Wisconsin

Chief Investigator in John Doe a Democratic Donor, Demonstrated a “Lack of Common Sense”

Policy

By: Brian Sikma

David Budde demonstrated a “lack of common sense” according to one former district attorney and has donated exclusively to Democrat candidates at the state level. Budde is the chief investigator for the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office and one of the key individuals at the center of a much politicized and controversial John Doe probe. He generated controversy Monday when he allowed a Democratic Party of Wisconsin “Recall Walker” sign to be placed in his yard, and a Blue Fist pro-union poster to be plastered on the front door of his home.

Campaign finance records show that Budde repeatedly gave money to the state senate campaign of Democrat Jim Sullivan in 2006 and in 2010. Sullivan is regarded as a strong pro-labor Democrat and has collected thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from labor unions. As recently as the 2011 Milwaukee County Executive race Sullivan earned the endorsement of big labor unions like AFSCME. AFSCME is helping lead the charge to remove Governor Scott Walker from office in the June 5 recall election.

Budde, as chief investigator in the John Doe probe that has become a top campaign talking point for Democrats, has helped lead a secret investigation into former Milwaukee County employees who worked for the county while Scott Walker was county executive. Repeated illegal leaks have come out of the investigation and have generally benefited the narrative that Democrats are trying to build, namely, that Walker is somehow the target of the probe.

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm defended Budde’s decision to allow anti-Walker signs to be placed on his home and in his yard saying that it appears it was Budde’s wife who made the decision to place the signs there. But former Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher told Media Trackers that regardless of who was responsible for the signs, the fact that Budde allowed them to be placed there demonstrated a “total lack of common sense.”

“I’m disappointed,” Bucher said. He described the situation was “not necessary” and said it came at a “bad time.” Because the high profile probe has repeatedly involved Walker’s name and has become the subject of partisan television ads the appearance of signs in the yard of the supposedly impartial chief investigator in the case created a potential appearance of bias at a time when polling from Marquette University shows public confidence in the investigation has fallen.

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