Issue of the Week: Justices Sold to the Highest Bidder
Plus Hero and Jerk of the Week
what’s worse, these races were prone to influence by “super spenders,” groups
that sway voters by underwriting ads that, typically, are misleading or ugly.
According to the report, these “super spender” groups included Wisconsin
Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), Club for Growth and Coalition for America’s
Families on the right, which spent a combined $3.03 million on races from 2000
to 2009; on the left, the Greater Wisconsin Committee and Wisconsin Education
Association Council spent $1.78 million in the same period. Not surprisingly,
the deep-pocketed conservative groups’ candidates won—Annette Ziegler and
Michael Gableman. Both of them have faced charges of ethical violations and
both of them have consistently voted in favor of their campaign backers, like
the Wisconsin Legislature passed an Impartial Justice bill this past session,
which creates a publicly financed system for high court races. That won’t stop
the “super spenders,” but it may help to reduce candidates’ constant race to
Hero of the Week
Floyd Rowell is an
exemplary volunteer at the Alma
Center, where men with a
history of domestic violence or abuse can learn how to change their behaviors
and relationships. Colleagues say Rowell is a great volunteer because of his
positive attitude. Rowell had participated wholeheartedly in all of the Alma Center’s
programs, so he will be able to serve as a powerful, effective mentor and
coach. His presence alone is a huge inspiration to program participants, who
have commented, “I want to be like Floyd.” Rowell, currently learning the
basics of group facilitation, is on his way to becoming an excellent teacher.
For more information
about the nonprofit Alma
Center, call 265-0100 or
go to www.almacenter.org.
Jerks of the Week
Scott Walker’s Campaign
bad enough that Scott Walker is lying to voters by claiming that he can stop a
federally funded high-speed rail line from being built in Wisconsin. But to make things worse, his
high-level campaign staffers promoted a race-baiting video clip to exploit
long-held fears of conservative voters that trains benefit African Americans.
Even worse than that? Walker’s
aides couldn’t even deliver a straight apology. The Walker
team’s conduct was so bad that Keith Olbermann made Walker’s top aide Jill Bader the “worst
person in the world” on his MSNBC show on Monday—worse than the radically
right-wing Glenn Beck.
Findley, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Black Caucus, condemned
the actions of Walker’s team, saying, “It would
be nave to suggest that there are no racial overtones in the timing and the
content of this communication by the Walker
campaign. At best, it is tasteless and needlessly provocative. At worst, it
recalls the coded racial program of division that has been exploited in the
past. In either case, Scott Walker must apologize.”
As of this writing, Walker hasn’t apologized. We’ll keep you updated.