March 27, 2008

CFAF "deemed" criminally inept: Part 3

Being a chronology of the pertinent events, with occasional commentary as appropriate (or not), since my good friend and longtime supporter Jay Bullock has indicated that I haven't made it entirely clear, and he's probably right. It's been a little difficult to find the time, but I'm counting on it being worth it in both the short and longer runs.

The rough chronology

01. The Coalition for America's families (CFAF) begins circulating the thoroughly unsupported and unsupportable falsehood that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler "sides with criminals 60% of the time."

02. Burnett County conservative Republican Michael Gableman begins repeating the unsupported falsehood for the purposes of his ongoing attacks against Justice Butler. In fact, it's become the entire basis for the Gableman campaign, a campaign constructed and executed almost completely upon this overarching falsehood, as well as a number of other more specific falsehoods, many of which have been debunked at this blog and of course, by the Butler campaign and elsewhere.

Yet Gableman continues the phony attacks on Justice Butler's record undaunted.

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to refer to Gableman as "Judge" Gableman. While I'm not in a position to comment one way or the other as to his competence as an actual jurist in Burnett County, the judgment he has shown in conducting his appalling campaign of deliberately misleading characterizations of the law and the U.S. constitutional system generally is poor, to say the least. So henceforth Burnett County conservative Republican Gableman he shall be.

Since it's as a conservative Republican that Gableman is effectively campaigning in this statutorily-mandated non-partisan State election, he couldn't possibly take it as anything other than a compliment, and perhaps even as a gesture of support. It isn't. And as dedicated followers of your present correspondent are well aware, it clearly isn't meant as a compliment, either.

03. Despite Butler's numerous requests for clarification, Gableman refuses to do so, another hallmark of the Gableman campaign.

Witness Gableman's refusal to support with any substance whatsoever his objections to several individual cases in which Justice Butler participated, despite Butler's repeated requests. Gableman claims he can't comment because there may be issues that come before him on the Supreme Court (a singularly frightening proposition).

If that is so, then why isn't Butler himself as reticent to discuss them? Because he's already on the Supreme Court. Think about it. I have. I've reached a conclusion or two. More on that later.

04. The Butler campaign decides to respond to the baseless CFAF charges, and prepares a list of cases. A preliminary list of 62 cases is released to the press.

05. The preliminary list of 62 cases bearing mysterious numerical designations in sets of parentheses is seized upon by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee journalism instructor and reputedly "influential Wisconsin blogger" Jessica McBride, who obtains another free Google Blogspot account and sets about her devious tasks, in typically unimpeachable and professionally objective, fact-intensive style. She also gets the opportunity to display her considerable legal acumen.

06. Meanwhile, unbenownst to the diligent investigative efforts of McBride, the Butler campaign releases a revised list, this one containing a total of 70 cases (71 if you count both Marquandts, which appear as one line item on the list of 70 cases.)

07. McBride inaugurates her latest free Google Blogspot account, the dispassionate- and authoritative-sounding "Election Watch Wisconsin." Hilarity ensues. And ensues.

08. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board member and all 'round "right-wing guy" Patrick McIlheran lends his considerable influence to McBride's ridiculously inept hatchet job and accuses Justice Butler of "um ... prevaricating."

Marquette Law Professor and self-professing neutral party Rick Esenberg leaps to McBride's defense, straining all credulity, credibility, and whatever else one strains by leaping inadvisedly to the defense of hack reporters, whilst grasping at the opportunity to allege that Butler has "cooked the numbers" after glancing at three or four of the 70 case names and actually recognizing a couple.

Hilarity ensues.

09. McBride discovers revised list of 70 cases, which was released by Butler while she was hammering furiously at producing 07. Hilarity ensues. Investigative journalism award nominations sought.

10. CFAF "analysis" emerges, "deemed" steaming pile of miscellaneous bowel movement. Local blogger determines CFAF used the identical list of 62 cases as did 05. in a desperate but ultimately comically failed attempt to justify blatant misrepresentations of Justice Butler's record in criminal cases before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

11. McBride returns with another fusillade of unsupported accusations, borderline defamation, and hilarious mispresentations of Wisconsin Supreme Court opinions. McBride's latest is noted to be uncannily similar in both content and order to 10. McBride, in a nearly identical fashion to CFAF's nonsensical claim, affirms CFAF's notorious "60%" figure as being in actuality "58%", supported by ... absolutely nothing.

Indeed, McBride's latest is an incoherent mess of a misleading dog's breakfast surpassing in gibberish-quotient perhaps even her previous two incoherent messes of misleading dog's breakfast. Example:
No wonder she doesn't allow comments. She classifies Justice Butler's role in a case called State v. Daley as, "pro-criminal."

"Court vacated appellate decision affirming conviction," is McBride's terse description.

While the defendant was indeed asking for review of the appellate court decision affirming his conviction, guess who also wanted the appellate decision vacated, because it conflicted with an earlier appellate court opinion?

Correct, the State of Wisconsin. And the reason the (UNANIMOUS) Supreme Court vacated the appellate court's decision was so the appellate court could revisit the case in light of the earlier decision, which is what the State, not the defendant, wanted.

That's an example of Justice Butler's "pro-criminal" attitude.
Patterns emerge. Questions are raised. Little doubt remains that McBride has been in close cahoots with CFAF, likely since day one. Hilarity ensues. Eventual complete collapse of conservative Republican Mike Gableman's bogus campaign of misrepresentations and unwarranted character assassination appears imminent.

Onward, finally, to the cases, the methodology, and the numbers.

Sneak preview: Butler was, and is, right on the money all along.

To part 4 ...

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