The Wisconsin Supreme Court has reinstated the law license of former State Senator Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee) who lost his license in 2006 after pleading guilty to charges of having state workers do "on the job" campaigning. The high court ruled that Burke's violation of public trust did not directly relate to his work as a practicing lawyer representing clients. Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says Burke served his sentence and has every right to move on with his life.
The Milwaukee Democrat's misconduct was during his run for Attorney General in 2001 and 2002. He later dropped out of the race when investigated. He was among five lawmakers convicted of using their office for campaigning. McCabe says Wisconsinites are still feeling the effects of the scandal.
"This state used to be known for clean, open and honest government and now we've descended into a political cesspool."
In September another of the convicted legislators, Chuck Chvala, was given his law license back.
McCabe says big money campaigning was the incentive for those involved in the scandal. The watchdog advocate believes campaign finance reform is the only way to change the climate leading to such corruption.