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Your Views: Media commit malpractice in coverage of Doe documents

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July 1, 2014

The media’s coverage of newly released John Doe documents is journalistic malpractice. The discredited, rejected, losing side of the Democratic district attorney’s argument becomes the headline and lead story. The Walker-hating Milwaukee Journal Sentinel started it with a misleading story. National reporters ran with the “Walker is at the center of a ‘criminal’ election fraud scandal.” Walker haters everywhere piled on.

The media hide the fact that the judge presiding over the investigation found “no probable cause of any violations of the campaign finance laws.” State and federal judges have rejected the central tenet of the prosecution theory. But that doesn’t stop the dishonest Burke campaign commercials.

Walker did nothing wrong. State and federal judges have issued rulings that blow up the prosecution’s theory. But that doesn’t stop Burke and Democrats from using the discredited theory as the basis for their dishonesty and distortions.

Judge Gregory Peterson said there was no probable cause to believe that a crime had been committed. He quashed the search warrants and subpoenas. Judge Rudolph Randa halted the investigation. The Seventh Circuit Court said issue advocacy cannot be subject to campaign finance law.

Independent groups are, and should be, free to spend money to communicate about issues at election time. The First Amendment protects the ability of people to pool their resources and speak during elections. The prosecutors were worried that elections would turn into a free-for-all. Only conservatives were targeted. Apparently the free-for-all on the Left is acceptable.

MIKE OBERSHAW

Janesville



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