Skip to main content

Gavel and sold sign
After chasing down a story on the Koch Brothers Americans for Prosperity and posting a diary, I checked my KosMail.   Ericlewis0 sent me a link to a shocking new revelation about Judge Randa, the federal judge who recently shut down the John Doe Probe about illegal coordination between campaigns and dark money astroturf groups like AFP and Club for Growth.

We've already discovered that Randas wife is a frequent donor to Walkers campaigns (less than $100 each time).  We also know that Randas Judicial Assistant is the wife of Scott Walkers lawyer, Steven Biskupic.  We also know that Randa is a member of the RW Federalist Society.

Today, however, we know that Randa has been attending junkets paid for by RW billionaire funded groups.

The federal judge who ordered a halt to Wisconsin's "John Doe" criminal investigation into spending during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections has regularly attended all-expenses paid "judicial junkets" funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and other ideological and corporate interests.
Hmmmm.  Koch-funded Club for Growth was one of the organizations bringing the case to court.  One would think that Randa should have recused himself from even hearing a case brought by a group from which he has received so much.  Apparently he chose not to which casts a poor light on his ruling that favors the dark money organizations that fund his frequent junkets.

An analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that Judge Randa attended privately-funded, all-expenses-paid judicial seminars put on by George Mason University in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, according to publicly-available financial disclosure forms. (The 2013 disclosure form has been requested but has not yet been publicly posted).

The George Mason University seminars are bankrolled by a long list of right-wing foundations, like Koch, Bradley, and the Searle Freedom Trust, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and corporations like BP, Exxon Mobil, and Dow Chemical. Many of these interests have long opposed limits on money in politics, although it is not known whether campaign finance reform was a topic at the seminars Randa attended.

The seminars amount to a privately-funded all-expenses paid trip for judges, with conference sponsors picking up the costs of a judge's flights, hotel rooms, and meals. One seminar Judge Randa attended was in La Jolla, California, a swanky San Diego suburb that is home to both great golfing and Mitt Romney; the location of other seminars Randa attended is unknown. The content of the seminars has a decidedly pro-corporate bent, and the expensive gifts raise concerns about improper influence when corporate sponsors have a stake in a case before a judge. (Some reports have directly connected the trips to judge's decisions).

(bolding is mine)

No other federal district judge in Wisconsin has attended these seminars.  

We have seen exposure of the poisonous influence fully paid ALEC junkets have had on legislators since 2010.  ALEC promoted bills keep popping up in state after state to benefit their corporate sponsors.  Now, it appears, judges have their own junkets to fill their heads with propaganda and, perhaps, influence a ruling ... or three ... or more.  It certainly would make them feel beholden to those who pay for their free junket.  

Something smells bad here and it isn't the cheese.  

As we have seen from the poor example of some US Supreme Court Justices attending and speaking at ideological events, there's little to no oversight of those who wear black robes and render rulings.   They're free to become as bought and paid for as any political hack.

It makes me sick.


Originally posted to Puddytat on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, Pat K California, bink, Thumb, Duckman GR, Alumbrados, JWC, buffalo soldier, Joe Bob, DeminNewJ, vicki, KeithH, Yosef 52, CJB, Trix, oofer, Radiowalla, dragonlady, murphy, teacherken, Timaeus, glitterscale, tikkun, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, PeterHug, Bob Love, Emerson, karlpk, Shockwave, Eman, chuco35, tacet, CleverNickName, cotterperson, Stein, celdd, Mnemosyne, xynz, polecat, freelunch, Woody, NCJim, sobermom, delver rootnose, Ahianne, hnichols, niemann, Creosote, regis, Heart of the Rockies, rasbobbo, Gustogirl, concernedamerican, TracieLynn, sponson, justme, whenwego, OCD, KMc, boadicea, mrblifil, farmerhunt, chimpy, roses, ovals49, retLT, Miss Blue, jalbert, PeteZerria, Nate Roberts, Iberian, Cedwyn, antirove, sidnora, litigatormom, wader, nio, revsue, jdmorg, Texknight, psnyder, TexDem, Dallasdoc, pat bunny, laughingriver, DSC on the Plateau, Steven Payne, defluxion10, Catte Nappe, betson08, papercut, AmyCat, Mi Corazon, grrr, lcrp, riverlover, Brian82, One bite at a time, outragedinSF, imicon, zerelda, Sembtex, Curt Matlock, mungley, WisVoter, Hillbilly Dem, jcrit, Black Max, AlwaysDemocrat, boran2, Josiah Bartlett, Sassy, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, weelzup, rapala, G2geek, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, marina, radarlady, NoMoreLies, Ckntfld, ichibon, UncleCharlie, blueyedace2, Alice Marshall, mjd in florida, democracy inaction, sc kitty, Alice Venturi, wallys son, JohnB47, ajsuited, craigkg, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, juliesie, viral, Laurence Lewis, Byrnt, fixxit, eru, cfk, Sun Tzu, Overseas, skyounkin, most peculiar mama, blue jersey mom, Sandino, kaliope, rb608, Shotput8, Ginny in CO, sodalis, deepsouthdoug, turdraker, bunsk, Brian B, peacestpete, mrchips46, kkjohnson, Alan Arizona, bently, xaxnar, Jim R, Jim P, begone, dedwords, third Party please, LeftOverAmerica, hlee1169, golem, myboo, cybersaur, 417els, edwardssl, mr crabby, Cartoon Peril, seefleur, Prognosticator, ruleoflaw, KenBee, dougymi, Naniboujou, arlene, raincrow, DarkestHour, triv33, MJ via Chicago, StrayCat, philipmerrill, twigg, The Hindsight Times, Rosaura, gooderservice, uniqity, SadieSue, real world chick, JVolvo, Preston S, middleagedhousewife, llbear, onionjim, thenekkidtruth, IL clb, BlueSue, CA Nana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, BB10, una, blueoregon, kurt, equern, NancyWH, kurious, bstotts, AllanTBG, OHdog, Aaa T Tudeattack, tegrat, ammasdarling, anna shane, john07801, BeninSC, high coup haiku, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, merrylib, Loudoun County Dem, camlbacker, Deadicated Marxist, devis1, Dartagnan, ColoTim, yoduuuh do or do not, Wino, FishOutofWater, operculum, certainot, deepeco, sfbob, Ninepatch, eOz, newpioneer, jayden, rivamer, hopi13, leonard145b, Azubia, Don midwest, keyscritter, chujb, vet, TomP, Empower Ink, cville townie, JDWolverton, MKinTN, JayC, gundyj, JeffW, TX Freethinker, hulagirl, GAS, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, dadadata, smrichmond, elwior, skohayes, CDH in Brooklyn, Its any one guess, jamess, monkeybrainpolitics, Lujane, rssrai, tofumagoo, pickandshovel, TokenLiberal, Jeff Y, catly, mofembot, temptxan, Gemina13, glendaw271, elpacifico66, TexanJane, BYw, Al Fondy, suesue, JamieG from Md, magicsister, Mayfly, billybam, rhutcheson, shortgirl, statsone, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, enemy of the people, multilee, buffie, Throw The Bums Out, Ravenstream, Dirtandiron, bobatkinson, zephyr108, Carol in San Antonio, notrouble, Ohiodem1, indres, jck, I give in to sin, papahaha, KenInCO, stevenwag, sfarkash, Lacy LaPlante, DaNang65, Tortmaster, jfromga, Randtntx, LookingUp, Words In Action, Railfan, Amber6541, hotdamn, commonmass, confitesprit, awcomeon, FogCityJohn, McWaffle, NJpeach, leftywright, kjoftherock, secret38b, biggiefries, Giles Goat Boy, LOrion, VickiL, mrblubitz, DrWhk, Simple, ATFILLINOIS, Garfnobl, tellthestories, gulfgal98, pixxer, dlemex, DiegoUK, rja, BlueFranco, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, Loose Fur, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, Dems in 08, nosleep4u, ZedMont, soaglow, slice, Mister Met, Maximilien Robespierre, kerflooey, NJ elitist, coquiero, Liberal Capitalist, slowbutsure, sabo33, implicate order, cv lurking gf, La Gitane, poorbuster, Susipsych, Intheknow, FarWestGirl, lexalou, Teiresias70, EquityRoy, smiley7, trumpeter, PedalingPete, Haf2Read, marleycat, badscience, thomask, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, Sark Svemes, RMForbes, enhydra lutris, peregrine kate, Calvino Partigiani, foresterbob, bluedust, biloxiblues, poliwrangler, la58, Caddis Fly, diffrntdrummr, bakeneko, Vatexia, SteelerGrrl, stlsophos, weinerschnauzer, DRo, SouthernLiberalinMD, nyer11Oak, Davui, allergywoman, No one gets out alive, Nancy on Lake Michigan, Laurel in CA, mikeVA, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, jacey, OldDragon, anodnhajo, sow hat, leathersmith, MightyMoe, cwsmoke, Siri, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, SilverWillow, joanil, orpurple, barkingcat, a2nite, rukidingme, Trotskyrepublican, ANY THING TOO ADD, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, peachcreek, LittleSilver, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, BRog, New Minas, sexgenderbody, wxorknot, etherealfire, stvnjon, Glen The Plumber, dotdash2u, OldJackPine, George3, databob, peptabysmal, this just in, Robynhood too, CalBearMom, madcitysailor, GeoffT, Captain Chaos, TheLawnRanger, Stude Dude, Ashes of Roses, mzkryz, isewquilts2, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, Illinois IRV, countwebb, The grouch, poopdogcomedy, weck, 3rock, gypsytoo, aresea, sfbaytransplant, ggfkate, Jollie Ollie Orange, JerryNA, Wisco Wherls, bob152, ModerateJosh, furrfu, solarbay, peterfallow, ET3117, Mike Kahlow, Fairlithe, notevenclosetoonepercent, Jim Domenico, ExDU12, Modified Dog, dreamweaver1, TheDuckManCometh, palmer18, bobwilk, sfinx, stuhunter2, Tom Lum Forest, eagleray, Capt Crunch, Fish Man, old mule, Penny GC, Will Stark, leoluminary, sillycarrot, Ellamenta, Skyye, ginimck, theBreeze, GreatLakeSailor, bearsguy, Lennykat, LiberalLoner, cynicann, JimValent, 100fishhooks, Darth Stateworker, aldelgarbino, debris54, Shaylors Provence, hbk, LubbockGayMale, AJayne, ypochris, liberaldad2, agitatednactivated, BMScott, numble, bobcat41702, 2fast4u, Scubee

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site