Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Justice Prosser's Scott Problem

Next month's state Supreme Court election got a lot more interesting in the last two weeks. On the surface the contest is between sitting Justice David Prosser and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg and will decide whether the conservative faction on the high court maintains its majority or control of the court swings to the left. But with historic demonstrations erupting over Governor Scott Walker's union-busting "budget repair" bill, this election will be more than anything a referendum on Walker.

Prosser has a Scott problem, to put it mildly. In announcing last December that he was hiring a Republican operative to run his reelection campaign, Prosser made no bones about the fact that he sees himself as a teammate of Scott Walker and his GOP allies in the Legislature. Despite the fact the Supreme Court is supposed to be a nonpartisan office and despite the constitutional separation of powers between co-equal branches of government that is central to the checks and balances in our system, Prosser said if reelected he would be "acting as a common sense complement to both the new administration and Legislature."

Prosser already has demonstrated his loyalty, siding with two of Walker's biggest political supporters – Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wisconsin Realtors Association – in voting for new judicial ethics rules written by the two groups allowing Wisconsin judges to rule on cases involving their biggest campaign supporters.

Walker is not the only Scott who looms large in Prosser's reelection bid. Prosser is an ex-Assembly speaker who agreed to serve as a character witness for Scott Jensen when his friend and former colleague was accused of criminal misconduct in public office. Prosser also was prepared to testify that when he was speaker he did the same things Jensen was criminally charged for.


Anonymous said...

Mike, not to worry. The Dems still got you. And we all know how well that worked last election

Anonymous said...

You neglected to point out another thing Prosser has in common with Walker. The Club for Growth. This group went on the air with radio ads supporting Walker's attack on union rights before the bill was even introduced and distributed to legislators. They bused people in to the public hearing. Now they are doing more ads trying to rescue Walker now that public opinion has turned against him. And Club for Growth spent over $320,000 on TV ads for Prosser in the primary election alone. Probably hundreds of thousands more on the way before April 5.

Anonymous said...

How can we get the media to question the contradiction between his declaration of independence in recent interviews and this declaration.

George Mitchell said...


You should go to Rick Esenberg's site and comment on the c3 and c4 issues that he raises.