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Will John Doe 2.0 Target Wisconsin's Conservative Media?

by Jerry Bader

Brian Fraley runs the conservative website Right Wisconsin and is also involved with the MacIver Institute, a conservative think tank. Fraley reports that in November he was asked by  Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Jason Stein if a search warrant was executed at his home as part of the John Doe Witch Hunt into conservative groups in Wisconsin. There was no warrant executed at Fraley's home but the inquiry unnerved him. As Brian points out, there are three likely scenarios that led to the question:

One, Jason Stein made it up and that no such source told him any such thing and he is merely trolling to to gather intel for a story. If this is true, well, that's up to his editors and the readers of the Journal Sentinel to render judgement.

Two, Jason Stein has a crappy source,who gave him false information about me. We know that the left and their media allies have used the John Doe to cast a cloud over conservative activists and clearly someone was spreading stories about me. Jason Stein was more than willing to track down gossip from untrustworthy sources. Again, if this is the case, it is up to his bosses and readers to make their own determinations.

Third, and it is the last scenario that is the most ominous: that indeed prosecutors had or are planning on getting a subpoena for the tools I use to do my job, even to go as far (as Stein declares) to execute a search warrant on my house. If this is the case, then someone associated with the prosecution illegally leaked that information to Stein and perhaps others. Lord knows the first Doe investigation leaked like a sieve and was all about a trial in the court of public opinion. 

I suspect the correct answer is a modified version of #2. I suspect Stein was given the information by a source to rattle Brian. It's also widely believed but not known for certain that Bruce Landgraf, the Milwaukee Co. Assistant D.A. responsible for Doe 1.0, is also responsible for the current John Doe probe. But it's clear the effort was to intimidate Brian, most likely into silence. There is a new chill over the state that produced Joe McCarthy.