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John Doe agent’s phony sense of injustice

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — Eight years ago this month, law enforcement officers burst into the homes of conservatives at the break of dawn in what has been aptly described as Wisconsin’s shame.

Targets of the unconstitutional John Doe investigation were forced to watch as investigators rooted through their homes, even their children’s possessions. In one raid, a 16-year-old boy, home alone at the time, was told he couldn’t call his parents while deputies searched the property.

Michael Haas played a key role in the politically motivated probe as Elections Division administrator at the old Government Accountability Board, a regulator so corrupt it was disbanded.

Haas, who these days serves as the city of Madison’s attorney, now has the audacity to complain about how unjust it is that public elections officials are being ordered to turn over public records related to the 2020 presidential election.

Former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman in leading a probe into the election has issued subpoenas seeking records from Green Bay and Milwaukee and other so-called “WI-5” cities where left-wing nonprofit groups funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg infiltrated election administration. 

Haas complained about the volume of records sought, asserting that Gableman didn’t need a subpoena.

“All of the stuff that they could’ve asked for without a subpoena is what they’re asking for now,” the city attorney told Wispolitics.

How ironic.

Haas didn’t seem to mind when his fellow secret agents used warrants and subpoenas in seizing possessions from conservatives’ homes and offices during the October 2013 raids. Prosecutors and state speech cops had already surreptitiously and illegally seized millions of records under the phony pretext of campaign finance law violations. But they needed to cover their corruption. Emails show John Doe investigators knew they had legal problems in how they captured and kept the electronic files, so they had to take another shot at the records through coordinated raids.

Of course, they enjoyed the added benefit of extremely public raids that served to cast suspicion on the people they were trying to hurt.

The state Supreme Court found the secret political probe to be “a perfect storm of wrongs” against innocent citizens whose First Amendment rights were trampled during the multi-year John Doe investigation. The targets were gagged under a secrecy order. They faced prison time and costly fines if they spoke publicly about the investigation, even as their names were being dragged through the mud by prosecutor-friendly mainstream media news outlets. And they were forced to pay millions of dollars in legal fees to defend themselves against a taxpayer-funded investigation.

Eight years later, some of these private citizens have yet to get back the property stolen from them by abusive public agents.

But Michael Haas is peeved that public officials who have already defied open records laws have to turn over records that will show voters how the presidential election was administered.

He should just be glad that someone like him and his constitution-stomping John Doe friends aren’t in charge of the election investigation.

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