Wisconsin: Smoking Bans, Judges Breaking the Law and Ed Thompson Follow-up

It started with this from Homeland Insecurity:

It started with a posting to a conservative Wisconsin political web site in August. And Wednesday the effort to recall Madison, Wis., mayor Dave Cieslewicz, officially began, with volunteers attempting to gather 35,000 signatures over the next 30 days. And the effort is being organized by non-smokers upset over the smoking ban.

While some of Madison’s citizens are fuming over the issue, the fumes got hotter in a Madison courthouse. While the reason for the trial is indeed interesting, the bottom sentence of the following paragraph shows how hit some of the fumes got on the smoking issue:

Today’s testimony followed a hectic Tuesday for jurors. First they went through a four-hour process to select who would serve in the expected three-week trial Then they were forced to evacuate the courtroom of presiding Judge Steven Ebert when fire alarms went off in the new $44 million courthouse. The alarm turned out to be caused by some overheated popcorn in a microwave, the second such popcorn incident and the third fire alarm since the building opened in January. The first time the sensitive alarm system went off came when Judge Michael Nowakowski was sneaking a cigarette in his bathroom in the new building.

As one would expect, there are two standards of justice in America. Most normal citizens would have probably been spanked pretty hard for smoking in a courthouse in America, but the judge didn’t even get his knuckles rapped:

Calls and letters came in to the Madison Police Department asking if Judge Michael Nowakowski got a ticket for smoking in his bathroom at the new Dane County Courthouse, thus setting off a smoke alarm that emptied the building and called in the fire department on Feb. 13.

But it’s the Sheriff’s Office that is in charge of discipline in this situation and spokesperson Elise Schaffer says Capt. Ron Boylan decided not to issue Nowakowski a ticket.

“He did have verbal contact with him and Judge Nowakowski recognized that he made a mistake and mentioned that it won’t happen again,” says Schaffer. “Capt. Boylan stated that’s probably how he’d handle it in any situation.”

It’s a shame the Capital Times didn’t write a full article (that I could find) about the judge getting caught smoking, but at least Rolf pieced it together for me.

Speaking of the Capital Times, it seems they do read HoT from time to time. When asked if he was interested in running, Thompson provided a good quote in their article:

“It’s not true. As of right now, I’m not going to,” Thompson said.

“I am meeting with some people who are trying to convince me it would be a good idea. It would take a lot of convincing. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, but the best way to bet would be no.”

Thompson said he is immersed in running — and expanding — his business.

“That’s taking a lot of time,” he said.

Thompson also is serving in an elected office at present — the Tomah City Council. He was elected by a write-in vote without even running for the office.

“But Tomah is a lot different from the 3rd District,” he said.

Nevertheless, if he were to seek office again, Congress would be the goal, Thompson said.

“That is the one spot that does interest me, the House. I think there is so much corruption, and I am so sick of the federal government taking our money and going to war. I don’t think we’re getting good representation from either party. We’re so entrenched in the two-party system that we need another voice. I am truly disillusioned with government — period.”

Spoken like a true politician. Actually, that was a better non-answer than most politicians provide.

Not only do they ask the same question we did (will Ed Thompson run for Congress?), they titled their article with Chris Bennett’s comment: “Run, Ed, Run.” I’ll have to read Anita Weier’s articles more often, now that I know she has a reputable source of information :)

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

2 Comments
  1. TCT is a very liberal afternoon newspaper. If it didn’t happen in the middle of the night, they probably don’t know — or care — about it.

  2. It seems like everywhere you look, republicrats are using social engineering in place of governing. Here in Indy, The recently passed bans will go into affect this week.

    Usually, politicians try to hide their aversion to freedom. Not so, here. Consider this quote from Greg Bowes, a City-County Council member, in our local paper this weekend:

    “I’m seeing it work exactly the way we anticipated,” he said. “We specifically created a dilemma where places must choose between smokers and customers under 18. We felt that was the fairest way to make a distinction between bars and restaurants.”

    Link: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060226/NEWS02/602260446/1006/NEWS01