Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
No other Wisconsin judge has faced the ethics violations now confronting
Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman … no judge has ever faced Judicial
Commission allegations that he or she made false statements about an opponent.
The commission filed a complaint Oct. 7 alleging a campaign ad Gableman ran in
March made false statements about his opponent, then-Justice Louis Butler.
Gableman has indicated he will fight the accusation on First Amendment grounds.
At issue is an ad by Gableman that said: "Louis Butler worked to put
criminals on the street. Like Reuben Lee Mitchell, who raped an 11-year-old girl
with learning disabilities. Butler found a loophole. Mitchell went on to molest
another child." As a public defender, Butler won an appeal for Mitchell, but the
state Supreme Court ruled that Mitchell had to stay in prison. He did not commit
the subsequent crime until after he was paroled.
Gableman argues that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that political speech
must be judged on its literal meaning, not on impressions … Campaign consultant,
Darrin Schmitz; "The allegation skips over the fact the plain language of the ad
is truthful," Schmitz said in a statement.
Did you get that? The disconnected statements, which are true individually
but when put together mean something completely different, is okay.
Sean Parnell, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, said the
government shouldn't judge campaign speech. The group fights campaign
"A falsely flat statement in one person's eyes is a modest exaggeration in
another person's eyes is the honest truth in yet a third person's eyes," he
The last quote in the paragraph above is my favorite "down the rabbit hole" reasoning. I've even printed it out and posted it on my wall. Here's a video with the offending ad, and former State Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske, warning us just how serious the allegations are.