By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — In Gov. Tony Evers world, his Wisconsin Parole Commission that has freed hundreds of murderers and rapists is doing a bang up job and Zuckerbucks are just swell.
In the real world, the consequences of Evers’ policy failures have been felt statewide.
On Sunday’s edition of UpFront on WISN, Evers was asked if he is confident that the Parole Commission won’t let violent offenders free to violently reoffend. The Democrat said he was confident that the commission will do its job in “making sure victims have a seat at the table.”
They haven’t had a seat at the table. In a number of cases, victims and their families were not notified of a prisoner’s release.
“The Parole Commission is the Parole Commission. It’s not something I have any control over,” the governor said.
But Evers does have control. He appointed the Parole Commission’s chairman who has led a series of controversial releases. Amid increased public pressure Evers fired Chairman John Tate, a progressive justice practitioner committed to the governor’s goal of halving the state prison population.
On the campaign trail, Michels said, “I’m going to appoint a parole commissioner who does not have a governor’s goal, because I don’t have that goal, of cutting in half the prison population.”
Michels also has said he will get rid of “catch-and-release” district attorneys like Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm. Chisholm years ago predicted his liberal criminal justice reform initiatives would free a criminal who goes on to kill. That has happened many times over his lengthy tenure in office, including the “inappropriately low” bail recommended by Chisholm’s office in the case of a Milwaukee man recently convicted in the Waukesha Christmas Parade Massacre.
Evers could have fired Chisholm. He didn’t. He said he won’t unless Chisholm’s actions warrant his dismissal.
Does Evers have confidence in John Chisholm?
“I do, of course,” he said.
Evers, not surprisingly, also said he doesn’t think private funding in elections is a bad thing, like the millions of dollars of Mark Zuckerberg-funded grants that poured into the 2020 elections. Evers vetoed bills that would have stopped private money from going to election administration, as was the case with the so-called “safe election” grants pushed by liberal activist groups.
He defended Mark “Zuckerman,” as he called Zuckerberg in the interview.
“Do I think, when some of the money from Zuckerman went to municipalities they paid their poll workers more. Is that wrong? No. Of course, it’s right,” he said. “It’s not necessarily where the money comes from, it’s making sure we have the resources to run a good election.”
Would he defend such funding from conservative groups for election administration? Unlikely.
Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 8, 2022