Saturday, August 24th, 2019

The real McCarthyites on the GAB


Waukesha Freeman Page A6 Opinion 10/29/15

The real McCarthyites on the GAB

Kennedy needs to answer questions

I’m surprised the remaining defenders of the Government Accountability Board and the John Doe probe into conservative political activity aren’t seen running around naked in public. Clearly they’re immune to embarrassment.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page broke more news about the GAB and the John Doe prosecutors on Saturday. No mere state border could contain the prosecutors’ ambitions to silence conservative free speech.

Using a vast database of emails surreptitiously collected from conservatives by the John Doe prosecutors, they began to target national political figures like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Speaker Newt Gingrich. The probe also gathered data on Congressman Paul Ryan and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

Proving that this was not about political activity but actually about suppressing conservative speech, they also expanded the probe to include media figures like Sean Hannity and Charlie Sykes.

M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Watchdog reported last week that even as prosecutors were gathering all of this information on conservatives in an illegal investigation shut down by the state Supreme Court, there were warnings that the prosecutors were exceeding their authority.

Shane Falk, a partisan Democrat working for the GAB, said in an email that special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, “is really questioning the validity of the case.”

In addition, Falk wrote, “He said he is having a rough time with all the attorneys and is worried about arguing the case to the Judge.” Falk added, “Essentially, he was whining that I was beating him up too much and he is really trying to get up to speed on the law.”

Unfortunately, Schmitz’s attempt to “get up to speed on the law” and overcome his misgivings about the probe came after conservative activists’ homes were raided, records seized, and emails secretly collected without the knowledge of the investigations’ targets.

But the high point of irony came when GAB Executive Director Kevin Kennedy said questions regarding his relationship with former IRS official Lois Lerner were “right out of Joseph McCarthy.”

Let’s educate Kennedy about the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy. McCarthyism, broadly defined, was an attempt to persecute individuals based upon their political beliefs and affiliations. We can debate the merits of probing into the documented influence of the Communist Party at that critical time of the Cold War, but it’s fair to say that people and organizations were targeted because of their political affiliations.

The question by state Sen. Chris Kapenga of Delafield to Kennedy concerning his relationship with Lerner was about whether the two were coordinating efforts to target conservative groups to shut down conservative political speech. That’s a legitimate line of questioning considering the behavior of Kennedy, Lerner, the IRS, the John Doe prosecutors and the GAB.

We know the GAB inquired about having the IRS investigate Wisconsin conservative groups’ tax status. We also know the IRS has been targeting conservative groups nationally for harassment. Now we know that the GAB and the John Doe investigators were even expanding their reach nationally.

Instead of pulling out the trite “Have you no decency” defense, Kennedy should have answered Kapenga’s question. Wisconsinites have a right to know how much this rogue government agency was bringing the vast powers of the IRS to bear on conservatives.

Because we know who is engaged in tactics that Joe McCarthy wished he could have tried in the 1950s. The modern McCarthyites are Kennedy, Lerner, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and GAB Chairman Gerald Nichols. These are the people that are persecuting activists and organizations for their political beliefs.

Nichols is perhaps the worst of the bunch because he has actively supported this illegal investigation every step of the way. He has said he was in contact with Kennedy every day, and he has never expressed any regret about the unconstitutional probe.

The final irony about Kennedy complaining about McCarthyism? The House Un-American Activities Committee, the government body most associated with McCarthyite investigations, was created and run by Democrats. Or maybe that isn’t ironic at all.

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