Documents raise questions about John Doe judge’s review of warrant

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog


EMPTY ROBE? State pay records suggest John Doe Judge Neal Nettesheim did not work on the John Doe case the day he purportedly reviewed and signed an affidavit for a sweeping warrant.

MILWAUKEE – The judge who presided over the politically charged first installment of Wisconsin’s infamous John Doe probes is dismissing allegations that he did not review the application for the warrant used in the armed, sunrise raid on Cindy Archer’s home.

But court documents obtained by Wisconsin Watchdog suggest, as Archer’s attorneys alleged in federal court Wednesday, Judge Neal Nettesheim was working on another case in another judicial district on the day he purportedly reviewed the extensive affidavit and accompanying documents and signed off on the warrant.

Copies of state pay records for Sept. 13, 2011, the day before agents with guns and a battering ram raided Archer’s Madison home, show Nettesheim did not travel to Milwaukee as he so often did for John Doe-related business. Instead he noted that he worked a half day as a court of appeals reserve judge in the 2nd Judicial District. Continue Reading

Judge Lynn Adelman on John Doe records custody: ‘I don’t care about the law’

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog


UNIQUE JUSTICE: U.S. District Court Lynn Adelman is faced with some ‘unique’ challenges in a federal lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors and investigators.

MILWAUKEE — The presiding judge in a politically charged John Doe investigation didn’t even bother to review a warrant used in the September 2011 early morning armed raid on the home of a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker, according to bombshell allegations revealed Wednesday in federal court.

Attorneys for Cindy Archer, who is suing Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and his assistants on charges of violating her constitutional rights, said pay records reveal former John Doe Judge Neal Nettesheim “did not review the materials before him.” Continue Reading

WSJ Highlights: The Case for a Really Open GOP Convention

The man who defeated Wisconsin prosecutors now says party delegates have the right to choose any nominee they want, and they should use it.


“The delegates have been going to conventions for years and treating them like Super Bowl parties because there was nothing else to do,” he says. “But this year they have the opportunity to practice a great national tradition, to exercise their legal, historical right to defeat a man who opposes most of what they believe in, and instead nominate a candidate who represents them.”

Continue Reading

Attorney to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter: ‘Your article is ridiculous’

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog


LEGAL OBJECTION: Andrew Grossman, attorney for John Doe target Cindy Archer in a civil rights lawsuit against Milwaukee County prosecutors, called out a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tuesday for a story involving the litigation.

MADISON, Wis. – Andrew Grossman has just told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel political reporter Patrick Marley what he must hear on a fairly frequent basis:

“Your article is ridiculous.”

Grossman is an attorney at the law firm representing Cindy Archer, a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker, in her civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors. He sent Marley a scathing letter criticizing the reporter’s faulty legal assumptions in a story published Tuesday afternoon in the Journal Sentinel. Continue Reading

Oral arguments set in John Doe civil rights lawsuit

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog


HER STORY: Oral arguments in Cindy Archer’s civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors are scheduled for Wednesday morning in federal court. Key to the testimony will be the early morning, armed raid at Archer’s Madison home in 2011.

MILWAUKEE – She begged police not to shoot her dogs as a swarm of law enforcement agents raided her Madison home just after sunrise.

Now Cindy Archer – through her attorneys – will tell a judge why Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and the Democrat’s assistants should pay the price for violating her civil rights.

Oral arguments in Cynthia Archer v. John Chisholm et al. begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday before U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman (courtroom 390) in Milwaukee. Continue Reading

Important court days coming soon to John Doe Land

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog


MORE FROM JOHN DOE LAND: Some key document releases and court dates involving Wisconsin’s unconstitutional John Doe investigation are scheduled over the next month.

MADISON, Wis. – As the presidential campaign stampedes through the Badger State, lost in the din are some key court dates in John Doe Land.

Things have been mostly quiet on multiple fronts in litigation and challenges regarding Wisconsin’s infamous and unconstitutional John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups and the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker.

But the coming days will open up a new round of revelations, including new documents released in a state lawsuit, oral arguments in the federal Cindy Archer civil rights case, and deadlines before the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue Reading

Bruce Murphy: When journalists (don’t) attack

By Will Swaim | Wisconsin Watchdog


STRING THEORY: When the tables were turned on Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm, Wisconsin progressives like blogger Bruce Murphy discovered they actually like cops.

Milwaukee blogger Bruce Murphy’s recent piece in The Progressive magazine is a classic of an emerging genre: journalists who advocate limits on speech. In “Dark Money’s Front Man,” Murphy defends rogue Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s years-long investigation into supporters of Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Continue Reading

Will Senate take up Assembly amendment watering down John Doe reforms?

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog


JOHN DOE AMENDMENT: A measure that would diminish one of the provisions in Wisconsin’s new John Doe reform law was quietly passed in the Assembly last month. The Senate could take up the amendment next week.

MADISON, Wis. – In the din of debate over a flood of legislation on its way out, the Assembly last month quietly passed an amendment that would water down Wisconsin’s John Doe law reforms.

And they passed it on a voice vote.

Assembly Amendment 1 was attached to Senate Bill 406, a proposal regarding court appearances for traffic violations.

The amendment, sources tell Wisconsin Watchdog, was pushed by Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack who reportedly raised concerns about the legality of having Wisconsin’s 10 chief judges decide whether a John Doe probe should be extended. Continue Reading

Vos names commissioners, end of GAB inches closer

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog

APPOINTMENT WITH DESTINY: Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, on Friday announced his appointments to the state elections and ethics committees. The partisan commissions will replace the embattled ‘nonpartisan’ state Government Accountability Board on July 1.

MADISON, Wis. – The politically appointed seats are filling up on Wisconsin’s newly created ethics and elections commissions, signaling the death knell for the state Government Accountability Board.

On Friday, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, made his appointments to the commissions, naming former state Republican state Rep. Pat Strachota of West Bend to the six-member ethics panel and Janesville entrepreneur Steve King to the six-member Elections Commission.

Strachota served in the Legislature from 2005 to 2015, becoming the first female Assembly majority leader. She also served on the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance. Continue Reading

First John Doe documents released from lawsuit show GAB’s partisan motives

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Watchdog


‘ARE YOU SERIOUS?’: So asked former GAB attorney Shane Falk upon learning the judge in “John Doe II” quashed subpoenas effectively shutting down the investigation.

MADISON, Wis. – Now the state Government Accountability Board’s conduct in Wisconsin’s political “John Doe II” investigation will be up for public review.

Waukesha County Judge Lee Dreyfus Jr. has issued an order unsealing “the vast majority of the parties’ filings” in a taxpayer lawsuit brought against the GAB by conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Continue Reading