Payback in Wisconsin: Conservative justice trailing, Republican county executive candidate loses in landslide
 

Seattle Gay News
Mobile Edition
rss: SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml



SGN Mobile Front Page

SGN ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT SECTION

MOVIE REVIEWS
CALENDAR
NORTHWEST NEWS CALENDAR
CLASSIFIED

click here to go to the main SGN website

 

posted Friday, April 8, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 14

Payback in Wisconsin: Conservative justice trailing, Republican county executive candidate loses in landslide
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

In a stunning reversal of political fortunes, conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser trails his opponent, Assistant State Attorney General Joanne Kloppenburg, by a slim 204 votes.

At a press conference on April 6, Kloppenburg claimed victory, but the election will almost certainly be decided by a recount.

While Wisconsin's Supreme Court positions are officially non-partisan, Prosser is well known as a Republican and an ally of Gov. Scott Walker. Kloppenburg was backed by many of the state's labor unions.

Nineteen Wisconsin counties that had been carried by Walker in last year's gubernatorial election flipped and voted for Kloppenburg, many by large margins.

Kloppenburg carried LaCrosse County by 59% of the vote, Sauk County by 56%, and Dunn County by 56%.

In other races, Democrat Chris Abele won the election for Walker's former position as Milwaukie county executive, trouncing his Republican opponent with 61% of the vote.

Abele's opponent was Rep. Jeff Stone, a Republican Assembly member who voted for Walker's anti-collective bargaining law.

On a conference call with reporters on April 6, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate was jubilant over the results, saying they represent a 'watershed moment for Wisconsin and a Waterloo for Scott Walker.'

'It should give Republicans, who are - for the moment - in the majority, pause about how they proceed in enacting Walker's terrible budget,' he added.

The results were directly attributable to Walker's very unpopular bill stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Until Walker rammed the bill through the state legislature, Prosser's reelection was thought to be a sure thing.

In the primary for Prosser's Supreme Court seat, he led with 55% of the vote. Kloppenburg got only 25%.

In his previous election for the Supreme Court position, Prosser won with a whopping 99.54% of the votes cast.

If Kloppenburg holds on to her lead to win the election, the political balance of the state's highest court will shift from a 4-3 conservative majority to a 4-3 liberal-leaning court.

One of the consequences may be that Walker's anti-collective bargaining bill - which is now being challenged in state courts - will be found unconstitutional.

Collective bargaining - the right of workers to negotiate wages, benefits, and working conditions with their employers - is at the heart of the modern labor movement.

Both of Wisconsin's statewide LGBT groups, Fair Wisconsin and Equality Wisconsin, supported collective bargaining rights for public employees because the state's unions had been successful in bargaining for same-sex domestic partner benefits and tough anti-discrimination language in public sector contracts.

These gains are now at risk, and could be lost if Walker's anti-union bill is upheld by the state's courts and not repealed by the legislature.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy institute at New York University Law School, some $3.5 million in so-called 'soft' money was spent on Wisconsin's Supreme Court race by groups not directly associated with either candidate.

About $1.4 million was spent in support of Kloppenburg by unions and other progressive groups. The balance came from organizations financed by the notoriously right-wing Koch brothers and the Club For Growth on behalf of Prosser.

The Koch brothers also financed Walker's election as governor in 2010.

While it is significant, this election will not be the end of the drama.

Progressive groups have filed recall petitions for Republican legislators who supported Walker's bill. In retaliation, Republicans filed recalls against Democratic senators who fled the state to stall passage of the measure.

If petitioning is successful, the recall elections would be held in November this year.

Walker himself is not legally eligible for recall till 2012.



next story
Military struggles with growing sexual assaults - Why men in the military rape other men
------------------------------
From Cameroon to Seattle - One Gay man's harrowing struggle to be free
------------------------------
Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michael Wells Keeping Capitol Hill vibrant a labor of love
------------------------------
Payback in Wisconsin: Conservative justice trailing, Republican county executive candidate loses in landslide
------------------------------
LGBT elders raise serious fears about long-term care facilities
------------------------------
Local Norwegian man does it All For Norway
------------------------------
New survey tries to estimate LGBT population
------------------------------
Congressman Jim McDermott issues statement on ENDA
------------------------------
Wal-Mart wins court case for defending Lesbian
------------------------------
Possible Gay caveman found in Czech Republic
------------------------------
California: Prop 8 repeal ballot in 2012?
------------------------------
Military chaplains group supports lawsuit against DADT
------------------------------
Mysterious 'AIDS-like' disease hits China - New virus or psychosomatic phobia?
------------------------------
Progress on HIV vaccine, Chinese researchers say
------------------------------
Chinese police raid Gay bar in Shanghai - 60 arrested
------------------------------
Gay men murdered in Mongolia
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
Gay student sues ex-Michigan official over stalking
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
US gay-marriage ban under assault but still potent
------------------------------
US Department of State: Religious Fundamentalists at Heart of Uganda's Human Rights Problem
------------------------------
Coming Out: The story of one openly gay athlete
------------------------------
Female-to-Male Transgender Man Sues to Reclaim Job
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!