Ozaukee County Judge Thomas Wolfgram publicly advocated for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's removal from office. In five weeks that public act may actually lead to his dismissal from the bench.
In 2012, Wolfgram signed his name to the Walker recall petition. Now, Grafton attorney Joseph Voiland, Wolfgram’s opponent in the April election, is among those who say the Judge’s public political act is an issue of concern in the race.
Still, liberals like Judge Wolfgram despise the sunshine that the Walker recall petitions have provided for Wisconsinites who are interested in knowing just how objective non-partisan candidates really are. And newspapers like the Ozaukee Press are right there to provide cover.
In a February 20 editorial, the Ozaukee Press called Voiland’s use of Wolfgram’s recall signature "a ploy," "irrelevant," and "offensive." Their editorial reads in part:
As a campaign issue, Voiland’s claim is irrelevant. He has presented no evidence that Wolfgram’s political beliefs, whatever they may be, have in any way influenced his courtroom decisions. As a political attack, his claim is offensive in that it suggests it is somehow wrong for judges to exercise their right to participate in democracy as private citizens. Wolfgram was one of roughly one million Wisconsin voters who exercised their right to sign petitions in support of the gubernatorial recall election.
And in a condescending tone, the editorial concluded, "it and Voiland’s single-issue political campaign have no place in Ozaukee County’s non-partisan judicial election."
As editorial boards consistently do, the Ozaukee Press is providing cover for another liberal elected official and their actions. The attempt by the Left to explain away the public, not private, political act of signing the Walker recall is quite revealing. It captures the desire by the Left in Wisconsin to distance themselves from the enormous overreach, blunder, and all-around multi-million dollar fiasco that the 2012 recall election became.
The ironic title of the Ozaukee Press editorial is "Rising above political rancor." But just who was responsible for the rancor the past two years? Wasn’t Judge Wolfgram's consent to force an unnecessary, wasteful, and divisive recall on the state that ultimately confirmed overwhelming support for Gov. Walker’s reforms rancorous? Perhaps the Left’s temper tantrums, fake sick notes, closed schools, protests at the special olympics and state fair, death threats, and millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on a recall election was a bit rancorous?
Elected officials charged with remaining non-partisan, fair, and impartial ought to show better judgement in their public political acts. Voiland’s use of Judge Wolfgram’s recall signature is valid, honest, and important for voters to know. And the Ozaukee Press’ editorial excusing of Wolfgram's recall signature simply confirms that even more.