Saturday, September 8, 2007

'Bucher bends the truth'

A Capital Times editorial on Mr. McBride leaves nothing to add:
Bucher bends the truth

Fresh from his defeat in the Republican primary for state attorney general last year, former Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher says he is contemplating running for the state Supreme Court next April.

Bucher's bitter concession statement after losing last year's primary to J.B. Van Hollen was one of the more remarkable political swan songs in a career that has not been lacking in bizarre behavior.

Bucher says he is thinking about running because he believes incumbent Justice Louis Butler is "an activist."

That's an amusing statement coming from Bucher, who has made no secret of his ideological and personal passions and who has never hesitated to allow them to guide his legal determinations.

Yet the man who mounted a comically inept prosecution of troubled Green Bay Packer Mark Chmura says with a straight face, "There's only one item that's worth focusing on in this race, and that is judicial philosophy. (Butler's) an activist, and he's proud of it."

Bucher is, as usual, bending the truth to the breaking point.

Butler, who has gotten high marks for working across political and ideological lines on the court, is not generally seen as a judicial activist. And he certainly has not gone around declaring that he is proud of putting ideology ahead of the law.

If Butler was the sort of "activist" Bucher describes, it is unlikely that he would have gained the strong endorsement this week of the association representing city of Milwaukee police officers as "a strong leader (who) understands the needs of our citizens and the needs of our law enforcement officers."

The group says, "Wisconsin is safer with Justice Louis Butler on our Supreme Court."

The police union's sentiments have been echoed by an astounding array of community and legal groups that have honored and endorsed Justice Butler as an outstanding jurist. It raises the question: What is Paul Bucher thinking?

Then again, no one has ever accused Bucher of thinking very hard about anything but his own political advancement.

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