March 18, 2008


The ad uses a bit of spin.
Just a smidgen, don't you know.

Mike Plaisted appears to be getting his wish, as conservative supporters of Burnett County Judge Mike Gableman, having finally obtained the release of their putative legal counsel, Rick Esenberg of Marquette Law School, step forward in expressing their general indifference to Gableman's new teevee spot.

As for the ad's alleged racist elements, I'm considerably more circumspect than perhaps is Atty. Plaisted. But since he's been following these sorts of things for longer and more closely than I have, he's certainly entitled to his impressions.

Still, one has to wonder, why did Gableman select Reuben Lee Mitchell as the focus of his disgracefully misleading and disingenuous attack against Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler?

Gableman, who has been a judge and a prosecutor in two of the most sparsely populated counties in Wisconsin for only a few years, managed to come up with nine "child molesters" to flash on the same screen.

Louis Butler, on the other hand, was a defense attorney and a judge for 25 years in Milwaukee County, population nearly one million. Moreover, Butler's involvement with the Mitchell case was confined to filing an appeal, which he eventually lost.

And, most importantly of all, regardless of the repugnant nature of Mitchell's bad acts, his right to counsel and appeal are guaranteed constitutionally, so to criticize Butler's involvement per se is practically an affront to the American system of democracy.

That would be the same system, incidentally, in which Gableman actively participates and in which Gableman is currently seeking a considerably more enhanced position, for which he claims he is eminently and especially qualified.

(In my view, there's been precious little demonstration in support of that claim but quite a lot to mitigate against it, not the least of which are the relative qualities of the incumbent.)

So, why Reuben Mitchell, in particular, as the deliberate focus of Gableman's blatant fear mongering? That's the question.

Part of the answer, I suspect, is that Gableman's ad is directed not to the voters in metropolitan areas like Madison and Milwaukee, which are predominantly Democratic, and where Gableman likely doesn't stand a chance. Rather, it's aimed at that demographic which, shall we say, doesn't exactly mirror what you'll find along Teutonia Ave.


Unknown said...

very astute observations, Illy T.

Anonymous said...

But they're astute observations in support of the conclusion that the ad is racist, not merely in effect but in its aims. It's not a whole lot more circumspect than Mike Plaisted's view, though it's more explicitly argued.

The upshot being that circumspection is not really called for. There's at least substantial reason to call the ad racist, IMO.