Saturday, January 24, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

Evidently, the outrage de jour is an advertisement the Shirley Abrahamson campaign placed on the UW Law School web site soliciting interns for her upcoming re-election campaign.

And now that the office of Steve Nass has gotten involved we're likely to see more useless posturing. Here are the words Nass' staffer put into his mouth re: the issue:
“It appears that the Chief Justice’s campaign is using her influence and office to solicit campaign workers through the UW-Madison Law School. The description of these internships is clearly unseemly, unethical and possibly illegal,” Nass said.
First of all, let's take a look at what Nass' staffer believes is Abrahamson using her influence and office to solicit campaign workers through the UW-Madison Law School: these are Nass' own press release's words on just how Abrahamson tried to strongarm her way on to the UW Law School web site:
The internship notice was submitted by Jane Heymann, Assistant Dean for Career Services at the UW Law School.
Wow ... that's gangsta! An internship notice was submitted to a woman who's title presumably makes her responsible for putting such notices on the web site. Surely, Abrahamson's* influence and power in the field of Career Services is what resulted in the posting of the internship notice!

But on to the second allegation, the one that claims that this practice is "clearly unseemly, unethical and possibly illegal."

First, something can not be both simultaneously "clearly" and "possibly," as "illegal" is in this sentence. This is just poor sentence construction on behalf of Nass' staffer.

Secondly, the listing appears to be niether "unseemly, unethical" and/or "possibly illegal":

Jane Heymann, the law school's assistant dean for career services, said solicitations for political campaigns in the newsletter are rare. So when the job listing was submitted, Law School Assistant Dean Ruth Robarts had it vetted by the campus' legal counsel's office.

"They were of the opinion that this didn't violate any campus or state law," she said.

Heymann said students typically have a keen interest in politics, and regardless of party affiliation, candidates are welcome to solicit campaign workers in the newsletter.

Including Koschnick.

"We would be delighted to run that announcement in our next newsletter," she said. "If it's anything we think law students might be interested in we're happy to oblige."

[Just as an aside: did Lance Burri read these grafs when he wrote "the Cap Times did a story about it (although that was more about a liberal group's extremely weak attempts to deflect the issue)"?
1.) It was the Wisconsin State Journal, not the Cap Times.
2.) It was the UW Law School, not One Wisconsin Now (which was quoted earlier).
3.) What part of "Koschink is welcome to place his own solicitations" does everybody screaming to high Hell about this non-issue not understand?]
If anyone thinks otherwise, they are welcome to sue either UW or Abrahamson. I would ask that you use your own money for a change so that the state doesn't have to spend twice as much money to both file and defend itself from a frivolous lawsuit. Please feel free to get back to us when you've been denied standing. Thank you for your time.

*Yes, that was an Airplane! + Wisconsin Supreme Court joke.

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