Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Whom to vote for today

Today's state Supreme Court election gives voters a choice of the way voters wanted Nov. 2 vs. the way voters wanted in 2008.

Like it or not, judicial elections have become the same as other elections in that voters vote not for (their definition of) the best candidate, but which candidate will give the voter the results the voter wants. That is a cynical view, but that is reality and has been so since the Earl Warren days.

Justice David Prosser is certainly the law and order candidate in this race. By "law and order," I mean making sure that actual criminals -- those who commit murders or other violent crimes -- stay in prison instead of looking for ways to get them out, as with the regrettable judicial career of former Justice Louis "Loophole Louie" Butler.

Assistant attorney general Joanne Kloppenburg has spent most of her legal career representing the Department of Natural Resources or some other tentacle of state government in environmental matters -- such crimes against the people as docks on bodies of water that don't measure up to some picayune state regulation. The Joanne Kloppenburg website (not her own) says:

The last thing the state of Wisconsin needs is a government growing, power seizing, zealous DNR attack dog effecting the application of laws in Wisconsin. Our states homeowners and private citizens have enough problems already dealing with high taxes and private land rights.

The issue is not about whether Kloppenburg has enough experience to serve on the Supreme Court. She has never been a judge. (One can fairly ask why President Obama, Gov. James Doyle or Mayor Dave the Unpronounceable declined to appoint Kloppenburg when they had the chance.) But Prosser was not a judge before he was appointed. Nor was, for instance, former Justice William Bablitch.

The issue is simply what Wisconsinites will get from Justice Prosser vs. what they would get from Justice Kloppenburg. Anyone who thinks Kloppenburg will not join the liberal bloc of the state Supreme Court (including the Green Bay Press–Gazette) is simply mistaken. (And her refusal to disavow the ad that places Prosser in the same league as abusive Catholic priests -- a charge refuted by both victims -- makes one question Kloppenburg's character.)

And, by the way, yes, a vote for Prosser is a vote for … let's put it this way: the people who deservedly won Nov. 2.

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