Tuesday, September 30, 2014

From DC to Wisconsin; bad media, court opinions

Bad enough that the US Supreme Court has opened the door widely to the influence of money in elections.

Worse for us in Wisconsin: a majority (four members) of the State Supreme Court a) was elected through campaign committees which accepted millions of dollars in special interest money, b) will likely rule on whether special interest money was raised and spent illegally by Scott Walker's 2012 recall election committee, and c) let some of the same big-money organizations involved in the Walker campaign case write the current judicial code of conduct that guides the Court and minimizes campaign contribution conflict-of-interest recusal situations.

And even worse - - the biggest newspaper in the state doesn't think those justices should recuse themselves from hearing the special interest money case.

That's too many institutions failing to understand or care enough about how money works in elections.

Something I've noted for years:
...conservatives on Supreme Courts in Washington, DC and in Madison, Wisconsin are, with the slimmest of margins, dragooning us by discounting ethics and fair play, law and process while tilting the scales of justice towards already-privileged and powerful Republicans and the corporate elites who fund them. 
Take the Citizens United case, where a 5-4 ruling by the US Supreme Court gave corporations permission to release unlimited funding to third-party advocacy groups that support or oppose political candidates. The five Supreme Court Justices in the majority overturned precedent and law by agreeing that corporations, like people, had a free speech right to donate...  
Regrettably, there is also the political and ethical mess that is the Wisconsin Supreme Court these days, where another one-vote majority - - here it's a 4-3 conservative majority - - has been helped to election wins and its ideological freedom by huge donations from conservative, third-party corporate groups, like the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce - - and is following through by advancing a radical right-wing agenda pushed by GOP Governor Scott Walker and majorities in both legislative houses. 
And its duty to guard against justice deprived? To maintain a level playing field - - at least a civil environment on the Court itself? 
It was incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser who nearly threw away certain re-election in April against a virtual unknown by calling liberal Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson "a total bitch," and had threatened to "destroy" her.
More, here.

If we can mix up some metaphors here - - the fox designed the hen house, moved in for the long haul, and holds the keys while the watch dog decides its services are no longer needed.


Anonymous said...

Great summary! Thank you.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

It would be a good time to start a company specializing in gilding, I would think...