Wisconsin’s election board has asked to intervene in a federal lawsuit over a John Doe investigation into alleged illegal coordination and campaign spending involving Gov. Scott Walker and groups that support him.

The state Government Accountability Board filed a motion Friday asking the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to allow the board to intervene in the case.

The GAB noted in its filing that it is the agency responsible for administering Wisconsin’s campaign finance and election laws.

The board has been a key player in the secret probe, and worked with prosecutors to start the investigation into conservative groups following the massive wave of recalls targeting Walker and other Republicans in 2011 and 2012.

The board said it sought to intervene so it could represent its interests in the case, saying that it supports the prosecutors’ positions but also noted significant differences.

“The GAB’s interest, by contrast, is institutional and is to protect the public interest as provided for in the laws under which it operates,” the filing reads.

Subjects of the probe are seeking to halt the investigation in both federal and state courts, saying the investigation is an infringement on their First Amendment rights.

At issue is whether it is legal for Walker’s campaign and groups that support him to coordinate campaign activities.


State Government Reporter for Wisconsin State Journal