March 13, 2008

Burnett County: Litigation hell

Gableman upheld on 9,000 uncontested traffic tickets
Better record than the Ninth Circus, says

Darrin Schmitz, the professional Republican "persuader" who is coordinating the election campaign of Burnett County Judge Michael Gableman, tells us that Gableman has "presided over" 23,545 cases. He uses this figure to compare against Gableman's reversals on appeal, and calculates the judge's reversal rate thereby at .02%

During the calendar years 2003-2007 inclusive, for example, the Burnett County (pop. 16,595) Circuit Court disposed of 8,800 uncontested traffic tickets. Is Gableman seriously counting uncontested traffic tickets to calculate his reversal rate?

Because when you're calculating a judge's relative success on appeal, you probably don't get to include for uncontested traffic tickets, the statistical likelihood of whose appeal approaches roughly zilch.

It's also a rather unusual method of response to someone else's calculation of your man's reversal rate that you feel is unfair. It's especially unusual in light of Gableman's own portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler's record:
Gableman said the [sided with criminals] 60% [of the time] figure came from a study by an outside group.

"I don't know if the number is 30%, 60%, 80%, or 90%," [Gableman] said, before adding, "I'm unaware of any study that contradicts those numbers."
Good thing he's not running for State mathematician.

All of which is made the more amusing by Schmitz's self-righteous railing about 'outright lies' and 'patent and demonstrative falsehoods.' Because if Schmitz is using uncontested traffic tickets to arrive at Gableman's advertised reversal rate on appeal of .02%, then it seems to me he's made a demonstrable falsehood of his own right there.

What's particularly significant, however, is that Darrin "The GOP Persuader" Schmitz is howling against a third-party interest group, which even Justice Butler has denounced, whereas Schmitz's data is issuing directly from the Gableman campaign itself.

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