MADISON, Wis. — As reported by the Associated Press, Gov. Scott Walker’s crony pick for the State Supreme Court, Rebecca Bradley yesterday told a gathering of the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), that, “I am your public servant ….” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted Bradley for her blatant pledge of fealty to a special interest that has spent massive sums in recent years to pack the state’s high court with compliant justices.
“The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce have made no secret over the years that it is their intention to buy a state court to protect their interests and advance their agenda,” commented Ross. “But it is shocking that Rebecca Bradley would so blatantly pledge fealty to them in a public setting.”
WMC has headed a cabal of right wing groups and underwritten the lion’s share of an estimated $8 million in campaign spending to elect a conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In the February Primary Election a right wing group, the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, headed by Republican political operatives spent $1 million on Bradley’s behalf. Despite this massive infusion of spending by Gov. Walker’s money machine and the efforts of his political operation, Bradley significantly underperformed by double digits recent conservative judicial candidates in February primaries.
Already serious concerns have emerged about Bradley’s ability to be impartial and avoid conflicts of interest. Ross noted 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 in Milwaukee County to which she was appointed by Gov. Walker.
Bradley has also previously claimed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, she has left her partisan political inclinations in the past and does not coordinate campaign activities with outside groups. Yet as recently as February 19, 2016 she appeared at a partisan fundraising event along with other GOP politicians, including U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Television ads run by an outside group featured video footage produced by Bradley’s own campaign and her own campaign finance reports revealed the Republican Party of Wisconsin provided her with campaign staff wages and paid phone calls.
One Wisconsin Now also uncovered audio of a 2013 Bradley speech in which she said that outside groups would be campaigning on her behalf, weeks before the campaign activity took place.
Ross concluded, “Rebecca Bradley is a historically inexperienced candidate for the state’s highest court. But she has left no doubt she’ll do or say anything to try to win an election, even going so far as publicly pledging her loyalty to the state big business lobby.”