Cory Liebman has an interesting post regarding Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Washington County Judge Annette Ziegler's handling of a case involving a Wal-Mart fighting to locate in Hartford:
...I have to wonder how Hartford CRG (Citizens for Responsible Govenment) would react if they knew that the judge to whom they are appealing is a big time investor in Wal-Mart. I also have to wonder why Annette Ziegler would have accepted such a case despite the possible conflict of interests.
According to her most recent statement of economic interests filing, Annette Ziegler owns as much as $50,000 of stock in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The same source shows that she also owns as much as $50,000 in Wal-Mart of Mexico. Should she really be hearing a case in which she may have such a big personal financial interest? Did she ever bother to disclose this information to anyone prior to accepting this case? If not, what is her reasoning and why is this appropriate? One can't help but wonder if it does not present a conflict of interests.
...Hartford CRG and Wal-Mart should not be the only ones to watch Ziegler's eventual ruling, so should every Wisconsinite. It actually may provide a few answers as to how she might treat her potential conflicts in the future. With the kinds of investments in big corporations that she has, this Wal-Mart case will likely not be the last.
- Barry Orton