Was Gableman Fundraising for McCallum While on the State Clock?

Phone Records, Lack of Vacation Time Taken Raise Serious Questions

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MILWAUKEE — New records obtained by One Wisconsin Now about the leave taken by state Supreme Court Mike Gableman while he served as a state-paid Administrative Law Judge show Gableman was being paid by taxpayers on the same day he was on the other side of the state hosting a fundraiser for then-Governor Scott McCallum.

In his second week on the job, Gableman somehow managed to travel the 260 miles from his Appleton office to Cable to host a 6:00 p.m. fundraiser for Governor Scott McCallum Wednesday, June 12, 2002 and return the 260 miles without taking any vacation time that day.

“Mike Gableman needs to explain how he got to a 6:00 fundraiser four hours from his office without taking any time off to do it,” said Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now. “On top of that, he would have had to get up pretty early to travel all the way back from the fundraiser in order to be back at work in the morning.

Phone records coincidentally show no long distance telephone calls made from Gableman’s office from June 11 to June 13. Two days after he attended the McCallum fundraiser, Gableman made a phone call to McCallum’s office, the first long distance call made after the fundraiser he Gableman hosted. Leave records obtained by One Wisconsin Now show in his brief ten weeks as an ALJ, Gableman only took leave June 28, 2002 and from August 21-23. [Gableman ALJ Phone Records]

“These records show Gableman almost certainly traveling to a McCallum fundraiser on taxpayer time,” said Ross, “But these records reinforce the fact there continues to be no evidence Gableman was ever interviewed before being appointed by McCallum for the Burnett County judgeship.”

As One Wisconsin Now previous revealed, Gableman was on the host committee for the June 12 McCallum fundraiser, introduced the Governor and sat at the head table. Records with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign show Gableman made a $1,250 contribution to McCallum dated June 18 – the second $1,250 contribution made to McCallum. [Northwoods Regional Governor’s Club Event Memo, 6/12/02; Gableman Contributions to McCallum, 12/31/01 & 6/18/02]

It was after hosting this fundraiser and making these substantial contributions to Governor McCallum that Gableman leapt over six announced local candidates for a vacancy which he had not applied through the established process. Gableman was chosen by McCallum after the Governor circumvented his own judicial selection process, rejecting two finalists chosen by the selection committee, neither of which had contributed to McCallum’s campaign. [McCallum Advisory Council on Judiciary Selection, 6/7/02]

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