What’s with this war against John Chisholm?

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From Urban Milwaukee:

No one would ever accuse Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm of being a sexy politician. Dull as dishwater might be more like it.

But he now faces an opponent, Verona Swanigan, who has published a steamy book of erotic poetry, as Dan Bice gleefully reported for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The book was marketed with “a short video in which Swanigan, seductively dressed in a low-cut red dress, poses for the camera and then a scantily clad young couple makes out and undresses in a hotel room as one of her poems is read in the background,” Bice tells readers.

First elected district attorney in 2007, Chisholm was a low-key reformer who got good marks from a wide range of people in a feature story Milwaukee Magazine did in 2013. That included Sheriff David Clarke, who described Chisholm as “a straight shooter” whose decisions weren’t driven by partisan motives.

Chisholm also successfully prosecuted staff who worked for then-County Executive Scott Walker in the first John Doe case. Many expected Chisholm to charge Walker during the 2012 recall campaign, which might have resulted in the governor’s defeat, but Chisholm didn’t. The DA didn’t seem to act like a partisan, which left some Democrats miffed.

Still, Chisholm didn’t even face an opponent in his last race for reelection, in 2012, a measure of how uncontroversial he was. But once Chisholm moved on to John Doe II, investigating evidence that Walker’s campaign for governor had coordinated with independent conservative groups like O’Keefe’s Club for Growth, the DA began to attract a ton of attacks. O’Keefe and Sykes accused Chisholm of conducting a “partisan witch hunt” against conservatives and Republicans — yes, this same man Sykes had accused of over-reach against a Democrat.

Adding to all the distrust and strangeness here is that these attacks are often not about what they seem. Thus in the case of Iowa County DA Larry Nelson, who worked with Chisholm on the John Doe case, dark money was used to run ads suggesting he was soft on crime.  Of course the real goal was to punish Nelson for the John Doe, as O’Keefe explained to Wisconsin Watchdog, the conservative news site he has helped fund, and the ads helped defeat Nelson

In Milwaukee, you can expect ads pummeling Chisholm for being soft on crime, as Borkowski charged, and for being soft on abusive cops. But the money paying for these ads is really being spent to punish Chisholm for daring to investigative Eric O’Keefe.

Full story at Urban Milwaukee

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