HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Stripped of their ideological cloak of trickle-down economics, flawless market efficiency and deregulation utopia, right-wing leaders have resorted to a bare-naked power grab. A small group of plutocrats seek to slash our rights to the bone - whether it means eliminating our freedom of union association, our right to choose abortion or our right to make safe alternative energy choices.

As we look to the near future, it’s obvious that something has got to give. Just a few months ago, prospects for a tangible, justice-based movement were dark. However, it feels and sounds like real change is afoot! In Wisconsin and around the country, people are speaking their minds on the streets and in public forums, calling out the plutocrats and demanding an end to the abuse of the many for the sake of the few.

That's why it is imperative that you circle April 5th, 2011, on your calendar and write in big letters VOTE! The election for Wisconsin State Judge, in my opinion, is more important an election than any that has come down the pike.

That is because if EVERYONE gets out and votes (I am setting my alarm clock for 7 AM and doubt that I will get much sleep the night before) we can unseat David Prosser, who, to put it mildly, is in Scott Walker's pocket.

Paul Soglin, a name everyone should be familiar with in Wisconsin politics had this to say about the upcoming election:

"Should a candidate for reelection to the legal equivalent of a referee declare in advance that he'll make all his calls for his political hometown team?

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg has blasted Supreme Court Justice David Prosser for his campaign manager's recent statement that his job would:

... include building an organization that will return Justice Prosser to the bench, protecting the conservative judicial majority and acting as a common sense complement to both the new administration and Legislature.

Kloppenburg suggests we should be outraged:

The Prosser campaign's suggestion that as a Justice, Prosser sees his role and the work of the Supreme Court as a "complement" to the political and policy agenda of the Governor and a legislature is deeply disturbing.

For a sitting judge to promise that he will work to further the ends of the other two branches of government shows an enormous disregard for the separation of powers and the role of the court as an independent, impartial body that ought to promise just one thing: to decide cases on the law and the facts brought forth in those cases."

And in a recent news story headlined:

Thousands Drawn to Tea Party Convention in the Dells

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans and conservative tea party members railed against health care reform, global warming legislation and government spending at a convention Saturday that attracted about 2,000 people.

The meeting, organized by the conservative group Americans for Prosperity and dubbed an unofficial tea party convention, brought together numerous Republican officeholders, party leaders and candidates in addition to national speakers like "Joe the Plumber" and Michael Reagan, the son of former President Ronald Reagan.

Speakers said they were defending America's freedoms by opposing cap-and-trade energy proposals, tax increases, health care reform and economic stimulus bills backed by Democrats.

"We are not the party of no," said Tim Nerenz, a Libertarian candidate for Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District, which covers Madison. "We are the party of hell, no. Do you want to give them your money? Hell, no! Do you want to give them your gun? Hell, no! Do you want to give them your health care?"

The crowd, picking up the chant, yelled, "Hell, no!"

Anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist said seeing Republicans vote for tax increases was like finding a rat head in a soft drink can.

"They damage the brand for everyone else," he said.

The meeting came roughly a year after the first tea party rallies in the state and nationwide. Wisconsin tea party organizers say they have no interest in starting a third political party and instead want to work closely with Republicans.

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus thanked convention attendees for giving GOP candidates a chance to rebuild the party.

"I know we've got a long way to go," he said.

No Democratic officeholders or candidates spoke at the meeting or had booths, while there were numerous Republicans. Republican state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., were among the speakers, while U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appeared in a videotaped message.

A number of Republican candidates also were there, including candidate for governor Scott Walker, in addition to officially nonpartisan state Supreme Court justices Michael Gableman and David Prosser. Prosser, a former Republican state lawmaker, spoke out against changing the state's system for electing Supreme Court justices to having them appointed.

Americans for Prosperity national president Tim Phillips urged convention attendees to work together to oppose health care reform and what he called President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "radical agenda."

Liberal muckraker Scot Ross, who is director of the advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, dubbed the convention a "Republican Rally for Failure." Ross said the tea party movement is an anti-Obama effort that was designed to obstruct and ensure the failure of the president's agenda.

"This was never anything more than rallying Republican base members," Ross said.

Tea party followers are an independent force that kowtows to no political party or interest group, said Mark Block, president of Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin.

Nancy Milholland, 47, an unemployed sales manager and organizer of the Racine County Tea Party, said tea party followers were frustrated conservatives.

"We are about smaller government, less spending, national security," she said. "If the Democratic Party decided that was their route, we would be for them."

And in Ed Garvey's blog of March 10th, he states:

The problem is David Prosser

What's next? Well, pause and ask if the Republicans violated the Open Meeting laws with the slick maneuver yesterday. Assume they did. Who will ultimately decide? The State Supreme Court, and that means David Prosser will decide as the swing vote on the 7-person court.

You know Prosser as the "WMC Justice." Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce put about $6 million into his campaign. They spent like drunken sailors on leave. But they were not drunk; they knew what they were purchasing and so do you. When the Walker bill is tested in the Courts, who will ultimately decide if it violates the Wisconsin Constitution? David Prosser! Did the attorney for DOA and the secretary perjure themselves when they told Judge Albert that demonstrators caused $7.5 million in damage to the Capitol? (No sensible person could have suggested that amount, so someone lied.) Who will ultimately decide? Yup! The state Supreme Court, and that means David Prosser will decide if his pals in the Walker administration lied in court to advance their cause.

I have seen Prosser in the Legislature where he often "lost it" in debate. I have seen him on the Court and I saw him charge the Speaker of the Assembly waiving his fist. Yes, David Prosser is as predictable as the sun rising in the east.

What's next? April 5 is next. If Prosser loses the election almost everything will change in state government. So, get the recall moving, keep demonstrating, but remember April 5! "

And finally, there is this from Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of The Capital Times, Madison:

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser’s temperament has raised a few eyebrows over the years.
There was the time back when he was speaker of the Assembly that he threw a temper tantrum on the Assembly floor, pounding the podium and screaming at other representatives, because a film crew was there documenting debate on a health care bill. Prosser felt it was all about getting film for political purposes.
Then there was the contentious Supreme Court administrative hearing in 2009 when he not only blew up at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, but launched into a tirade against witnesses who were there advocating tough rules for judges to recuse themselves when principals in a case had contributed big bucks to their election campaigns.
According to sources, turns out it was not the first time for a Prosser tantrum while he was serving on the high court. The only difference was that this time the hearing was open to the public for all to witness.
Prosser and his three conservative colleagues on the seven-member court had come under fire for adopting recusal rules written by the big business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which is far from a disinterested party. WMC has spent more than any other group on recent Supreme Court races, dropping millions most recently to elect conservatives Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman. And Prosser, who is now up for re-election this spring himself, did not take kindly to the criticism.
Now some are questioning Prosser’s actions on the campaign trail. One of his opponents in the Feb. 15 primary, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, is appalled that Prosser’s campaign manager said that the Prosser campaign was putting together an organization to return the justice to the bench, “protecting the conservative judicial majority and acting as a common sense complement to both the new (Walker) administration and (Republican-controlled) Legislature.”
“For a sitting judge to promise that he will work to further the ends of the other two branches of government shows an enormous disregard for the separation of powers and the role of the court as an independent, impartial body that ought to promise just one thing: to decide cases on the law and the facts brought forth in those cases.”
Further, Mike McCabe, executive director of the nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, released a letter his organization received from a prominent attorney who, for fear of reprisal, asked for anonymity.
The attorney said he was at a board meeting of the Wisconsin Association for Justice (formerly the Trial Lawyers Association) in early December when Prosser appeared to ask for its support.
“Justice Prosser indicated that he wished the trial lawyers to know that if the race led him to being attacked from the ‘left,’ he would move to the right and the trial lawyers would suffer for it. He said it would be in the best interest of the trial lawyers if he stayed in the middle.
“It should be noted that Justice Prosser’s comments to the WAJ had been made privately to other individuals who reported that he was contacting them for support. In his contact, he would indicate that if he was not supported by those on what he considers the ‘left,’ he would move to the right in his decision-making if he were to be re-elected.
“These are clearly questionable campaign tactics for someone who seeks to sit on the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” the lawyer concluded.

No kidding.


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