On April 5 Wisconsinites will be voting for assorted alderpersons, trustees and school board candidates. The marquee event however, is the hotly contested Unions vs. Gov. Scott Walker race.

Oh sure, the ballot will say something about JoAnne Kloppenburg vs. David Prosser for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, but they're just bit players in the unions' big play to get revenge on Walker for his budget repair bill. Unions are casting Justice Prosser as a Walker clone and urging Walker haters to use the high court race to punish Prosser/Walker by voting for his opponent, whoever she is.

Prosser, who has been a Supreme Court justice for 12 years, finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, being a conservative judge who happens to be up for re-election this year. He says he views the union action as "a little bit like a drive-by shooting."

It's a lot like that. The American Federation of Teachers, Local 212, sent a letter to its members saying legal challenges to Walker's budget repair bill could wind up before the state Supreme Court. It claimed four judges are "anti-union" and said, "A Kloppenburg victory would swing the balance to our side. A vote for Prosser is a vote for Walker. It's time to get even."

Get even. That's union mentality for you. They're furious because their protests, threats and boycotts didn't scare Republican legislators into changing course. Their predictions that Walker would enslave all workers in flaming Triangle Shirtwaist factories owned by David and Charles Koch didn't come true. Democracy inconveniently prevailed despite their Democratic senators' best efforts to obstruct it.

So it's time to get even. If they can't subvert the legislative process, they'll try to subvert the judicial process by getting Walker opponents to vote pro-union judges onto the court.

That's the plan with Kloppenburg. She is promising to be an impartial judge, of course. But since she's never been a judge before, there are no Kloppenburg rulings out there to prove whether she's impartial or not.

Prosser's rulings, though, are a matter of public record. We see that he often concurs with the other conservative judges, but he's not an ideologue. The Wisconsin Law Journal reported in August that Prosser also concurred with the liberal justices more than half the time.

As for Kloppenburg, we know she's an assistant attorney general most experienced in environmental law. She interned for Chief Justice Abrahamson and clerked for former Chief Judge Barbara Crabb - the judge who ruled against the National Day of Prayer last year.

She makes campaign contributions only to Democrats, and has been endorsed by the big labor and teachers unions. The executive director of NARAL Pro Choice Wisconsin endorses her, as well as numerous liberal environmental activist groups.

The liberals see something in Kloppenburg they like.

It can't be her judicial experience. No, they just need a "Get Even With Walker" candidate, and she'll do. Revenge voters only care about who they're voting against, not who they're voting for.

This is terribly shortsighted. To allow the office of Supreme Court justice to be reduced to nothing more than a referendum on a governor degrades the office. Whoever wins this race will be making important decisions for the whole state for the next 10 years, at least.

Let's do ourselves a favor and vote for the candidate who is the most qualified for the job - as we did in the Feb. 15 primary. With four candidates on the ballot, Prosser won 55 percent of the vote. Kloppenburg only got 25 percent. If she wins next week, we all know it won't be because of her merits, but because she coasted in on a wave of anti-Walker spitefulness.

The unions are shamelessly announcing that by carrying Kloppenburg into the Supreme Court, it will swing to their side. At the very least, a Kloppenburg win would erode public trust in the court's ability to rule impartially on union-related cases.

The last thing Wisconsin needs is a high court that's inclined toward any special interest group, left or right.

Prosser is a fine Supreme Court justice who doesn't deserve to lose his job just because the unions decided to use him as a pawn in their war on Walker. Fair-minded Wisconsinites should return him to the bench.

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kornking
kornking

I am glad BNR has this lady on its staff. She is a constant reminder of what is politically wrong with our country. She is a disciple of Fox News and its self made millionaires who broadcast hate and distortions on a nightly basis.
Don't believe a word she says...

Malapert
Malapert

Could this be Ellen Bueno'r last ditch pitch to elect a "man" who called the Chief Justice a "bitch"?

Hometowngirl
Hometowngirl

I foudn this article to be spot on-- thanks!

Hometowngirl
Hometowngirl

whoops... i found this article to be spot on--thanks!

TTcheese
TTcheese

[quote]Malapert said: "Could this be Ellen Bueno'r last ditch pitch to elect a "man" who called the Chief Justice a "bitch"?"[/quote]

We are all entitled to our opinion.

generic_login
generic_login

Ellen - Again I ask you to explain the following contradictory statement in your column. And please stick to the question this time.
"Prosser's rulings, though, are a matter of public record. We see that he often concurs with the other conservative judges, but he's not an ideologue. The Wisconsin Law Journal reported in August that Prosser also concurred with the liberal justices more than half the time."
How can you often, which most people would agree mean more than 50 percent of the time, concur with conservative judges, but also concur with liberal justices more than half the time (meaning more than 50 percent of the time). The math doesn't work on that one. I also think your column unfairly paints all voters as some kind of uneducated mass who simply vote for one person because they are not the other. I am sure there are several supporters of one or the other who have done their homework and are basing their decision on that.

Ellen Bueno
Ellen Bueno

Generic – My column had a hyperlink to the Law Journal study that disappeared when the column posted for some reason. Here it is: http://wislawjournal.com/blog/2010/08/09/ziegler-in-majority-most-often/
It lists how often each judge concurred with the 6 other judges. In all decisions made by the court during the 2009-10 term, Prosser agreed with the conservatives: Gableman, Roggensack and Ziegler 81%, 77%, 85% of the time, respectively. He agreed with the liberals: Abrahamson, Bradley and Crooks 55%, 54% and 76% of the time, respectively.
I’m willing to believe that the 25% of the voters who preferred Kloppenburg in the primary might actually think she’s the more qualified candidate. But now that the unions have turned the race into a referendum on Walker, anything above 25% will just be votes against his budget bill, not really for Kloppenburg.

socio_
socio_

I too am having problems posting on relevant stories and comments. After thinking about what a human system architect implies, could it not be said, that in theory, Adolf Hitler, Jim Jones and the hereditary dictators of North Korea are all human system architects? After reading Peter Vedro's letters and comments here, I think I know how the lowly Polish soldier felt, stationed on the very edge of the frontier with Germany in the last days of Aug. 1939, listening and watching the massive build up and sounding the alarm to his superiors and being told "Oh, don't worry about it. They said it's only a training exercise."

mitchdigger
mitchdigger

Bueno's writings are crafted with logic and a reasonable tone. Which makes it very ironic that the online response is filled with dismissive anger. I watch all the cable news channels and anyone asserting that Bueno is a FOX News clone hasn't been reading her writings or watching FOX News. Implying that she is spreading hate and distortions is an insult to her, kornking. Thank you Ellen for ignoring the loud voices and writing the truth!

bobber
bobber

Ellen, you said "But now that the unions have turned the race into a referendum on Walker, anything above 25% will just be votes against his budget bill, not really for Kloppenburg."

What about the 20% that voted for Stephens and Winnig in the primary? Looks to me like this is starting out a lot closer to a 55% to 45% race than a 75/25 one. You honestly didn't think of that before writing this column? Or did you just say "Gee, 55 is a lot higher than 25... if she gets any more votes than that it must be rigged!"

Also, even if people vote Prosser out because of Walker, how is that wrong? Walker so clearly damaged his party's chances in any near-term election. Had he handled his business in a more professional and responsible manner it wouldn't be an issue, even if he still got his way in the end. But the fact that some future Republican seats will be lost (or more hotly contested) because of Walker should tell you that he is doing things wrong. Wrong for all the people of WI.

Ellen Bueno
Ellen Bueno

Thanks, Mitch! : )
Bobber – It’s understandable that voters angry with Walker would vote for Democrats over Republicans in legislative races. A lot of people voted Republican last Nov. because they were mad at Pres. Obama.
But this is a Supreme Court race, where judges aren't Republicans or Democrats. They’re *supposed* to be above partisan politics. We need judges who will just interpret the law and apply it impartially to all who come before the bench. The problem now is, if Kloppenburg wins and has to rule on some case pertaining to Walker’s bill, she’s never going to escape the public perception that’s she’s “the unions’ judge.” If she rules against Walker’s bill, she’ll just confirm that opinion. Conservatives will be furious and - guess what – take it out on whatever liberal judge is next up for re-election.
This would be bad for Wisconsin. We don’t need a high court composed of low-caliber “revenge candidates."

Truthy
Truthy

Elections have consequences. Walker will feel the consequences April 5. Vote Kloppenburg

Thinkforonce
Thinkforonce

I think Mitch and Ellen share the same thoughts. Anyway, we will work for JoAnne's victory. Prosser is same old, same old. Like his handler said, he will be a complement for Walker. Along with his past decisions, that is enough to disqualify him as being anything but a partisan.

Thinkforonce
Thinkforonce

Kornking, yes, Ellen certainly is a Faux "News" type personality such as Ann Kolter. Baraboo is lucky to have her ; )

Concerned Citiizen
Concerned Citiizen

Former Wisconsin Governor Pat Lucey announced tonight that he resigning as honorary co-chair of Justice David Prosser's reelection campaign, and is endorsing JoAnne Kloppenberg fro Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.

wishful thinking
wishful thinking

Not only did the former gov reverse his field, that political powerhouse Palin has weighed in with support for Prosser. Glad to see. Now I now the correct choice is Kloppenburg.

Concerned Citiizen
Concerned Citiizen

Organizers of the recall campaign against state Sen. Dan Kapanke (Republican-La Crosse) delivered about 21,700 signatures Friday in an attempt to force Kapanke into a recall election - _well beyond_ the 15,588 signatures required, and _in half the time_ allotted to collect them.

Emphasis mine.

mitchdigger
mitchdigger

Concerned Citizen (sorry, I have to spell it right) - I'll ask you the same question I've asked others like you, with no response. What will you do when the recall dust settles, and the makeup of the state senate remains the same? More protests? More boycotts? Here's an idea - do what people with class have always done when faced with defeat: Accept your circumstance with a smile and start fresh on the next task while holding your head high. hhhhmmmm...where could people have learned that there are no losers, we all get a ribbon, we are all entitled to what we want..........(forehead slap) Of course! Public schools!

Concerned Citiizen
Concerned Citiizen

My answer: Answering condescending, hypothetical questions asked by you and "others like you" is a waste of my time and benefits no one.

Now you answer my question: Since you believe you know the answer to your snotty questions, as shown by "(forehead slap)," why did you ask them?

"A coordinator of the effort against Sen. Randy Hopper (Republican - Fond du Lac) hinted earlier this week that that campaign was close to being finished collecting signatures, and could file as early as next week. People in the campaign to recall Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) express optimism about their chances, too. Dorothy Dean, the former Milwaukee County treasurer who is working on the Darling recall effort, last weekend called it 'the best campaign I've ever seen in 40 years in politics.'"

drpavlov
drpavlov

[quote]kornking said: "I am glad BNR has this lady on its staff. She is a constant reminder of what is politically wrong with our country. She is a disciple of Fox News and its self made millionaires who broadcast hate and distortions on a nightly basis.Don't believe a word she says..."[/quote]
Regarding Fox News: Fox News is owned by the warmongering neo-conservative,
Rupert Murdoch, who operates within the sphere of the Rothschild Dynasty ; his stable
of Judas Goats put out good information about 95% of the time, but it's that 5%
where they lead the sheep astray. Ultimately, Fox News has the same goal as the
other mainstream media outlets ; they're all propaganda arms of the government's
puppet masters.

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

Ms Bueno, Why is it that you conveniently left out this history of Judge Prosser?

"In 1998, Rep. Scott Jensen was charged with three felony counts of misconduct in office because his legislative staffers also performed campaign activity on his behalf. During the trial, David Prosser testified on Jensen's behalf, stating that for seven years of his time in the Wisconsin Assembly, he used his taxpayer-funded staff for campaigning, the same crime Jensen was eventually convicted of. Prosser was not charged, and defended the actions as by saying, "it was a different era and public expectations were quite different", but was criticized for what others described as his illegal activity. The Appleton Post Crescent, Prosser's hometown paper, described it as, "a member of the highest court in Wisconsin...admitting he condoned illegal activity as an elected official", and urged their readers to vote against him as a result."

It's insulting. There is more........

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

Further, you do bring up a great point; A point I thought about before deciding who is qualified to be in this position. Is there prejudice because of the recent political activity in Madison? I admit, I really didn't know who Prosser or Kloppenburg was before this happened. So, I did what I normally do; research the candidates. I find it interesting, as you suggest she has no experience as a judge, neither did Prosser when he first was elected. But I'm sure you knew that. Or did you?

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

I don't base my opinion on Mr. Prosser calling another judge a "bitch", and stating "I will destroy you", as I know in every walk of life, there are arguments that bring out emotions, and therefore statements, that we all wish we could take back. I don't base my opinion on commercials bought by third parties accusing Mr. Prosser of pedophile apologist opinions (researched: Mr. Prosser wasn't given all of the facts (more detail if wanted)). I also don't base my facts on third party commercials accusing Ms. Kloppenburg of prosecuting a farmer unjustly (more info here as well if wanted).

But I do research it all before making an intelligent decision. As should everyone else, including you, Ms. Bueno.

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

I did however, watch the recent debate between the two at Marquette University Law School. And I invite all to do the same. I don't have the online address but it's out there. Watch it and make your own decision. It's very clear who the professional is; but that's my own opinion.

The statements Ms. Bueno made that shows her partisan views and my possible arguments are here: "She makes campaign contributions only to Democrats, and has been endorsed by the big labor and teachers unions. The executive director of NARAL Pro Choice Wisconsin endorses her, as well as numerous liberal environmental activist groups." Maybe. This is something I can't find any evidence of. It may be out there, but I couldn't find it. What is out there is the fact Mr. Prosser was part of the Wisconsin State assembly from '79 till '97. As a Republican. So we certainly know Mr. Prosser's voting record. And if this article was fair, this would have been brought up.

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

You state: "Revenge voters only care about who they're voting against, not who they're voting for." While the statement is witty, it's also obvious. When a certain party, be it to the right or left, is so incredibly dishonest, people gravitate toward honesty. Or at the very least, the most honest. And right now, the Republican party cannot claim honesty. The very fact the Republican party is pushing acts through the state house they didn't tell people they were going to act on is evidence. They didn't run on any of this. They are simply taking advantage of a situation. It is disheartening. Revenge only feels necessary when a perceived wrong has occurred. And revenge, by nature, is calmed when completed.

Another statement: "This is terribly shortsighted." Thanks. I always enjoy being called shortsighted.

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

Sorry, I’m tired of this 1000 character limit. It’s annoying.
“The last thing Wisconsin needs is a high court that's inclined toward any special interest group, left or right.” This is the only statement in your entire article that is true. I guess I could pick out a couple of others, but why? Statements like: “Whoever wins this race will be making important decisions for the whole state for the next 10 years, at least.” are true or at least are assumed to be true.
Either way, your article, Ms. Bueno, was written like a campaign article. And poorly written it is. I don’t blame you so much for your poor writing skills. But I do blame you for your lack of trying. Obviously, you have a computer. And therefore, you have the ability to research and complete a coherent article without a political bent. If, of course, you choose to do so. If not, that’s your choice.
Furthermore, your use of the term “fair” in “fair-minded” reeks of Murdoch rhetoric. It’s obvious where you receive your news. I don’t have any problem with your news source. But realize what the news source is. And question everything. Get some news from outside your comfort zone. Compare. Contrast. See what you can find. Bring something intelligent to the table.

Regards, Mark Noah

Thinkforonce
Thinkforonce

Right on, Mark. I guess you shut down the opposition with facts and logic. What a change! Prosser does not deserve to be on the bench any longer. Let's go people; vote for the right person.

mitchdigger
mitchdigger

Mr. Noah - While you are a talented writer, you could have just stated that you don't agree with Ms. Bueno. However you spend many paragraphs denigrated her, and taking cheap shots. Why is that? Just because you don't agree with her? Or do you have another axe to grind? I count 6 seperate posts to argue against her collumn. I respect your opinions, but fail to understand why you are making it personal. (on a side note, Thinkforonce, while cute, is way too smart to be your lapdog)

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

Mitch, I simply explained how I came to my conclusion. She did not. And, her article was longer than my response. If she took your advice, She could have shortened her article as well. She could have stated: Justice Prosser is great!!! Kloppenburg is inexperienced and is not great!! Vote Prosser!! Would you have liked her article then? Good grief Mitch. She wrote an article without doing any research. Without doing any real work. It was a pathetic attempt at smearing. She knows this, or at least should. I just called her on it.

Ellen Bueno
Ellen Bueno

Mark Noah - I write an opinion column, which means I get to state my opinion. But I NEVER write one without doing research. That is your opinion, and I know you'll stick to it, but it's wrong. Here are a *few* of the articles I read before writing my 3/29 column Hope they meet your expert standards. Now I'm moving on to next week's column.
http://www.wisdc.org/index.php?module=wisdc.websiteforms

Ellen Bueno
Ellen Bueno

http://www.wisdc.org/index.php?module=wisdc.websiteforms

Ellen Bueno
Ellen Bueno

http://www.wisdc.org/index.php?module=wisdc.websiteforms

m_n_o_a_h
m_n_o_a_h

I'm not sure what you are pointing to with your link. If you don't mind, could you point to the exact article? Thanks