Supreme Court Candidate Stumbles Over Judicial Ethics
Front-running State Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler's campaign has run aground.
Her campaign is in trouble because the Wisconsin State Journal ran a major piece Sunday about cases over which she presided as a Washington County Circuit Judge without disclosing a conflict of interest.
The conflict involved cases that Ziegler heard involving The West Bend Savings Bank while her husband held a paid directorship on the bank's board.
The State Journal front-page story advanced previous research and online investigative reporting about Ziegler by One Wisconsin Now (OWN), a progressive statewide political and educational outfit based in Milwaukee (note: I sit on the OWN board, but was not involved in its online Ziegler stories).
The story has added weight because it was carried in the State Journal, the more conservative paper in Madison (Ziegler is the more conservative candidate in the State Supreme Court race), and ran in the city where the state's judicial regulatory machinery is located.
Ziegler's pre-primary theme was that she was the most qualified candidate in the race because she was a judge. Now that experience has torpedoed her campaign to move to the state's highest court.
Ziegler's campaign tried to play down the State Journal's big Sunday story - - written by Dee Hall, one the paper's pre-eminent reporters - - but expect the story to dominate the campaign through the April 3rd election.
Judge Ziegler should not only withdraw from this race but should resign as a judge. Obviously, she could not be trusted and will never be trusted. How many other rulings have been handed down in favor of her secrets?
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