Daley Calls Bradley Soft On Crime In Supreme Court Debate

Bradley Says Her Record Has Been 'Fair And Impartial'

Gilman Halsted/WPR

In a debate in Madison on Wednesday, challenger Rock County Judge James Daley accused incumbent Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of favoring the rights of criminal defendants.

In his closing statement at the Madison Rotary club debate, Daley said the more-than 50 sheriffs who have endorsed him did so because they believe Bradley is not tough enough on violent criminals.

“She has had a history in the last 20 years of promoting leniency within the criminal justice system. But I believe that has thrown needless roadblocks in the way of our dedicated law enforcement officers who daily risk our lives to protect our families,” said Daley.

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Bradley countered by citing the more-than 100 sheriffs, districts attorney and chiefs of police who have backed her re-election.

“And that is because of my record of the last 20 years, a record that is fair and impartial,” said Bradley.

The two candidates also disagreed about what the job description for a high court justice should be. Daley said that a justice should have record of keeping crime in check. He touted his role in maintaining public safety in the county following the closing of the general Motor’s Plant.

“The same period of time we lost the plant and 6,000 good paying jobs, our crime has gone down,” said Daley.

However, Bradley said the courage to be independent is the key qualification for being a Supreme Court justice. She said she believes justices on the court need to focus on the rule of law and resist outside influence.

Bradley has accused Daley of politicizing the race by currying favor with the Republican Party, while Daley has criticized her for opposing what he calls “commonsense” changes like Act !0 and a voter ID law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The two meet again this Friday for a final televised debate before the April 7 election.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with more information on the debate.