March 31, 2011

Former governor bails on Prosser campaign

Not a great day for the People's Republicans of Fitzwalkerstan:
Former Wisconsin governor Patrick Lucey (D) resigned today as co-chair of Justice David Prosser's Supreme Court campaign, citing "lack of civility" in campaign from Prosser. Lucey says he now endorses challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg.
Via WISN's Brendan Conway.

Lucey, 93, said Prosser has revealed what he called "a disturbing distemper and lack of civility." I hope he doesn't have distemper.

WMC gums up WI Dept. of Justice phone lines

Yet another reason why they're a public menace.

Let's try and keep a line open for crime victims, hey WMC?

Y'know, since you're so terribly concerned about them.

Mike Huebsch and the living constitution

"[G]iven the most recent court action we will suspend the implementation of it at this time." — WI DoA Sec.
Evidently implementation meant something different yesterday.
"This is judicial activism at its worst." — Scott Fitzgerald
God almighty man, quit making this Great State a laughing stock.

And from JBVH's Department of Justice (via @news3jessica):
[W]e expect a higher court will need to weigh in on the fundamental issues of constitutional law and judicial issues.
Be careful what you wish for, as that ominous proverb goes.

Because you may wind up with no last resort left but The Hague.

Judge Sumi rules, in two senses of the word

Decides she's heard enough

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi (.pdf; 2 pgs):
[B]ased on the briefs of counsel, the uncontroverted testimony, and the evidence received at the March 29, 2011 evidentiary hearing, it is hereby DECLARED that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published within the meaning of Wis. Stats. §§ 991.11, 35.095(1)(b) and 35.095(3)(b), and is therefore not in effect.
Exactly right.

I'm telling you, this can only get worse for Fitz Van Walker — Political. Disaster. Entirely self-inflicted. Any sanctions pale by comparison.

I also guarantee you that both conservative judicial heroes Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would affirm Judge Sumi in a heartbeat.

And next, conservative Republicans may lose control of the Supreme Court that cost them several millions of dollars only three years ago.

Fitz Van Walker, LLC could very well be persona non grata even at the next Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce kaffeeklatsch.

Let's not be too condescending out there

Marquette professor of law and far-right media celebrity Rick Esenberg, who for whatever unknown reason decided to affirm pretty much everything I wrote here, tells your scribe to "go read Sartre."

I first read Sartre 30 years ago. While I have not read Being and Nothingness (who has*) I have read much of his fiction and his mordantly funny autobiography and any serious student of Sartre (which I am not) will tell you that the most effective exposition of Sartre's philosophy resides in his fiction. So maybe Prof. Esenberg should "go read" The Age of Reason (and keep "going" from there).

By the way I have enormous respect for Prof. Rick. He's extremely knowledgeable and he's actually a pretty good guy. It's his unseemly dalliances with the wing-nut element — who frequently laud** Prof. Rick's conclusions without bothering to investigate his premises or, as is sometimes the case, to identify his missing premises — where the respect collapses into great fun, not so much out of disrespect for Prof. Rick but rather for the dalliances and the wing-nuttery.

And the latter particular species of disrespect is not condescending because the wing-nut element begs for it continuously, so in a sense it's more correctly something of an act of generosity of spirit (not to mention an act of public service to the general political discourse).

* Other than masochists unsatisfied with reading Being and Time.

** See, e.g., Journal Communications' C. Sykes, P. McIlheran, et seq.

March 30, 2011

Wisconsin: All this talk of injunctions

And the seething (albeit comically uninformed) right-wing insisting that of Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi is without authority, reminds me of the time Justices Prosser and Gableman enjoined a party in a case the latter Bros. hadn't even taken jurisdiction of. And all the pair had to do was literally rewrite the Wisconsin constitution, because that's how strictly the two conservatives construe, evidently.

I hear tell some interested parties are lobbying to have Justice Prosser "carried ... feet first" from his chambers on July the 31.

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Among my souvenirs

A Vote for Prosser yard sign autographed by Mike Gableman

Now that's got to give even Justice Prosser the heebie jeebies.*

* Then-Burnett County circuit judge Michael Gableman caught a bad, bad case of the judicial ethics in 2008, and it's pending to this day. Despite Justice Prosser's best efforts, Gableman and his out-of-State Republican lawyer Jim Bopp never managed to get it dismissed. Pity.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-VH1) food and clothing drive

Now this is funny.

Dane County Republicans sure are a sad bunch

All five or six of the poor sods.

Get a load of this willful self-embarrassment. How pathetic.

As I was just saying, ad hominem is the best they can muster. No argument and worse: failed humor. It's desperation, plain and simple.

Hope they really enjoy JoAnne Kloppenburg for Supreme Court taking 70% of the vote there on Tuesday, thanks to their scofflaw "leaders."

March 29, 2011

Closing statement on Fitz Van Walker arrogance

For the record, Tuesday, March 29, in the Year of our Lord 2011:

I'm frankly surprised to hear the attorney general's office indicate that they considered the previous [temporary restraining] order to be in effect since, as near as I can tell from having read the newspaper, the Department of Administration and the Senate president seem to be proceeding under the assumption that they are not restrained, that there is no order enjoining the further implementation of this Act. So I don't know what it takes for the court to communicate to the attorney general's office in a way that is sufficiently effective to alert them to the fact that there is to be no further implementation of this legislation until this court has ruled on whether or not a permanent injunction is to issue. I had thought the court had ruled last time [March 18] that there was to be no further implementation. I had thought the court had ordered last time and made it very clear that the secretary of state was not permitted to issue a date of publication. The secretary of state acted in furtherance of the court's order and everybody else who was apparently, I presume, taking advice from the attorney general was acting in violation of the order.

— Robert Jambois, atty. for Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca

The hearing continues Friday* and it is not going well for JBVH & Co.

Mostly because their case is threadbare and they're reduced to simply objecting to all evidence save the courtroom's wallpaper and drapes.

And frequently demanding recesses and adjournments, each of which was denied. Whether those demands are designed to forestall the inevitable or buy the Walker administration more time to unlawfully enforce its allegedly non-fiscal budget "repair" bill, who knows.

The most oft-repeated word they heard today was "overruled." JBVH attempted to rescind his motion to the court of appeals after it was already certified to the Supreme Court and his agent in circuit court, assistant AG Lazar, flagrantly contradicted the legal arguments set out in JBVH's paper filings (again). "Train wreck" springs to mind.

I don't hold it against AAG Lazar, however, as she appears to be doing the best she can with what she's got, and that ain't much.

The court has yet to declare or reach the question of whether "2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has not been published, within the meaning of the Wis. Stat. §§ 991.11, 35.095(1)(b),** and 35.095(3)(b)." But it will.

* April Fools Day, the third anniversary of Mike Gableman's election.

** 35.095(1)(b) defines: "'Date of publication' means the date designated by the secretary of state under sub. 3." These are precisely the statutory provisions discussed at this blog below. In other words, the court will frame its disposition to the question of whether the Act has taken effect just as did the approach here.

Prophecy, is what Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. called the law.

Obviously your humble correspondent concurs.

eta — From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Marquette University law professor Richard Esenberg said he was not surprised by the ruling but criticized the judge.
That is so emblematic of the depressingly predictable right-wing response pretty much in its entirety, with their standard ad hominem fallacies. What constructive purpose they serve, I have no idea. Prof. Esenberg likes his WWII-vintage case, but a number of things have changed since then, like, the enactment of the Open Meetings Law, which enshrines several guarantees to the public tied directly to the State constitution, which trumps any dusty old case (esp. pre-1901).

Having followed the bulk of the hearings so far, it's clear Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi is aware of Esenberg's concerns, has relegated them to their proper place of relative insignificance, and is admirably conducting a complicated proceeding while owing no duty to communicate to the right-wing professor of law her every rationale.

Speaking of duties, does not the Journal-Sentinel have a duty to disclose the fact that Esenberg has lately been acting as counsel to Republican Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald? Prof. Esenberg was among the Republicans-for-hire attorneys who filed suit on behalf of the Oconto County GOP chairman, a suit they had to know was frivolous, seeking an ancillary statement from the judge which they did not receive but claimed they did in a memo to Fitzgerald, which memo Fitzgerald used to bolster his ridiculous ersatz "arrest warrants" issued against 14 of his Senate colleagues (all Democrats, naturally).

The legal memo advised Big Fitz he could direct law enforcement officers to have a six-months-pregnant woman*** seized into physical custody and "carried ... feet first" across the Senate threshold.****

Fitzgerald in turn acted on the basis of that advice.

More recently Esenberg deposited a risible piece of propaganda at NROnline shilling for the conservative Justice David Prosser, which begins by misattributing to Jean-Paul Sartre a sentiment delivered by a character in one of the philosopher's anti-Communist plays.

By Esenberg's reasoning Shakespeare was a bloodthirsty murderer of Scottish lairds and Sam Shepard an intellectually challenged hillbilly.

Prosser, alleges Esenberg, is a "moderate conservative" because he once in awhile does not join a hard-right three-justice bloc and who "received overwhelming public support in his election to his current term" without mentioning that Prosser was the only candidate on the ballot. Yet if you read the Journal-Sentinel, you'd think Esenberg was some detached academic, which is far, far from the actual reality.

*** Who had done nothing whatsoever unlawful.

**** Face down or face up was left to Big Fitz's wise discretion.

Video of Justice Prosser yelling and stuff

A One Wisconsin Now production.

Not to detract from OWN's message too much, but most of those clips are of Justice Prosser rightly tearing a strip off of the cheeky liberal activist Mike McCabe, who in my view richly deserved it.

Wisconsin: Ozanne v. Fitzgerald — A preview

Must. Destroy. Union. Dirty hippies blargh.Shorter WISGOP

Action resumes this morning in the courtroom of Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi. The key elements of plaintiff Dane County District Attorney Ismail Ozanne's latest brief reduced to three tweets:
Dane County DA Ozanne concurs, Fitz pulled nothing but a Kinko's job, and he also wants the Kinko's job declared null and void. Ozanne further argues the LRB is bound by the TRO in addition to the SoS on account of the LRB's statutory proximity to the SoS.* And of course Ozanne argues the AG's attempt to moot the case is groundless and absurd (in so many words).
This new wrinkle to the case shouldn't be terribly difficult for Judge Sumi to dispose of. It's not even a close question. Think of it this way: If I can figure out in ten minutes what's since been affirmed by everybody from Ed Fallone to the Legislative Reference Bureau, it can't be rocket surgery. I cite Fallone** and the LRB as authorities because: Fallone's area of expertise is constitutional law, and the LRB has the nonpartisan, dispassionate, objective cred as few others do.


The AG's argument is mostly bluster and about the furthest thing you'd expect from a self-advertised judicial conservative. It's bordering on the painful to follow its logic (such as it is) and is incoherent compared to the parsimonious Kinko's Amendment theory.

It's enough to send William of Ockham to rotating violently in his crypt, which is inadvisable because there are sharp objects in there.

It truly is astonishing that Fitz Van Walker would go to these lengths and is perhaps the best indicator yet that Walker and Fitzgerald are terrified to run this bill past another vote in the legislature.

Hockey sock

The bill likely wouldn't succeed this time around because they've since pissed off nearly everybody in the State, placed their own colleagues in serious danger of recall, and perhaps most importantly, imperiled their conservative majority on the Supreme Court. They're on the verge of nullifying the 2008 election of Michael Gableman — which alone justifies a vote for Kloppenburg — the one that cost Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce one king hell hockey sock full of dough.

And now warding off the FitzWalker taint from the incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser is going to cost WMC & Friends the other sock. But FitzWalker keeps pushing. It's pure madness.


As for the merits, two crucial points: 1) The Department of Justice admitted as much as three minutes less than two hours notice was given in advance of the Fitzgeralds' twilight ramble and 2) The DoJ conceded that the constitutional and statutory requirements of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law override the legislature's immunity from judicial branch scrutiny of its internal procedural minutiae:
Oh dearie, dearie me.

* This is an especially compelling argument because it puts to keen use a slightly modified version of AG Van Hollen's claim that the LRB's and the Secretary of State's "publications" are identical. If it is the case they are identical, then the LRB is likewise bound by Judge Sumi's restraining order. Slightly modified in the sense that although Van Hollen's claim is false, if Van Hollen wishes to assert its truth, then he must by the same reasoning concede that the TRO enjoins the LRB, which AG JBVH must deny. But JBVH can't have it both ways.

Nevertheless, Ozanne can demonstrate that the LRB was subject to the TRO without availing himself of any of Van Hollen's assertions.

** I also cite Fallone because Fallone said: "I do not see my analysis as differing in any significant way from the analysis previously set forth in this blog," meaning this blog, the one you're reading now.

No love for an old alumnus at the MULS webpage though! Harrumph.

March 28, 2011

Van Hollen voids all pre-1901 law in Wisconsin

And quite possibly even the State constitution itself

That's the effect of Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen's latest decree, which claims the Legislative Reference Bureau's "publication" is what puts laws into effect for the purposes of the State constitution.

Unfortunately for JBVH there was no such thing as the Legislative Reference Bureau before 1901 and therefore, by Van Hollen's own reasoning, all laws enacted prior to the LRB's creation are nullities.

This situation is rapidly becoming not particularly amusing at all, when even the attorney general of Wisconsin is acting lawlessly.

One thing's for sure, this here blog's done defending J.B. Van Hollen.

As for Scott Walker's enforcement man Mike Huebsch, Huebsch's pronouncement that the Secretary of State has no authority to rescind a date of publication is irrelevant, as Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi's temporary restraining order enjoins the Secretary of State's prior directive. It doesn't matter whether it was rescinded or not, and thus the question of whether the Secretary of State has the authority to do so never even enters into the equation.

This administration's disrespect for the rule of law is appalling.

And this is all on Walker and his henchpeople in the legislature.

More on Big Fitz's Kinko's Amendment

From the estimable MULS professor Edward Fallone.
I do not see my analysis as differing in any significant way from the analysis previously set forth in this [here awesome illusory tenant] blog. — Ed Fallone, prof. of constitutional law
Yess! [/marvalbert]

Incidentally, this blawg was posted Friday evening before the Legislative Reference Bureau — or anybody else — had weighed in.

Just sayin'.

Slimy Scott Fitzgerald

Ends justify the means?
Like them or not, our courts exist for a reason — to resolve legal disputes. That's what was in the works when [Wisconsin Republican Senate leader Scott] Fitzgerald jumped the gun and tried to do an end run around the judicial process.
True dat. The author, Atty. Richard A. Ginkowski, is a conservative Republican and an assistant DA in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

And, from Marquette professor of law Ed Fallone:
[Wis. Stat. § 35.095] deals with the LRB's job to print and make available copies of the laws. . . . Attempting to bypass the constitution's requirement of official publication is an unconstitutional action.
Section 35.095's popular name is the Kinko's amendment.

Nowadays it's news when Big Fitz is not violating the constitution.

WisLaw: Can a public figure sue for defecation?

Carlson cartoon portrays Prosser as an actual bowel movement

Earlier: Stop the turd. Now I am the turd?

March 27, 2011

Stone "considering a number of blacks" for his staff

Affirmative action returns to GOP platform
Suburban white Republican seeks inner city black male for coffee

Hilarious. Jeff Stone's campaign manager says LaMonte Harris "was a good deal" (at $1500/wk). Candidate for Milwaukee County executive Jeff Stone now has to decide who is the worse association: former alderman and current federal inmate Mike McGee, Jr., or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who's about porkchop-at-a-bar-mitzvah popular.

And for all his sins, Mike McGee never violated the constitution.

Scott Walker ally Jeff Stone complained that associations with Walker were "demonizing" Stone. Wait until he gets a load of Mike McGee. Stone is also Chas. Sykes's boy, which could create some havoc given the ancient enmity between McGee and the WTMJ radio harlequin.
Other community activists were asking for much more money, including one who wanted $100,000 to help Stone establish ties with the city's black population.
He got the estimate right. Big jobs don't come cheap yo. Then there's this. Isn't it a bit late for Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) to be figuring out Milwaukee now? I'm pretty sure I had it down after about three days.

Now we know for sure 2011 WI Act 10 is not law

Because this guy thinks it is:
Was going to say something more about the legal messism in Wisconsin with the Secretary of State (likely wrong) saying the law is not law yet, and the law saying otherwise.
Nah you've said enough.

Earlier Jacobson: Well played.

Prosser's hometown paper endorses Kloppenburg

Can't let bygones be bygones
Justice Prosser admitted he condoned illegal activity

Word on the street is the Journal-Sentinel will follow suit next weekend and rescind its pre-primary endorsement of Prosser.

March 26, 2011

Wisconsin statutes, a couple three of them

Or Fitzwalkerstan: Here, let me show you it

First up, Wis. Stat. 991.11, from which the latest hubbub derives, as there remains to complete the legislative process to 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 the one step — "publication"* — between the status quo and enforceability, the moment the Act is released to the various wiles of Gov. Scott Walker. The Act is currently subject to the wise and cautious shepherding of WISGOP Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald, who is devising any manner of chicanery to hand the thing off to Walker.

(He said he got this brainstorm from reading a newspaper article.)

So, 991.11:
Effective date of acts. Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated under s. 35.095 (3) (b).
Stricken are the bits that aren't germane here, but remain legible so you can still read them if you so desire have no life (in which case there's another 7,000 pages of them awaiting your pleasure).

Anyway, first notice that while there is a 35.095(3)(a), the effective date of acts provision (991.11) does not make reference to it.

[PUBLICATION] The legislative reference bureau shall publish every act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto within 10 working days after its date of enactment.
That's the "publication" (or "printing," as this space would contend) Republican Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald claims substitutes for publication for the purposes of 991.11. But it has nothing to do with 991.11. Here is the relevant — the operative — provision to 991.11:

PUBLICATION The secretary of state shall designate a date of publication for each act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto. The date of publication may not be more than 10 working days after the date of enactment.
Now the secretary of state did (for he "shall") at one point designate a date of publication for the Act, but on March 18, he rescinded it in compliance with the Dane County circuit court's temporary restraining order, which prevents the secretary of state from publishing the Act.

As for the date of publication being not more than 10 working days after the date of enactment, there is no reason why the secretary of state may not designate one retroactively, if and when the court order is lifted. In the meantime the secretary of state is enjoined from so doing and places himself in peril of contempt by acting.

The point is that publication by 35.095(3)(a) (what Scott Fitzgerald "ordered") does not fulfill the requirements of 991.11. It still remains for 991.11 to be satisfied and so in nowise might it be said that 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 has taken effect, nor that it is enforceable.

Sen. Fitzgerald and now Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch are completely unmoored from the text, as Clarence Thomas might say, although Sec. Huebsch is considerably more circumspect about the whole affair than is the supercilious bluster of Sen. Fitzgerald, with his "supremely confident" and "perfectly" adhering to the law.

I don't expect this one to end well for Big (nor Little, ultimately) Fitz.

* Scare quotes are trending. I used them precisely this way last night and today they appeared in Dane County circuit court "duty judge" Sarah O'Brien's March 25 memo** (.pdf; 2 pgs.). Betcha she scanned the subchapter heading also: LEGISLATIVE; CLASS 1 PRINTING.

By comparison to the subchapter heading, "publication" is a sub-sub-subchapter heading, and its meaning there is informed by 991.11, because 991.11 sends you to 35.095(3)(b) in the first place. Thus does the "publication" in 35.095(3)(b) have the meaning 991.11 gives it, and that meaning is as a formal step in the legislative process, that moment the Act becomes owned by the executive branch.

This "publication" — date of, to be exact; it's a linear, timeline companion to date of enactment, when the governor approves the Act — is within the authority of the secretary of state. It's not the same "publication" as the one in 35.095(3)(a), that publication in the legislative reference bureau's provisionally separate authority.***

And the one that is not implicated by 991.11, the one upon which Scott Fitzgerald and his merry Republican-for-hire attorneys are mistakenly relying (we'll see how that goes on Tuesday morning).

There's a reason why 991.11 explicitly points at 35.095(3)(b) and explicitly does not point at 35.095(3)(a). Because the secretary of state's publication is substantively functional in the legislative process — it's a scheduling milestone, if you will — whereas the legislative reference bureau's is a function of records-keeping: it's a recording of the milestone that was made by the secretary of state.

And since the secretary of state is the subject of a temporary restraining order, he cannot make the milestone and therefore the LRB's recording is blank, so to say, in the substantive legal sense.

I guess you might even call that a "primer" in statutory construction. Although I wouldn't as I'm not purporting to "teach" anybody, only show you so you can see and think and work it out for yourself.

Finally, they could clean up the whole mess by changing the "shall publish" in 35.095(3)(a) to "shall print." Get on it, Sen. Grothman.

** See Footnote 1.
*** i.e., "CLASS 1 PRINTING."

Earlier related:
Scott Fitzgerald orders 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 printed
Scott Fitzgerald had better hope he's wrong
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is out to back from lunch

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is out to lunch

According to its editorial board:
The law officially takes effect on Saturday; it was published Friday by the Legislative Reference Bureau.
No it doesn't; because no it wasn't.

Its main story headline, "law published," is wrong as well.

As is practically every headline in the country.

eta 01 — Edit board edit, back from lunch:
There is a dispute over whether the law will officially take effect on Saturday; it was published Friday by the Legislative Reference Bureau.*
Thanks to an attentive reader. *wink*

* Arguably true in one sense, but still not "published" in the required sense. It's been "printed," is probably the best way to think of it.

eta 02 — And here is a delightful headline of a different flavor:
Wisconsin collective bargaining law published, violating court orderMarshalltown (IA) Times-Republican
Strictly speaking the court order couldn't have been violated, because the court order enjoins the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State took no action inconsistent with the court order.** However, there exist some misunderstandings you don't want to discourage.

That be one of 'em.

** GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald is one of the other defendants in the case. "Contempt" is a word Fitzgerald likes to bandy about when it comes to others (along with "arrest"). Might we bandy it about here?

I would sure like to inspect Senator Fitzgerald's correspondence with his Republican-for-hire attorneys. Open records request anybody?

March 25, 2011

Scott Fitzgerald had better hope he's wrong

I'm fairly confident he is, but just in case:
I do, therefore, restrain and enjoin the further implementation of 2011 Wisconsin Act 10. The next step in implementation of that law would be the publication of that law by the Secretary of State.
That's from the Dane County circuit court order currently in force, which affirms not only the Secretary of State is the only official with the authority to publish the Act, but that "further implementation" generally is enjoined. If so, according to the outlandishly triumphalist statements made by Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald this evening, he could be flirting with a bigger problem than simply being ridiculous.

Because it appears he's trying to find his away around a court order.

And where you do that is in court, not on some Friday p.m. romp.

eta: Okay, now this is getting leagues beyond ridiculous:
"It's my opinion it's published, it's on the legislative website, it's law," Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald said. "It was clear to me after our discussions this morning, if it in fact it is [sic] posted and it says published and there's a specific date on it, it would be very hard to argue this was not law."
It's true because it's on the internet (not unlike Time Cube).

Seriously, lawyers told him this? Come on. They weren't from Waukesha County by any chance were they? Maybe the 9-11 guy?

I submit he and/or they be "carried ... feet first" out of the Senate.

ContinuedWisconsin statutes, a couple three of them

Scott Fitzgerald orders 2011 WI Act 10 printed

Senator's bold move constructively no different than visiting Kinko's

Word is Republican State Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald ordered the Legislative Reference Bureau to "publish" (scare quotes because "publication" did not occur) 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 (.pdf; 46 pgs.).

Obviously Republican State Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald is sufficiently aware there is currently a Dane County circuit court order in force preventing the Secretary of State from publishing the Act.

"Publish" and "publication" are legal terms of art referring here to a step in the legislative process immediately preceding enforceability.

There is a footnote purportedly justifying Republican desperado numero dos Scott Fitzgerald's "order" on the cover page of the Act citing Wis. Stat. §35.095(3)(a), which itself states:
[T]he [LRB] shall publish every act and every portion of an act which is enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto within 10 working days after its date of enactment.
But I suspect "publish" doesn't mean publish in the sense that the Secretary of State is enjoined from doing, but rather publishing as in printing onto paper, as §35.095 resides in a subchapter of the statutes entitled, "LEGISLATIVE; CLASS 1 PRINTING." Therefore it's reasonable to wonder whether Fitzgerald is trying to pull a fast one (it's also reasonable to wonder that just because it's Fitzgerald).

Consequently, it's likewise reasonable to inquire into Scott Fitzgerald's intent, not just because he's Scott Fitzgerald this time but because of what the Supreme Court had to say in 2009:
[I]f some action is argued to be sufficient to constitute publication, that action must be evaluated in light of the purpose publication seeks to achieve, i.e., was the public provided with sufficient notice of the law that is being enacted or amended.
It's debatable if sufficient notice is even possible, given publication was enjoined by a court order in effect to this very moment.

And of course there are many uncounted other purposes, one of which is conceivably Scott Fitzgerald's capriciousness,** in trying to pass off "printing" as "publication." I wouldn't put it past him.

I don't believe this particular action constitutes publication at all.

The utter farce continues ... Welcome to Fitzwalkerstan.

* Of which Fitz should have knowledge, because there's a strong possibility it's going to facilitate his downfall in the Supreme Court.

** I leave it to others to characterize Fitzgerald's performance in less charitable terms, most of which are assuredly every bit as applicable.

eta 01 — Act 10 is unenforceable in its present posture:
[F]urther action by the Secretary of State is required in order for Act 10 to take effect.
Legislative Reference Bureau memo to Rep. Peter Barca (.pdf)

Seems to me it would have been easier just to call what the Legislative Reference Bureau did "printing" instead of "publishing" (subchapter headings aren't law, but they're a good guide). On the other hand, the LRB doesn't want to change the words of the statutes because they're straight arrows, and rightly so. Changing the words of the statutes is what the courts (and insolent bloggers) get to do.

eta 02 — A bit more here and here. And also here, which comes complete with a local wing-nut round-up and the inspired jape,
What Republicans do best: Turning an end around run into running into their own rounded rear ends.
Priceless, and funny 'cause it's true.

Much more here also.

Wausau DH had it with Justice Prosser

"Prosser is an intemperate figure given to partisan rhetoric."

Rolling Stones — Had It With You (NSFW, less so than "turd")

WISGOP confirms everything Bill Cronon said

"No effort to obscure the political motivations behind it."

An intriguing read (as is the article that riled up the WISGOP).

eta: Also Jay Bullock's concluding observation here is spot on.

And: WISGOP can't even spell the man's name:
I worried for a while that my New York Times op-ed on "Wisconsin's Radical Break" might have gone too far in drawing a carefully limited parallel between the current tactics of the GOP in Wisconsin and those of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s ... but since the Republican Party seems intent on offering evidence to support that comparison, I guess I should just let their words and actions speak for themselves.
Quite so, Tail Gunner Mike Joe. If the shoe fits.

Taking it to Justice Prosser, and pretty hard

On the attack (30 sec. video spot):
David Prosser refused to prosecute a priest

Hardball. And that there is slouching towards Gableman (the distinction being that Gableman's own slouch was an Authorized By Gableman Production, whereas this is third-party speechifying).

But hey if you're a conservative who loves you some Citizens United* and are inclined to hoot down campaign finance reform, deal with it.

Not to mention believing it's a fabulous idea to elect justices. If there was any pretense remaining that the election coming in eleven days is anything other than a referendum for political control of the non-political branch of government, abandon that pretense forthwith.

(It's also likely to be all about voter turnout in Milwaukee County. If Prosser's opponents can GTFOTV there, they'll be well on their way.)

* With a side of carefully spun Caperton v. Massey for good measure.

eta: Told ya it was slouching towards Gableman.

It's always a deadly serious concern of criminal prosecutors, whether to put victims of child sexual assault through the trial process grinder and without knowing the full complement of facts, it's difficult not to give then-Outagamie County DA Prosser the benefit of the doubt.

And yes, the DA often knows better than the victim what's in store.

In more than one sense, this is like dredging up Louis Butler's public defender work, as became a central issue in the spring 2008 election. But thanks to Gableman, the GWC's speech is vigorously protected.

Nevertheless, I don't think political interest groups owe any allegiance to the ABA's canons of professional ethics and courtesy. The GWC's canons are much less restrictive. The trouble arises when judicial candidates abandon their professional guidelines for political ones.

March 24, 2011

God bless, Carlos F. Lam

Dear Gov. Walker:
"If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions' cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the unions," deputy district attorney Lam said in the email to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Then: "I am flabbergasted and would never advocate for something like this, and would like everyone to be sure that that's just not me," protested Lam.
Lam is active in Republican Party politics.

I thought there were supposed to be tens of thousands of union thugs and creeps out there already. So why would you have to invent one?

P.S. The linked story doesn't mention it, but he signed his email "God bless," which is unfailingly amusing under the circumstances.

Wisconsin's nasty spring election

Do not miss Abe Sauer's excellent appraisal at The Awl.

Although it ain't got nasty yet. But give it time.

Is a Justice Prosser recusal in the offing?

Or, Now I am the turd?

Update: Some informed observers proved correct (.pdf; 9 pgs.)

According to some informed observers, Dane County District Attorney Ismail Ozanne's lawsuit against a claque of Republican State legislators (et al) is headed for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. That remains to be seen, as the District IV Court of Appeals has yet to even grant the defendants permission* to appeal Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi's March 18 order preventing the Secretary of State from publishing WalkerFitz's questionably minted union-busting law.

Ozanne filed his second response to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's petition for leave to appeal yesterday afternoon. In it, a 1983 decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, figures prominently, as it has since the outset of this litigation.

The defendants claim Stitt effectively disposes of Ozanne's case, as the decision stands for the proposition that the legislature's internal operating procedures are off-limits to judicial branch scrutiny.

Ozanne, on the other hand, argues that the brothers Fitzgerald's twilight shenanigans are not mere internal operating procedure and that broader constitutional and statutory commands prevent the legislature from violating Wisconsin open meetings law, a violation that the defendants all but admitted before Judge Sumi.**

Perhaps even more intriguing than those fundamental separation of powers controversies is this notation below Stitt's title block:
Amicus Curiae brief was filed by David Prosser, Jr., Appleton.
David Prosser, Jr. is today Justice David Prosser, Jr., who has himself recently prophesied a 100% chance that aspects of the GOP's so-called budget repair bill will reach his court. I have not read Prosser's friend of the court brief, but it may be that he telegraphed a future disposition in DA Ozanne's current case way back in 1983.

Justice Prosser is up for reelection on April 5. His term ends July 31.

* By some appearances it already has, as the District IV panel's interrogatories to DA Ozanne address the case's merits, and not simply the question of whether AG Van Hollen has met his burden of showing why his request for permission to appeal should be granted.

** Indeed, defendants' counsel conceded at the same hearing that the Fitzes were acting well beyond their prescribed legislative authority.

The above exchange between Judge Sumi and the assistant attorney general addresses the dilemma at the very heart of this dispute.

Tort reform fails to halt frivolous metaphors

We asked James Troupis: Was the departure of the 14 Democrats a 9-11 type emergency? "Yes," he responded.

Now "Desperado" Walker can hire Troupis after firing Lester Pines.

March 23, 2011

Wisconsin's Scott Fitzgerald is a skilled politician

In news from the People's Republicans of Fitzwalkerstan:
"I would just be somewhat cautious in whatever we do so that it doesn't end up creating sympathy for the Dems," Tad Ottman, a Fitzgerald aide, wrote to his chief of staff.
Scott Fitzgerald, the GOP leader of the State Senate whose petty arrogance is the stuff of national legend, proceeded to issue 14 ersatz arrest warrants for the Democrats, supported by a legal memorandum which advised having a six-months-pregnant woman "carried ... feet first" into the Capitol building in Madison.*

I shite you not.

The authors of the memo insisted that Fitzgerald's authority to "compel" the attendance of the 14 Senators was without limit.

And evidently Fitzgerald took them seriously.

I spotted one of the 14 in a room in Shorewood the other night and made a point of shaking his hand vigorously and thanking him.

Fitzgerald, I guess you can thank the "Tea Party" for him.

* Ironically, a Dane County circuit court judge found that Fitzgerald's accomplice, Gov. Scott Walker, violated the Wisconsin constitution when he barred pregnant women from entering the Capitol building.'

Damned if you "carr[y] ... feet first," damned if you don't.

eta — Fitz lawyer: Dems' departure was a 9-11 type emergency

Blessedly, those charnel houses resist trivializing by dint of the extravagant delusions of grandeur of a Republican-for-hire lawyer.

Something's in the Hopper with Randy

WKOW27's Tony Galli is relentless:
Candidates for various jobs in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s administration were passed over despite recommendations from high-level officials, while a woman with ties to Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) was hired to a position with an immediate thirty five percent salary increase, without formally being recorded as a job applicant.
And now that lovable zany Reince Priebus is in the Hopper also.

Valerie Cass, 26, was with the Madison Republican PR and quasi-lobbyist outfit Persuasion Partners* for a time, until she got disappeared when the randy saga first got hopping. PP's Darrin Schmitz helped Republican State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman traffic in the basest of base political sleaze. Gableman was elected to the court on April Fools' Day 2008 and promptly and formally charged with violating the Wisconsin code of judicial ethics.

* It even sounds like a dating service.

On teh web: Thoughts of Chairman Priebus

Prosser unlikes Kloppenburg

Breaking ...
My campaign Facebook page has over 8500 likes ... including, until last night, Justice Prosser's campaign.
— Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg, March 22

March 22, 2011

Beware Kloppenburg's "radical agenda"

WMC kicks off its 14 days of begging desperately.

My advice is not to read the WMC's ridiculous begging letter unless you have a sense of humor about getting your intelligence insulted.

Law profs & wing-nuts gone noticeably wild

Further to this prior quick note ...

In an unwarrantedly abusive and ultimately embarrassing (for her) column, former legal counsel and chief of staff to the Assembly speaker and current chief of staff to the Waukesha County executive Ellen Nowak went off yesterday on both Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi and on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Do not be fooled: Ms. Nowak's screed is bogus to the core.

As currently featured on the Instaputz

Unsurprisingly, local wing-nuts Charlie Sykes* and Patrick McIlheran fell for it. More surprisingly, so did Marquette University professor of law Rick Esenberg (by whose blog post the inexplicably popular Ann Althouse was duped, thus returning us to unsurprising territory).

Since then Ms. Nowak's intemperate accusations — which would be at least low comedy if they weren't so gobsmackingly negligent — have gone wing-nut national, all the way into the Prof. Instaputz Pajamas.

Anyway, advises Ellen Nowak: "Let's focus on the heart of the defendants' (and the unions [sic]) dispute: whether the conference committee meeting was properly noticed." "It was," claims Nowak.

She goes on: "The rules governing procedure of the legislative houses are also set at the beginning of each session. Those rules include certain procedures when a special or extraordinary is called."

Now pay close attention, because these are Nowak's money quotes:
Here, the relevant rules are Senate Rule 93(3) [sic] and its counterpart, Assembly Rule 93(3). They state: "no notice of hearing before a committee shall be required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board."
Except that isn't what they state at all. Firstly, the two Rules are not identical, they're merely similar; and secondly, even if Nowak was offering a paraphrase — which she obviously isn't, as her faux rendering is enclosed in quotation marks — it's still wildly inaccurate.

State's top law enforcement officer should know

I suppose we can all forgive a former Assembly counsel for providing the incorrect citation to a Senate rule but no counsel can be so easily absolved of completely misquoting or presenting obsolete renderings of both of the Rules. That is appalling, truly. What they do read are as follows, respectively, according to their most recent adoptions:**
Senate Rule 93(2):
A notice of a committee meeting is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and a bulletin of committee hearings may not be published.
Assembly Rule 93(3):
A notice of hearings before committees is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin boards, and a schedule of committee activities need not be published.
That also happens to be the version of Senate Rule 93(2) that Wisconsin's attorney general cites and quotes in his petition for leave to appeal, filed with the court of appeals yesterday (see the AG's Footnote 11: the AG, it must be "noticed," represents both the current Senate Majority Leader and the current Assembly Leader, the Bros. Fitzgerald, so presumably they're all up on the current Rules).

Thus is Novak's hyperbolic tirade not only itself obsolete, but arguably ... I'm not going to say it, out of professional courtesy, exactly the sort of courtesy not extended to Judge Sumi by Ms. Nowak (Judge Sumi "ignored the law" and "assault[ed] ... the judiciary and the legislature," asserts Counselor Nowak, leading the wing-nut parade).

In short, the alleged inconsistency is entirely manufactured

Of course "notice" has more than one meaning. Even lawyers know this; that's why their dictionaries contain multiple definitions for the same term. In one sense, "notice" has a temporal element, as in, "I'm giving you (fair) notice," where the notice precedes some event.

And in another sense, it doesn't: a notice is a printed message, a bulletin. And the latter is what's meant by the legislative Rules indented above. Therefore does the claim fail that Wis. Stat. §19.87(2),*** which resolves conflicts between legislative Rules and other Wisconsin statutes, is in play, because there is no conflict.

That is, the Open Meetings Law command contained in Wis. Stat. §19.84(3)**** that "in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 [two] hours in advance of the meeting" is perfectly consistent with the legislative Rules, which direct where the — physical, not temporal — notice must be affixed: "on the legislative bulletin board(s)."

Notice (pun intended) that in both Rules, it's "A notice." Not just "notice" or, as Ms. Nowak puts it, "no notice," whose remarkably irresponsible inaccuracy purports to imbue the Rule with the temporal element required by Nowak's (alleged) argument, a temporal element that simply is not there. It's a shameful performance all around.

And, as noted earlier in this here space, the assistant attorney general representing the Brothers Fitzgerald et al conceded in court not only that the defendants Fitzgerald cannot demonstrate the two-hour requirement was met, but admitted the likelihood that requirement was not met, specifically by as much as three minutes.

That does not bode well for the FitzWalkerAG's case. And neither does this. Hence the spreading desperation, is what I suspect.

* "See Ellen Nowak's excellent piece at SykesWrites. It addresses the kind of fallacious logic advanced by Free Lunch." — George Mitchell.

Hilarious and sad. Free Lunch is a frequent visitor and commenter at this blog and is hardly known to employ any kind of "fallacious logic."

** A fact confirmed this morning by the Legislative Reference Bureau. That's how much I couldn't believe my own eyes, to the extent I actually had to pick up the phone and call somebody for directions.

*** "No provision of this subchapter [subchapter V] which conflicts with a rule of the senate or assembly or joint rule of the legislature shall apply to a meeting conducted in compliance with such rule."

**** "Public notice of every meeting of a governmental body shall be given at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of such meeting unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting."


Judge Sumi: We're not talking about the legislature enforcing its own rules, we're talking about the legislature obeying a law that gives people public access to government.

AAG Lazar: Correct.

Judge Sumi: It's not an internal rule, it's a vastly external expectation — [a] right — that people have under the Open Meetings Law.

AAG Lazar: Absolutely correct. [Momentary discussion of §19.87(2) and the Senate and Assembly Rules 93] [W]hen they're in special session, all that is required is a notice on the bulletin board and that is what was done and they are able to drop it down to that two-hour from 24-hour and we would contend in this case that that was met ...

Emphases added.

Both the judge and the AAG are in accord, together with Rules 93: "A written or printed announcement." — Black's Law Dictionary, 7th ed.

Stop the turd. Now I am the turd?

Good grief:
Incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser criticized comments made by people on challenger Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg's Facebook page. Prosser quoted one of the Facebook comments: "Stop the turd, vote Kloppenburg." "Now, am I the turd?" Prosser said.*
Shortly after the debate, Kloppenburg posted to Twitter:
Be sure to suggest our Facebook page to your friends ...

The election is April 5.

* I'm thinking the turd was Scott Walker.

Quick note on Van Hollen's appeal by permission

Sorry I'm assuming some familiarity with the case, but it's late ...

I wondered earlier how non-compliance with an Open Meetings Law can be a "purely internal legislative proceeding" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel v. Wisconsin Dept. of Administration, 2009 WI 79, emphasis added). The distinction is crucial to the question of whether the Wisconsin courts have the constitutional authority to review the legislature's activities in following its own internal rules, even when those rules conflict with the Wisconsin statutes (a.k.a., "The Law").

In turn, that question is crucial to the case.

Then I returned to WisEye and found this exchange from last Friday's hearing in Dane County circuit court, which I hadn't heard earlier:
Judge Sumi: We're not talking about the legislature enforcing its own rules, we're talking about the legislature obeying a law that gives people public access to government.

AAG Lazar: Correct.

Judge Sumi: It's not an internal rule, it's a vastly external expectation — [a] right — that people have under the Open Meetings Law.

AAG Lazar: Absolutely correct.
The AAG's emphatic concessions are in direct contradiction to the legal arguments J.B. Van Hollen advanced to the court of appeals Monday morning.* And JBVH has at least one other problem as well.**

A big problem, I reckon.

* Petition For Leave To Appeal (.pdf; 39 pgs.)

** And don't tell me that "in no case" means "in no civil case."

March 20, 2011

The best line in WI Gov Scott Walker's emails

Is the Associated Press disclaimer:
The messages appear as written, though the AP has removed profanity.
Substantial support.

Earlier: Scott Walker receives 8,000 emails

eta: Scott Walker once dismissed opponents of his union-busting antics as being "mostly from out-of-State" but these days Scott Walker is touting out-of-State support for his union-busting antics.

March 18, 2011

What was in the Randy Hopper today

Ce petit morceau:
A State worker with ties to State Sen. Randy Hopper is being paid $11,000 more annually than her predecessor in a position at the department of regulation and licensing. State officials Friday said the woman's predecessor left the position in January, with a salary equivalent to $31,200 annually. No explanation was given for the new hire's higher pay.
Couldn't have been seniority: the new hire is only 26. And of course January coincides with the installation of the new Republican regime.

There's mos. def. more in the Hopper on this one.

Via Tony Galli:* Salary boosted for worker with ties to Hopper

* I think there's actually a street in Rome called that.

FitzMeeting held within 120 minutes +/- three

That's even a pretty wide tolerance for rebar
"We are supremely confident that we followed the law perfectly," said Andrew Welhouse, spox for Scott Fitzgerald.
This is possibly the highlight* of today's Dane County circuit court hearing in Ozanne v. Fitzgerald. Plaintiff Ozanne is the Dane County district attorney. The defendants are the top Republican leaders in the Wisconsin legislature. At issue is the time elapsed between the notification of and commencement of a conference committee meeting; that is, a meeting between both legislative houses (each of which is run by a Republican called Fitzgerald, which sounds like a happy coincidence until you realize they are brothers). Anyway:
Judge Sumi: Before you move on, can you tell me how the two-hour notice requirement was met. Or, what evidence would I hear if I were to hear evidence on this.

AAG Lazar: Well, and that's, that is a big question. {Affirmative - ed.] I think the question has been looked at. We haven't fully developed it. We do know the timetable was that at some point around four o'clock — and we have been told that, I don't know that it could be pinpointed — between four, maybe 4:06, 4:03, 4:04, there was a notice published on, or posted, on a bulletin board. There's going to be some testimony as well about an e-mail that's irrelevant. The relevancy is the notice that was posted on the bulletin board.

The testimony is going to come out that I don't think anyone can establish with any definitive answer exactly when that happened. It was around four and we will note that the conference committee met and went into session I believe at 6:03. So we think that there was compliance with the two-hour requirement. We think that they, the plaintiffs in this case, bear the burden of proof of establishing that there was not, and I don't believe that they will get there, beyond a reasonable doubt.
Judge Sumi then politely points out that the burden is not on the plaintiffs but rather on the defendant Republican legislative leaders to prove they're entitled to an exemption from the public meetings law, a point which AAG Lazar in effect concedes. It was a rough moment for the AAG, in particular those moments 4:06 and 4:04. But she did well with what she had and you can't blame her. The blame lies with those Republican leaders who, had they the definitive evidence to present, would have presented it in court this morning.

Instead I imagine the foregoing was more definitive in the sense of its considerable role in the judge's reverberating decision to prevent the publication of Scott Walker's hastily retooled "budget repair bill."

Thus has Sen. Fitzgerald arrived at the corner of Hubris and Karma.

Gov. Walker, for his own part, strains to pretend obliviousness.

Recall (pun intended), he and they expect all this to just blow over.

* A highlight of another sort occurs while the PA system is acting up, and during AAG Means's presentation, a computer reboots and a crescendo of synthesized strings begins to rise, giving the court pause. "This happens every time I speak, your honor," cracks Means.

Wisconsin S. Ct., a preemptive observation

Before Republicans start complaining about connecting Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Prosser with Gov. Scott Walker, they should recall not complaining so much when Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman connected his opponent with a child rapist.

Note: GOP candidate for Milwaukee County executive Jeff Stone has already described being connected with Walker as "demonizing."

They're the ones who want to elect judges

And this is how those elections are "repurposed":
Now [Scott Walker's] opponents are itching for payback, and it appears they're going to start taking out their frustrations on conservative State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.
Such is life.

Prof. Charles Franklin, UW-Pol Sci, is skeptical, advising the malcontents to direct their energies to the recall elections of Senate Republicans (although there's no reason why they can't do both):
"If you try to bring Prosser into it, you have a harder time explaining why (he) is a part of it."
What, didn't Prof. Franklin get the memo?
Our campaign efforts will include building an organization that will return Justice Prosser to the bench, protecting the conservative judicial majority and acting as a common sense compliment [sic] to both the new [Republican] administration and [Republican] legislature. — Prosser for Supreme Court
There: Explaining all done.

Story by AP
IMG by Xoff

See also: Club For Growth tops $321K touting Prosser in primary*
R.J. Johnson, a key adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group backing Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill, said Tuesday that the organization will stay "actively engaged in the budget debate." Johnson is a former political strategist for Walker. — Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 2/22/11
Prosser, Walker, same backers, same agents. It's not that hard.

Justice Prosser's term ends July 31, 2011, for those tracking the expanding docket of lawsuits against Wisconsin's Republican leaders.

They are defending against two on one day, tomorrow in Madison.

* Nine point three per cent voter turnout.

March 17, 2011

Prosser: Nudge nudge know what I mean

Xoff McXofferson has a YouTube of the (surprisingly not oxymoronic) Dane County Republican Party's interview with Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, and offers some trenchant observations here, echoing what the Brew City Brawler had perceived previously.*

It's about ten minutes. My favorite part is where Prosser deadpans that there are "two pretty hardcore liberals on the court" and "three who are, I think, a little bit more conservative." Still laughing here.

* The "Northwoods Patriots Bunker" video has since vanished.

Prosser on Torts Empathy

Not that there's anything wrong with it ...
[Judges] are quite sensitive to what's going on in society. That doesn't mean that they necessarily tailor their decisions to contemporary pressure or something like that, but they better darn well be interested and informed on what's going on, how people feel. — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser
Remember when the right-wing went ballistic over Obama's seeking "empathy" in his nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court? Think we'll hear the same pearl-clutching fauxtrage over Prosser's view that judges need to be interested and informed on "how people feel"?

Yeah me neither.

Irony death watch

WMC launches "Buy Wisconsin" campaign

You're kidding right? I already "Buy Wisconsin." I typically choose companies not affiliated with WMC ...

Prosser: Publicly funded candidates not credible

But for the fact Prosser is himself a publicly funded candidate

Sez the incumbent conservative Supreme Court justice of his challenger, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg:
[S]uddenly we have three candidates who probably wouldn't be particularly credible as candidates if they didn't have a grant.
Funny, because Prosser applied for and accepted the same public grants as Kloppenburg so that's sure a curious measure of credibility.

Incidentally there were only two of those three primary challengers who partook of Wisconsin's public campaign financing scheme. Marla Stephens, who has thrown her support behind Kloppenburg, did not so partake, thus apparently JoAnne Kloppenburg has the wholehearted endorsement of the most credible candidate of them all, and one who might presumably recognize credibility when she sees it in others.

Meanwhile local wing-nut ringmaster Charlie Sykes has reportedly deemed Kloppenburg "a complete mediocrity." If I was her, I'd put that endorsement at the top of my Facebook in 48-point boldface.

March 16, 2011

Grothman did not appear to enjoy the embrace

Random man hugs paleoconservative legislator because he loves him.

Wisconsin Republican flack quote of the day

You got to admit, they're entertaining:
"We are supremely confident that we followed the law perfectly," said Andrew Welhouse, a spokesman for Wisconsin Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald.
I wonder if he chose that particular adjective deliberately. But whether he did or he didn't the waft of hubris is overwhelming.

Excellent story by Patrick Marley.

That gang is catching more lawsuits than a Ford Pinto. However they did manage to go one day without violating a constitution, mostly because they're in D.C. nibbling on their benefactors' canapés.

Recalling DOMA sponsor Sean Duffy

Item: Among co-sponsors is Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI)

Earlier: Crudely drawn penis raises ire at Tea summit
feat. "Duffy campaign spokesman Darrin Schmitz."
And: "Social conservative" explains gay agenda

New Randy Hopper ad "reprehensible"

And remarkably nauseating. — Washington Post

Hopper has hired an out-of-State agitator to handle his affairs.

In re Hopper.

Meanwhile Zach Dubya's Blogging Blue broak teh internets and had to move to here (the new digs are neither apartment nor McMansion).

See also: "Apartment" is $600,000 home owned by Hopper employee

And the ever-astute Chief: FDL's Hopper "went Madison" PDQ