Former Justice Dan Kelly called the racial slur and elder abuse allegations against Janet Protasiewicz “credible allegations” of “horrible behavior.
He is calling for them to be investigated.
He called Protasiewicz’s threat to consider a lawsuit over the allegations “horribly irresponsible” and “something meant to chill free speech.”
Kelly accused the news media of showing bias toward Protasiewicz in the race and said outlets’ failure to cover the allegations was “just flat-out irresponsible.” He said the mainstream media are trying to help Protasiewicz win.
Former Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly called the accusations that liberal Milwaukee Judge Janet Protasiewicz physically abused her elderly husband and used racial slurs “credible allegations” of “horrible behavior” and called for them to be investigated.
Kelly, speaking Thursday night on the “Wisconsin Right Now Uncensored” podcast with Jim Piwowarczyk, Jessica McBride, and Scarlett Johnson, called Protasiewicz’s threat to file a lawsuit “wildly troubling” and questioned why the news media covered sexual assault allegations against African-American Judge Everett Mitchell but not elder abuse and racial slur accusations against Protasiewicz.
‘When a jurist comes along and makes a threat to sue, that strikes me as something meant to chill free speech. I think that’s horribly irresponsible,” Kelly said about Protasiewicz’s threat to consider suing over the allegations, which her campaign later walked back.
“I think the work that you (Wisconsin Right Now’s reporters) have done shows that there are credible allegations of this kind of, of horrible behavior, and, if those allegations turn out to be true, that’s really significant,” Kelly said in his fullest comments on the matter.
That’s also “a very big if” because “at the current moment they’re allegations,” he said, adding: “I think these things should be investigated, and I think that there is a great deal of responsibility to investigate those claims and bring those to a resolution.”
Kelly called the media’s lack of coverage of the allegations “just flat-out irresponsible.” He said he believes the mainstream media is trying to skew coverage to favor Protasiewicz and help her win.
Wisconsin Right Now has reported that two men – former restaurant/bar owner Jon Ehr and Protasiewicz’s former stepson Michael Madden – say they personally saw Protasiewicz physically abuse her then-husband Judge Patrick Madden and allegedly heard her use the “N word.” Protasiewicz denied the allegations to other news outlets, but she has not responded to WRN’s request for comment. Four other people have told WRN they heard about the elder abuse allegations years ago, either from Michael Madden or Patrick Madden.
Kelly said there is a media double standard in the race to treat Protasiewicz more leniently.
“This is an important story that you’re working on,” he said. “If the shoe was on the other foot, and these kinds of allegations were being made about me, there wouldn’t even be a speed bump for the mainstream media. They would jump in with both feet, and there would be no looking back.”
He said the mainstream media’s “behavior on this story is, well, let’s just say it’s curious. I remember that during the primary, the mainstream media was all over Everett Mitchell and the allegations made against him. And the fact that they were allegations didn’t stop them in a heartbeat. So I wonder why they went after him, but they’re taking a very hands-off approach” to Protasiewicz, Kelly said.
As a justice, Kelly said he was “punctiliously careful about the things I said and made sure I had unimpeachable evidence of what we were saying.”
He said he wasn’t sure whether the difference in coverage given to Mitchell was based on race.
“That would require crawling into their minds. The way that we are treated, if there is anything that appears to be that, the left will immediately jump to the conclusion that it is race-based. Is it? I don’t know.”
Kelly’s comments came in a podcast on Thursday night with Wisconsin Right Now, the award-winning news outlet that broke the Protasiewicz story.
Kelly said there is a “moral responsibility of the press to cover news that people need to know.”
His campaign previously released a statement on the abuse allegations.
“The late Judge Madden was a highly regarded and well-respected Wisconsin jurist. These abuse allegations against Janet Protasiewicz are troubling to say the least. Wisconsinites deserve a swift and full explanation,” Justice Kelly said in that statement.
“In the statement we released, I expected that to be covered. That’s why we released it,” he said in the podcast. “It was just roundly ignored by the press. The statement didn’t make me look bad and the only thing the press is interested in running about me at least is anything that would possibly make me look bad.”
Kelly said the media “are definitely putting their thumb on what people are hearing about.”
“I just think the people of Wisconsin are owed an explanation at the very least about these allegations. They need to know,” Kelly added.
He said the people of Wisconsin “need to learn” whether the allegations are false or true. He said he wants to prevail in an honest fact-filled campaign, and added that it would be a travesty if the allegations turned out to not be true and influenced the election. So, an investigation should be done “to see whether these are true.” He said it’s important “one way or the other.”
If it was proven to be true that Protasiewicz used racial slurs “that would just be one more disqualifying aspect to my opponent’s candidacy,” said Kelly. “She has demonstrated herself to be a serial liar. Everything she says about me is just not true.”
He said he resents “being lied about,” and called them “sloppy lies.” Her “commitment to put herself above the law” and “her promise to bring her politics to the court” are also disqualifying, Kelly said.