Liberal State Supreme Court candidate Lisa Neubauer is claiming to be independent and non-partisan, but she is running a decidedly partisan campaign.
A lifelong Democrat whose daughter is a Democratic State Assemblywoman and whose husband is a former Assemblyman and chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Neubauer has vowed not to let her obvious political leanings impact her judicial impartiality.
However, she has accepted the endorsement of the Wisconsin Working Families Party, which called her "the kind of jurist that Wisconsin needs on the state’s highest court to ensure that the rights of the many, not just the rich and privileged, are protected."
“I thank WFP for their endorsement of our campaign,” Judge Neubauer said in the WFP in a news release announcing the endorsement. “Families across Wisconsin are demanding a fair, impartial, and independent court, and that’s the kind of Justice I will be.”
Exactly how impartial can she be with the support of a political entity that Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called "the closest thing there is to a political party that believes in my vision of democratic socialism?"
Does Neubauer share that vision of democratic socialism? Her enthusiastic acceptance of the WFP's endorsement certainly suggests that she does.
And she's also accepting support from Democratic Party special interest money.
After saying that she would ask outside dark money groups to avoid spending money on her behalf, she gladly accepted $350,000 in support from former Attorney General Eric Holder's National Democratic Redistricting Committee (which is affiliated with the national Democratic Party). Holder, one of the most nakedly partisan Attorneys General in American history, will visit Wisconsin to campaign for Neubauer next week.
And after repeatedly claiming to be fair and impartial and not pre-judge issues that could come before either the Court of Appeals (where she serves as Chief Judge) or the Wisconsin Supreme Court, she attended the 2017 Climate March in Madison. One can thus presume how she would rule on climate-related issues. When asked about what attendance at such a rally means for her ability to be impartial on climate issues, her campaign spokesman refused to answer and instead resorted to attacking her opponent in the Supreme Court race.
Neubauer attended the rally with her daughter Greta--who was elected to the Assembly in a special election in early 2018--raising even greater questions about her impartiality. Would Judge Neubauer recuse herself from litigation over any bill for which her daughter voted? What about those her daughter co-sponsored or authored? It's fairly obvious that state law and judicial ethics rules would require it.
Would she, though? Given her duplicitous claims of impartiality yet obvious partisanship, it's a legitimate question.