Monday, April 16, 2012

Paul Bucher Knows First Hand

It is clear that the right wing must be very fearful of the John Doe investigation involving Scott Walker. In recent weeks they have participated in a clearly coordinated smear campaign against the law enforcement professionals in the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office.

First the smear machine Media Trackers, with their horrible record in tow, complained that a number of employees in the DA's office exercised their constitutional rights by signing recall Walker petitions. It amounted to a few dozen employees out of hundreds of staff including support staff such as secretaries and others. Media Trackers employed their typical innuendo-based tactic, even though none of the people actually working on the John Doe participated in the recall effort. But as is always the case with this smear machine, it isn't about the truth or reality, it is about tainting the opposition at all costs.

Almost on cue came the ever-uptight former Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher. He picked up the Media Trackers smear and carried it further by requesting that the Republican Attorney General take over the John Doe investigation. Remember in the 2006 Republican primary for attorney general? Remember when J.B. Van Hollen told Bucher "you suck"? Well he must not feel much differently because he fairly quickly shot down the absurd Bucher demand.

Paul Bucher would know something about being a truly partisan district attorney.
  • While he was DA and starting his Republican run for state attorney general, some raised "serious questions about whether he is capable of separating his political ambitions from his prosecutorial duties". The questions were raised because former Democratic Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager sent him a routine offer of assistance in a case involving alleged illegal campaigning in Waukesha County by an aide to state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills. In response "Bucher freaked out" sending a "bitter rambling screed" to the AG. Apparently he was more concerned about partisan appearances and his political campaign than utilizing full state resources to investigate the incident. [Capital Times, "Bucher Blows Up", 10/5/05]
  • In 2006 an attorney for former Governor Jim Doyle contacted members of the Elections Board regarding a matter pending before them. It involved Doyle's Republican opponent for governor, Mark Green. Paul Bucher inserted himself into that situation by launching an "investigation" alleging possible open meetings violations. The same day that Bucher launched his dead end "investigation" the executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin admitted that he also contacted a Republican member of the Elections Board. But Bucher conveniently didn't express the same fake outrage over that development. [Capital Times, 9/23/06]
  • In 1996 a recall election was launched against former state Senator George Petak (R-Racine). The Republican Party of Wisconsin asked for an investigation into alleged "criminal wrongdoing" during the recall process (sounds familiar). Paul Bucher dutifully agreed to launch a phony "investigation" into the recall effort. Organizers of the recall described the Bucher "investigation" as a "total waste of taxpayer money." They proved to be correct about Bucher's "investigation". [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/15/96]
As you can see from these few examples, Paul Bucher certainly knows about (mis)using a district attorney's office for political purposes. Given his own history, he certainly seems like an odd character to serve as point man for attacking John Chisholm's office and his integrity.

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm is the model example. He is a straight shooter and everyone knows it. As Xoff has already said, "He holds elected office as a Democrat, but is as close to non-partisan as anyone holding a partisan office". There are many examples of his independence including investigating and prosecuting numerous Democrats. I also remember his office taking part in J.B. Van Hollen's "Voter Fraud Task Force" in 2008. Hardly the act of a hard core Democratic partisan and it certainly didn't bring him praise with progressives at the time. But he did what he thought was right at the time, as he always does.

The bottom line: Paul Bucher's wild rhetoric seems to be a classic case of partisan projection.


Anonymous said...

What about all the leaks? Some of them were timed quite well.

Cory Liebmann said...

You mean leaks to Bice? I don't know the identity of his sources. But there are a lot more people involved than just the DA's office. Defense lawyers, defendants, witnesses etc. So to lay any leaks at the DA's door without direct proof is at the very least premature.

Anonymous said...

Given the nature and accuracy of the leaks, I don't think it's premature to assume someone in the DA's office is involved. I wouldn't be surprised if a John Doe is filed on the John Doe.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to claim accurate leaks, give a specific example. What exactly is the leak?