Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Progressives can put Rebecca Dallet on WI's Supreme Court

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet in April can defeat the Scott Walker/GOP/WMC/NRA hand-picked cipher and rubber stamp Michael Screnok for a 10-year State Supreme Court term.
Image of Rebecca Dallet
Progressive candidates - - Justices Shirley Abrahamson and Ann Walsh Bradley, US Senator Tammy Baldwin, President Barack Obama (twice), State Superintendent of Instruction Tony Evers (3 times), and Secretary of State Doug La Follette (9 times) - - and others have won Wisconsin statewide elections.

It will be a challenge, certainly.

The far-right, whether it be the Wisconsin GOP or the WMC or 'independent' groups with deceptively-generic names that gather up dark money, saturate media with ads and vanish after election day will have a surplus of dollars to try and elevate Screnock from obscurity and irrelevance to a seat on the State's highest court.

So Dallet is up against the establishment awash in cash and which expects to govern without interruption. The Citizens United decision increased its ballot-box buying power. The Trump/Ryan tax bill gave it more disposable dollars to invest in candidates who will carry its water and protect that heightened advantage.

Dallet will get advice from everyone. I'll keep unsolicited few paragraphs mine short.

If I were Dallet, I'd run openly and happily against these special interests and their corrupting ubiquity.

I would tell every voter I met that "Justice" is both a title and a democratic society's number one goal, that I'd be a voice for justice on the Supreme Court for the everyday citizen because the wealthy and powerful and wired-in already have a majority on the Court and across the landscape.

The WMC isn't shy about posting praise for its spending.
In 2007, WMC spent  $2.5 million on issue ads educating the public about Justice Annette Ziegler and lawyer Linda Clifford.  One WMC ad — Zero — highlighted the fact that Clifford had “zero” experience as a judge, while Ziegler was a judge and former federal prosecutor.  Ziegler won handily.  But, that only preserved the 4-3 activist majority because Ziegler replaced conservative Justice Jon Wilcox.
In 2008, WMC spent $2.25 million on issue ads about Justice Louis Butler and his opponent Judge Michael Gableman of Burnett County.  One WMC ad — Loopholes — featured Justice Butler’s rulings that provided loopholes to protect criminal defendants. Butler had issued a news release embracing his nickname “Loophole Louie” and that became the centerpiece of the ad.   Gableman won, and established a new conservative majority on the high court.  Butler was the first incumbent to lose since 1967, and only the fourth in state history.
The historic defeat of Butler, who played an integral role in the activist majority, was in large measure a testament to the steadfast fortitude of the Wisconsin business community to re-establish a rule-of-law high court. 
I'd say it was wrong that some of the same most-influential and monied special interests in Wisconsin which spent heavily on Screnok during the primary have been allowed to write the rules that permit Justices to hear cases in which their campaign committee donors are involved.

And because money talks, pleas by dozens of retired judges for the current justices to change that rule were rebuffed.

This is not a mere matter of interest solely to lawyers and judges.

I'd ask voters how they would feel if the refs who worked Green Bay Packer games were allowed to take take money from opposing team owners, that the officials were the ones who dreamed up the privilege -  - and that now voters had a chance to hire a ref who'd help clean up that mess.

Then I'd write Dallet a check - - which I am doing now - - and wish her luck, as she's now in the sights of a powerful, self-interested, take-no-prisoners machine  (see Louis Butler, above, and Mary Burke) that will do what ever it thinks it needs to keep a chokehold on the state's highest court that is coordinated with Walker and the state legislature's GOP majority.

1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Agree with your strategy, James. Dallett should "welcome the hatred" of WMC, the NRA and other big-money slimeballs, and say that "no one is above the law in my courtroom."

She also should comment on the (likely illegal) abortion restrictions the Legislature just passed against state employees, and speak out against the "dark store" loophole, which will likely have to be decided in the near future by the Court, given that Speaker Robbin' Vos (R-WMC/ALEC) won't bring up a bill with majority support in both houses.

Run against corruption, and you'll win in 2018. And Screnock screams "corrupt puppet" if you look at his background for more than 5 seconds.