The Dodge County judicial race is an interesting one, and while I wanted to stay neutral, I simply must break my silence in support of James Sempf.
There is, however, one issue we Republicans take very seriously that I must address first. Jim signed the Walker recall. When he told me he was running, I asked him about it. He owned it, made no excuses, and acknowledged he made a mistake. He did this not because he is running for office, but he made an emotional decision that was ill advised and he honestly regrets it.
Taking ownership of a mistake, rather than making excuses or trying to rationalize it, is exactly what I look for when judging someone’s integrity. Based on his explanation, I believe he truly regrets signing. I have worked with Jim for 14 years and I have never had means to question his integrity or honesty.
So why I am opposing Jim’s opponent Kristine Snow? There are a number of reasons, but in summary, Snow has attempted to court the Republican Party while several facts are evident that Republicans should note.
During a Republican Party event in Randolph, Snow spoke about her judicial philosophy. She did so after Jim explained that a judge should never legislate from the bench, but must interpret the laws that are passed by the legislature. Snow deviated from that philosophy agreeing that circuit and appeals courts should interpret laws, but the Supreme Court is meant to create “policy.”
This was a major red flag for me. Was she really advocating that supreme court justices should legislate from the bench by creating “policy”? Is that not a clear deviation from conservative thinking?
I recently was made aware of an application that Snow filed with Governor Tony Evers for a District II Court of Appeals appointment dated May 10, 2019. In that application there were two alarming admissions by Snow.
Snow writes, “I admire Justice Shirley Abrahamson.” She goes on to praise Abrahamson (a well-known liberal Supreme Court Justice) for her work on the bench.
An application question asked Snow for a Supreme Court case with the greatest positive impact on the people of Wisconsin or our democracy. Snow named Obergefell v Hodges, which provided national recognition of the constitutional right for homosexuals to marry.
She states “The legislature in Wisconsin and the previous administration were openly reluctant, if not hostile, to further expand laws and provide equality to our homosexual citizens and their families.”
Snow’s comments are a clear attacks on the Republican-led legislature and Governor Scott Walker.
During her campaign, Snow has had a significant backing of well-known liberal individuals in our community, including those who have introduced and supported her at public events and have publicly collected signatures on her behalf.
Finally, while I do not typically hold the actions of someone’s spouse against them, given the facts above, I find relevance that Snow’s husband, and law firm partner, publicly opposed Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley when running for office. I asked him about it when he was running for Dodge County Judge. Immediately after our meeting he deleted all of those posts, except one which is still active on his Facebook page and of which I have preserved.
I hold nothing against someone for having their own opinions. Our country is great because we all have the freedom to have differing opinions. I do pause when Snow attacks Jim Sempf for signing the recall after she herself attacked Walker and the Republican legislature in an application to our Democrat governor. It makes me question, is she playing both sides? Is that integrity?
James Sempf is honest and will admit when he makes mistakes. That is true integrity. He is an excellent prosecutor who takes protecting the citizens seriously.
Please join me and other law enforcement professionals in supporting Assistant District Attorney James Sempf for Dodge County Circuit Court Judge. I have no doubt that he is the best choice to help keep Dodge County a safe and enjoyable place to live, work, and visit.
After all, no one is a fan of Snow in April.
Dale Schmidt (R) is the Sheriff of Dodge County, WI.