Judge Neubauer Concedes Supreme Court Race

State Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer on Wednesday conceded the race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to her colleague Brian Hagedorn. 

The concession comes more than a week after an election during which Neubauer trailed Hagedorn by about 6,000 votes and concludes a bitter competition for the 10-year term. 

“I love being a judge. I treasure our state, our judiciary and its role in our democracy but this race was never about me. It was really about the integrity and the independence of our courts,” Neubauer said in an interview Tuesday with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We knew it was going to be close. We laid it all out there. We put everything we had into this race.”

Endorsements for Tuesday April 2 2019

I still think odd year spring elections should be eliminated and moved to even years to increase voter participation and reduce costs for municipalities…but I don’t run the show so we are voting Tuesday anyway!

Not sure who’s on the ballot? CHECK HERE! But my picks based on my ballot!

Wisconsin State Supreme Court: Lisa Neubauer

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 40: Danielle Shelton

Now I have two other contended races on my ballot for Milwaukee Public School Board. For my local district 8, I am supporting Megan O’Halloran. In the citywide race, I haven’t made up my mind yet…the candidates are Stefanie Dugan and Bob Peterson.

But I ask that all of you exercise your right to vote Tuesday April 2. Click here to find your local ballot and click here to find out where to vote and then vote!! And don’t forget to bring your PHOTO ID!

Wisconsin Case For Campaign Finance Reform Blogging Blue Style

Since my preferred campaign finance laws would preclude anyone but an eligible voter from contributing to a political campaign…this whole thing is a bit more than troubling!

Republican group spending more than $1 million to help Brian Hagedorn in Wisconsin court race

A Republican group swooped into Wisconsin this week to help Brian Hagedorn in his bid for the state Supreme Court, helping fill a gap left when other conservative groups abandoned the race. 

The more than $1 million effort is the first dose of major outside spending for Hagedorn, who is running against Lisa Neubauer in the April 2 election. Both sit on the District 2 Court of Appeals and are hoping to succeed retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson.   

An arm of the Republican State Leadership Committee debuted ads this week, including one that invoked President Donald Trump to praise Hagedorn. That ad compares attacks against Hagedorn to those against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  

And until the above injection of cash in the race listed above, here is where the race stood: Outside Spending for Neubauer Swamps Hagedorn

Groups backing Neubauer include:
The Greater Wisconsin Committee’s issue ad and independent expenditure arms have doled out at least $835,000 on television and digital advertising;
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has spent $131,140 on door hangers and canvassing;
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin has spent $121,900 on online advertising and canvassers;
For Our Future has spent $83,829 for brochures, canvassing, and digital advertising;
Center for Popular Democracy has spent $31,400 on campaign literature and canvassing;

Hagedorn’s outside support came from the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, which spent $87,381 on canvassing, door hangers and mailings.

My preference would be all of this money should just stay home…let Wisconsin voters decide with their personal wallets and votes.

full disclosure: I support Judge Lisa Neubauer for Wisconsin state Supreme Court,

Judge Brian Hagedorn Plays the Victim Card!

Judge Brian Hagedorn currently sits on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, a position that former Governor Scott Walker appointed him to after he served for nearly five years as Chief Legal Counsel to the governor. He was then elected to his current position in 2017. Judge Hagedorn is running against appeals court Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer in the April election to replace retiring Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

So far so good…except that while a law student he published a blog on political items of interest at the time. From his history above you can guess that his interests lean conservative as did his blog posts. He took a number of extremely right wing positions including positing that court rulings overturning the sodomy laws in Texas would lead to legalizing bestiality.

He called the Supreme Court’s decision overturning anti-sodomy laws a travesty that “should render laws prohibiting bestiality unconstitutional.”

He also wrote that the NAACP, the national civil rights group, was a “partisan hack” and a “disgrace to America.”

Hagedorn also wrote about “why I hate Planned Parenthood” and called it a “wicked organization” that was more devoted “to killing babies than to helping women.” Hagedorn, an evangelical Christian, said he was praying and lobbying to stop abortion.

You get the picture…but still so far so good…many of us have written blogs over the years…some that would get us in hot water of one sort or another over the years…and I imagine there is some serious fodder here if I were to run for something again.

But it’s the 21st Century…there are all of ‘these things’ out there. He certainly had to expect that someone would find fault with his positions and that they would go public and be very vocal about it. And the good judge should have been prepared…had a little stump speech explanation…a rationale…freedom of speech…and all that…and shrug it off even though his opposition wasn’t going to do that. Could he do that?

No…he decided to play the victim card:

Hagedorn, who is seeking a seat on the state Supreme Court, said criticism over the blog posts and calls for promises to recuse himself on cases involving Planned Parenthood and same-sex relationships are attacks on his evangelical Christian views.

“If you have ever been a Catholic or Christian of various stripes you’re going to get attacked for your faith,” Hagedorn said in an interview with WTAQ’s John Muir, a conservative radio show host. “I think it’s unfortunate and that’s not the way things are supposed to be.”

Hagedorn did not on Monday directly address the issues raised in his law school blog posts, but said the criticism is an attack on his faith and that he has always set aside his personal views when hearing cases and will continue to do so if elected to the Supreme Court.

An attack on his faith? I didn’t even know (or care) what his faith is. I do sense a bit of irony that in my lifetime…the first presidential campaign that I can remember…the Republicans were trying to make hay out of the fact that Senator John F Kennedy was a Catholic and was going to get his marching orders from the Vatican…but I digress.

And it is fine that Judge Hagedorn minimizes the influence his faith and beliefs have on his role as judge. That’s the ideal…the perfect…but we wouldn’t have conservatives and liberals backing ‘their own’ candidates if it didn’t matter.

But what I am getting at here isn’t his positions from his blog or his religious affiliation that trouble me. What bothers me is he decided to run directly to a victim hood of his own devising instead of standing up and taking the heat. I found that far more troubling. I find that a disqualifying trait in a judge. It belies the promise to rule based on the law…because in the heat of a campaign…he can’t keep the emotional out of it. Judge Hagedorn gets a thumbs down from me.