Facts Behind the Koschnick Ad Farce

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Randy Koschnick today broke his clean campaign pledge in rip-roarin’ style, attacking Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson in a 30 second TV ad, that for now, is only available on the “internets.”

Judicial integrity and ethics are critical for Wisconsin’€™s courts and Koschnick’s ad is the latest in a series of half-truths and distortions raising serious questions about his ethics.So here’s a quick fact sheet on the latest Koschnick ad:

Donations from Lawyers
Farce: Koschnick’€™s criticism of Abrahamson contributions from lawyers who have a current case before the Supreme Court.

Fact: Koschnick has heard 1,830 cases involving 19 lawyers who made contributions to his prior judicial campaign, including 35 cases which are currently open. The contributions by these lawyers alone represent 13 percent of his contributions from the public raised to become the Jefferson County Judge. [Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Records]

Siding with Criminals
Farce: Koschnick’€™s claim that in the last 10 years Chief Justice Abrahamson sides with criminals a majority of the time.

Fact: Reviewing the more than 4,400 crime and public-safety related rulings, reviews and decisions of the Supreme Court since 1999, shows Abrahamson sided against criminals more than 90 percent of the time. [Wisconsin Reports; North Western Reporter, WestLaw]

Punishing Sex Offenders
Farce: Koschnick’€™s ‘€œconcerns’€ about Abrahamson’€™s record on sex offenders.

Fact: Koschnick has sentenced felony child sex predators to an average of only five years in prison ‘€“ 30 years less than the maximum penalties allowed by law ‘€“ while Abrahamson wrote the decision upholding the law requiring life sentences without parole for repeat child sex predators. [Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program and State v. Radke]

One last thing, about Koschnick using a quote from former Justice Bill Bablitch to criticize Abrahamson, courtesy of legal hero Illusory Tenant; IT wrote:

Abrahamson is “out of the mainstream,” Koschnick says, because of her opinion on the constitutionality of Chapter 980. In support of this allegation, Koschnick cites the observation of former Justice William Bablitch, who also determined Chapter 980 to be unconstitutional.

Well how’s about that?

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.