Saturday, February 14, 2009

The One Wisconsin Now contortionist act

This is just classic. Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson raked in over $11,000 in donations from members of a law firm with a malpractice case before the court. Abrahamson did not disclose the donations to the parties involved in the case.

Abrahamson has not disclosed the donations from members of the firm, Cannon & Dunphy, to parties in the case or recused herself. Her campaign acknowledged she went to a fundraiser with those and other supporters but said that wouldn't affect her decision.

Nor is this the only time Abrahamson had her hand in the case-pending cookie jar.

In all, lawyers with cases pending before the seven-member court have donated more than $30,000 to Abrahamson's campaign since August, according to a review by The Associated Press. The lawyers -- nearly 30 in all -- made donations ranging from $25 to $5,000.

The donations are legal, but some watchdogs say their acceptance creates the perception of favoritism. One group is pushing the court to require justices to recuse themselves in cases involving parties who donate $1,000 or more to get them elected.

Interestingly, One Wisconsin Now is pushing to have some state supreme court justices recuse themselves from a case. In that case, OWN is claiming that even expenditures on issue-ads independent of the justice's campaign are sufficient grounds for recusal.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has already made it known how it would like the Wisconsin Supreme Court to rule.

And who can forget the millions of dollars WMC spent supporting corporate-friendly and ethically-challenged judges Michael Gableman and Annette Ziegler?

One Wisconsin Now has even launched a petition drive to ask for Gableman's and Ziegler's recusal. However, notice that One Wisconsin Now has also indicated how it would like the court to rule but has not asked Abrahamson to recuse herself from the same case despite their activity on her behalf. Nor have they asked Abrahamson to recuse herself from the malpractice case involving Cannon & Dunphy. Nor have they asked Abrahamson from recusing herself from any case where she has received donations from those with cases pending before the state supreme court.

That's because One Wisconsin Now is not interested in defending any principle or standard of conduct. (Of course, we knew that when the ethically challenged Scot Ross was picked to lead them.) They are not even interested in the law. Their only interest is power, pushing their political philosophy by any means necessary, regardless of the moral and intellectual contortions in which they force themselves to engage.