November 22, 2008

Have your people call my people

The Hon. Randy R. Koschnick, a Jefferson County circuit court judge who is challenging incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, recently penned a letter to the latter, inviting her to sign a "clean campaign pledge."

"Dear Madam Chief Justice," it says. "Please contact my campaign coordinator, Todd Allbaugh, to advise of your decision."

Isn't that just a tad presumptuous? Write the C.J. a personal missive requesting that she get in touch with one of your people?

Has Judge Koschnick never heard of primary authority?*

Although the pledge itself isn't made part of the .pdf file linked above, among its "highlights" is a promise to "substantiate all claims made during the course of the campaign." That's a pretty tall order. Like strict constructionist Clarence Thomas said, all means all.

Besides, Koschnick was first out of the gate calling the C.J. an "activist judge," so he better get to substantiating his own self.

During last winter's Supreme Court contest between Louis Butler and Mike Gableman, a third party group convened under the aegis of the State Bar Association formulated a likeminded pledge. Butler signed it, but Gableman never did (for obvious reasons).

Another highlight of Koschnick's pledge is "repudiating false accusations made by third party groups."

I might add to that, "against your political opponent." Because if the same third party groups that aligned themselves with Mike Gableman situate similarly with Randy Koschnick, repudiating their false accusations will be a full time job, and then some.

In fact if I recall correctly, I don't think a single one of them ever managed to make a true accusation. Not that they even tried.

Were I advising Chief Justice Abrahamson, I'd suggest that she take a polite pass on Koschnick's offer. Having run three of these campaigns over the past 32 years and observed a whole bunch more, I would imagine she's had a handle on the attached ethical considerations well in advance of Koschnick's notions.

Not to mention, the cynic in me (98.6%) detects a political ploy.

Also, while it might provide him with an instant talking point, he'll be forced to abide by his own pledge in somehow not mischaracterizing the reasons why the Chief Justice graciously so declined.

And that could be entertaining.

* Note to the occasional reader who I understand finds their hapless way here under the laughable impression that "The Champagne of Hate Blogs" is a straight-faced characterization: That's also a joke.

See generally: Death of irony confirmed.


Anonymous said...

Is there any Judicial difference between J. Butler and CJ Abrahamson?

illusory tenant said...

Depends what you mean by judicial difference, I guess.

Anonymous said...

I guess I see both of them as birds of a feather but was interested in your view.

Emily said...

Birds of a feather in that they were/are both interested in actually studying and upholding the law, the Constitution, etc? Then I'd say yes.

Anonymous said...

I think they fall under the category of far left pragmatists that interpret laws and the constitution to that end...