A Chilling Case of Apparent Polital Intimidation in Wisconsin

In his article to appear in the May 4th issue of National Review, David French gives a chilling report of an apparently politically motivated raid on the home of Cindy Archer, who helped craft the “Wisconsin Budget Bill”. Officially known as “Wisconsin’s Act 10”, the highly controversial law limits the collective bargaining activity and benefits for the state’s public-employee unions.   He described how armed agents came to her house in the middle of the night, banging on her door, demanding she let them in.  When she did, they went through her house, looking not for drugs or illegal arms, but evidence of campaign finance violations, embezzlement, and sexual misconduct, hardly offences worthy of such strong-arm police tactics, not when a simple knock on the door during the light of day would no doubt suffice.   The investigators reportedly left with a laptop and a cellphone.  The homes of several other conservative supporters of Governor Walker were similarly raided.  Archer, and the other conservative activists whose homes were raided were all warned to remained silent about the raids and home searches, they were told not to even inform their lawyers.

The raids, according to the article, were called for by a partisan political opponent of Governor Walker’s, District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat.  Staring as an embezzlement investigation, Chisholm expanded his investigation to include many of Walker’s allies. This expansion coincided with the protests against, and eventual passage of Wisconsin’s Act 10.

Whatever probable cause the Wisconsin law enforcement may have had to search the homes of these individuals, It would seem that these drug-raid style searches were carried out in a manner intended for maximum intimidation. As traumatizing as these raids would have been to the occupants at the time, perhaps more alarming were the warnings not to say a word, not even to their lawyers.  What???  The 6th Amendment guarantees our right to counsel, the 1st our right to free speech.  The Constitution does not allow for these rights to be abridged if the alleged offenders happen to be your political enemies.  This is kind of thing you’d expect to hear about happening in some third-world dictatorship, or in a Cold War era eastern bloc country, not the United States.  Shameful.

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