MADISON, Wis. — Candidates for public office will often times tout the endorsements of prominent individuals to help raise their approval and standing in the eyes of the public. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted the interesting strategic decision of Rebecca Bradley to tout the support of two of Wisconsin’s most ethically challenged justices, Jon Wilcox and Michael Gableman, in her bid for the state’s high court.
“The old adage goes you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep,” commented Ross. “And we’re learning a lot about Rebecca Bradley from her status as a Scott Walker crony to her support from the Court’s most scandal-plagued Justices.”
On her official website unveiled yesterday, Bradley promotes the endorsements of retired Justice Jon Wilcox and sitting State Supreme Court member Michael Gableman.
Wilcox was hit with the largest fine in state history for a violation of state campaign finance law, $10,000, for the actions of his 1997 campaign for the State Supreme Court illegally colluding with an outside group. In addition to the fine paid by Wilcox, his campaign manager was also fined and barred from working in politics in Wisconsin for three years.
Gableman’s scandal plagued record includes fundraising for then Gov. Scott McCallum using the phone in his publicly funded office, participating in numerous cases involving the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, who spent more than $2 million on Gableman’s behalf in his election and casting the deciding votes in two cases being argued by a law firm that gave him tens of thousands of dollars in free legal advice in support of his defense for investigations about his lying in campaign ads.
Gableman also filed a plea with his colleagues on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court to reconsider the conviction on misconduct charges of former Scott Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch, for illegal campaigning on public time while in Walker’s office as Milwaukee County Executive.
One Wisconsin Now previously raised questions about Rebecca Bradley based on her extensive ties to Gov. Scott Walker’s political machine including using Walker staffers as campaign managers and having her previous campaign chaired by Michael Grebe, chair of Walker’s gubernatorial and presidential campaigns and head of the massive right wing Bradley Foundation.
Ross concluded, “The most basic qualification for a judge is their exercise of good judgement. If her Walker cronyism wasn’t enough to raise questions, then Rebecca Bradley’s touting the endorsements of two of the most ethically lacking jurists to disgrace Wisconsin in generations certainly ought to.”