On the Capitol: Prosser Defense Fund nearly dry

2012-07-28T10:30:00Z 2012-07-29T07:32:23Z On the Capitol: Prosser Defense Fund nearly dryMARY SPICUZZA and CLAY BARBOUR | Wisconsin State Journal madison.com

This week we learned that Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has renamed his campaign finance account the "Prosser Defense Fund."

And the state elections watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Board, has no problem with the switch — or with Prosser using money from the account to fight allegations that he violated judicial ethics rules when he put his hands on the neck of fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley last year.

But we also learned that Prosser's defense fund is about as broke as OTC.

His latest finance report, filed with GAB on July 20, shows that he had just $1,144.60 in it, and still owed about $229,000. Ouch.

Prosser told OTC that he didn't owe any money immediately after he won his April 2011 reelection bid, but that the ensuing statewide recount cost his campaign several hundred thousand dollars. Defending himself against the ethics charges hasn't been cheap either, he added.

Prosser said he originally had asked the GAB if he could set up a legal defense fund and was told "no." That's because Wisconsin statute only allows government officials to seek or obtain contributions to so-called defense funds only if they are being investigated for or charged with a violation of either campaign finance or other election laws. So Prosser said he decided to rename his account in an effort to fight the allegations over the incident with Bradley, adding that he is not independently wealthy and can't cover the expenses on his own.

Prosser believes his fellow Supreme Court justices cannot hear the case — an argument he has made repeatedly in court documents, saying that the others were either witnesses or are biased against him. As a result, he can never be convicted, nor will he ever be able to completely clear his name with an acquittal, he said.

Prosser said the situation has cost him about $40,000 in personal expenses, and he accused the Wisconsin Judicial Commission of trying to drain his finances.

"If I hated you and wanted to cause you as much grief as possible, if you are not independently wealthy, the best way to get you is to get you to eat up your assets," Prosser said.

James Alexander, the judicial commission's executive director, called Prosser's allegations false.

"It's totally meritless, and I find it shocking that he would make such an unfounded, outrageous allegation against the Wisconsin Judicial Commission," Alexander said. "There's no truth to it."

Strange music fellows

File this one under strange, but true.

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, held a rally this week with Ted Nugent, the former rocker, well-known conservative activist and author of melodic (cough) masterpieces like "Stranglehold" and "Wango Tango."

Not to be outdone, fellow candidate Eric Hovde, a millionaire hedgefund manager who spent most of his adult life in Washington, D.C., will share the stage Aug. 1 with Rodney Atkins, a country music artist and who has recorded songs like "Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)" and "Farmer's Daughter."

So, given these strange musical-political pairings, we can only assume the other Republican candidates for Senate will have to step up their game. Perhaps former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann could take the stage with Green Day and maybe state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald could perform with Katy Perry.

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(22) Comments

  1. srwspoon
    Report Abuse
    srwspoon - August 11, 2012 7:38 pm
    array1 is a political hack and a liar!

    Page 17 of 70 in the police report... (see link below)
    6/29/2011 Detective S. Sims


    "...Justice Bradley did not recall Justice Prosser squeezing or applying pressure around her neck."

    End Quote

    Read the entire police report for yourself, Prosser did not choke Bradley.


    If someone is choked they WILL recall it in great detail, period!

    If you want to continue this blatant smearing lie then you must consider the fact that you are also smearing Justice Bradley because she obviously did not have the good sense and sound judgment to be able to determine if she was being strangled or not.

    I know, I know, you don't have to keep reminding me; real truth and facts are simply not your goal.

    POLITICAL HACK : is a negative term ascribed to a person who is part of the political apparatus and whose intentions are more aligned with victory than personal conviction.
  2. Demon Teacher
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    Demon Teacher - July 31, 2012 11:56 am
    He says he will not run for another 10-year term.
  3. Oscar
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    Oscar - July 30, 2012 12:06 am
    It would be important to keep an eye on that $229,000 debt. If it gets paid, by who and why? Someone is holding the tab on that debt and wants to be paid, one way or another. When prosser goes for re-election, the manufacturer's council will probably refill his coffers. It must be cool for him and gablemann to go through life without ethics holding them back. No integrity to slow them down. To think that for over 35 years, I had immense respect and awe for the wisconsin supreme court. Now, I wouldn't pee on them if they were on fire.
  4. array1
    Report Abuse
    array1 - July 29, 2012 2:59 pm
    If you please, I would like to suggest your finest reinforced turtleneck as appropriate attire.
  5. BDB
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    BDB - July 29, 2012 2:29 pm
    I would like to buy Mr. Prosser dinner and discuss how I can donate to his fund.
  6. magnum1
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    magnum1 - July 29, 2012 12:49 pm
    This guy isn't much of a real man! Just admit you did wrong and move on. He must have been a crybaby in school also.
  7. array1
    Report Abuse
    array1 - July 29, 2012 10:01 am
    Prosser 101. Why did an enraged justice david prosser place his hands around the neck of coworker Ann Bradley?

    a) to massage her neck
    b) to greet her good morning
    c) to strangle her
    d) both b and c

    Answer = c (choking is also accepted)

  8. TexasBadger
    Report Abuse
    TexasBadger - July 29, 2012 2:22 am
    Prosser is an embarassement to the Great State of Wisconsin. He has displayed a lack of ethics on more than one occasion. Scooter Walker probably lists him as his favorite Justice. Perhaps they could write a book together about abusing power at the highest levels in state government. Too bad he is running out of money. Perhaps he could ask Walker for the Koch's phone number. Prosser is scum.
  9. Cowboy99540
    Report Abuse
    Cowboy99540 - July 28, 2012 4:30 pm
    Dear Readers:

    They say that, "what goes around comes around". and it usually comes back around twice as hard!

    I think it's really good that David Prosser's legal fund has now dried up.

    Now may be he will dry up with it and simply blow away!

  10. array1
    Report Abuse
    array1 - July 28, 2012 2:37 pm
    Gotta love the prosser defenders around here. The accompanying image even shows prosser demonstrating to the media how he strangled that woman.
  11. nan3
    Report Abuse
    nan3 - July 28, 2012 1:22 pm
    He also said if Obama is reelected he (Nugent) will be "dead or in jail". Shouldn't the Secret Service be investigating those statements? Great guy to stump for you, Tommy, but he did bring in 150 people.
  12. Good Gosh
    Report Abuse
    Good Gosh - July 28, 2012 12:58 pm
    And Mary and Clay, why not point out the lack of wisdom Tommy's showing by seeking endorsement from a looney tune like Nugent? Remember his address to the NRA awhile back? "“We are Braveheart. We need to ride into that battlefield {Nov. elections} and chop their heads off in November. Am I — any questions?"

  13. Good Gosh
    Report Abuse
    Good Gosh - July 28, 2012 12:55 pm
    This question has been asked before, but it seems appropriate here. The GAB won't allow Prosser to use his campaign funds to set up a defense fund "only if they are being investigated for or charged with a violation of either campaign finance or other election laws." Now, how come it is they are allowing Walker to use his apparently unlimited campaign funds to set up a defense fund? Hmm? Has anyone heard the justification from GAB on this one?
  14. nan3
    Report Abuse
    nan3 - July 28, 2012 12:41 pm
    If I put my fist in the air, unless I actually connect with someone's body part, I don't think I've broken any law or ethical standard. But the current SC will probably change that. However, if I connect my hands to someones' neck, I can be charged with assault. Just common sense.
  15. spooky tooth
    Report Abuse
    spooky tooth - July 28, 2012 12:03 pm
    Prosser should call this his "get out of jail free fund" and I hope it costs a million before its over.
    Prosser gets angry, puts a stranglehold on a little old lady thats a foot shorter than he is and others in the room don't/won't have to testify so he can keep his job?
  16. 53703
    Report Abuse
    53703 - July 28, 2012 11:44 am
    You forgot to include a donation link with bright flashing text.

    Anyway, I thought these guys just got pro bono legal services depending on who had a case coming up that they wanted to quid pro quo.
  17. RichardSRussell
    Report Abuse
    RichardSRussell - July 28, 2012 11:20 am
    I'll bet the elder statesmen who set up Wisconsin's original judicial system figured that it would be OK for the Supreme Court to be the final arbiter of judicial ethics, because who else could be so far above the hurly-burly of the tawdry partisan fray, bathed in the pure light of sweet reason day in and day out as they were?
  18. TheJudoon
    Report Abuse
    TheJudoon - July 28, 2012 10:53 am
    You'd think it was called a CRIMINAL defense fund because it is used to defend oneself in a criminal case. But ethics charges? Hmmm ... I question the whole set up.
  19. Monitor
    Report Abuse
    Monitor - July 28, 2012 9:50 am
    Prosser buried himself. He did wrong, and was not man-enough to apologize for his very inappropriate behavior and bad temper. Ann Walsh Bradley and the other witnesses would have let this go if Prosser had manned-up and got back to business. Since then Prosser has steam rolled this situation downhill to the detriment of himself, the supreme court, and Wisconsin.
  20. wiprof
    Report Abuse
    wiprof - July 28, 2012 9:47 am
    Didn't folks at the Wisconsin Judicial Commission who is charging Prosser read the final report on the whole incident? Bradley clearly charged Prosser with her fist in the air and had to be dragged back. She threatened him and he responded defensively. After the event Shirley asked her intern, who was not there, what he would do if someone got in his face.

    The charges against Prosser, I believe are pure harassment.
  21. glenrusswood
    Report Abuse
    glenrusswood - July 28, 2012 9:26 am
    Borrow sum $$$ from slimedue walker...
    He"s GOT it
  22. PosterX
    Report Abuse
    PosterX - July 28, 2012 7:51 am
    This is how our "justice" system works? Jeez Us.

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