MADISON, Wis. — Is Rebecca Bradley willing to undermine the state open records law and add to the ethical morass created by her conservative court colleagues who have sat on cases involving their campaign supporters? One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said if Bradley refuses to recuse herself from a case involving tea party Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s refusal to comply with a request for information under the state open records law there will be more than just an appearance of impropriety.
“The Court of Appeals ruled David Clarke was wrong by trying to withhold public records,” commented Ross. “Rebecca Bradley would not only be undermining the state open records law by overturning the rulings of two lower courts she would be adding to the shameful legacy of conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justices bailing out their campaign supporters.”
The State Supreme Court announced it will consider an appeal of a Court of Appeals ruling affirming a lower court decision that Clarke erred in refusing to turn over records requested of his taxpayer funded office. Clarke argued he did not have to comply with a request for copies of immigration hold requests made to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and under court order turned over heavily redacted forms. The immigrants rights group Voces de la Frontera successfully sued to compel Clarke to turn over the requested records.
In her controversial campaign for the state high court, Clarke was prominently featured personally soliciting campaign contributions for Bradley, promoting her candidacy on social media and endorsing her in campaign advertising.
Ross noted that Rebecca Bradley’s campaign revealed not only her vile homophobia but also a disturbing animus to the state open records law. Based on her comments in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, she may have violated the state’s open records laws by providing falsified calendars to One Wisconsin Now in response to a request for her work calendar.
Clarke has enthusiastically shared his own homophobia with the public, calling for “pitchforks and torches” and “rage, then revolt” after the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling striking down same-sex marriage bans.
“If Rebecca Bradley has a shred of judicial integrity left she should immediately recuse herself from this case. To continue on a case where she has such obvious conflict of interest would show that her ethics are as warped as her views she expressed on the LGBTQ community,” concluded Ross.