Monday, March 02, 2009

Milwaukee Shouldn’t Gamble on Gabler

I wasn’t thrilled with my choices in Milwaukee’s race for Branch 15, but at least I now have some very clear guidance. The candidates are Assistant District Attorney Daniel Gabler and Municipal Judge JD Watts. Dan Bice wrote a piece in Monday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that was not exactly flattering for Gabler. The starting point of the column was that he has been critical of current judges for an alleged “lack of work ethic”. The story then gives a few examples of Gabler missing court dates and suggests that charges were dropped as a result. Although that was the main point of the column, that was not the part the bothered me the most.

In the first paragraph Bice quotes Gabler as having attacked his opponents saying that they had “a record of defending criminals.” This attack line set off all sorts of red flags because it is a staple of the right wing win-at-all-costs-and-the-legal-system-be-damned approach to judicial races. I tracked down a Gabler flyer and confirmed that he did indeed use this attack. The flyer went even further saying:

"In fact, Ronald Dague supports a program that protects people who write bad
checks, which in his own words is... '...a way to avoid arrest

"And, JD Watts defended a sex offender who
exposed himself to a child and a felon in possession of a gun."

"We don't need judges who look for loopholes."

Sound familiar? It should because it is the same kind of misleading and sleazy campaigning that Michael Gableman engaged in during his run for state Supreme Court last year. Gabler takes it all the way down to the use of the same old “look for loopholes” line.

Incidentally, the bad check program is an initiative of the District Attorney’s office, not something just dreamed up by Gabler’s one-time primary opponent. And with his attack on Watts, Gabler continues to channel Gableman apparently suggesting that people accused of crimes don’t deserve a lawyer and if you are their attorney, you must love both criminals and crime. I wonder what he thinks about Judge Randy Koschnick’s 14 years as a defense attorney?

A quick look at Daniel Gabler’s past campaign contributions brings us full circle. It shows that he liked the ethically challenged Gableman so much that he gave him $100 last year. I guess it should be no surprise that he is now using the Gableman-style playbook right here in Milwaukee County. We don’t need or deserve a miniature version of Michael Gableman for Branch 15. Milwaukee shouldn’t gamble on Gabler because, if he fancies the likes of Michael Gableman, it is a bet that we will eventually lose.


Anonymous said...

It is a sad day in our country when the constitution has become such an unknown and villified document by the very morons who continually claim to love their country and "way of life".
One would hope that a person running for judicial office would have enough integrity to honor the document they will swear to defend if elected. Yet these right wing nuts (several now on the Supreme Court of our State and these local parrots seem to find the very heart of the adversary justice system inimical to presiding on the bench.
The drum beat of Facism in this country hasn't been louder since the McCarthy days. The Patriot

Anonymous said...

Gabler tactics are definitely characteristic of dishonest campaigns seeking to scare voters rather than offer them an appealing reason to vote for a candidate.

J.D. Watts is an experienced judge and attorney who has served both as a prosecutor and defense attorney. We need someone who can offer a balanced and fair perspective rather than the nonsense that Gabler is espousing. I hope J.D. Watts is elected on April 7.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I find Gabler to be the RIGHT CHOICE for Judge. He is a clear thinker and has the experience to know the difference between right and wrong. By the way, what ia wroing with standing up for the constitution and wanting to work hard? Gabler would do both. He is not a gamble and if he was, he would be a sure bet!

Anonymous said...

Gabler knows the difference between right and wrong? Most criminals that are in prison know wrong from right. Gabler has admitted that he lied when he accused then candidate Dague of having a record of defending criminals. And in conversations he has said that he supports restorative justice programs, yet he attacks them in his campaign literature. Knowing right from wrong isn't enough. Acting right is what matters, and Gabler has demonstrated in his campaign that he is willing to do wrong to get elected. And we should then trust him to do right? NO WAY!