WEST BEND Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Annette Ziegler has presided over 22 cases involving companies in which she owned stock worth more than $50,000, a Wisconsin State Journal review shows....That looks like that blatant journalistic bias, an effort to bolster my opinion by making it seem as though my normal instinct would be to support Ziegler. In fact, I have never said one word about which of those two candidates I would support and have scrupulously avoided taking sides.
Supreme Court rules require judges to withdraw from cases in which they have a financial interest that is more than "insignificant"...
Ziegler is considered the conservative candidate.
The winner of the election will replace the usually right-leaning Justice Jon Wilcox, who is retiring. Ziegler's election to a 10-year term on the court would keep the perceived makeup of the court the same. If [the other candidate, Linda Clifford,] wins, the court could move to the left....
Conservative commentator Ann Althouse told a statewide radio audience Friday that Ziegler's approach to conflicts of interest makes her question the conservative jurist's fitness for the high court.
Althouse, a political blogger and UW-Madison law professor, said on Wisconsin Public Radio's "Week in Review" that "the more (conflict cases) there are, the worse it gets." She criticized Ziegler's public statements to an audience in Spring Green that she uses a "gut check" to decide when she's got a conflict of interest.
"I think a judge that puts the rules aside and relies on instinct is, first of all, revealing something about her thoughts about law in general. Second of all, if you go on instincts, you should have good instincts. And these don't seem like good instincts," Althouse said.
"Not disclosing that (conflicts) looks especially bad because you don't give other people the chance to judge, so I just think there's a whole cluster of concerns of about one's fitness to be a judge, under the circumstances."
AND: I should add, in case you're new around here, that I never use the label conservative for myself and repeatedly say that it is not apt.
MORE: And check this out. Here's former Madison mayor Paul Soglin (who calls his blog "Waxing America"):
But what I find most damaging to the Ziegler campaign is the normally tepid Ann Althouse speaking directly to the matter. Althouse prefers to raise attention to political issues without entering the fray...Apparently, lefties statewide are toasting me.