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Media groups want more 'John Doe' documents released

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A coalition of media and open government groups has asked a federal appeals court to release 34 more documents from the John Doe probe into the state's recall elections. The court was planning to unseal the documents on Tuesday. That move was held up, after prosecutors and targets of the probe asked that all or some of the records remain secret.

In a new brief filed yesterday, the media coalition said there's no compelling reason to keep the items secret anymore. The group called the John Doe a highly-publicized case that "goes to the heart of the public's right to observe the conduct of its prosecutors and the decisions of its courts."

The investigation was halted by a federal judge in May, but prosecutors continue to appeal to try and revive it. The probe involves illegal campaign coordination between Governor Scott Walker, G-O-P state senators, and outside conservative groups in the recall elections from 2011-and-'12. The Republican Walker has denied wrongdoing.

The Wisconsin Club for Growth and two unnamed parties say the 34 documents in question contain personal information and internal strategies that could damage the reputations of innocent people.

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