Today we’re continuing our new occasional podcast series with a conversation between the Center’s Kate Golden and freelancer Jake Harper, about his recently published piece showing that over the past decade, Wisconsin Supreme Court justices tended to favor clients whose attorneys had donated to their campaigns, and recused themselves from just 2 percent of cases involving attorney donors. Continue Reading
Justice Shirley Abrahamson was the top recipient of support from attorneys whose cases reached the Supreme Court, pulling in $188,650 over the past 11 years, a Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism analysis shows. Overall, justices tended to rule in favor of clients whose attorneys contributed to the justices’ election campaigns. Continue Reading
How the Center analyzed the relationship between campaign finance data and Wisconsin Supreme Court case outcomes, and a summary of the main findings showing that justices tended to favor their attorney donors. Continue Reading
This column’s prediction a few weeks back that “all signs point to another jaw-dropping spend-fest” seems not to be coming true. The spending is merely substantial, not overwhelming.
Roggensack’s foes, as well as her supporters, will likely respond to her perceived vulnerability by digging deep into their coffers. All signs point to another jaw-dropping spend-fest. Continue Reading
Asked what he thought of Justice Roggensack, considered the leader of the court’s conservative majority, Megna replied, “I don’t really view her as my opponent. I view David Koch as my opponent.” Continue Reading
Wisconsin’s Open Records Law asserts the public’s right to the “greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them.” But the law’s reach has been tested in recent years by electronic communications that are easily sent — and just as easily deleted — from officials’ email and cellphone accounts. Continue Reading
Wisconsin receives a C- in a nationwide ranking of states’ accountability and risk of corruption. The State Integrity Investigation, released today, ranks Wisconsin 22nd, with a score of 70 percent — a score boosted by the creation in 2008 of the state Government Accountability Board to help clean up government. Continue Reading
The backdrop for many of Wisconsin’s current ethical controversies is an unprecedented flow of money into the state’s political machinery. With last year’s Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, some loopholes in the state’s campaign finance laws have grown even wider. Continue Reading
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court justices are sharply split — not just on when they should not take part in a given case, but even over whether the court has the authority to make such calls. Continue Reading
In late 2006, a Grant County jury ordered Daniel Virnich and Jack Moores to pay a $6.5 million judgment, the largest in Wisconsin that year. The lawsuit brought by receiver Michael Polsky had accused the two men of plundering a stereo components company, through excessive payments to themselves. The company had gone belly up, leaving its creditors — including numerous small businesses — with major losses. Continue Reading
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court justices divide sharply on the recusal issue. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Patrick Crooks have sought stricter standards, while Justices David Prosser, Patience Roggensack, Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman have voted to let judges take part in cases involving campaign supporters and against allowing a court majority to force a justice’s removal.