MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker’s new crony appointment to the state Supreme Court, Rebecca Bradley, in response to a media question, would not commit to recuse herself from any reconsideration of a high court decision halting the investigation into alleged illegal coordination between the campaign of Gov. Walker and outside groups. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne blasted Bradley for inviting new campaign spending on her behalf from outside groups while potentially participating in decisions on cases in which supporters of her previous campaign are involved.
“Rebecca Bradley may not have much judicial experience, but she sure knows how the crony system works,” commented Browne. “Just a mere week into her tenure she’s already signaling to the special interests that she wants them to spend money on her election and she’ll have their back on the bench.”
According to a media report Bradley is, “mulling whether to decide” a request to reconsider the controversial decision by the court by which a conservative court majority halted the “John Doe 2” investigation into alleged illegal coordination between the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker and outside groups. The justices that comprise the conservative court bloc have benefitted from massive spending on their behalf by parties named in the investigation that their decision halts. Prosecutors had requested some justices recuse themselves because of the support they received from groups involved in the John Doe litigation, but the justices did not do so.
For her part, Rebecca Bradley, in recent statements about her election bid in 2016 has invited outside groups to spend on her behalf. In her only other run for a judicial seat, Bradley benefitted from the largesse of the notorious Club for Growth Wisconsin. The group, run by a paid Walker campaign consultant and at the center of the “John Doe 2” criminal probe, spent $167,000 on Bradley’s behalf in 2013.
In addition, Bradley’s candidacy for the court has been praised by a spokesperson for the big spending special interest group the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and an article from the then all but announced court candidate was run in both the WMC’s print publication and on their website.
Walker and his allies have already spent an estimated $10 million in recent years to elect a majority block of right wing justices to the state Supreme Court. Some of these same allies were instrumental in crafting a loophole that allows judges to sit on cases involving campaign donors or those that spent on behalf of their campaign, a measure that has been roundly criticized as an assault on an independent judiciary.
Browne concluded, “The cronyism and corruption of the Walker administration has been aided and abetted by a conservative court majority whose independence is irretrievably lost. Days into her time on the bench, Rebecca Bradley is firmly establishing herself as part of the problem on the court.”