Mike Wittenwyler is an exceptionally bright guy. I'd have no trouble saying Mike is smarter than me, but it would be most unfair to damn him with such faint praise.
Several publications have recognized him as a "top lawyer" and "rising star" in his area of expertise, which is political law. He teaches the subject at UW Law School. The highest of the high and mighty in this state turn to him for counsel. In campaign finance and election law matters, his clients include the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists, Wisconsin Bankers Association, Wisconsin Builders Association, Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Wisconsin Realtors Association and Wisconsin Right to Life.
When Mike Wittenwyler talks, powerful people listen. Which makes something he said last December all the more memorable and intriguing. He told a Wisconsin State Journal reporter, "If anyone is able to get public financing through this Legislature I would call them Moses."
This is not a man prone to idle gossip or flights of fancy, mind you. So when legislation establishing publicly financed state Supreme Court elections got through both houses of the Legislature last week, inquiring minds had to be wondering. . . . Did he know something? Was this a Nostradamus moment? Was the Impartial Justice bill heaven sent? Did legislative backers and the likes of the Democracy Campaign, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters have a secret weapon?
Someone should be asking Mike Wittenwyler why those waters parted last Thursday. Seems like it might be one of the greatest stories ever told.