Earlier this week I wrote about the tight race for Wisconsin’s governorship between incumbent Republican Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger Mary Burke. Burke served as Secretary of Commerce in the prior Democratic leadership that drove Wisconsin into near financial ruin. She is running to return the now prospering state to its former high unemployment and runaway debt.
Also running for a top Wisconsin position is Susan Happ. She’s running for State Attorney General. She is currently serving as the District Attorney for Jefferson County, which lies half way between Milwaukee and the state capital of Madison. It has a population of around 85,000. Happ is the first Democrat to hold the district attorney office in Jefferson County since 1938.
JB Van Hollen, the outgoing Attorney General was known for his war against cybercrimes involving children. The Republican candidate running to fill Van Hollen’s office is Brad Schimel who as the District Attorney for Waukesha County, just west of Milwaukee, had a record for protecting children in his county. Happ cannot say the same.
Before being elected to her current district attorney position in 2008, Happ was a defense attorney. She may be best known for her defense of Clyde Mattsen, an admitted repeat child molester.
In 2000, Mattsen, at age 60 was charged on multiple counts of molesting children from the ages of 3 to 6. Mattsen’s wife ran a daycare and it was here that her depraved husband found his victims. News reports at the time described the charges and his crimes:
“Mattsen has admitted, in a taped statement, that he molested four children in the past six months. He also admitted molesting a girl two years ago, the [Palmyra police] chief alleged.” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s
“The charges filed Wednesday [April 19, 2000] against Mattsen stem from alleged incidents of grabbing, fondling, oral sex and mutual masturbation with the children, according to police.” – Daily Jefferson County Union
Happ was so concerned about Mattsen’s young victims that she first tried to get the charges against him dismissed. When that failed, she got Mattsen to agree to the plea deal where he would plead guilty or no contest to seven of the nine felony charges filed against him for first degree assault of a child.
When it came time to sentence Mattsen, the state recommended that he should never get out of prison. But that wasn’t fair according to Happ. In her multi-paged statement to the court, she said:
“…I would note that the offenses for which he has been convicted were crimes of opportunity. These children were in his home; they were in his home for a long time. This is not a person whom society normally would classify as a sexual predator who is stalking children at malls or at parks. And I would ask the Court to consider that in ascertaining the gravity of the offense.”
“…Mr. Mattsen is not what society or the law defines as a predator.”
Excuse me? What would you call him? Is Happ saying that anyone with kids in their home for long periods of time is justified in molesting them? Is this how she plans to protect the children of the entire state of Wisconsin?
The father of two of Mattsen’s young victims spoke during the sentencing hearing. He spoke first to Mattsen and then the judge, saying:
“[Y]ou are an evil, disgusting human being. How dare you take away my girls’ innocence and youth…Your Honor, I beg of you to please sentence Mr. Mattsen to the maximum sentence possible so he will never ever be able to harm any other innocent little girls the way he has with my little girls.”
And still Happ asked the court for leniency. Fortunately, the judge didn’t buy Happ’s statement and excuse for her client’s heinous crimes. In sentencing Mattsen to 182 ½ years in prison with no parole until 40 years has been served, he stated:
“I don’t think this is the kind of thing where you would want to risk any children, any more children. How many children do we have to give to Clyde Mattsen…I believe him to be an untreated pedophile…He is dangerous to the children. He is dangerous to society…I think this is predatory sexual pedophilia of the worst kind; it’s intolerable. It can’t be tolerated; it won’t be tolerated.”
“He’s 60 years old, so that the sentence that I give him, although less than the maximum sentence, certainly will put him in prison for the rest of his life.”
People of Wisconsin, wake up and take a hard look at the Democratic candidates on your ballot this year. You have one that wants to run the state the way it was run when it went down the proverbial financial toilet. Another vows to protect children when her track record shows she’s worked so hard to protect the monsters who prey upon them.
Is this the leadership you want?