Former Gov. Lucey Withdraws Support from Prosser

UPDATED: Thursday, March 31, 2011 --- 9:08p.m.

Former Gov. Lucey withdraws support from Prosser

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Former Democratic Gov. Patrick Lucey is withdrawing his support for Justice David Prosser for Supreme Court and is throwing it to Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

Lucey released a statement to the media Thursday evening saying the campaign has revealed what he called "a disturbing distemper and lack of civility" in Prosser, though he did not cite specifics.

At the same time, Lucey says he has continued to be impressed by Kloppenburg, saying she has shown the proper judicial temperament.

The campaign between the incumbent Prosser and Kloppenburg has been contentious. A public-policy group recently calculated that spending on the race has reached $1.7 million.

Lucey says he has resigned as the honorary co-chairman of Prosser's campaign. A message left at Prosser's campaign was not immediately returned Thursday night.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 --- 8:15p.m.

Statement from Patrick J. Lucey
March 31, 2011

“As a former Governor who appointed to Wisconsin's Supreme Court two quite different but equally principled Justices – Shirley Abrahamson and Roland Day – and who has over the years endorsed several more Justices, I have followed with increasing dismay and now alarm the campaign of Justice David Prosser, whom I endorsed at the outset of his campaign and in whose campaign I serve as the Honorary Co-Chairman."

“I can no longer in good conscience lend my name and support to Justice Prosser's candidacy. Too much has come to light that Justice Prosser has lost that most crucial of characteristics for a Supreme
Court Justice – as for any judge – even-handed impartiality. Along with that failing has come a disturbing distemper and lack of civility that does not bode well for the High Court in the face of demands that are sure to be placed on it in these times of great political and legal volatility."

“At the very same time that my confidence in Justice Prosser has waned, I admire and have continued to be impressed with Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg. She has adhered throughout the
campaign to even-handedness and non-partisanship and has exhibited both promising judicial temperament and good grace even in the heat of a fierce campaign."

“For these reasons I have today resigned as Honorary Co-Chairman of Justice Prosser's campaign, and I endorse Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg for the Wisconsin Supreme Court on April 5, 2011.”