Do candidates campaign as being tough on crime, any more? Even candidates for judgeships? Not if they’re from Dane County, apparently.
The race for Wisconsin Supreme Court pits incumbent Daniel Kelly, a conservative jurist, against two liberals.
Jill Karofsky is a Dane County Circuit judge in good standing with her Madison-based political allies — people like “Cops Out of Schools” Ali Muldrow, Justified Anger’s Alex Gee, Judge Everett Mitchell, and Dane County’s liberal Democratic state legislative delegation. And, of course, Dane County’s challenged district attorney, Ishmael Ozanne.
The other supreme court challenger is Ed Fallone of Milwaukee, who touts the backing of a number of hispanic organizations, including Voces de la Frontera. He’s also backed by Milwaukee Democratic state senators Tim Carpenter and Chris Larson and that hard hat with the mustache guy, Randy Bryce. (Remember him?)
The primary election Tuesday, February 18, will winnow the three down to two.
Beat a cop, get probation
Madison journalist Matt Kittle is up with a story headlined, “Karofsky goes easy on police attackers.”
In at least five separate cases, Karofsky withheld sentence for the violent offenders, instead ordering parole for crimes that carried a maximum of six years in prison, according to case files obtained by Empower Wisconsin.
Martin J. Jacob, 17, was arrested in February 2019 on felony charges of battery to a law enforcement officer and possession of narcotics. He was also charged with obstructing a police officer and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon. While Madison police officers were arresting Jacob, he head-butted a female law enforcement official, giving her a “very noticeable bruise on the right side of her forehead.”
Karofsky found Jacob guilty of battery, but gave him two years probation instead of a prison sentence. Granting the terms of a plea deal, the judge dismissed five other counts, including possession of heroin, cocaine, and carrying a concealed weapon.
Last month, Jacob was charged with battery with use of a dangerous weapon, and disorderly conduct. Karofsky is again the presiding judge.
Kittle reports that Karofsky has said she will be a social justice advocate who, if elected, would use her seat on the court as a bully pulpit for criminal justice reform.
Waukesha County resident Daniel Kelly, by contrast, got the endorsement of the Milwaukee Police Assn., which represents 1,600 uniformed officers. No word yet on Madison police union’s endorsement.