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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
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Wisconsin gets graded on "Judicial Financial Disclosure". It's a big, fat "F".


The Center for Public Integrity evaluated the disclosure rules for judges in the highest state courts nationwide. The level of disclosure in the 50 states and the District of Columbia was poor, with 43 receiving failing grades, making it difficult for the public to identify potential conflicts of interest on the bench. Despite the lack of information in the public records, the Center’s investigation found nearly three dozen conflicts, questionable gifts and entanglements among top judges around the country. Here’s what the Center found in Wisconsin:


Weaknesses: The state’s Supreme Court has become a poster child for ethical problems, with three of the sitting justices having faced ethical inquiries, including one for allegedly trying to choke another justice. The court has been sharply divided along political lines — an especially sticky issue when ethical issues emerge because the justices are involved with the discipline for such violations, even when their fellow justices are involved. For example, Justice Michael Gableman’s peers deadlocked 3-3 in a June 2010 vote to determine whether he had violated ethics rules with a campaign ad. Then last year, the court again deadlocked by the same margin on whether he could hear cases involving an attorney who provided him with free legal counsel during that 2010 ethics probe, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His financial interest forms do not disclose the free legal service. The state does ask for the value of judges’ investments and liabilities but only in broad ranges, from $5,000 to $50,000 or greater than $50,000. It requires real estate ownership to be disclosed only for properties owned within Wisconsin.

Highlights: Justice Annette Ziegler reported owning more than $50,000 worth of both Merck & Co. and Johnson & Johnson stock in 2012, yet she took part in a decision involving the drug companies as defendants in a multi-party case in which the state accused pharmaceutical manufacturers of charging inflated drug prices to the state’s Medicaid system. Three other justices did not participate in the case. This was not the first time Ziegler participated in case where she had a stake in one of the participants. The Wisconsin Judicial Commission sent her a warning letter about such conflicts in 2007 after the Wisconsin State Journal found she had presided in 22 cases, when she was a trial judge, involving companies in which she owned at least $50,000 in stock. At the time, she apologized.

In 2010, Ziegler also reported that her family owed more than $50,000 to Town Bank, yet she wrote an opinion in favor of the bank that year in a dispute over a commercial loan for a 22-story building in downtown Milwaukee. The bank is a Wisconsin-based community bank with just seven branches, according to the FDIC. Her husband, J.J. Ziegler, is a prominent commercial real estate developer who has served on the board of another community bank. Ziegler did not return multiple calls for comment.

And Ziegler just may be the cleanest of the conservative justices!!!

Aldo Leopold on the hope of the future ...


Aldo Leopold (January 11, 1887 – April 21, 1948) was an American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac (1949), which has sold more than two million copies.

Leopold was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics and in the movement for wilderness conservation. His ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement, with his ecocentric or holistic ethics regarding land.[1] He emphasized biodiversity and ecology and was a founder of the science of wildlife management.

The culture of replacability is about to hit the wall

Sure he said that, and it might have been true then, but that was before Citizens United.

The .00063%

Some legacy

For this you get an airport named after you???

If this flower can manage to blossom ....

Believe it! A 100% organic spaceship!

Wisconsin: Dem. Kelly Westlund announces bid for 7th C.D. seat held by Tea Party’s Sean Duffy


Ashland City Council member and small business owner Kelly Westlund has announced her candidacy in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. The 7th C.D. seat is currently held by professional lumberjack and former reality TV performer Sean Duffy. Sean Duffy’s trademark smirk gained more exposure recently due to his frequent appearances on FOX to promote the Tea Party’s federal government shutdown.

Kelly Westlund is hosting a week-long “Progress For The People” tour and series of roundtable discussions across northern Wisconsin to kick-off the campaign. Westlund’s first stop will be at the Wausau Labor Temple at 11am CT Tuesday December 10th [details at end of the post]. Westlund will also tour Superior on Wednesday, Hudson on Friday, and Rhinelander next Tuesday.

Westlund’s tour concludes back in Wausau on Wednesday December 17th with a press conference to occur on the same day that Congressman Sean Duffy holds a Wausau “Summit on Homelessness and Hunger”.

According to Westlund’s campaign press release, the same-day event is intended to “highlight that Duffy talks one way about the issues while visiting Wisconsin, and then votes with powerful interests when he’s back in Washington, DC.”

So Auburn should play for National Championship because they beat Alabama?

OK, but LSU beat Auburn, then Ole Miss beat LSU and Mississippi State beat Ole Miss. And what about Bowling Green? They beat previously undefeated Norther nIllinois and lost to Mississippi State by only a single point!

Put me down for welcoming a playoff.
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