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OPINION

Adam Jarchow for Wisconsin Attorney General: Because Freedom Matters

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Steve Karnowski

We have an opportunity this fall to elect an Attorney General who fully appreciates the impact this powerful position has on average citizens who are just trying to make a living, raise a family and pass on property to future generations. Adam Jarchow is a proven leader, dedicated to defending freedom even when it is not the easy or politically expedient thing to do.

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Adam Jarchow does not see the position of Attorney General as a lifelong career or political steppingstone. In fact, the only reason he jumped into this race is that he does not trust his Republican primary opponent, Fond du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney, to protect and fight for the rights of average citizens like you and me. As a survivor of the intrusive and illegal John Doe investigations, I share Adam’s concerns.

In the spring of 2020, Fond du Lac District Attorney Eric Toney filed criminal complaints against ten individuals for violating Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order. The charges carried a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Toney claims his actions were not harmful to his prosecution targets since he later dropped the charges. I wholeheartedly disagree. Investigating, accusing, or charging someone with violating the law is not a harmless gesture because the process is the punishment.

Moreover, Evers’ stay-at-home order was clearly unlawful and Toney and other members of law enforcement most certainly had discretion to treat alleged violations with as much or as little force as they deemed appropriate. Most officials chose to stand down. Not Eric Toney, and instead of apologizing for his mistake, Toney is parsing his words, denying his office pursued anyone for violating the stay-at-home order because he “charged” but did not “prosecute” them.

Earlier this year, in a blatant and dangerous political stunt, Eric Toney charged five people with felony voter fraud. Why? Because they listed a post office box instead of a street address on their voter registration. It turned out that only three of the five voted in the fall of 2020 and Toney did not allege that any of these individuals voted multiple times or were otherwise ineligible to vote.

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One man said he was living in his truck at the time and Toney said he had no choice but charge him. 

But a fair and decent prosecutor would ask whether these process violations were serious enough to warrant any charge, let alone a life-altering felony charge, then   he or she would determine whether it serves the public interest to prosecute average citizens for clerical errors while rampant and intentional election law violations are being promoted and celebrated by activists and elected officials across the state. 

Finally, an ethical prosecutor would consider whether a felony prosecution was likely to be successful. Because federal and state courts had already decided not to invalidate thousands of votes that were cast with process errors, it is highly unlikely Toney could prove probable cause and uphold these felony charges for conviction. 

Toney told the press he hoped the charges would serve to educate voters about the law requiring them to list a residential address when registering to vote. In other words, Toney brought felony voter fraud charges against five otherwise law-abiding citizens to send a message. Well, shame on Mr. Toney because sending political messages under the color of law is an unethical and unforgivable abuse of power.  And that is true whether it happens in Washington D.C., Madison or Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

My colleagues and I know exactly what it is like to be used as political pawns by corrupt and overzealous prosecutors and judges on one side and feckless and hyper-political ones on the other. 

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In the fall of 2013, partisan prosecutors raided our homes in the dark over speech. Our children woke to find armed deputies standing by their beds. My 17-year-old son thought his father was dead and my business partners’ 16-year-old son was home alone when deputies told him he could not call his parents, grandparents or even an attorney. 

At the same time, they secretly seized thousands of private email, phone, bank, and tax records from dozens of citizens simply because of our ideology. 

Then, they threatened us with jail time if we spoke out about the abuse. 

Our neighbors and friends wondered what crime we had committed, while it took almost two years for the Wisconsin Supreme Court to declare the investigation unconstitutional. 

No criminal or civil charges were ever filed, but several individuals and organizations were dragged through years of litigation resulting in millions of dollars in legal bills. People lost their jobs and reputations and suffered in silence as their confidential information was illegally leaked.

I would like to tell you that the investigation was instigated and perpetuated solely by partisan Democrat prosecutors and liberal judges, but the fact is there were two Republican District Attorneys and a handful of conservative judges who thought it was more important to protect their institutions and their political careers than to protect the people they were elected to serve.

Our businesses, private property, and freedom where at stake, and people on both sides of the political divide sat by for years and let it happen. 

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I met Adam Jarchow during one of the most traumatic times in my life and I trust him to put politics aside and protect the rights of all people regardless of their political beliefs or social status.

Adam believes at his core that our freedom matters more than anything. He does not look to government first to solve problems, and he is inherently suspicious of those on both the right and the left who advocate expanding the size and reach of government while making government less transparent.

Adam Jarchow believes that government officials with the power to take away our property and our freedom must be held accountable when they abuse their power, and he knows that it is possible to be tough on crime without eviscerating our civil rights.

As a father, attorney, legislator, firefighter, small business owner and avid sportsman, Adam knows that the Wisconsin Attorney General is not just the state’s top cop. The role and responsibilities of the Attorney General are far more expansive and much more critical to our daily lives and livelihoods.

Over the last several years, we have watched state and federal prosecutors spy on, harass and lock innocent people up because of their political views. Based on his recent history, Eric Toney is not a good bet to stand up to these forces of evil and do the right thing when that thing is hard to do.

I trust Adam Jarchow to put politics aside and protect the rights of all people regardless of their political beliefs or social status.

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Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” 

Vote Adam Jarchow for freedom because we cannot afford to get this wrong again. 

Deborah Jordahl is a strategist with more than 30 years experience working for candidates, PACS, business and trade groups and non-profit organizations.  Along with her business partner, she served as a strategy and messaging consultant on Governor Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaigns. 

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