Judicial political ads the Wisconsin way

Political ads have trended toward the warm and fuzzy lately. But a judge running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court is having none of it, while at the same time reminding people in Minnesota that elections for judges can be illuminating, interesting, and deal with significant issues without soiling the candidate.

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer released an ad Thursday in her campaign for the state Supreme Court, detailing the time she was strip-searched after a friend ripped up a parking ticket in Chicago.

You will never see an ad like this in Minnesota, thanks to this state’s judicial electoral culture.

At the time, Chicago police required a strip-search and a visual inspection of the body cavities of all women arrested and detained regardless of charges against them. The policy didn’t apply to men.

Meanwhile, her opponent in the race, Brian Hagedorn, also an appeals court judge, has gone the “warm and fuzzy” route.

It remains a big debate in legal circles whether political advertising is dignified enough for lawyers seeking office.

But, as long as we’re going to insist on electing judges, it’s not a bad idea to get citizens to be interested in the election.