With the race between Louis Butler and Michael Gableman for Butler’s seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court due to heat up, I figured now would be a good time to take a closer look at the candidacy of Judge Gableman. As first reported by the folks at One Wisconsin Now, it appears Judge Gableman was appointed to his seat on the Burnett County Circuit Court under some suspicious circumstances. In the interest of keeping things neat and tidy, here’s a list of the suspicious circumstances surrounding Michael Gableman’s appointment to the Burnett County Circuit Court:
- Gableman did not go through the process for selecting judges which had been established by then-Governor Scott McCallum.
- Gableman had not applied for the Burnett County judgeship by the deadline established by the Governor’s Notice of Judicial Vacancy.
- Gableman was not one of two finalists selected by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Judicial Selection.
- Gableman served as a Republican fundraiser for Governor McCallum in the midst of the selection process to fill the vacancy that was later awarded to Gableman.
- Gableman donated $2,500 to Governor McCallum’s re-election campaign.
- No records of Gableman being interviewed for the Burnett County Circuit Court seat by Governor McCallum could be found, despite open records requests.
- No records of Gableman’s application for the vacancy could be found. OWN did find a copy of a resume Gableman faxed to the Governor’s office, but no copy of a formal application was found, despite applications being found for all the other candidates.
- Gableman arranged and attended a private breakfast with Governor McCallum at the Executive Residence in March 2002, shortly before he was appointed to fill the Burnett County Circuit Court vacancy.
Now sure, I suppose all these points could just be a happy coincidence, but as when I put all those points together, I can’t help but think Michael Gableman’s seat on the Burnett County Circuit Court was bought and paid for, and all it seemed to cost was $2,500.