My conservative friend called me this morning angry that his fellow Republicans were calling for Democratic Sheriff Dave Mahoney to stay clear of investigating Justice Prosser because of his liberal bias. Chalk one up for my friend recognizing the absurdity of such a supposed conflict of interest.
Can you imagine a system where only conservative judges, sheriffs, and police officers preside over conservative leaning cases or investigations? How many times have we discussed the political affiliation of an arresting officer of a Republican suspect?
Listen to this down the rabbit hole rant by conservative radio crank Charlie Sykes:
Dave Mahoney took the bait? Not quite. Mahoney had no intent on taking on the investigation himself, according to sources;
WSJ: Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney effectively removed himself from the investigation into allegations state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put a "chokehold" on a fellow justice after questions were raised about Mahoney's objectivity because he endorsed Prosser's opponent in the recent election.
….conservative critics raised questions about whether he could objectively investigate the incident because he endorsed … liberal Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg … "the very politically charged nature of this particular investigation could prevent the public from resting full confidence in Sheriff Mahoney's abilities," said Brian Sikma, communications director for the conservative website Media Trackers.
But Democrats are fighting back, with logic and backbone:
But Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now said conservatives never raised the alarm when Prosser ruled on the controversial collective bargaining law even though he had been endorsed by numerous Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau … "Sheriff Mahoney has always called balls and strikes and put the law first," Ross said.
But here’s an even more important issue to consider:
Howard Schweber, a political science professor at UW-Madison, said critics of Mahoney leading the investigation seem to suggest no Republican sheriff could investigate a Democrat and vice versa. "It's taking the paranoid style of partisanship to a new and ludicrous level," Schweber said.Paranoid is the word, and a symptom of the conservative mind.