Former Lt. Governor's Letter Sent to Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee for Review
MADISON - The Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) today forwarded a fundraising letter written by former Republican Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow on State Supreme Court candidate Michael Gableman's letterhead to the Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee for review because the letter impugns the reputation of a Supreme Court candidate and questions the impartiality and independence of a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Committee is designed to monitor campaign-related activities of candidates and their supporters.
Attached is an open letter from WAJ President Christine Bremer Muggli to the chair of the committee, Thomas Basting as well as a copy of Farrow's letter.
"This Gableman campaign fundraising letter is filled with misleading rhetoric," said Bremer Muggli. "The Wisconsin Association for Justice is asking the Judicial Integrity Committee to investigate this matter and make a fact-based ruling. We are confident that when this is done, the points in the Gableman campaign's letter will be rejected."
The Gableman campaign letter claims incumbent Justice Louis Butler's decisions on the Court "threaten the safety and prosperity of Wisconsin." This language is accusatorial and not fact-based. In 2007 the Corporation for Enterprise Development gave our state high marks saying "Over the 20 years of the Development Report Card for the States, Wisconsin has distinguished itself as a great place to live... with bright prospects for its future economic performance and standard of living."
Even more extreme is the Gableman campaign's line "Louis Butler has put growing businesses and job creators in limbo; if you do business in Wisconsin, there is a good chance you will be sued, one way or another." This type of rhetoric serves no other purpose than to strike fear in the hearts of Wisconsinites. A review of 2006 Wisconsin civil court filings shows divorce (21,072); foreclosures of mortgages (16,489); money judgments (14,245); and paternity cases (13,865) were the leaders. Even the CEOs of state manufacturing firms disagree with the Gableman campaign's claims. A 2006 survey by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) shows manufacturing CEOs rate so-called 'lawsuit-abuse' as the least of the business concerns facing their company.
"Gableman's campaign tactics are right out of the WMC playbook, bringing partisan politics into Wisconsin's courtrooms," said Bremer Muggli. "They are damaging to the Supreme Court, Wisconsin's impartial judicial system and the general public who rely on both."