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Thursday, March 20, 2008

When judicial races attack

For anyone wondering why the Minnesota State Bar Association spends so much time debating the future of judicial races, let me present Exhibit A: Wisconsin.

We mentioned earlier this year how the race between Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis B. Butler Jr. and his challenger, Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Gableman, could become a big money, mudslinging slugfest.

Unfortunately, we were right.

This week, a citizens' group filed a complaint against Gableman with the state's Judicial Commission over a recent campaign ad accusing Butler of being soft on crime.

The complaint alleges that the ad "knowingly and with reckless disregard misrepresents the facts." Butler has since struck back with his own TV spot.

At stake is a 10-year term on the state's high court. The good news is that with an April 1 election, Wisconsinites only have to endure 12 more days of this judicial pissing match.

Let's hope we never have to.

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