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Daughter of Republican-backed Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate is fugitive from justice

Online court records show Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate James Daley’s daughter has been a fugitive since 2008.

The state filed a warrant for Maureen Daley’s arrest in June 2008 after she failed to appear on charges of operating while intoxicated. The warrant is still outstanding.

In a statement, Daley said the issue should not impact the campaign and that he hopes people will pray for those who struggle with dependency. He did not say where his daughter is.

“I have seen the unfortunate side of dependency and the heavy burden it places on society, families and individuals as both the presiding judge on the Rock County OWI court and first-hand as a father,” Daley said in a statement. “These challenges are a private matter and have no place within the context of a campaign.”

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s rules on judicial duty say judges have a responsibility to notify authorities about judges and lawyers who violate rules of professional conduct. They don’t address whether judges have a responsibility to notify authorities of fugitives’ whereabouts if they know them.

Daley is receiving support from the Republican Party of Wisconsin and has appeared at GOP events throughout the state to promote his candidacy.

Judicial elections are supposed to be non-partisan, but partisan politics and large political donations from outside the state have played a key role in Wisconsin Supreme Court races in recent years. The Koch brothers-backed Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce have spent an estimated $8.3 million to elect right-wing justices in Wisconsin, giving conservatives and supporters of Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda a majority on the bench.

In an apparent attempt to turn his daughter’s problems into a political advantage, Daley accused his opponent, incumbent Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, of drawing attention to the outstanding warrant. But he offered no evidence and the Bradley campaign denied the accusation.

“Our campaign has not responded to this story out of respect for what we consider to be a private family matter,” Bradley spokesman Kory Kozloski said in a statement.

The election is Tuesday, April 7.