Letter to the Editor: Beware Misleading Political Ads

I would ask Justice Rebecca Bradley, appointed by Gov. Walker three times to the Wisconsin court system, to disavow and take down the disturbing ads running on her behalf for the state Supreme Court. The ads [released by the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform] are intentionally misleading with only one line of truth in each.

That truth is that Judge Kloppenburg did her constitutional duty as a judge when she ruled on two cases presented to the Madison appeals court. In both cases three judges issued these decisions unanimously.

The first case, since pulled off the air, implied that Judge Kloppenburg overturned a sex offender’s conviction. The Appeals court only said that the defendant was entitled to a hearing on whether he should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. After another hearing by the trial judge, the request by this defendant to withdraw his guilty plea was denied. As a result, the sex offender never left jail and his conviction stands.

The second ad pretty much mirrors the first misleading campaign ad. A man with a criminal history, spousal abuse, and child molestation appears in this ad. This man pleaded guilty, but six days after his conviction he stated that he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea. The trial judge heard the request but denied the appeal.

The plea then went before the Madison Court of Appeals, made up of Judge Paul Lundsten, Judge Paul Higginbotham, and Judge Kloppenburg. The appeals process gives both the defense and prosecuting attorneys another chance to plead their case. The three appellate judges were not convinced that the defendant fully understood the exact charges. Ultimately the trial judge held another hearing and again found the man guilty. This man remained in prison during all these lengthy court proceedings and will have to serve his 15-year sentence.

Justice Bradley stated in her debate with Judge Kloppenburg that she follows the Constitution in all of her rulings, regardless of her personal feelings. I would say that Judge Kloppenburg upholds these same standards.

And finally, beware of any Bradley ads.


Colleen Malmen

Baileys Harbor, Wis.

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