Michael Horne
House Confidential

The Two Homes of Rebecca Bradley

Judge has Tosa Colonial and a Lower East Side condo near all those gays she condemned.

By - Mar 9th, 2016 02:45 pm
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Rebecca Bradley's homes.

Rebecca Bradley’s homes.

Rebecca Lynn Grassl Bradley, who was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court last October, is the first Milwaukeean to hold a seat there since Louis B. Butler, who was defeated for election in 2008.

Since we have a justice on the “Milwaukee Seat” once again, House Confidential thought it would be nice to take a peek at her private quarters, not at all expecting that the tennis-loving jurist has both a large suburban residence and a fun and funky downtown condo. The two together are assessed at over $600,000.

We shall visit these homes in the order in which they were purchased by Bradley, who has been much in the news about her previous anti-gay writings that came to light this week. What kind of “lifestyle” does the conservative justice enjoy herself?

Residence #1: Lower East Side Getaway

Justice Bradley claims that she is free of the bias she felt against gays way back in 1992.

Let’s put a positive spin on her renunciation!

Let the voters know that in 2003 she invested $250,000 in a 1,218 square foot two-story, 2 bedroom, 2 bath condominium unit in the Lyon Court Condominiums, located in the Lower East Side, Milwaukee’s most gay-friendly neighborhood.

Here, at the intersection of Sodom Lane and Gomorrah Boulevard, [E. Lyon and N. Van Buren streets], Bradley’s home is within sight of Hybrid Lounge, a self-proclaimed Gay Bar. It is just the sort of place, to use Bradley’s 1992 words, where “degenerates who basically commit suicide through their behavior,” can enjoy a cocktail and watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race while they await the inevitable results of their “abnormal sexual preferences.”

Across the street from her home is Coffeetails, another bar that does not discriminate on the basis of “irresponsible morals.”

Furthermore, known homosexual couples in long-term relationships occupy at least one property adjacent to Bradley’s condo development.

Bradley’s condo, in a 45-unit, five-story building constructed in 1999 by New Land Enterprises, is also a convenient walk from the BESTD clinic, which for decades has provided free, anonymous testing for sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, the “politically correct disease,” as the future judge once termed it. It is located on E. Brady St., which is famous for the drag show that accompanies its annual street festival. Bradley can catch that action from her home, too.

The Pick ‘n Save grocery store directly across the street sells prophylactics, although Dr. Bradley warned that “condoms are not a reliable enough means of preventing the disease,” in one of her nonsensical AM talk radio-influenced observations.

How to escape this hell? That may be a question for the justice to ponder, perhaps while reviewing the monthly bills at her other residence. The fact of the matter is she’s under water, as they say, on the value of this condo. She paid $250,000 for it 13 years ago; today it’s valued at just $200,200. If she wants to sell, maybe she can hire some gays to decorate it tastefully so it can fetch a better price.

Photo Gallery

Residence #2: A Suburban Tosa Retreat

When Rebecca Lynn Grassl Bradley was pulled over for speeding by officer Matthew Menard of the Columbia County Sheriff’s department on June 14th, 2012, she gave a Grand Parkway, Wauwatosa address as her residence.

She bought the 3,464 square foot, 9-room home on July 6th, 2006, for $395,000. This was during the time she was working as Vice President of Legal Operations for RedPrairie Corporation, the Waukesha-based company whose now infamous CEO John Jazwiec blasted Milwaukee as a “high crime” city that is “going downhill.” Bradley’s new residence might have been seen as more appropriate for someone looking to rise in Republican circles, and provided her with a less-liberal sounding voting address.

Yet she retained her downtown pad right in the middle of all the “promiscuous homosexuals” and “fringe” groups of “liberal activists” she complained of in her college writings.

At her other, non-city residence, Bradley could banish those worries about “AIDS awareness,” “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Affairs,” and the antics of the “Queer-loving” president Bill Clinton and quietly contemplate the real issues like “balanced budgets, term limits, school choice and litigation reform,” that make her a darling of the conservative Federalist Society, of which she is a member, having also served as its Milwaukee president.

Her 5-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath brick colonial in Tosa is located on a 9,583 square foot lot, and was built in 1925 in Wellauer Park, just south of W. Wisconsin Ave. The subdivision was originally named “American Heights,” and had once been the property of Harrison Ludington, a 19th century Wisconsin Governor. The dignified Colonial residence was also just 10 doors away from the longtime residence of current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has thrice appointed Bradley to judicial positions.

In 1948 it was advertised as a home that seemed fit for a justice — maybe even a Chief Justice! It had:

“a large living room, a Natural Fireplace, a sun room with a tile floor, a dining room, kitchen, breakfast room and powder room” on the first floor.

The first floor also had a “reception hall,” where visiting justices could drop their cartes de visite on the silver tray atop the mahogany sideboard before returning to Madison in a gallop on their coaches drawn by a matched team.

The second floor includes a “large library on the landing and 3 bedrooms.” The third floor offers a “maid’s quarters with bath and children’s playing room.”

The home also had “excellent closet space.” Tee-hee. They said closet!

This home is not only more appropriate for a rising conservative politician, but a better investment than Bradley’s downtown pad. It is now assessed at $405,000.

Photo Gallery

About that Speeding Ticket

Rebecca Grassl Bradley [UW Law 1996] (Wisconsin State Bar Member #1021943), served as her own attorney when she initially contested her speeding citation in Columbia County. She later changed her plea in case 2012TR004390 and paid a $175.30 fine after pleading “No Contest.”

What’s that Name Again?

In her campaign materials and in news stories, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s newest member goes by Rebecca Bradley. Her student writings quoted her were issued under the maiden name of Rebecca Grassl.

However the justice also styles herself as Hon. Rebecca Lynn Grassl Bradley for her bar admission, her voter registration, her driver’s license and in her legal cases, which include her April, 2004 divorce from Gordon J. Bradley, Milwaukee County Case 2004FA002772.

Grassl Bradley has since announced her engagement to marry again.

Has Bradley Changed? Should Her Apology Be Accepted?

Rebecca Bradley. Photo by Michael Horne.

Rebecca Bradley. Photo by Michael Horne.

In 1992 student Rebecca Lynn Grassl wrote items in the Marquette Tribune writings excoriating gays and the “queer-loving” President Bill Clinton. Her extreme views were pretty much cut-and-pasted from the angry rhetoric of AM talk radio hosts like Charlie Sykes. They offended not only gays, but a large segment of the community that cared about justice, equality, and the public health crisis of AIDS.

This week, when the writings were uncovered by One Wisconsin Now, the author had no choice but to apologize.

She made a public statement that she was “horribly embarrassed. Those words in no way reflect the person I am today.”

The pulpit for her message?

The Charlie Sykes show on WTMJ-AM 620.

Sykes may be a good father/confessor figure for Supreme Court Justices — a former one is the mother of his children — but as an avenue of atonement for grievous sins, his platform likely falls short of the mark of what is expected by the gay community and by others.

Bradley, the only current Supreme Court member from the Milwaukee area, was appointed to her position in October by Gov. Walker, and faces a close race with JoAnne Kloppenburg for a full ten year term. The revelation of the old writings a month before the election could play a crucial role in the outcome.

Here is how she explained her controversial writings:

“To those offended by comments I made as a young college student, I apologize, and assure you that those comments are not reflective of my worldview.

“These comments have nothing to do with who I am as a person or a jurist, and they have nothing to do with the issues facing the voters of this state.”

It doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to notice that her apology is directed only to “those offended.”

Also, her claim that her mindset as an adult in 1992 has “nothing to do with the issues facing the voters of this state” in 2016 is clearly untrue.

Along with her anti-gay rhetoric, those 1992 writings included specific references to “balanced budget amendment,” “term limits,” “school choice,” and “litigation reform.”

The latter two items are clearly “issues facing the voters of this state” in 2016, just as they were when the aspiring Federalist was spouting her opinions about the sexual practices of “degenerates.” Speaking as one of “those offended,” Bradley’s writings still seem quite relevant in helping us understand her world views.

Wanna Be A Judge? Apply Here

Governor Walker has an on-line application form for those who would like to be appointed to a vacant judicial position in Wisconsin. As with previous governors, Walker tends to choose judges from his own party to fill the vacant non-partisan offices.

How can that be done? A look at Section XV of the 13-page application gives a clue:

  • Explain in 500 words or less why you want to become a judge/justice.
  • In 500 words or less, name one of the best United States or Wisconsin Supreme Court opinions in the last thirty years and explain why you feel that way.
  • In 500 words or less, name one of the worst United States or Wisconsin Supreme Court opinions in the last thirty years and explain why you feel that way.
  • In 500 words or less, describe your judicial philosophy.

I have contacted the Governor’s office asking for a copy of Bradley’s filled-out application.

The Rundown

Residence #1: Lower East Side Getaway

  • Owner: Rebecca Grassl Bradley
  • Location: Milwaukee
  • Neighborhood: Lower East Side
  • Subdivision: N/A Formerly Gammon Float Block
  • Year Built: 1999
  • Architect: None Cited
  • Style: 5-story Apartment Style 45-unit Condominium Building
  • Size: 1,218 s.f.
  • Fireplaces: 1
  • Rec Room: None
  • Assessment: Land: Share of 28,314 sq. ft. lot is valued at $7,200 [N.M.N./s.f.]. Improvements: $193,000 Total: $202,200. Current owner purchased for $250,000 in 2003.
  • Taxes: $5,665.19 paid in full by owner.
  • Garbage Collection Route and Schedule: N/A Trash collected by private contractor.
  • Polling Location: Cass Street School, 1647 N.Cass St. [Note: Owner does not use this as voting address.]
  • Aldermanic District: 3, Ald. Nik Kovac
  • County Supervisor District 3, Gerry Broderick
  • Walk Score: 90 out of 100 “Walker’s Paradise”
  • Transit Score: 60 out of 100 “Good Transit” Bus stop at front door.

How Milwaukee Is It? The Residence is 1 mile from City Hall.

Residence #2: A Suburban Tosa Retreat

  • Owner: Rebecca Grassl Bradley
  • Location: Wauwatosa
  • Neighborhood: Wauwatosa is one big neighborhood
  • Subdivision: Wellauer Park Addition #3
  • Year Built: 1925
  • Architect: None Cited
  • Style: Traditional Colonial Revival with library and maid’s quarters
  • Size: 3,464 s.f.
  • Fireplaces: Yes
  • Rec Room: None
  • Assessment: Land: 9,583 s.f. lot is assessed at  $119,800 [$12.50./s.f.]. Improvements: $285,200 Total: $405,000. Current owner purchased property for $395,000 in 2006.
  • Taxes: $9,306.57 paid in full by owner.
  • Garbage Collection Route and Schedule: Friday Schedule.
  • Polling Location: Jefferson School
  • Aldermanic District: 4, Alds. Dennis McBride and Michael G. Walsh
  • County Supervisor District: 6, Jim “Luigi” Schmitt
  • Walk Score: 63 out of 100 “Somewhat Walkable”
  • Transit Score: Could Not Be Determined.

How Milwaukee Is It? The residence is 6 miles from Milwaukee City Hall

 With additional research by Dylan Deprey

36 thoughts on “House Confidential: The Two Homes of Rebecca Bradley”

  1. Marie says:

    Michael Horne, you Oscar Wilde-ish rascal, you just nailed a real two-fer.

    One favorite line: “Here, at the intersection of Sodom Lane and Gomorrah Boulevard, [E. Lyon and N. Van Buren streets], Bradley’s home is within sight of Hybrid Lounge, a self-proclaimed Gay Bar.”

    Maybe Justice Bradley could try to win back some Gay-Community Love by pledging to march in the Gay Pride Parade or by hosting a meet-and-greet at Hybrid or some other gay haunt. Perhaps she could have her big fan Chris Abele co-host such a swell soiree!!

  2. WashCoRepub says:

    Between The Milwaukee Journal, the Wisconsin State Journal, and Urban Milwaukee, I guess Kloppenburg won’t even have to run any ads. Her loyal subjects are doing the job for her.

    Wow, does 1WisconsinNow have staff actually present at all these locations, or just a direct line to your ‘newsroooms?’

  3. Marie says:

    WashCoRepub,

    Nah, all those newsrooms (and others) probably just have staff who think gays deserve to be treated with equal rights and dignity and that all women should have access to contraception and legally sanctioned abortions. But yes fact-based news can trump her BS ads.

    Although Bradley was a mere college senior when she wrote gay-hating rants, she more recently equated birth control with murder. She sounds like a high-strung drama queen!

    If she wants “forgiveness” for her transgressions, going to confession is always an option for good Catholics.

  4. Gary says:

    I think the bigoted blond chick keeps the condo because it’s rated “Walker’s Paradise”.

  5. Vincent Hanna says:

    Only a rabid extremist thinks the problem is media coverage and not the awful things Bradley said. Pathetic.

  6. Casey says:

    I really enjoy this site and read it on a daily basis.
    But….c’mon…this is a bit of a flip or hypocritical.
    Aside from the politics (which are entertaining) any other mention of the burbs and the city UM puts a positive spin on the city. In this instance UM makes sure we all know that Bradley is under water in her urban and former Park East developed condo but sings praises that her suburban Tosa house is on the up swing.

    Maybe those damn conservatives and talk radio was right…..developing the park east corridor was a waste and we should all move to the burbs were are home values wont tank.

  7. Bea says:

    How do you solve a problem like Rebecca? Vote Kloppenburg!
    She’s also on the Board of Governors of the St. Thomas More Society of Wisconsin. Its main tenets:
    _ Protecting the First Amendment rights of those who pray and counsel outside our nation’s
    abortion facilities
    _ Defending laws that protect human life from conception to natural death
    _ Ensuring the free expression of religion in the public square
    _ Restoring respect for marriage as the sacred union of one man and one woman.

  8. AG says:

    Wait, I thought people had the ability to change over time and should be forgiven for their past transgressions? We can forgive/forget about the Ayers and Assange’s of the world but when some (probably) sheltered, sophomore in college 25 years ago makes extreme comments she later regrets it proves she’s a bigot?

  9. M says:

    AG, no Bradley was a senior, not a “sheltered” sophomore, when she wrote most of those rants. And she’s said similar things about reproductive rights since then.

    Casey, about the property value, I did not detect any dissing of the Lower East Side. Sometimes condos do not hold their value as well as single-family homes, at least in the short term. Of course, many homes everywhere have also taken a hit. We’ve had a rough ride in real estate recently.

  10. Vincent Hanna says:

    She’s on the board of a group that opposes marriage equality and represents the likes of Troy Newman, who supports murdering abortion providers. There’s no reason to believe Bradley doesn’t still hold extreme views. And the Ayers comparison is complete and total nonsense. They met a few times. Not even remotely the same thing.

  11. AG says:

    Casey, don’t bother… Mr. Horne is part of the city vs suburbs battle where both sides perpetuate an “us vs them” mentality that continues to fracture our metro area. He once said on this site, “Death to the suburbs by any legal means is my credo.” This is despite the fact he grew up in Mequon himself…

    I’d hope we can see some appreciation for the diversity in places where people can live and the various positives/negatives of those choices. Instead, I doubt we’ll hear anything resembling a unifying voice coming from him any time soon.

  12. Joe says:

    I think the bottom line on Bradley…would your business hire her knowing she penned that rubbish? Would BMO, NML or Time Warner hire her as a corporate counsel? I don’t believe they would.

  13. Uh says:

    I watched the debate. Bradley seemed like an angry woman with a temper. Her facial expressions in reactions to what Kloppenburg was saying childlike.

  14. daniel golden says:

    Rebecca Grassl apparently thinks her bible is a smorgasbord-she picks and chooses items in the document that suit her. She apparently sees nothing inconsistent with her own personal mishaps ( a short term marriage ending in divorce from a man 23 years her senior ) and condemning the lifestyles of others. My experience in family law would indicate women keep a
    ex spouses name only if there are children or it is a long term marriage. Rebecca apparently felt a surname similar to a right wing foundation would play well in right wing politics. Was that the basis for the short marriage to begin with to a man 23 years her senior, or does she have daddy issues?

  15. Vincent Hanna says:

    The organizations she belongs to (like the St. Thomas More Society) are extremely problematic in that they really advocate for injecting more religion into the courts. They want an increase in courts using specific religious texts to interpret law. That’s not a good thing.

  16. blurondo says:

    Quoting AG: “This is despite the fact he grew up in Mequon…”
    No, it’s because of the fact that he grew up in Mequon.

  17. blurondo said it for me in his response to AG. I was just about to make the same point. Thanks.

  18. Dave says:

    I knew of a few hateful bigots and racists from my days at Marquette. 15 years later, they’re the same assholes now as they were then. People may learn to watch what they write and say as they grow older but in my experience, it’s rare for these types of people to have a genuine change of heart.

  19. M says:

    Some conservatives, including Sykes, have defended Bradley’s “pro-life” stances (birth control = murder: really!). She gives anti-abortion proponents a bad name. You can personally and honorably not choose to have an abortion and encourage (but not coerce) your loved ones to do so and offer to support them in that decision.

    Or you can try to make other people’s lives miserable by shaming them or making it difficult to access a constitutionally protected option. You can bet that Ms. Bradley knows she will win votes from others who are equally intolerant. But she can’t have it both ways by claiming an election-season “conversion.” Since one in three American women has an abortion by age 40, chances are Ms. Bradley knows some women, even conservative Republicans, who are among that demographic. Another prominent GOP leader, Alberta Darling, had a different election-related conversion. The former Planned Parenthood board member is now rabidly anti-choice since it plays better with her target voters in River Hills, etc.

    Yes, ambitious politicians can change their publicly stated views to opportunistically win votes. I don’t think that realizing that gay couples are worthy to adopt society’s forgotten needy children is any big realization, as Bradley proudly asserts now. We need a justice with more than just a sense of pragmatism when it comes to other human beings.

  20. AG says:

    That’s sad to hear Mr. Horne. All things considered, and personal viewpoints not withstanding, you seemed to have turned out ok. I’m sure the world will survive if the suburbs continue to exist. I’d venture to say we’d actually be better off if we found a way for the burbs and city to coexist or, heaven forbid, work together.

  21. Milwaukeean says:

    AG: Exactly how would you expect the suburbs and the city to ‘coexist or, heaven forbid, work together’? Especially since we know to be true the City and Suburbs are divided based on bigotry, often times blatant racism, and money? What exactly would you propose to unify the region? What you are expecting here, is to be able to change the hearts and minds of a region that rejects people of color, and people who do not fit into the very white Milwaukee suburbs.

  22. AG says:

    If you really believe the narrative created that “…we know to be true the City and Suburbs are divided based on bigotry, often times blatant racism, and money…” then you are part of the problem.

  23. Vincent Hanna says:

    Blatant racism isn’t part of the problem? Of course it is. The people who are part of the problem are the ones denying that. Hell there’s people who post here that demonstrate the blatant racism that exists. There’s evidence of it everywhere. I have plenty of anecdotal evidence of it. AG your head is buried in the sand if you don’t think racism is part of the urban/suburban divide.

  24. Milwaukeean says:

    AG: Just answer my question, please. Unifying the region was your idea. Now I want to see exactly how you intend to do this knowing very well the bigoted hearts and minds of the Citizens in the region in which you live. After you successfully answer that question, and fulfill your own expectation of ‘if we found a way for the burbs and city to coexist or, heaven forbid, work together’, then I will share with you how I am making an impact in my community with very similar issues. These forums are good bouncing boards for ideas and opinions, but they do nothing if you are unable to actually contribute and produce positive results in your own community.

  25. AG says:

    I’d love for someone to explain how stereo typing suburbanites is any better than stereo typing people who live in the city. And Milwaukeean, when you say “the region” that I live are you saying the Milwuakee neighborhood I live in? Because yes, I do see my Milwaukee neighbors bigoted against subrubanites.

    It’s also hard to have a real conversation when responding to someone who is blaming all problems on an entire region of people for being racist.

    However, you ask and I shall provide. Some of the things the metro area could do to better foster a sense of cooperation: Regional bus routes to job centers, working together to attract businesses from other states and regions and not from each other, cooperate on regional highway design, not put burdensome stipulations on a water contract between neighboring communities, support regional cultural institutions instead of leaving the burden only on the municipality it’s located in, and my favorite: cutting out the unnecessary rhetoric. This clearly barely touches the surface… but do you have any suggestions other than “stop being racist?”

  26. Bruce Thompson says:

    Apologies made to “those who were offended” have always struck me as insincere–a way of shifting responsibility to the too-sensitive listener, rather than taking personal responsibility.

  27. M says:

    I agree with Bruce T. Her statement is close to “Mistakes were made” used instead of “I screwed up.”

    But Bradley cannot plead having “mis-spoke” or mis-wrote because she did it too many times and has since said and written plenty of other extreme stuff. I think the reproductive rights issue, about which she is just as intolerant, is even more likely to come before the State Supreme Court than gay-related cases, especially since gay marriage is now the law of the land. However, GOP legislators seem to put forth a new attempt to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade in Wisconsin several times a session.

  28. Gatos Locos says:

    What I see are some code violations on here Tosa residence. She is using her garage rooftop, one story above ground, as a patio space and has no handrails or guardrails to prevent a fall hazard. A call to the city of Tosa building inspector as well as her insurance company both seem to be in order.

  29. Milwaukeean says:

    AG: Perhaps the question bears repeating: What are you doing, yourself, to make a difference in your community against the perception (and acts of…) of blatant racism? While I appreciate your ability to point out what you think your local government should do on a business and infrastructure level to foster a less racially hostile community, the question was directed at you – not your local government.

  30. AG says:

    Milwaukeean, I’d be happy to answer your question in more detail but why don’t you answer my question first. What do you do besides type negative rhetoric based on misinformed stereo types on internet comment sections?

  31. M says:

    AG: Plenty of neutral researchers and data have documented both systemic and individual racism and its impacts in Milwaukee. Those are facts, not stereotypes. Additionally, all people have some forms of bias. But the facts of racial and economic segregation in Milwaukee exist separate from those individual views and even rhetoric.

    Remedying the long-standing refusal to provide convenient mass transit for city residents to reach jobs in the suburbs is worthy goal you advocate. We can all keep pushing for that.

    I think this region will be better able to move past systemic racism and solve problems differently as we try to acknowledge and understand the roots of it in ourselves and others and then to broaden our perceptions. That takes openness and effort.

  32. AG says:

    M, saying systemic and individual racism has had historic impacts on Milwaukee (and in some regard today as well) is different than calling all suburbanites bigoted racists. Just as data shows that high rates of teenage preganancy and high crime rates in the african american population have detrimental effects is different than saying all inner city residents are sluts and criminals.

    My issue is more to do with fostering a cooperative conversation to find solutions rather than spread the hateful dialog that people on both sides seem to favor.

  33. M says:

    It seems that most people commenting here are trying to foster cooperative conversation and find solutions to long-standing problems. I personally am. I have family and friends in the suburbs and do not bash them. I grew up in a suburb.

    None of this is easy and mass de-industrialization here has made things even harder. However, cooperation among many groups has led to drastically lowering Milwaukee’s rates of teenage pregnancy. Many of us are engaged in programs to help people move out of poverty through education, job creation and other measures. Let’s keep going, personally and through larger systems!

  34. Gary says:

    Sticking with the issue of homes (I had to go back to re-read the thoughtful article), if someone offered RLGB a 3rd home located along the Lincoln or Estabrook Pkwys. we might get a quicker settlement on that damn dam issue!

  35. Brewershark says:

    Hmmmm….writes disparaging remarks in public about people she has nothing to do with….involves herself in a conflict of interest regarding a family issue with a man she had an affair with….gets up and leaves court during arguments in order to make a speech to big-money campaign donors. Yep, she has all the makings of a State Supreme Court Justice. In addition, she wrote a diatribe calling President Bill Clinton a whole bunch of derogatory names. Of course, everyone has a right to an opinion, but when you put put it in writing and publicly publish it, you’re going to find it hard to take back. IF, that’s a big IF, Hillary Clinton is elected President, will Rebecca Bradley stand by the statement she made about Bill Clinton that, “anyone who voted for him is stupid?” (thus anyone who votes for her is stupid?) This is not your chiropractor, tax preparer, insurance agent, or bank teller saying this to you in private conversation. This is one of your State Supreme Court Justices saying it in public. Over the next 10 years, I’m sure we’ll hear about more controversies involving Rebecca Bradley.

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