Latest in line of inappropriate and/or criminal behavior by newly re-elected Republican member of the high court caught on video...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2011, 12:10pm PT  

Good lord. What next? Does WI Supreme Court Justice David Prosser need to strangle a baby on camera before members of all political parties in the state fully realize how absolutely inappropriate this man is for holding a seat on their highest court?

Following on the recently reported allegations that he placed a fellow justice into a chokehold during a contentious debate about the legality of the controversial anti-union legislation of Prosser's former colleague, Gov. Scott Walker, a local news team --- this time on camera --- caught another glimpse at Prosser's long-reported anger management problems.

A reporter from a local Fox affiliate attempted to get answers from Supreme Court justices about the choking issue, as six of the seven were said to have been present at the mid-June incident. He was able to confront four of them with questions, but only one, Prosser, snatched the mic out of his hand in anger, before quickly handing it back.


Both the Dane County Sheriff's office and the Wisconsin Judicial Commission are now investigating the claims that on June 13th Prosser placed both hands around the neck of fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during deliberations on Walker's bill which strips many rights from citizens to collectively bargain with the government. In a statement, Prosser says the assault claim "will be proven false."

The mic snatching incident, as well as the choking allegations, are just the latest in a long line of examples and allegations concerning the hard-right Republican Prosser's problems with anger management, truth-telling and even criminality...

As The BRAD BLOG detailed in an investigative exposé last April, Prosser admitted to the same criminal behavior which sent a number of his former colleagues to jail when, as leader of the GOP minority in the Assembly and as House speaker in the 90's, he used state resources for partisan political gain.

During the campaign for his April 5th, 2011 re-election, allegations surfaced that he'd called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "total bitch" and promised to "destroy" her. Once the charges surfaced, he admitted the allegations were true, saying "I probably overreacted," before going on to say "it was entirely warranted." He then went on to blame Justices Abrahamson and Bradley for his own outburst. "They are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements," he said. "This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."

During a stunning evening press conference, two days after that election, Prosser's former colleague from the Assembly Republican Caucus (ARC), Kathy Nickolaus --- now the County Clerk of heavily Republican Waukesha County, a job she took after receiving criminal immunity in 2002 as part of the ARC investigation --- announced that she'd "discovered" some 14,000 votes she says she had failed to report on Election Night. The new numbers led to a reversal of the statewide results which previously had given a slim Election Night margin to Prosser's independent opponent Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg. Afterward, as part of Kloppenburg's challenge of the results, allegations were made with state authorities that Prosser had secretly met with Gov. Walker on the day following the election.

In a complaint filed by Kloppenburg requesting special probe [PDF] of Nickolaus, as we reported in detail on April 22, the following allegations were included:

17. On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Justice Prosser was observed entering the Governor's Office late in the evening and attending a private, on-on-one [sic] meeting with Governor Scott Walker.

18. Governor Scott Walker made public statements on Wednesday, April 6, 2011, commenting that there might be "ballots somewhere, somehow found out of the blue that weren't counted before."

Once Kloppenburg's complaint was made public, Prosser vehemently denied the charges, according to Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel, "angrily" telling the paper "The idea that I would go to the governor's office is just patently untrue. There is not a shred of evidence. That is pure malice."

But just one week later, Prosser's story had begun to change. In an interview with Tony Galli of Madison's ABC affiliate WKOW27 Prosser conceded, "It is conceivable that during that week, I stopped down to the governor's office."

"I certainly never went beyond the reception person," Prosser told WKOW27 in his apparent flip-flop, "I never met with the governor personally in his office." (Emphasis in original audio.)

The discovery of those 14,000 ballots added to Waukesha's vote count led to the request for investigation as a well as a statewide "recount" in the race for a 10-year term on the state's highest court.

As The BRAD BLOG reported in great detail, too often exclusively, in a series of articles over the month-long "recount", Prosser was eventually certified as the "winner" of the election despite an embarrassing mess of a "recount", in which ballot bags were found to have been "wide open" and/or duct taped shut and/or otherwise in violation of the secure change of custody, with serial numbers on them missing or changed, and featuring computer poll tape results which either failed to print entirely on Election Day, or were found to have been dated seven days prior to the actual election for still-unexplained reasons.

Though the results of the "recount" would be certified as "correct" by the state's top election agency, the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), on May 23rd, the official minutes from the counting in Waukesha --- featuring hundreds of objections to the counting by Kloppenburg attorneys and more than 800 evidentiary exhibits --- were never reviewed by the state agency before certification.

The Waukesha County minutes have only now, this week, well over a month since the "recount" completed, been received by the G.A.B. and published to their website. All long after Kloppenburg, citing a "cascade" of "widespread irregularities" and thousands of mis-tallied votes, was forced to the concede the race.

The incumbent Prosser's new 10-year term is set to begin in August --- unless he strangles a baby on video tape before the date of his new swearing-in.

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