Matt Rothschild
Campaign Cash

Justice Gableman’s Conflict of Interest

Will speak at GOP fundraiser with right-wing leader helped by his Doe decision.

By - Mar 1st, 2017 10:21 am
Michael Gableman

Michael Gableman

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who penned the court opinion that ended the controversial John Doe probe of Scott Walker’s campaign activities, is one of the featured speakers at a Republican Party fundraiser – along with the head of a shadowy right wing group that the John Doe prosecutor was reportedly looking into. That group, Wisconsin Club for Growth, spent more than half a million dollars to get Gableman elected in 2008, and pushed to end the probe of its activities, and Gableman’s decision did just that.

Gableman, who is among the court’s 5-2 conservative majority and faces reelection next year to a second 10-year term on the court, is scheduled to appear March 11 at the Barron County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner in Rice Lake.

In addition to Gableman, the director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, Eric O’Keefe, will also be a keynote speaker at the event.

The John Doe investigation into coordination between special interests groups and Walker’s campaign during the 2011 and 2012 recalls was ended in 2015 by the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority in a 4-2 ruling. The state’s high court ruled that the coordination of election activities between candidates and special interest issue advocacy groups, which secretly raise and spend millions of dollars on elections, was legal.

Though technically a nonpartisan office, Gableman and other conservative court candidates generally draw support from traditionally Republican contributors, and liberal court candidates generally draw support from traditionally Democratic contributors.

Gableman received about $31,100 in contributions from state and local GOP parties during his 2008 race for the Supreme Court.

Gableman also received an estimated $500,000 in outside electioneering support from the Wisconsin Club for Growth, and $8,500 in direct contributions from the group’s political action committee during his 2008 race.

Matthew Rothschild is executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Categories: Campaign Cash, Politics

6 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Justice Gableman’s Conflict of Interest”

  1. He is morrally corupt and should have been removed from the court by his peers. His dishonest attacks on Luois Butler clearly show he is willing to break the spirit of the law if not the letter.

  2. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Mike’s one of the finest Justices we have ever had. We have known most of them. He restored sanity to the court.

  3. Ted Chisholm says:

    @WCD: One of the finest? We’ve had some greats on that court. Both Fairchilds, Beilfuss, Heffernan, Bablitch, Geske, etc. Whatever you think of their politics, Abrahamson and Sykes are great legal minds. Michael Gableman belongs in that bunch? Really?

  4. Thomas says:

    Gableman should be vulnerable for defeat for reelection. He is a walking conflict of interests. Dark money bought the office for him back in 2008: reinforcing false attacks on Louis Butler.

  5. Wisconsin Conservative Digest says:

    Dark money, the left invented that decades ago. Hillary polished it up real well.

  6. Ted Chisholm says:

    @Thomas: I would hope so. Kloppenburg polled reasonably well last year, considering that GOP presidential primary turnout exceeded the Dems. If someone declares early and starts fundraising, it could be a very competitive race.

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