Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kelly Holds Fundraiser At Gun Range Day After Mass Shooting

Last week, there was a mass shooting at the Molson Coors brewery in Milwaukee. An employee pulled out two handguns and proceeded to shoot and kill five coworkers before committing suicide.

On the very next day, NRA-backed Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly, who is running for election after being politicaly appointed by former governor Scott Walker, had a fundraiser at a gun range:
Kelly held a political fundraiser on Thursday — around 26 hours after the mass murder — at a shooting range in Waukesha County. Kelly is a conservative jurist running against liberal Dane County Judge Jill Karofsky in the April election.

"Tonight!" announced a Facebook post by the Waukesha County Republican Party. "Help return Justice Dan Kelly to the State Supreme Court by attending a fundraiser in his honor at the Wisconsin Firearms Training Center in Brookfield!!!"

The post said money from liberal sources is "pouring into the state to back soft on crime Judge Jill Karofsky." "Can you help save our courts?" said the post, which carried the hashtag #2A, a reference to the Second Amendment.

How's that for politically tone-deaf? But there's more.

The flyer from the Kelly campaign said hosts could give at three levels, including $5,000 for the "50 Cal M2HB" level, a reference to a Browning M2 .50-caliber machine gun.

A $2,500 donation put a supporter at the "25 ACP" level, named for a semi-automatic .25 caliber handgun.

A $1,000 donation was the "10 mm" level, referring to a different semi-automatic handgun.

The cost to attend: $100.
As one might have expected and righteously so, Kelly received a lot of backlash for such a bone headed stunt. One might have also expected that at the very least, Kelly would have offered an apology or something. But he didn't even do as much as offer the usual "thoughts and prayers" to the victims.

Instead, Kelly tried to play the victim card. In an fundraising email, Kelly wrote:
Last week the good folks at the Wisconsin Firearms Training Center (“WFTC”) hosted a campaign event for Justice Daniel Kelly. The WFTC dedicates itself to providing our fellow Wisconsinites with the tools and training necessary to protect themselves and their families from those who would do them harm, and Justice Kelly is grateful for their support and enthusiasm for his campaign. It was a pleasant and productive evening for everyone who attended.

But then our opponent’s allies did what they always do … they made it political and exploited a tragedy for their own benefit.

Our opponent’s allies attacked us for appearing at this event because a very sick individual had recently shot several of his co-workers at a major Milwaukee business. Along with the rest of our fellow Wisconsinites, we were shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy, and we continue to pray for the victims and their families.

However, this attempt by Judge Jill Karofsky and her allies to exploit this tragedy for their own political gain is inexplicable and grotesque. They equated an evil murderer with the good folks at WFTC who are simply trying to make sure they have the tools and training to protect themselves and their families from those who would do them harm.

This is not just an attack on Justice Kelly, this is an attack on everyone who cares about protecting themselves and the innocent people around them. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this. After all, it fits the same disgraceful pattern we have seen in the rest of Judge Karofsky’s campaign.
Pretty horrific, right? But wait! There's more. There's always more.

The Wisconsin GOP chimed in and tried to tie all gun owners in with Kelly's insensitivity and tactlessness and even with the murderer:
Make no mistake, such a disgusting attack on Justice Daniel Kelly and his supporters is an attack on all the law-abiding gun owners of our state. By launching such a distasteful attack, Karofsky’s allies apparently believe responsible gun-owners and mass murderers are one and the same.

Attempts to tie Justice Daniel Kelly and supporters of the Second Amendment to the shooting in Milwaukee demonstrate that there is no low that Jill Karofsky and her allies won’t stoop to for political gain. Under no circumstance should law-abiding citizens who legally exercise their rights to bear arms be blamed in any way for the tragic events that occurred in Milwaukee.
There is no way in hell that someone with a complete lack of morality and common sense like Kelly has shown, should be on the bench of the highest court in the state.


  1. Neither Kelly nor the Wisconsin GOP (after "chiming in" like that) seems sympathetic to the victims, victims' families, or for that matter their friends and fellow employees at Molson Coors, the surrounding neighborhood, or the grieving city of Milwaukee. But this doesn't come as a surprise, since "Stick it to Milwaukee!" has been a Republican campaign cry going all the way back to Tommy Thompson.

  2. Incidentally, thank you, Wisconsin GOP, for having just nakedly abandoned any pretense that judicial elections are "non-partisan".