One Wisconsin Now
Press Release

Dan Kelly’s Opinion: It’s OK to Lie in Judicial Campaigns

State Supreme Court Candidate Co-Authored Column Opposing Efforts to Clean Up Court Campaigns

By - Jan 30th, 2020 10:09 am
Daniel Kelly. Photo from the State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2017-18.

Daniel Kelly. Photo from the State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2017-18.

MADISON, Wis. — In an opinion column co-authored by then lawyer and now state Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly, the high court hopeful opined that judges should be able to lie in their campaigns and benefit from misleading third party attack ads against their opponents. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne noted Kelly’s column fits a pattern of deceit that has emerged in his brief judicial tenure.

“Dan Kelly wrote that it’s fine for judges to mislead the public and to benefit from dishonest ads in their campaigns before he was appointed as a judge,” said Browne. “On the bench and in his campaign he’s shown he believes what he wrote.”

Kelly’s missive, written in 2008 with his current court colleague Rebecca Bradley and two other conservative attorneys, was in response to the effort of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee to keep candidates from producing, or benefitting from others, misleading and underhanded campaign advertising. Just weeks after the article was published, conservative Supreme Court candidate Michael Gableman ran an outrageously racist and misleading television ad against his opponent, resulting in ethics charges that he violated the Judicial Code of Conduct with his actions.

In the article, Kelly and his associates opined, “… the pledge will force candidates to choose between exercising their free speech rights as they see fit and facing a possible scolding by the committee” and that “Vigorous public discussion and debate will be stifled.”

Browne noted in his campaign and on the bench, Kelly has been less than forthcoming with the public on multiple occasions – seeking to scrub years of controversial blog posts from the internet after being appointed to the court and hiding the support of an extremist groups that want to outlaw all abortion and most birth control and threaten doctors, nurses and others with felonies for providing abortions.

Kelly has also raised questions about his commitment to keeping corruption out of the courtroom by opposing efforts to strengthen rules for judges on when they should remove themselves from cases because of conflicts of interest. The current standards were adopted in 2010 by a conservative court majority and were literally written by special interests that spent millions of dollars to help elect them. The lax current standards are also supported by a right-wing group with whom Kelly has regularly sided while on the bench and whose board of directors contributed over $14,000 to Kelly’s campaign in the last six months of 2019.

“Conducting campaigns with integrity need not be chimerical, but it will take a commitment from candidates to be honest and forthright. Based on his writings and actions it seems Dan Kelly is not that guy,” Browne concluded.

One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by One Wisconsin Now

Dan Kelly’s Opinion: It’s OK to Lie in Judicial Campaigns

State Supreme Court Candidate Co-Authored Column Opposing Efforts to Clean Up Court Campaigns

Campaign Cash Keeps Flowing to WILL’s Shill Dan Kelly

Over $14,000 from Board Members of Right-Wing Legal Group to State Court Justice’s Campaign

Right-Wing Group That Wants to Criminalize Abortion Backs Dan Kelly State Supreme Court Campaign

Dan Kelly Supporters Want Court Action to Allow Enforcement of Abortion Ban Dating to 19th Century

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us