As it relates to the current state of Wisconsin politics, the words “John Doe” have been omnipresent for what seems like Governor Walker’s entire first term.
While it is a little hard to gauge, the general public appears to be passive toward the investigation as a whole. John Doe I was in the papers and produced charges against some in Governor Walker’s circle, but seemed to have minimal impact as the Governor cruised to victory in his recall election.
In 2012, John Doe II began to investigate “coordinated campaign activity”. While there have been maneuverings since by a number of parties involved, there have been no charges brought forward by prosecutors. The most recent activity in the John Doe case did however create a stir as a Federal Judge released a number of records and documents related to the John Doe case.
While the documents revealed nothing earth shattering, the press responded with provocative headlines that reverberated through the national media. The broad coverage and salacious headlines were pounced on by both sides as Walker opponents try to use the issue to their advantage. The aftermath of the documents becoming public is still being assessed, but in the short term it appears that Walker did take some hits in the media, but nothing that occurred has much impact on the ongoing John Doe.
So where does that leave us with John Doe II? At this point there has been nothing strong enough to bring charges against anyone, and many feel the case is coming to a close. Before that happens more documents may be released, and it is still possible charges are levied somewhere. Many insiders don’t believe John Doe II truly puts the Governor at risk either legally or politically. In the last week, an attorney for the John Doe’s special prosecutor underlined that point.