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Hathaway As Houdini

“How do you make 3 homes vanish into thin air?”

That’s the question asked by Detroit’s Action News Investigative Team in their expose of possible fraud committed by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway.

The WXYZ report suggests Hathaway engaged in a shell game designed to hide her other real estate holdings from a bank presumably to help her gain approval to “short sell” her luxury home on Lake St. Clair.  WXYZ reports:

In fact, records show in a little over a year, she’s owned four homes: one in Florida, and three in Grosse Pointe Park.

The homes are a part of a dizzying property shuffle that experts say raise ethical and legal questions, but Justice Hathaway has been ducking those questions for more than six weeks.

It turns out Hathaway’s shuffled ownership of some of the houses - one which was bought with cash - into the names of her step-children - and then back to her own name!

Why? Well if you own other homes outright - you’re not likely to qualify for a short-sale.  Even if you’re a Supreme Court Justice.

Hathaway hid the houses and got the short-sale.  Was it ethical?  What do you think?  Check out the story to get all the details.  But if she hid the houses in order to get the short-sale - that screams FRAUD!

We all know that being on the Supreme Court has its privileges . . . do they include committing fraud to get out of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars you owe a bank?  It will be interesting to see how quickly the wheels of justice turn against this Justice.

Check out the whole WXYZ investigation here.

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Must Read Op-Ed

AJP President Dan Pero has an op/ed piece featured in today’s Washington Times here.

Dan exposes a recent special report in American Prospect as nothing more than a George Soros/Open Society produced & funded piece of propaganda. Dan notes:

One of the report’s biggest complaints is that conservative groups such as the American Justice Partnership and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have been too effective in supporting rule-of-law judges in judicial elections. To buttress this claim, the report quotes four purportedly nonpartisan sources but never mentions that all of them are bankrolled by Open Society, including Justice at Stake (more than $3.1 million over the past decade), the Brennan Center for Justice ($12.3 million), the National Institute for Money in State Politics ($2.3 million) and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign ($150,000).

For those readers without a calculator handy, that adds up to about $23 million in Open Society money connected in some way to the American Prospect’s special report.

Dan goes on to rip the cover off the left’s stealth campaign to impose merit selection as a way to pack our courts with liberal judges. Be sure to check out the enire piece – it’s a must read.

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Optimism in Wisconsin

As visitors to this site know Wisconsin is a place near and dear to our heart.

In addition to paying close attention to improvements in Wisconsin’s State Supreme Court, we were among the earliest to highlight the reform-minded agenda of then County Executive and now Governor Scott Walker.

Lost amid the union-stirred controversy and politically motivated recall elections is a fact highlighted by Kurt Bauer – there’s a new optimism among Wisconsin job creators and it’s because of Walker’s leadership and policies.

Bauer should know. He heads the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and in a July 9 opinion article from js online writes:

With the enactment of the state’s first truly balanced budget in at least 15 years, as well as much needed regulatory and litigation reforms, count Wisconsin among the states now pursuing similar common-sense policies.

In a recent Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce survey, 88% of Wisconsin business leaders said they are confident the state is heading in the right direction, up from just 10% a year ago. That’s good news because confident businesses hire. Pessimistic ones don’t.

Bauer has it right. Lost in all the union intimidation tactics is the simple fact that if you care about job creation in Wisconsin you’re a lot better off today than a few short months ago. And that is what matters most.

Read the entire article here.

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A Non-Scandal in Wisconsin

An ultra liberal special interest group called One Wisconsin Now has accused Republican Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen’s office of a “gross abuse of power” and putting “politics above the law.”  Exactly what offense did Van Hollen’s office commit?  Basically being against President Obama’s government take-over of the health care system and seeking information about joining other AGs in a Constitutional challenge to this monstrosity.

If that sounds like a big nothing-burger to you, you’re not alone.  The most interesting thing here is not the non-scandal, but the extent to which a tangled web of special interest groups is spending millions of dollars to try to turn policy disagreements into criminal acts – or at least create an appearance of impropriety that can be used in the next campaign.

One Wisconsin Now is the political arm of the Institute for One Wisconsin.  The Institute is bankrolled in part by – drum roll please – hedge fund billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute.  What does One Wisconsin do with the $$?  Well, some of it gets funneled to another political operation called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund.   Other members of the club include politically-motivated unions like the SEIU and AFSCME.

One Wisconsin Now also tries to drag down the American Justice Partnership, which I run, for contributing to the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) – a group dedicated to supporting conservative, rule-of-law AGs such as JB Van Hollen.

Groups like One Wisconsin Now know how deeply unpopular Obamacare is with the people of Wisconsin.  They understand the bill was steamrollered through Congress despite questions over the constitutionality of several provisions.  Now they’re trying to browbeat and intimidate AGs like JB Van Hollen for daring to challenge their dream of socialized medicine.

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The Importance of the Attorney General

As expected eleven state Attorneys General are bringing suit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform bill just signed into law by President Obama. The suit focuses on the law’s mandate that individuals purchase health insurance. The Christian Science Monitor reports:

The threatened action suggests the controversial measure is about to move from the legislative realm into what could become a protracted and messy fight in the courts. The attorneys general say they will sue once President Obama signs the bill into law. They are pledging to take their battle all the way to the US Supreme Court.

Newly elected Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lays out the crux of the argument from the article penned by Warren Richey:

“Just being alive is not interstate commerce. If it were, there would be no limit to the US Constitution’s commerce clause and to Congress’s authority to regulate everything we do.”

For years we’ve promoted the importance of the office of AG and this development cements our belief. No matter how this turns out it’s great to see these 11 Attorneys General standing up against big government mandates.

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Atlanta anesthesiologist Dr. Tod Rubin says in an op/ed piece in today’s Washington Times what many of us have been thinking:

The suggestion by President Obama to provide a paltry $50 million to institute a medical liability pilot program is just another example of how insincere, deceptive and ignorant he remains on the substantive issues affecting our health care system. To infer that giving each state $1 million to study the medical malpractice liability issues it faces is laughable.

Dr. Rubin, who is a board member of Docs 4 Patient Care, presents a common-sense three-point plan to combat the problem of abusive medical malpractice lawsuits. Fear of such lawsuits force physicians to practice defensive medicine that in turn increases the costs of our health care system by $200 billion to $400 billion per year.

The Obama plan to provide $1m per state to study the issue is too clever by a half. The President hopes to fool us into thinking he’s serious about med mal reform when the reality is that there is plenty of evidence that reform could save hundreds of billions of health care dollars each year. The President is both unwilling to stand up to the trial bar that funds his political operation and unwilling to shoot straight with the American public. No wonder his health care proposal is in such choppy waters.

Read Dr. Rubin’s full piece here.

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Screeching Hypocrisy

By now you’ve likely heard liberals screech that the Citizens United ruling will allow corporate interests to dominate the political process. Lost in the noise is the reality that all it does is give business interests a fighting chance to go toe to toe with the trial bar.

In “The Majority Leader of the Lawsuit Lobby” at National Review, our friend Jim Copland takes a look at the “unprecedented” bidding being done on behalf of the trial bar by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. That’s the same Harry Reid who’s taken in over $2m from non-lobbyist lawyers.  Copland notes:

Over this election cycle, Senator Reid’s campaign and leadership committees have raked in over $2 million from non-lobbyist lawyers, more than twice as much as he has received from any other industry or profession. Four of Reid’s seven largest campaign donors are law firms, and these aren’t corporate-law firms helping to structure the financials for Las Vegas casinos but rather out-of-state plaintiffs’ firms, including asbestos firms in New York, Maryland, and Illinois, as well as a toxic-tort firm in California.

Copland explores the substantial return that the trial bar has received on their investment in Reid. He finds that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act ended up a “bonanza for the litigation industry”, that the trial bar used the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to gut “the statute of limitations in pay-discrimination claims”, and that the trial bar/Reid agenda is just getting going.

So in the eyes of big government liberals all is well when the trial bar steers millions to the Senate majority leader but it’s a crisis for the Supreme Court to allow corporations to exercise free speech. Only in Washington.

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Justice in Madison County?

Regular visitors to this space are likely familiar with the court system in Madison County Illinois. For years one of the worst “judicial hellholes” in the nation, recent developments suggest there could be light ahead in what’s been a very dark tunnel.

The most recent sign of hope is found in an asbestos trial in which a Madison County jury found on behalf of the Ford Motor Company. The Madison County Record has the details but the following quote from Ford attorney Manuel Sanchez sums things up nicely:

“It’s a new day in Madison County for corporate America,” Sanchez said. “Not only did we get a great jury, we got a terrific, fair and impartial judge.”

That judge is Barbara Crowder and the Ford case is the first Madison County asbestos case to go to trial on her watch as the court’s new asbestos jurist.

Fair and impartial are characteristics seldom associated with Madison County and asbestos – here’s hoping Judge Crowder continues to keep her courtroom a place where justice prevails.

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Milk-a-holics United

When we heard this one we had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn’t an April Fools prank . . .  fasten your seat belts.  From the New York Post:

Lindsay Lohan is suing the financial company E-Trade, insisting that a boyfriend-stealing, “milkaholic” baby in its latest commercial — who happens to be named Lindsay — was modeled after her. And she wants $100 million for her pain and suffering, The Post has learned.

We’d could go on but the article pretty much sums it up and we’re going to rifle through our address book to see if we’ve got any friends name Lindsay !

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Your Prescription for Cheerios is Ready

AJP President Dan Pero has a featured op/ed in this morning’s Washington Times.

This must read exposes the absurd over-reach of the current FDA.  This type of government over-regulation is strangling free enterprise and the job creating businesses that employ our friends and neighbors.  Dan does a better job telling the story than we do but here’s a picture that appears with the op/ed that while maybe not worth a thousand words made us chuckle over our morning bowl of Cheerios.

Nice work Dan!


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