, ,

For days, Senator Jane Orie’s current and former staffers have testified that they were ordered to campaign for the senator while on the clock.  Former staffer Josh Dott upped the ante today by testifying that he was also ordered to campaign for the senator’s sister Joan’s supreme court candidacy.

Dott’s taxpayer-funded salary was supposed to pay for legislative activities.  Instead, Dott testifies that he kept track of Joan’s campaign donors, organized a fundraiser, and hung “Joan Orie Melvin” signs around town.  He routinely took orders from Joan’s chief of staff, Janine Orie.

I know that there are a lot of mixed feelings about the independence of an elected judiciary.  And if it’s true that the we have sitting judges who essentially share staff with the legislature, that is a pretty serious problem.

Read all about it in the Trib.