On Friday a WisPolitics report (unfortunately hidden behind a paywall) highlighted Judge Joe Donald’s past support of Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley. According to the report Donald, one of two challengers vying to unseat Bradley, served as a reference on Bradley’s application for an appointment to the 1st District Court of Appeals and endorsed her campaign to retain a seat on the Milwaukee County bench in 2013.
Asked about his previous support for Rebecca Bradley, here’s what Joe Donald had to say.
“The only thing I can tell you is that I got bamboozled,” said Donald, now running for Bradley’s seat on the Supreme Court. “I really thought she was about being a trial court judge. It became apparent that it had nothing to do with it, that this was clearly a process to put her in place to put her on the Supreme Court.”
Bradley questioned Donald’s comments, adding he had always been supportive of her.
“I’m kind of surprised to hear him say something like that,” Bradley said. “That doesn’t sound like the Joe Donald that I thought I knew.”
In response to Joe Donald’s statement that he was “bamboozled,” Melissa Mulliken, the campaign manager for Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg, called into question Joe Donald’s explanation of his support for Rebecca Bradley.
“The fact is, Judge Donald supported Rebecca Bradley twice, once when she was a candidate for circuit court and once again on her application to Governor Walker for Court of Appeals last year,” Mulliken wrote in an email. “We need a justice on the Supreme Court who can’t be ‘bamboozled’ by Scott Walker’s partisan agenda and who we can count on to stand up for the people of Wisconsin.”
What seems pretty clear in the 2016 Wisconsin Supreme Court race is that Rebecca Bradley and JoAnne Kloppenburg occupy very different spaces in the race, while Joe Donald….well I’m not exactly sure what space he occupies.