Saturday, March 29, 2008

Supreme Saturday Shorts

The days grow short on the smarmiest campaign ever. (so far)

The Lost Albatross, in an article at Dane 101, says:
In this case, my recommendation would be to ignore the television ads all-together and instead spend a little time going over the actual records of each candidate. Then compare those records to what the job description of a state Supreme Court Justice actually entails. I’ll give you a hint: it has less to do with prosecuting criminals and more to do with examining, applying and upholding the law of the land.
The indefatigable iT weighs in with an update on McBridean silliness, Gableman ignorance and Esenbergian blinkerage (in which even Rick can no longer bring himself to defend the journamalist:)
Fair and balanced newshound Jessica McBride also puts Campbell in the "pro-criminal" column. Why? Because immediately after AFFIRMING ALL THREE CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS,

Butler wrote "passionately."Er, what? Wrote what "passionately"?


I kid you not. McBride admits her "judgment call" to portray State v. Campbell as "pro-criminal" (did I mention that Butler AFFIRMED ALL THREE CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS?) may be "debatable."

"Don't conflate CFAF with McBride." — Rick Esenberg, 3/28/08

You can't make this shit up, folks.

Wiggy shows us the last shoe to drop in the bought-and-paid-for campaign of the bought-and-paid-for candidate.

Mathias has been putting in yeoman's work on this campaign as well and shows us who helped Gableman to get where he is today. It's all about family values.

The parents of Supreme Court candidate Michael Gableman made large donations to the gubernatorial campaign of former U.S. Rep Mark Green in 2005 and 2006 that appear to follow a pattern of giving established by Gableman and several associates to the campaign of former Wisconsin governor Scott McCallum.

The size of the contributions, and in one instance their timing, raise questions,
particularly since Gableman’s parents appear to have no previous record of
election giving. Moreover, the contributions add to
several unresolved questions raised about Gableman's appointment to the Burnett County circuit court by McCallum.

James Rowen says something nice about Annette Ziegler:
Saying that he is "proud" of his widely-condemned campaign - - including a broadside launched by 33 current judges and one retired State Supreme Court Justice who called it "a new low in judicial campaigns in this state" - - Mike Gableman might be the worst candidate to ever run for Wisconsin's high court.

And that's paying Annette Ziegler a compliment.

And, the piece de resistance, Jay Bullock cuts through the piffle of the Dohnal campaign complaint to show that there really isn't any there, there. Cause, when you think of piffle-cutting, you think of Jay.

So that's what Club For Growth gets shrunk to--three cases where if there were a conflict of interest, it wouldn't have mattered.

Perhaps most upsetting in all of this is the origin of the complaint itself. Dohnal and his enablers, all slaves to the notion that a dimwitted but loyal Gableman is better than an independent Butler, are working on the presumption that Louis Butler is stupid.

Somehow, they think the guy who was so good with the law to be called, affectionately by his friends and now pejoratively by his enemies--"Loophole Louie" has now lost all ability to follow the law. Butler is a smart man (reading through his opinions, concurrences, and dissents this morning was more intimidating than reading the parts written by the other justices, I tell you what), and to suggest that he is too dumb to follow campaign finance law and basic ethics is idiotic itself. But, then again, coming from Dohnal and CFG, I suppose that's what we should have expected.

Have a good weekend.


  1. Why are you picking on McBride? She has the right to express her opinions. She is an educated woman. A college professor that writes columns for major newspapers. She had her own radio show until the company decided she was too conservative and educated. They were afraid she would surpass their overpaid male talk show hosts. She has years of reporting experience for the largest newspaper in the State and is married to one of the best lawyers in Wisconsin.

  2. A new blogger! Welcome! "Ready to take on those lefties?"

  3. If Jessica McBride knew any lawyers, maybe they could explain “hearsay” to her. Her last two posts on her election blog purport to be from a pastor and a supporter of Lisa Neubauer. I went to and his blog to see if he posted the letter trumpeting his pro life values. Not on either site.

    She headlines the second post as Who’s supporting Lisa Neubauer
    (lack of punctuation as in original)
    By the way Jessica, it is ‘Judge’ Neubauer in case you forgot.

    While the “alleged anonymous email” does assail her for telling people to ignore a rather significant even in Gleisner’s past that could relate to his credibility, it does not mention Judge Neubauer. It seems to be taking more of a shot at the “hatchet piece” to use her words that she and others of her ilk have been doing on Justice Butler

    What I did find interesting at were these quotes.

    Bill Gleisner says

    "Politics should have no part in any judicial race or in the administration of justice. A judge on the Court of Appeals must be completely impartial and blind to any and all partisan issues.

    Paul Bucher says

    Former District Attorney Bucher has the following to say about Bill: “While politics is an important part of this issue, it should not be the sole criteria to becoming a Judge in the Court of Appeals.

    I did have to laugh at this endorsement. This as you may recall was one of Bucher’s first clients in private practice.

    Chief of Police Gary D. Bach, City of Pewaukee

    Maybe they should Post this endorsement next to that of the pastor.

    Some friends that disagree with McBride on many issues but like her as a person have expressed concern. Several have commented that this is not the same person they knew before and during the Republican attorney general primary campaign and before she was fired by WTMJ. This is further evidenced by the erratic posting on the blog she used to be so proud of. People can disagree on political issues, but Jessica, we hope the stresses and changes in your life are not taking a serious toll on your well-b

  4. Sunday Insight 3/30/08
    I’ll be on Sunday Insight tomorrow with Charlie Sykes on TMJ4. Let me go ahead and give you a heads up… my loser of the week is Paul Bucher because of his putting his conservative reputation on the line to support a unabashed liberal, William Gleisner. Conservatives across the board have been tip-toeing around this issue in deference to the Buchers. I guess I’m fed up with it.

    Tune in at 10:00 AM.

    Hey John Foust I get confused are you the guy from Boots and boobs or Boots and bombs?

  5. Editorial: Butler the clear choice for bench
    The ads in this race, particularly by third-party interest groups, have been despicable, with the intent of blurring the issues.
    From the Journal Sentinel
    Posted: March 29, 2008
    The campaign for state Supreme Court has been one of the noisiest and nastiest ever, with the cacophony nearly drowning out the candidates.

    Voters have heard tales of supposed misdeeds and misstatements - of who is supposedly tougher on criminals, though that is but a small part of what it means to be a justice on Wisconsin's highest court.

    It seems, at times, the candidates are running for a chance to wear a sheriff's badge instead of judicial robes.

    But if you turn down the sound and look at the merits, there is little doubt which candidate is the more qualified. Justice Louis Butler has been a respected judge for years in Wisconsin, and we believe he is the clear choice.

    Butler has been a judge for more than 15 years, including four on the state Supreme Court and before that as a municipal judge in Milwaukee. For 13 years prior to that, he was a public defender who worked with some of the state's poorest citizens. He also serves on the faculty of the National Judicial College, where he has trained other judges for more than a decade.

    Aside from experience, Butler's background as an African-American from Milwaukee provides the court with a unique and valuable perspective.

    Burnett County Circuit Judge Michael Gableman's résumé, while solid, isn't as deep as Butler's. He has been a judge only six years and has spent most of his career as a prosecutor in northern Wisconsin. Gableman touts his crime-fighting experience. But frankly, being "tough on crime" isn't especially relevant to the job of a Supreme Court justice. More important is judgment and experience.

    Gableman has argued that Butler too often takes an "activist" approach to judicial work, seeking to mold the law in a certain direction. That is the role of the state Legislature, Gableman says. By contrast, he says he would rely on the "plain language" of the law to make decisions.

    Butler calls himself a "textualist," meaning he reads the words on the page to discern what the Legislature actually has done "as opposed to what I think it may have intended to do. . . . the role of the judiciary is to interpret and apply the law to a given set of facts, not make law." He sides with the majority most of the time, he says.

    In a questionnaire submitted to the Journal Sentinel, Butler argued that "those who disagree with the result in a particular case are usually quick to label the judges who decided that case as 'activist.' " He's right.

    We have disagreed with Butler at times. He authored a decision in 2005 that allowed a boy stricken with lead poisoning to sue companies that made lead-based paint even though the boy's lawyers could not identify which company had manufactured the paint that likely caused his affliction. That decision clearly went too far and has been criticized justly by business interests. As a result, a number of cases have been filed against paint manufacturers in the state. Butler argues that the case was only about access to justice and says, "We did not blow open the rules of liability."

    In any case, it's unfair to cherry-pick one or two cases and try to strangle a distinguished career with them. And we think way too much is made of the so-called conservative-liberal split on the state's high court.

    In addition to that, Gableman's tactics in this campaign give us pause. Gableman has compiled a solid record as a judge, which is what makes his recent ad attacking Butler so difficult to understand. It was, in a word, despicable.

    The ad implies that because Butler "found a loophole," a convicted child molester went on to molest another child. The ad prominently displays a photo of Butler and the convicted child molester, both African-American, side by side, and asks if Wisconsin families "can feel safe with Louis Butler on the Supreme Court?"

    The ad is misleading, a blatant attempt to play on fears and amounts to race-baiting.

    What it doesn't tell you is that Butler, as a public defender, represented Reuben Lee Mitchell years ago during the appeal of his conviction. Or that after winning a new trial for Mitchell, the state Supreme Court overturned that decision and Mitchell served his sentence. After being released, Mitchell was convicted again of raping a child and sent back to prison.

    Earlier in the campaign, a Gableman supporter claimed in a fund-raising letter that Butler cast the deciding vote to overturn a decision involving a sexual predator, which resulted in the predator's release. Just one problem: Richard A. Brown remains incarcerated.

    Gableman believes he can score points by harping on Butler's former career as a public defender, as if a defense attorney is somehow of less value than a prosecutor. But in the world of the courts, there are two equally important sides: prosecutors and defense attorneys. Both overreach at times. It's Gableman's weakest argument.

    Other ads by third-party groups unaccountable to either campaign have been that bad and worse.

    Gableman, for example, has been portrayed as a bobble-head doll who is soft on crime or unfit for office. The trashiness of these attack ads is unbecoming of the office these men seek. And worse, they do nothing to illuminate the facts for voters.

    Both candidates have tried to distance themselves from the third-party attack ads but with little success.

    If this were simply a debate on judicial style and the records of both men, there still would be plenty to talk about.

    Having weighed those records, Louis Butler is the better choice

  6. Unbelievable. I think McBride is seriously losing it. Her posts are becoming more and more incoherent.

    She goes around in a circle mumbling rebuttal and it would be impossible to tell who said what and what her point was if you didn't go back and read the JS post at least once.

    She certainly could learn from Wallah.

    Maybe that's the nouveau journalism she's teaching our kids.

    A parting comment on her two judicial picks. Gleisner is done. Gableman would not even be in the same ballpark with Butler if he wasn't the WMC poster child of the year.

    Maybe McBride is comparing her husband to Gableman and thinking, this could be Paul or this should be Paul. But maybe then the WMC told Paul they weren't interested back in August when he decided he didn't want his family involved in another statewide race.

    Wonder why then Ms. McBride is getting so involved?

  7. Did anybody see Sunday insight. Any commentary on the elections worth repeating? (my television set is incapable of tuning in anything with Sykes on it)

    Did the conservative blogger really give Bucher the loser of the week award?

  8. Hey John Foust. Check outthe Milwaukee county stats for SC.

    13, 000 vote lead for Gableman. Dane County about done. 60/40 in Milwaukee County where Butler lives.

    Looks like Milwaukee COunty is going to bring it home for Gableman.

    Good start, right?