The budget battle in Wisconsin has generated much confusion and misinformation, as we have seen in e-mails from our readers in recent days: The state is not on track to end this fiscal year with “a slight surplus.” It is facing a $137 million deficit …
Wisconsin ’08 was one of the nastiest state Supreme Court elections in modern history. Incumbent Justice Louis Butler went down to defeat after opponent Mike Gableman and business interests in the state ran slashing, misleading ads portraying him as soft on crime. We criticized the spots in several stories.
Today, Gableman, though sitting on Wisconsin’s highest court, is still fighting a legal battle over whether he lied in one of the ads that helped put him there.
In this second of our “Court Watch” series, we return to what’s become a racially charged campaign in Wisconsin to replace Louis Butler, the only black justice on the state Supreme Court, with a white, business-backed lower court judge, Mike Gableman. We look at two ads that attack Butler and find both to be misleading.
Some of the hardest fought campaigns in 2008 will be to determine who sits on the highest courts in a number of states, courts where the stakes can be billions of dollars for corporations and insurance companies; millions in fees for trial lawyers; compensation for those who have been injured by negligence; or the liberty of individuals who have been convicted, rightly or wrongly, of crimes. In the past, some of those who would be state supreme court judges,