First the Government Accountability Board was accused of leaning to the left. I guess this is because, even though many of its decisions seemed to favor the GOP (recall petition review time extensions, Republican operatives filing early petitions to game the system, allowing fake Democratic candidates, listing signees on the internet, etc.) the GOP was still upset that they didn’t get all of the rulings to go in their favor.
Now we have a Mr. Schwanz (Viewpoint, 4/15), reader of Media Trackers, saying that the Wisconsin Judicial Commission is biased because Chairman Franklyn Gimbel has a history of Democratic activism. Following his logic Gimbel should be disqualified from serving on the Commission.
OK, let’s follow this string of logic to its reasonable conclusion. The Commission has nine members, including one court of appeals judge, one circuit court judge, and two attorneys, all appointed by the Supreme Court (comprised of 4 Republicans and 3 Democrats); and five non-lawyer members appointed by the governor with Senate confirmation. Because of the political make-up of the Supreme Court we can assume that the judges appointed will be, to paraphrase Prosser, a complement to the Conservative cause.
Now knowing the GOP will not leave anything to chance, Governor Walker put forth five “non-lawyer” nominees. On March 1, the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce and Government Operations approved these five Scott Walker nominees to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission. On the previous Tuesday the five nominees appeared before the Senate committee to give testimony as to their qualifications. By committee, I should state that only Chairman Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) was present. The four other members were busy with other committee responsibilities and were absent.
When they introduced themselves and listed their qualifications, what you didn’t hear was interesting:
Eileen Burnett of DePere didn’t mention her record of donating $5,350 directly to Republican campaigns over the past eight years. And the other two nominees didn’t mention their big time Republican Party donations. Mark Barrette of Beaver Dam has donated $4,100 in the same period of time, and Assef Saied, an anesthesiologist from Green Bay, has donated $25,705. All had donated generously to John Gard’s (R) two congressional campaigns and are stalwart GOP loyalists.
Talk about stacking the deck. Following Schwanz’s logic, these five are activists and should be disqualified. Oh, I forget the rules; if the GOP does it, its OK.
John Kocovsky, Hazelhurst