One Wisconsin Now Press Release

January 23, 2009
Contact: Mike Browne
Phone: (608) 444-3483

Wisconsinites Demand Gableman, Ziegler Recusal; OWN Delivers 2,400 Petitions - 1/21/2009

Citizens Call for WMC-Supported Justices to Step Away from Case Favored by WMC

Madison - Citizens from across Wisconsin are calling for state Supreme Court Justices Annette Ziegler and Mike Gableman to recuse themselves from a case favored by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the big-business lobby which spent over $4 million during their campaigns. Today, One Wisconsin Now delivered 1,200 petitions to both Justices, signed by citizens calling for their recusal.

"The people of Wisconsin have sent Justices Ziegler and Gableman a clear message that our justice system should not be for sale," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "The longer Justices Gableman and Ziegler refuse to step away from this case, the more they appear to be bought and paid for by WMC."

Oral arguments at the Supreme Court began earlier this month in the Virnich and Moores case. In 2006, a jury ordered the owners of Communications Products Corporation, Daniel Virnich and Jack Moores, to pay $6.5 million in damages after the pair took over $10 million from the company as they drove it into the ground.

Dozens of workers were out of jobs when the company went under, and Communications Products Corp. refused to fulfill its union contract and pay workers their due. All the while, Virnich and Moores continued to collect huge payments from the company.

WMC filed a brief in favor of the company, when the case was at the appeal court. In 2007, WMC spent over $2 million to assist Ziegler's race and over $2 million in 2008 on Gableman's behalf.

"The ethics investigations of Justices Gableman and Ziegler have already shown their personal disregard for the rules," said Ross. "The Court appears to have a progressive wing, a conservative wing and a Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce wing."

In the first major case involving WMC heard before Justice Ziegler in 2007, she not only remained on the case, but also cast the deciding vote and wrote the decision supporting the WMC position in the Menasha Corporation case. The decision created a loophole for corporations and left taxpayers liable for over $300 million.

The petition and more information about the recusal drive is a available at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/gablemanzieglerrecuse.

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.