding people’s homes, confiscating the private property of entire families, it’s hardly persuasive. But the editorial is completely negligent in addressing what Judge Gregory Peterson and Judge Randa both concluded:  Wisconsin statutes do not prohibit coordination of issue advocacy contributions or expenditures. In fact, the statutes do not authorize state regulation of these groups at all.


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