Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gableman departure bookends ugly WI decade

Sources are reporting that right-wing Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman will not seek a second, ten-year term in the April, 2018 election.

Justice Michael J. Gableman
I'd been hearing that rumor for weeks; interesting that the rumor mill is often so accurate.

You could say that the hard-right turn in Wisconsin politics subsidized by big business and right-wing advocacy organizations that has deeply embedded Republicans' control of all three branches of government began when Gableman, then an obscure rural Burnett County District Court Judge, narrowly defeated the liberal Milwaukee incumbent Justice Louis Butler.

I remember being confident that Butler would defeat a newcomer, but a savvier political expert hand warned me that "a couple of million dollars could fix anyone's lack of name recognition."

Gableman rode a wave of campaign assistance from the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, and the like, disgustingly negative ads against Butler and personal attacks by right-wing talk show hosts to a 51%-49% win that turned the Court into an all-white, right-wing GOP obeisant tool.

The WMC got the deeply-conservative majority it wanted and now enjoys more than ever, and by writing the opinion affirming Walker's union-busting Act 10 helped elevate Walker and his hard-edged agenda nationally.

Note, as did blogger and former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel colleague Dom Noth, that important Butler opinions, on appeal, have been affirmed.

So Gableman's work is done, and if he coordinates his departure prior to the election with Walker, as did Gableman's fellow right-winger David Prosser who also left before his term had ended, Walker can fill the unexpired portion of Gableman's term with an appointee benefiting from some incumbency.

Regardless, there's another fresh opportunity for Democrats and progressives to assert themselves - - and if Walker is handed the appointment option to further self-servingly rig the system, again - - to point to the corrupted nature of the GOP's one-party/big-dollar rule.

However - - as with the need for a candidate to take on Walker also in 2018 - - it is unclear if the opportunities can be grabbed, since right-wing, WMC-supported incumbent Justice Annette Ziegler ran unopposed last year.

No comments: