Friday, March 24, 2017

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Justice Gableman for Partisan Fundraiser

(See the WI State Journal story... and more from WI Democracy Campaign)

A complaint has been filed with the Wisconsin Judicial Commission about the participation of a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice in partisan fundraising in Rice Lake. Gerry Lisi, Chairperson for the Democratic Party of Barron County, has complained that Justice Michael J. Gableman was advertised as a featured speaker in promotional materials for the March 11 Republican Party Lincoln Day fundraiser.

Wisconsin law specifically prohibits judges from soliciting funds or membership for any political party or participating in political promotions, conventions or activities. Because Wisconsin adheres to the concept of nonpartisan courts, a judge shall not appeal to partisanship and shall avoid partisan activity. Engaging in this kind of inappropriate political activity undermines the sacred trust placed in independent courts.

Wisconsin Judges are also prohibited from using the prestige of their office for fundraising or membership solicitation for any group, political or not.

Moreover, Eric O’Keefe, representative for the Club for Growth and a recent litigant before Justice Gableman’s court, was advertised as sharing the podium. As the complaint reads, this violates not only the letter of the Supreme Court rules, but shows extremely poor judgment for a sitting Supreme Court Justice.

Read the full complaint here.