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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Musser is loss for all of WI; Republicans prefer purity | Main | Glenn Beck, Hannity, and Charlie Sykes Will Give Hagee-McCain Equal Time »

May 23, 2008

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Unknown

Shadowy issue ads are the scourge of politics right now, but I hope you will agree with me that WMC and the right are not the only guilty parties. Groups on the left have hands that are just as dirty. This is definately a bi-partisan problem.

Jess Wundrun

Name some of those groups on the left, and name what they did then, please. Use specifics.

I'm mostly interested in you backing up the "hands are just as dirty" line meaning you are going to show us how a party on the left affected the Butler/Gableman race to an equal degree that the WMC did.

Paul

Jess nailed it. When you examine WEAC or similar ads, there is nothing about Gableman that is false.

The attack ads on Butler did the following: gave the impression that things he did as a defense lawyer, he did as a judge; called an issue that the US Supreme Court sees as a serious constituional matter 'a technicality;' and that his actions freed a rapist (which never happerned).

Those are three examples just for starters.

What was said about Gableman that was so abusive? --that he was bought by special interests like WMC?

Marquette 2L

Paul, it's obvious to any reasonable person that the ads against Gableman were misleading.

Gov. McCallum had the discretion to select whomever he wanted for the Burnett County judicial position. He wasn't bound by the recommendation of the independant panel; he didn't have to pick a local judge; missing a deadline was not important. Insinuating that Gableman bought this position is clearly, to use your words, "abusive."

Another ad also said (District Attorney) Gableman reduced charges against sex offenders 70% of the time, and that and as a judge sentenced child sex offenders to an average of 25 years less than the maximum. The ad highlighted two child sex offender cases heard by Gableman. In one, Gableman gave a man one year in jail for attacking a young girl. The defendant whom Gableman sentenced to a year in jail got a stiffer sentence than the one the prosecutor recommended.

Another ad talked about Gableman's court ranking near the bottom because "it takes so long to try felons". Such a statement is meaningless without knowing what kind of resources his court had in comparison to other courts.

I don't condone the ads against Butler. I thought they were awful and dishonest. The fact that the ads against Gableman were misleading does not justify them. But if we only condemn dishonesty on one side of the political spectrum we are not going to convince or convert reasonable people in the middle or on the other side.

Jess Wundrun

Hey, unknown and Marquette 2L: sorry, don't remember those ads. Please come back and present WHO sponsored those ads and tell us when they were aired.

As of yet, there is no "there" there. Just waiting.

My original request goes unanswered

Marquette 2L

Jess,

The ad that insinuated that Gableman purchased his judicial position was paid for by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, an organization that spent over $300k on ads praising Gov. Doyle during his campaign. Like WMC, GWC does not disclose its list of donors (many speculate that trial lawyers are a substantial source of its funding, but I have not seen any evidence to support this). GWC also paid for the ads that said Gableman's court took too long to try felons

The ads that talked about Gableman being soft on crime were paid for by the Greater Wisconsin Committee as well as WEAC (the state's largest teachers' union).

If your point is that the anti-Gableman ads were not as dishonest or did not impact on the campaign to the degree that the anti-Butler ads did, I don't dispute that. If your point is that the ads run against Gableman were not misleading and not funded by left-leaning special interest groups, I don't think that is a reasonable position in light of the evidence.

(Regarding when the ads aired, I saw all of the mentioned ads dozens of times during the campaign. This could be a function of the fact that I'm a poor law student without cable TV. Doing a simple google search will confirm what I've said).

Charlie

Jess, I supported Butler but I have to admit I saw all those ads that Marquette 2L described. He (or she) is not making things up or spinning the facts. But WMC ads definitely dominated the airwaves; there weren't many Butler ads (no matter who paid for them).

Jess Wundrun

I didn't mean to imply that the ads didn't exist, but simply not recalling them I don't know and the first post didn't say who sponsored them nor what was spent.

Again, the question was to back up the line that "hands are just as dirty". Thus far that comment has not been proved and I simply don't believe that it can be. So Marquette and I are in agreement as to this paragraph:
------
If your point is that the anti-Gableman ads were not as dishonest or did not impact on the campaign to the degree that the anti-Butler ads did, I don't dispute that. If your point is that the ads run against Gableman were not misleading and not funded by left-leaning special interest groups, I don't think that is a reasonable position in light of the evidence.

Charlie

Thanks for clarifying your comments, Jess. I agree WMC's hands are dirtier than those of the groups who ran Butler ads.

Ron Legro

The bottom line is that the last two Wisconsin Supreme Court races have taken the bloom off any notion that politics in this state are somehow more thoughtful than in other states. The New York Times has now noticed. In a May 25 feature article, the Times reporting shames Wisconsin and the US in general. The story notes the Gableman victory and the methods his supporters used. The story goes on to show how the French could teach us yet some more about democracy -- both its virtues and its limits. The French, you see, use the equivalent of a "no child left behind" testing system to thoroughly vet its judges.

I know this will make neocon heads explode, but given our large and complex society, our justice system is necessarily going to be large and complex, too. A 30-second, law-and-order campaign ad doesn't in any way, shape or measure equate to a judge or justice who has any clue what he'll be doing. And, almost by definition, that in turn guarantees activist judges who'll be making it up as they go along.

Anyway, go see for yourself:

http://tinyurl.com/3elxrn

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