With Scott Walker returned to office, and its mission accomplished on that front, Milwaukee talk radio is amping up the attack on the John Doe investigation, alleging that it is partisan (because the incumbent DA John Chisholm is a Democrat) and because it is possible that Gov. Walker could be named in charging documents, or even charged himself.
No one knows if that will happen, but the talkers are already scorching the earth where the DA must tread- - even though the Doe probe is run by a retired judge from Waukesha who has publicly stated the probe is not a politically-motivated process.
The judge overseeing the John Doe investigation into Gov. Scott Walker's time as Milwaukee County executive defended the conduct of the lengthy probe Wednesday and rejected any suggestion of partisanship.Information about the scope of the probe, which so far has been aimed at the way Walker's 2010 campaign was allegedly run and the way some of his staff and aides allegedly performed partisan work on public time - - but, to date, unless I am wrong - - no information about testimony has filtered out.
"There are people on both sides who want to hijack this and make it something it isn't," said former Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim of Waukesha .
"This has been an orderly and professionally conducted procedure," he said. "I realize the length of it frustrates some people. Once it's run its course, it's run its course."
Nettesheim told the Journal Sentinel that he sees no reason to stop the investigation, which he authorized in 2010 at the request of the Milwaukee County district attorney's office, and has seen no prosecutorial abuses that would merit him stepping iit.
So the mandated confidentiality of the testimony has been preserved: the rest of the Doe is fair game for reporters, and the word on the street is that attorneys representing actual or potential witnesses have served as media sources.
But what the Right is trying to do is infer that the investigation itself is a Walker witch-hunt, when in fact Walker himself has taken credit for kicking off the investigation when money was said to be missing from a veterans' account managed in the Walker office and Walker's staff went to the DA with that finding.
I give Chisholm credit for bringing no charges against anyone as the recall election on June 5th approached, thus doing his part to reduce the probe's profile at a critical point.
I've never met Chisholm, so it's just an impression, but he seems like a fair, professional public lawyer. Can anyone point to a partisan action he's taken or implemented as DA?
In fact, he's charged Democrats, has he not? Johnny Thomas, a county supervisor and probable shoo-in for City Comptroller, most recently comes to mind.
Talker have claimed that left-leaning bloggers were shifting their attention to the probe after the election, but that was a projection: if there is a partisan game being played here, it is on the side of Walker's backers who lave long demonized Chisholm and his investigation to weaken or deter - - they hope - - Chisholm's doing his job.
Quite a stance by the once law-and-order Right, right? And I presume, a failing move, too, because Chisholm will do what he and the facts and the law conclude should be done.
Good for Chisholm being patient. It's a strong prosecutorial attitude - - given the office's powers - - as is his apparent thoroughness with a case and issues that cover broad ground and evidence - - at least according to the documents released with the charges already filed that reference, for starters, the existence of thousands of emails.
Wait and see. I'm content and good with that.