Update on John Doe Case

Updates on John Doe Case

UPDATE 2/2/16: Lawyer for unnamed individuals in the John Doe case seeks to block appeal. Read more from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

UPDATE 1/30/16: Attorney General Brad Schimel asks the federal court not to intervene in the John Doe case, out of respect for the separation of state and federal court authority. Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.

UPDATE 1/28/16: California law firm that successfully argued Caperton vs. Massey Coal to represent DAs in John Doe case at no charge. Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.

UPDATE 1/13/16: The Wisconsin Supreme Court voted to allow three District Attorneys to appeal the John Doe decision. Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.

UPDATE 12/18/15: Ozanne and DAs from Iowa and Milwaukee Counties file motion to intervene in the John Doe case. Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.


LWVDC Calls on DA Ozanne to Appeal Ruling on Campaign Coordination

Letter to the editor published in the Wisconsin State Journal (12/13/15):

The League of Women Voters has worked for decades to combat corruption and undue influence in campaign financing. Our democracy depends on a system of campaign financing that is fair and open to all candidates while maintaining a level of integrity that benefits all citizens.

Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Supreme Court in July ruled that outside issue ad groups may coordinate with candidate campaigns. If this ruling stands, candidates can direct big donors to contribute to an “independent” group, which can accept unlimited amounts of money while keeping donors’ names secret. Then the candidate can tell the group which ads to run in which markets.

Voters will then have no way to know who is behind the often misleading ads that dominate the airways, and money will have even more influence in our elections.

Fortunately, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has an opportunity to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court if he acts within the next week. We hope he becomes involved on behalf of the citizens of Dane County and all Wisconsin residents.

-- Brook Soltvedt and Kathleen Fullin, co-presidents, League of Women Voters, Dane County