Tomorrow is a primary election day, and while this news is greeted with a yawn by 90% of the eligible voters in the state (turnout is predicted to be 10%), for some of us it’s a must-vote day.
By any metric, our state Supreme Court – pictured above – is one of the most dysfunctional, politicized bodies in the nation. Half of them are, let’s face it, bought and paid for by left-leaning “progressive” political organizations; the other half are in essence a wholly-owned subsidiary of the very right-leaning Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.
Patience “Pat” Roggensack wants a second 10-year term on the highest court, and she’s the only one of the three candidates with enough money to do TV ads. Her ads are paid for by an outfit called “Wisconsin Club for Growth”, which in English is pronounced “The Republican Party”.
Marquette University Law Professor Ed Fallone and Milwaukee consumer law attorney Vince Megna are also running. The top two vote-getters advance to the April 4th general election.
Roggensack’s TV ads claim she’s supported by just about every county Sheriff and law enforcement agency in the state, and when a candidate touts that fact, and that fact alone in their TV ads, you know which way they lean, even though the ads also loudly proclaim she’s a “fair and impartial” judge. It's my opinion that a “fair and impartial” judge wouldn’t trumpet her only claim to fame as being the darling of the cops.
But then, there aren’t many cogent adults in Wisconsin who don’t know which way any given Justice of the State Supreme Court leans. Our “non-partisan” highest court can easily be broken down into left-leaning and right-leaning: Roggensack, along with Justices Annette Ziegler, Michael Gableman, and David Prosser (former Republican Assembly Speaker, appointed to the court by Tommy Thompson and re-elected, who clearly has rage and impulse control issues) are right-wingers; Chief Justice Abrahamson and Justices Ann Walsh Bradley and N. Patrick Crooks are left-wingers.
Non-partisan? Not really.
Considering Justice Gableman and Justice Ziegler’s well-publicized ethics issues, Justice Prosser’s apparent proclivity to try and strangle Justices who hold a different opinion, and the parade of name-calling attack ads that characterized the last three state Supreme Court races, we’ve got a real mess on our hands. More than a few media editorial boards in Wisconsin have begun calling more loudly for Supreme Court Justices to be appointed, not elected.
As regards tomorrow’s election: I’ll be voting against, rather than for. The decision is yours, but please vote.