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'One Wisconsin Now' urges state Supreme Court not to get involved in John Doe case

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A liberal group has asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court not to get involved in a dispute over subpoenas in the John Doe probe involving the state's recall elections. One Wisconsin Now said there would be at least an appearance of impropriety if the high court took the case -- and it could taint the court's integrity for generations. That's because two reported targets of the probe -- the Wisconsin Club for Growth and the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce -- helped to get the court's conservative majority elected.

One Wisconsin Now said the two groups spent over $7-million since 2007 on the campaigns of Justices David Prosser, Michael Gableman, Annette Ziegler, and Pat Roggensack. The John Doe probe began in 2012.

Prosecutors are secretly gathering evidence about alleged illegal campaign coordination between outside groups and Republican candidates in the 2011-and-'12 recall elections. In January Judge Greg Peterson quashed subpoenas in the case, saying the prosecutors have not shown probable cause of wrongdoing.

A state appeals court is now considering the matter -- and Governor Scott Walker's re-election campaign recently asked the Supreme Court to take the case directly.