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Lincoln County Judge Race

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:33 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
The following series of three Letters were published in the March 26, 2013, Tomahawk Leader. Feel free to add your thoughts.

Want impartial judge;
keep politicians out of courtroom
I’m writing this letter in regards to the April 2nd election for Judge in which I support Rob Russell. I met Rob some 50 years ago when my family and I moved into our new home next door to the Russell Family at which time Rob happened onto the scene. By the way, I was entering my terrible two’s. As Rob and I communicated in spits, burps, and farts back then, I wasn’t aware of the Russell history dating back to the town of Jenny, now Merrill, where Rob’s Great Grandfather was the first Caucasian born here. As time went on, I grew up witnessing the Russell law legacy unfolding to the present day. Rob and his late father George compiling approximately 75 years of legal service in Lincoln County, Rob himself, serving almost a quarter of a century.
But before I go on about Rob, I would like to share a few thoughts on Rob’s opponent, John Yackel. As I see it, the facts speak for themselves. Mr. Yackel has no history in Lincoln County. He has only approximately 10 years of legal experience, which is less than half of Rob’s experience. Truth be told, he is related to State Congressman Sean Duffy. Mr. Yackel also is the former Chairman of the Marathon County Republican Party. I think you see were this is going. So it was no surprise when Governor Walker appointed Mr. Yackel to the temporary position over not one, but two more qualified candidates from Lincoln County. Is he a Politian or a Judge? His actions, as written in the Wausau Daily Herald on Feb. 27th, 2013, also show poor character and bad judgment.
But back to Rob, who has two brothers, both of which have chosen to serve their country in the military. They are most definitely a source of pride for Rob, as he has been working to bring free legal services to support and assist our Veterans at no cost to the County. Rob spends his time helping the people of Lincoln County, Mr. Yackel, a political party.
In closing, I can only hope that the voters of Lincoln County will send a message as far as Madison that we want an impartial judge. We have the opportunity to put the right person on the bench. Someone who has strong character, exercises good judgment, and leads by example. And most importantly, someone who will be fair and impartially serve the people of Lincoln County because he wants to make a difference for all the right reasons, keeping the Men, Women, and Children of Lincoln County safe. Let’s keep the politicians out of the court room.
My Name is Dave Mahn and I’m a Lincoln County Resident.

Authorized and Paid for by Dave Mahn, Merrill

(Editor’s Note: Given that the election is next week and this letter-writer raises vague questions about a Wausau Daily Herald article without further explanation or a chance for Judge John Yackel to respond, the gist of that story is provided here: The judge was presiding over a probate case involving the estate of a man who died in 2009. A woman in that case erected campaign signs in her yard in Merrill supporting Yackel. When Yackel found out she had done so, he called the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which oversees judicial conduct, to ask how to proceed. He was told he did not have to remove himself from the case as long as he had not solicited the support. Yackel said he wanted to verify the proper steps. A link to that article is provided here ... 3302270182.)

Re: Lincoln County Judge Race

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:33 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
Police Association Local
endorses Judge Yackel

I am writing on behalf of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association Local Lincoln County Association 438. In the past several months we have had the opportunity to work closely with and observe Judge John Yackel serve as Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge. In that time Judge Yackel has earned not only our endorsement but also our respect.

Judge Yackel has served with fairness and integrity. Judge Yackel has proven he is not beholden to anyone as he makes his decisions based on the facts of the case and the proper application of the law. Judge Yackel exercises proper discretion when making decisions. In Judge Yackel’s courtroom those who need help, get help, those who need to be punished, are punished and those who need protection are protected. Judge Yackel serves responsibly with wisdom and accountability to the citizens of Lincoln County. Judge Yackel is serving effectively and is doing his part to keep Lincoln County safe. Judge Yackel’s impact has already been felt throughout the law enforcement community.
It is for these reasons the Lincoln County Local Chapter 438 of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association has voted to endorse Judge John Yackel for Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge.

Respectfully submitted,
Chad Collinsworth
President WPPA Local 438

Re: Lincoln County Judge Race

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:34 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
Russell has familiarity
of community, values

Dear Fellow Lincoln County Voters,

In a few short days, on April 2, you will vote who is to be your Circuit Court Judge for Branch 2 in Lincoln County. Having sat in that chair for more than 12 years, I have more than a passing interest in the election. I should also add, that I write this letter of endorsement without any solicitation from either candidate.

The candidates for this position are Robert Russell and John Yackle. Mr. Yackle was living and practicing law in Wausau when, after my retirement, he was appointed by Gov. Walker as your Lincoln County Judge on a temporary basis. I really can’t speak to Mr. Yackle’s qualifications to be your Judge since, in the many years before his appointment, I don’t believe that he spent much, if any, time in Lincoln County or its Courts representing any of the citizens of Lincoln County. I can, on the other hand, certainly speak to the qualifications of Mr. Russell to be your Judge.

I have known Mr. Russell for at least the last 20 years, first as an adversary when we were both lawyers and then as an advocate representing the interest of Lincoln County residents in front of me in Branch 2 Circuit Court. His representation of his clients was always exemplary and his temperament well suited to the Courtroom. His 20 or more years of experience gave him a broad base of knowledge to utilize. I know that when asked, he has given much back to the community in his service on numerous boards for various public service organizations. He has administrative experience in running a business and managing employees. All of these things are skills and qualifications necessary for a Judge and are unique to Mr. Russell.

Most importantly, over the last 40+ years, Mr. Russell has been here, part of this community, immersed in its culture. He grew up with the values of this community. I think it extremely important for a Judge to know the values of the community that they will be serving. One of the things that a Judge is called upon to do by his or her decisions is to allocate the scarce and expensive judicial resources of the community. Does the community want to support rehabilitation? Drug Courts? Veteran’s Courts? More jails? These will be considerations for a judge in this community, and it is almost essential that the judge have a detailed familiarity with the community and its values. Most assuredly, Mr. Russell does.

I urge you to vote for Mr. Russell for Circuit Court Judge, Br. 2 on April 2nd.

Glenn H. Hartley

Re: Lincoln County Judge Race

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:42 pm
by Tomahawk Leader
A related letter in the Feb. 26 Tomahawk Leader:

Lincoln County will decide whether to retain Judge John Yackel. Since last October, Judge Yackel has proven himself to be an efficient and capable Judge. He has proven he can make the right decisions based upon the law and not based on emotion or outside influences. In his court, decisions are made based upon the facts and not last names or family history. Judge Yackel has also gained the respect of Law Enforcement and those of us concerned about the safety of our community.

Lincoln County is slowly but surely becoming a County where criminals are thinking twice about committing crimes here. The revolving door of criminals and drug dealers being released to the streets on signature bonds is ending. Honest citizens and Law Enforcement have a friend in the courthouse who is working hard to help keep our streets and business' safe.

I support Judge John Yackel because of his proven record. I ask the citizens of Lincoln County to support him as well by voting on April 2, 2013.

God Bless,
Karen Cournaya
Merrill, WI