Dan Kelly’s Extremism: Social Security Edition

Supreme Court Candidate Kelly Tried to Hide Writings Comparing Social Security to Slavery

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MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly compared funding for Social Security to slavery in a blog post he tried to scrub from the internet and hide from public view. Kelly posted extensively on a blog with several other individuals from 2012 through 2015. In 2016, after being appointed to a state high court post for which he would need to win election in 2020 to keep, Kelly had his posts scrubbed from the site.

“For years Dan Kelly freely published his thoughts on the internet for all to see, and shared his opinion that our Social Security system is a form of slavery,” said One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne. “Only after he was appointed to the state Supreme Court and saw his extremism as a political liability did he try to hide it from the public.”

In a lengthy online musing uncovered by One Wisconsin Now, Kelly wrote:

“Remember involuntary servitude? I know – we need to reach back into antiquity for the definition. Its essence is the requirement that, against your will, the benefit of your work goes to someone else without receiving anything in exchange.”

He went on to label the Social Security System, which workers pay into and then draw from upon retirement and which provides a safety net for others like widows and orphans, as a form of “involuntary servitude”, writing:

“We all see involuntary servitude every day, but without recognizing it for what it is … When the recipients are people who have chosen to retire without sufficient assets to support themselves, we call the transfer Social Security and Medicare. And it’s welfare when the recipients are those who don’t create enough to sustain themselves during their working years. When we look at the other components to these transactions, it becomes apparent that they bear all the indicia of involuntary servitude.”

Browne concluded, “Dan Kelly’s despicable extremism is seen in his writings, like comparing Social Security to slavery. Dan Kelly’s dishonesty is exposed by his failed attempt to hide this extremism from the public.”

A full accounting of the information uncovered by One Wisconsin Now that Kelly attempted to hide from public view can be found here.

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.