Scott Walker Signs Legislation That Could Protect Him from 'John Doe' Investigations

Craig’s legislation would only allow the use of John Doe investigations to investigate serious felonies and crimes that are savagely violent.

Even in those cases, secrecy orders, while they could apply to judges and prosecutors, could not be applied to witnesses or those targeted by the investigation.

Milwaukee County Prosecutor E. Michael McCann defended John Doe investigations and his office’s use of them in an op-ed published by the Journal Sentinel.

For over 165 years, the John Doe statute has served our state well and has been particularly effective in recent decades in bringing to justice legislators and other public officials who have committed crimes in public office,” McCann wrote.

“Senate Bill 43/Assembly Bill 68 would leave the John Doe law in effect for many serious felonies, but would exempt from the reach of the law those very crimes that are often committed by legislators, others holding public office and the wealthy special interests unlawfully attempting to influence elected officials,” he added.

During a Milwaukee radio talk show interview, Craig vehemently denied the allegation his legislation was intended to protect politicians from criminal investigations.

Rep. Gary Hebl (D) has been an outspoken opponent of Assembly Bill 68, along with other GOP-sponsored legislation that would reorganize the Government Accountability Board and double campaign donation limits for candidates for state offices.

“Taken independently, these proposals seem like bad governance,” Hebl said. “But considered together, we see a clear pattern of corruption and an attempt to make it easier to cover up corruption, fraud, and abuse.”

“I don’t know how Republican supporters of this corruption package can look themselves in the mirror and honestly say they are honoring their oath with these votes – votes only meant to help the majority party stay in the majority,” Hebl said. “Republican members of the Assembly sent a loud and clear message this week: ‘Wisconsin is Open for Corruption.’”

GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hardly wanted to validate Hebl’s opinion with a response. But Vos did issue a statement in which he said the legislation at question was all "about protecting free speech.”

"Democrats are stuck in hyperbole overdrive," his statement said. "They're misleading the public and refusing to accept federal law set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on political speech."