Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has been running radio ads supporting their choice for State Supreme Court, Michael Gableman. This week they launched their first television ad backing Gableman. Using the same formula that has been successful for them in the past, the WMC ad focuses on crime and paints Gableman as some sort of crime fighting super hero. This approach helped them install their ethically challenged choice last year, Annette Ziegler.
Since WMC runs all of these ads about crime and punishment, it seems fair to ask how much they actually focus on the subject outside of an election for the state’s high court. A quick look at their current and archived press releases show that the only time they address the issue of crime seems to conveniently follow the election cycle. The vast majority of their 200-plus press releases (over the last five years) deal with issues such as taxes, regulations, product liability and other corporate interests. Watching the ads that they run supporting candidates for the high court, one would think that their sole focus was on fighting crime. That issue is nearly nonexistent on their agenda.
The only reason that WMC runs these of ‘tough on crime’ ads is because scaring the public apparently works. They are not running this new ad for Gableman because he is a super hero, actually his record as a prosecutor is pretty weak. They are not running these ads because the Supreme Court regularly sentences criminals because they don’t. They are running these ads because it is poll tested and has been effective in filling the seats of our highest court with corporate rubber stamps. The ‘crime’ that the average person should be concerned with in this context, is the ‘theft’ of our judicial system.