January 30, 2008

WMCheerleader to Monitor WMC?

Yesterday the Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee announced that it was bringing on two new members, both conservatives.   Although they appointed two yesterday, bringing on John Torinus raises the most concerns and questions. 

This is a committee focusing on the judicial code of ethics, yet Torinus has used his space in newspaper columns to excuse away Annette Ziegler’s very serious violations of that very code.  Is he going to approach his work on the committee with the same free pass for those that share his ideology? 

Yesterday the Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee announced that it was bringing on two new members, both conservatives.   Although they appointed two yesterday, bringing on John Torinus raises the most concerns and questions. 

This is a committee focusing on the judicial code of ethics, yet Torinus has used his space in newspaper columns to excuse away Annette Ziegler’s very serious violations of that very code.  Is he going to approach his work on the committee with the same free pass for those that share his ideology? 

John Torinus is also a board member of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC).  In recent years WMC has pumped unprecedented millions into races, supporting candidates that will in turn support their narrow interests.  All indications are that they will go even further, and break even more financial records in the current Supreme Court race.  One of the goals of the committee is to monitor the commercials in this race, which includes those that WMC will use to flood the airwaves.  Given his deep involvement with WMC are we really supposed to believe that Torinus can objectively monitor their actions?  Isn’t this a direct conflict?

John Torinus should be asked these questions and if he can’t make a convincing case that eliminates all doubt, he should step down from the committee.   

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