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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board's Priorities are Backwards

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lacks a sense of priorities in deciding what deserves an editorial opinion piece.

Reading the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the past few days, I personally cannot fathom the priorities we seem to have here in Wisconsin.

The Journal on Thursday wrote an editorial calling for Waukesha Clerk Kathy Nickolaus to step down.

Why would this issue be worthy of an editorial opinion from the MJS? How are her actions, or inactions, a higher priority than so many other issues and events that are concurrently happening in our city, county and state?

OK, I think she is a bit of a wacko, probably not the most competent clerk to ever serve, and pretty much just a political hack who made her way up in the Republican Party, and got elected county clerk in Waukesha County.

But, she has done nothing illegal.

As best as I can figure out, the reason the MJS invested an editorial opinion on her is:

— Her less than stellar performance in the recent election made their reporters work a little harder to get the vote totals for Waukesha County. 

— This gives the MJS a chance to try to prove that they are not "pandering" to the Republican burbs to increase their readership in conservative country. 

— She does not come across as Ms. Personality and doesn't genuflect to the other Republican politicians in Waukesha.

So we had to wait an extra few hours to get the official results of the election.  Instead of having them around 10 to 11 p.m. as most returns were available, God forbid, it was the wee hours of the morning before they were in. As most working folks are long asleep by 11 p.m., what difference does it make if the results were not known until later, they were still available by the time they woke up.

Of course, it didn't help the MJS that they couldn't have the results by press time for the morning paper, but their TV station and radio station were both able to provide that information first thing in the morning.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nicholson did nothing illegal and did nothing to alter the election results. I don't particularly like her, and I feel sorry for her, but I really don't care one way or the other as long as the honest results are in by the morning news. 

Two of the latest happenings in Wisconsin that were both reported in MJS on the same day had to do with attorneys. And, both of these stories cried out for an editorial opinion from MJS, but they obviously thought Kathy Nicholson's legal but lackluster performance was more important.

Attorneys Stephan Addison and Benjamin Butler receive slaps on the hand for sexual assaults

This story also highlights the lack of integrity of the current justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and their continued inability to deal with unethical and criminal lawyers (and judges) in a manner that would even come close to punishments that would be meted out to non-lawyers.

Attorneys Stephan Addison and Benjamin Butler had their law licenses in Wisconsin suspended by the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a whole 60 days for sexually assaulting a Berlin woman on the hood of a car in Green County in 2005.

Neither attorney served any prison time for the assaults as they plea-bargained the charges from rape to sexual assault.

Amazing how Wisconsin prosecutors and judges look out for their own, when dealing with criminal acts by attorneys. Maybe it is time for citizen panels of non-lawyers to handle these cases?

Come on MJS, where is the outrage on this issue? Why doesn't this BS punishment by the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices (lawyers) for criminal sexual assaults by other lawyers deserve a front-page editorial?

Another attorney getting light punishment was also in the MJS on the same day.

Brookfield Attorney Thomas Bielinski got a slap on the wrist from Milwaukee County Judge J.D. Watts for stealing $500,000 from Milwaukee County.

The good prosecutors (attorneys of course) decided that although Bielinski committed dozens of crimes to defraud the county of a half a million dollars, they only charged him with a single count of theft, and got off with only a 5-year sentence, even though Judge (and attorney) J.D. Watts said the enormity, length and complexity of the fraud, and the fact that it relied on the trust extended to lawyers in the system, called for the maximum penalty.

Time and again, we see an ordinary citizen arrested for a crime, and the prosecutor dumping as many charges as possible onto the defendant to get as much punishment as possible. I guess the rules are different for lawyers and prosecutors.

Maybe I am missing something here, but I think both cases involving the courts and attorneys, with real illegal activity and silk stocking treatment deserve an editorial opinion much more than someone who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but did not commit a crime.

But that's just me I guess.

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Vicki Bennett April 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM
MJS is not an unbiased news organization. It doesn't take long for the average reader to know which way the political wind blows at that paper and their sister news organization WTMJ. The best action is to unsubscribe to MJS.
Greg in OC April 07, 2012 at 01:53 PM
This paper is the one who endorsed Scott Walker for governor. Right wing bias or considering each issue on it's on merits?
Rweber April 07, 2012 at 03:42 PM
re the county clerk, everything in our representative democracy begins with counting votes correctly. there are few things more important; thank goodness her performance is unusual in our state.
David Tatarowicz April 07, 2012 at 04:22 PM
@Richard I also subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, and often buy the Sunday Trib --- unfortunately, MJS is the local game in town --- and they have become much worse since they decided to try to increase their circulation in the burbs and are pandering to the conservatives their --- ie. endorsement of Scott Walker for Governor !!!
David Tatarowicz April 07, 2012 at 04:27 PM
@Rweber --- you are absolutely correct. And that is also why the tallies that are put out immediately and for days afterwards are NOT official. I don't think that the vote tallies from this last election have been certified yet --- but we obviously know who won and lost. In any case --- in this last instance she did NOT miscount --- she simply took longer than most other clerks. It was an inconvenience to the reporters, but not to many other folks as most were probably sleeping. Clumsy, inefficient, not personable -- she is guilty of all that -- but lying or playing with the voting results --- innocent.

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