MADISON, Wis. — Rebecca Bradley recently skipped out of oral arguments before the Wisconsin Supreme Court to give a speech to declare that she was a “public servant” to the special interest group that has spent $10 million in recent years to try to elect conservative court justices. Tonight she’ll be raising campaign cash courtesy of a shakedown hosted by the Republican co-chairs of the legislature’s powerful Joint Committee on Finance, Rep. John Nygren and Sen. Alberta Darling.
“Pledging her loyalty to the state big business lobby instead of doing her job and using the Republican leaders of the state budget committee to shake down lobbyists on her behalf sends the message loud and clear that when it comes to Rebecca Bradley, justice is for sale,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.
According to a fundraising invitation, lobbyists and special interests have been summoned by the key Republican legislative duo for a cocktail reception to “honor” Bradley at the swank Madison Club in the shadow of the Capitol. To be recognized as a “host” one will pay up to $2,500 while attendees are advised to pony up $250 a head.
Ross noted that numerous controversial legislative enactments that Nygren and Darling helped shepherd through the legislature since the GOP took control of the Governor’s office and legislature in 2011 have been subject to litigation in state courts.. As of March 1, 2016, six cases involving laws enacted since 2011 were decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and another six cases are pending before the state high court.
Having been appointed an unprecedented three times in just three years Bradley’s judicial record is exceedingly thin. She has, however, sent a clear message about her priorities in her brief time on the bench. Bradley recently skipped out of oral arguments before the courts to give a speech before the state special interest big business lobby the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) in which she declared she was their “public servant.” WMC has spent in the neighborhood of $10 million to elect judges to protect and promote their agenda.
Prior to her WMC loyalty pledge, serious concerns existed about Bradley’s impartiality on the courts when it comes to her campaign boosters. She has refused to say whether she would participate in a case where an organization that was investigated for wrongdoing had spent a record $167,000 on her election defending the local judicial seat to which she was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker.
“Rebecca Bradley has shown she’ll do what’s best for her campaign before what’s best for our courts. Special interest loyalty pledges and partisan political fundraising shakedowns with the heads of the state budget committee might be lucrative for her campaign coffers but they’re corrosive for confidence in the independence of our state high court.”