Scraping The Bottom Of The Barrel
When Governor Jim Doyle signed the Impartial Justice bill into law on December 1, a Virginia group called the Center for Competitive Politics all but promised to sue to block the law. CCP's president left no doubt his outfit was shopping for a litigant in Wisconsin even before it got the governor's signature.
CCP is indeed behind a lawsuit filed in federal court last Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of Wisconsin's Supreme Court election reform law. But it seems the litigant shopping didn't go all that well. Turns out the only Wisconsinite they could find willing to be the public face of the lawsuit is someone who was for publicly financed Supreme Court elections before he was evidently talked into being against them.
As Wisconsin Public Radio reported last week:
Former candidate sues over public financing law for high court racesAs a candidate, Judge Koschnick made a compelling case that public financing of elections enhances free speech by giving more candidates the means to run competitively. In his lawsuit, he now claims public financing of Supreme Court elections "violates the Speech Clause of the First Amendment" by "suppressing the speech of candidates for the Office of Justice."
Former Supreme Court candidate and Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick has filed a lawsuit challenging Wisconsin's new public financing law for Supreme Court races. That's despite comments he made on the campaign trail in support of public financing.
Koschnick did not take public financing in his unsuccessful race for the state Supreme Court. Any money his campaign spent came either from himself or private donors, and not the state.
But at the press conference where Koschnick announced his candidacy back in November of 2008, he was asked directly how he felt about public financing.
Koschnick responded, "I think that's a great idea."
Koschnick went on to say he wasn't rich, and that he hoped to raise enough money from individuals to run a serious campaign. But, he added that he thought public financing would enable legitimate
candidates to run without necessarily having to be independently wealthy and might also reduce the influence of third-party groups who "obviously wield a lot of power and money."
Despite that praise for public financing on the campaign trail, Koschnick is now trying to overturn the entirety of Wisconsin's new public financing law.
Care to explain the flip flop, judge?