Thursday, February 26, 2009

Koschnick Double Talk and the AWOL Media

Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick has been talking out of both sides of his mouth on multiple issues. I’m not sure which is worse, that a candidate for the high court would repeatedly do this or that the traditional media would just run his talking points without questioning him on any of them.

Koschnick has made the main point of his entire candidacy a manufactured controversy over campaign donations to his opponent that represent only 3 percent of the total raised. He does this even though when he was running for judge in 1999, he accepted cash from lawyers that went on to have cases before him. Those donations to Koschnick represented about 40 percent of the total that he raised at that time. Unfortunately no one in the traditional media has asked him to square this circle so he just keeps talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Koschnick apparently can’t wait to repeatedly talk about “the bloody shirt” in the Knapp case, even though he himself threw out a pair of bloody shoes in the case. As many times as he has talked about this case, he has never explained why the defendant’s rights mattered with one piece of evidence and not the other. But then again, as far as I can tell, he has never been asked that question.

Koschnick talked in the last debate about not being partisan and repeatedly has accused his opponent of compromising her impartiality. He makes these repeated comments while at the same time appearing at just about every Republican event in the state. To their credit, at least the Wausau Daily Herald pointed out the double standard.

While Koschnick has been talking about clean campaign pledges, he has authorized fundraising letters that make the same old nasty attacks that we have come to expect. Reading the letter, one would think that his opponent was freeing all the criminals in the state and planning some sort of coup in Madison. It appeals only to the most paranoid on the right, yet he faces no accountability for it. The letter also takes a not so subtle swipe at the Chief Justice’s age, which I find particularly offensive. Is this what he means by a "clean campaign"? Perhaps someone should ask him to provide us with his definition.

Aside from the lead paragraph in the Wausau Daily Herald, the state’s media has largely given Koschnick a pass in all of these areas. Many times, they have gone well beyond just giving him a pass. At times they have printed his list of talking points and then acted as if that was legitimate news. Before April I certainly hope that more people start noticing the Koschnick double talk. You can’t act all sanctimonious about the state of our judicial elections and then do absolutely nothing to challenge this kind of behavior.


Anonymous said...

You're premise is simply wrong. Not taking donations from people that MAY appear before you in the future is not possible..obviously, taking donations from people that are actually in your courtroom right now IS WRONG! Your comparison is nonsensical.

Stating the fact that Shirley is old and highlighting she won’t stay on for another 10 years is an important point people need to know. She obviously can't stay on the bench for 10 more years... so...what you are voting for with her is a 2 year term (at most) and then an appointment... and no one can be sure who the whacky governor will a vote for Shirley is a vote for at least a proven activist and at most an unknown for the next 8+ years...

Judicial philosophy is not a dirty campaign subject. It is the most important. The fact that Shirley is hiding her record is wrong..the facts need to be clear to people what kind of Judge they are voting for....this is the end of an era for activist judges legislating their personal views from the bench...the electorate demand change for the future...

2 down, 1 injustice to go!

Cory Liebmann said...

The only nonsensical thing here is your ageist-based right wing conspiracy theory. Frankly, that part doesn't deserve a response.

If you don't like this new standard,don't blame me, blame Koschnick. He just said in the last debate that he "just couldn't do it" and that judges "can't be independant" after getting donations. If that is true, then how did he manage to stay independant or is he admitting now that he didn't?

MAY appear before him? Give me a break...he really didn't know that these donors that practice primarily in his county wouldn't have cases before him? Some of them had cases before him only months after giving to him. I'm sure he was shocked!One was even listed as a plaintiff in several cases. I wonder if he ever notified the defendant of his relationship with the plaintiff/donor?

That letter was not just talking about "judicial philosophy" it went way off the deep end with the worst kind of right wing hyperbole.

illusory tenant said...

The fact that Shirley is hiding her record ...

Quite the trick.