The Irony of Who’s Behind the Latest Attack on Louis Butler

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Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler is under attack from a septic tank full of conservative slags. Among them, unindicted Jack Abramoff cohort Grover “Bipartisanship is a form of date rape” Norquist and, Family Research Council President Tony “I paid David Duke $82,500” Perkins, who authored a letter objecting to Butler’s nomination to the federal bench.

Another one of the most prominent signers of the anti-Butler letter is Alfred Regnery, publisher of the lunatic American Spectator and former head of Regnery Publishing, the kind of right wing conduit for books that make ‘€œGoing Rogue’€ seem like ‘€œA People’€™s History of the United States.’€Regnery has an infamous distinction in the annals of Wisconsin politics. As Max Blumenthal records in “Republican Gomorrah,” his outstanding treatise on the corruption and hypocrisy upon which the present conservative movement is constructed, in the year of nation’€™s bicentennial, Regnery ran for district attorney for Dane County against a young go-getter named James E. Doyle, Jr. Regnery was running a ‘€œtough on crime’€ campaign, but, well’€¦ maybe, best left to quote Blumenthal directly (pages 162-3).

‘€œIn 1976, during the last week’€™s of Regnery’€™s flagging campaign for district attorney in Madison, Wisconsin, his wife Christina reported to the police that two men had warned her husband to drop out of the race and then had slashed her 76 times with an embroidery knife before forcing her to perform oral sex on them. The police recorded her tale:”

(The book then included graphic details directly from the police report, alleging an African American man and a white man had assaulted her.)

‘€The police swiftly determined that Christina Regnery had fabricated the attack ‘€“ the lurid story was a fantasy possibly with the assistance of her husband. During a subsequent search of the Regnery’€™s home; police discovered a large cache of pornography, including ‘several catalogs for prophylactic devices and erotica….’”

Regnery lost the election to Doyle and Regnery went to Washington, DC, but the story resurfaced eight years later while Regnery was serving in the Reagan Justice Department helping to build the Meese Commission report on pornography. Regnery resigned after Washington reporters made inquiries about the incident.

So basically, Regnery stoked racial fears with lies in a sleazy attempt to win an election. Mike Gableman, sound familiar?

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