July 15, 2009
Appoint or elect judges?
The framers of Wisconsin's Constitution favored democracy over all other options. Elect our superintendent of schools? Imagine that! Trust the people to manage our public schools? Wow! And they decided that judges should be elected rather than appointed. (Had they added the election of the Public Service Commission we would be paying less for electricity.)
Now, election of judges in Wisconsin, indeed the nation, has become a scandal. Money has corrupted the process as interest groups like bankers and WMC pour millions of tainted dollars into state supreme court races. It is a disgrace. The remedy? Well, well, the polluters of the process urge appointment of judges as a cure-all. You know, like placing the DNR in the hands of the paper companies.
Why would appointment be better? They don't tell us, but we are expected to throw away 161 years of electing the court and instead have someone appoint them. It will be better says the Wisconsin State Journal. Nonsense!
If you need proof that appointment is a poor substitute watch the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation circus. It is appalling to watch senators preen for the camera while reading a staff-prepared series of questions as if they themselves were the thoughtful inquisitors. Sotomayor has been counseled to say nothing, the Republicans have been warned to be nice or lose Hispanic voters in perpetuity, and the rest is comedy.
Senator Herb Kohl, number two in seniority on the ship, appointed a commission in advance to advise him on the selection. Who are these advisors? We won't find out, so just listen to Kohl who told the judge, "We have a right to know what we are getting."
We do? OK. Do we, the citizens, get to find out who is advising you, Senator? Why not?
Tomorrow, a look at the newest Wisconsin front group.
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One very overt claim is that the WMC is really a cause of problems in WI. I think one has to look at them as evenly as the other big contributor in this state which you keenly forget to mention, WEA. Its been awhile since I have seen the figures, but their political $$ spent has been on par with any other in good ole Wisconsin. You are the liberal version of Fox when you omit the real facts. Special interests on both sides, something this site fails to recognize with any consistency.
-Zach | New Richmond, WI | July 15, 2009