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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Wisconsin, Don’t Subject Us to Hanging Chads!



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And to think, I figured one of the big items in today’s edition of the Morning Jolt would be analyzing the dramatic results of the Wisconsin Supreme Court election race . . .

And in Wisconsin . . . to Be Continued!

I had nothing but bad vibes coming from Wisconsin in the weeks preceding their spring Supreme Court judicial election; every liberal, union member, and Democrat in the state was motivated as if everything they held dear — their political power, their influence, their dues — was at stake. Put simply, it was. The other side is as motivated in this race as the Right would be if there was a proposal to eliminate political activism by churches or small businesses.

As of shortly after 7 a.m. this morning, the race is too close to call. As of this writing, USA Today has the most recent summary: “The Wisconsin supreme court election that has turned into a proxy battle over the union-curbing policies of Republican Gov. Scott Walker is too close to call, with the conservative-leaning incumbent only a few hundred votes ahead of a little-known challenger backed by unions. With 99% of the vote in, Justice David Prosser has a 585 vote lead over JoAnne Kloppenburg, a state attorney general. The Associated Press, which said the race was too close to call, reports that it could take hours to get the final votes counted. In any case, the AP reports, the race likely will face a recount, the Associated Press reports. Kloppenburg turned an uphill fight against Prosser into a tight battle after the political uproar over Gov. Walker’s divisive move to curb the collective bargaining rights of public service employees. Although officially non-partisan, the seven-person court is split 3-3 between liberals and conservatives. The winner of the current election could determine the fate of the union law.”

The upside of these unresolved results is that the Right did not get swamped, even with the Left pulling out all the stops. There are still Wisconsinites who didn’t like what they were seeing from the state’s unions, and their allies, swamping the state capitol and refusing to leave during last month’s protests.

Before the results came in, Allahpundit called the whole contest “a case study in why electing judges is a bad idea. If Kloppenburg wins and shocks the world by voting to uphold the CB law, it’ll be a crushing betrayal of those who voted for her. If she does what’s expected and votes to strike it down, it’ll reinforce the ever-growing perception that judges are political hacks who do the bidding of their party. (Kloppenburg’s not really hiding her intentions, emphasizing in her speeches that she looks forward to being a check on the executive and legislative branches, hint hint.) That’s bad news for courts generally and for her individually, but I guess she’ll worry about that once she’s gotten her supreme court seat.”

Check the Corner; Bob Costa will undoubtedly have more throughout the day.


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