I’ve made no secret of the fact that I intensely dislike State Supreme Court candidate Michael Gableman, and while my dislike is in part due to my ideological differences with Gableman, much of my dislike towards the man has to do with the stunning scope of his hypocritical and unethical behavior, both during the campaign and prior to him receiving his appointment as a Burnett County Circuit Court judge.
Gableman, who promised to run a clean campaign, has unveiled his newest attack ad against incumbent Louis Butler, and already the ad is drawing intense criticism for its not so subtle racist undertones, as well as its gross distortion of facts surrounding a case Louis Butler handled as a criminal defense attorney. At issue is the ad’s assertion that Louis Butler helped free a convicted sex offender on appeal, only to have that same defendant re-offend once he was freed. However, the truth of the situation is that while Butler did help the defendant in question win an appeal, the defendant’s conviction was upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, resulting in the individual in question serving out the remainder of his sentence before being released from prison. It was only after he was released from prison that the individual reoffended.
Governor Jim Doyle said the ad from Gableman’s campaign was the lowest he’s ever seen a judicial candidate go, and the Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee also issued a statement calling the ad highly offensive and deliberately misleading before calling for the ad to be taken off the air:
“We believe Judge Gableman is deliberately misrepresenting the facts regarding this case and Justice Butler’s role in it, and it appears Judge Gableman is doing so either knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of his campaign statement,”
As I watched the ad – which I’ve included a little bit later in this entry – I couldn’t help but wonder about a fact that seems to escape Michael Gableman and his supporters: Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justices don’t lock criminals up, so being “tough on crime” isn’t as big a deal as it would be if Gableman were running for Circuit Court judge back in Burnett County. Then again, with Gableman’s record when it comes to being “tough on crime,” I can’t blame him for looking for a different job. As Sam Sarver from Brazen Maverick said,
That way, he (Gableman) wouldn’t have to deal with all the nuance and subtlety of the State Supreme Court, for which he obviously lacks sufficient patience.
I’d argue Gableman also lacks sufficient skill and intelligence to sit on the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, but Sam’s got a point.
For those interested, here’s the ad in question: