Given we are basically a dime-a-dozen breed you would think folks would make use of us (or our work) a bit more often. Whoever Wins, WI Supreme Court Election Shows Big Labor Less Formidible [sic] Than Expected
Last night, the movement to save America and the states from corruption and insolvency may have suffered a setback in Wisconsin. Prosser has a razor-thin lead, but almost all the outstanding votes are in Kloppenburg counties, and for whatever reason, Democrats seem to usually benefit from recounts.... On paper, the reformers were severely disadvantaged. Both candidates agreed to run on only $300,000 in public financing, meaning they could not directly operate on the scale this election required. The unions’ well-established political organizations, compounded by likely-stronger recall petition teams that they were able to re-purpose, looked to be an enormous advantage... Big labor should have been far more excited and mobilized than the reformers. Non-public-safety public employee unions’ ability to function in Wisconsin is at stake if the Budget Repair Bill sticks. Special interests with tangible benefits at stake are generally far more motivated to act than taxpayers as a whole, whose losses are less direct and less apparent. In national elections, when every political machine is firing on all cylinders, there are many competing sources of excitement, but in special elections, concentrated interests usually have an advantage. In retrospect, Wisconsin, with its recall provisions and upcoming key judicial election, was an especially tough venue for a battle between the interests of the many and the interests of the few. Despite all these disadvantages, and regardless of who ultimately prevails in this election, the reformers fought big labor to a virtual draw.This is all well and good, however, it ignores a basic component of reality. Prosser was an incumbent. Even in such unfashionable areas of modern politics as state supreme court elections incumbents have built in advantages. Indeed, state supreme court justices enjoy more of a boost from incumbency than governors (85% rate of reelection for supremes, 81% for governors.) Add that to the fact pro-Prosser forces substantially outspent pro-Kloppenburg forces on media buys (who only managed to spend 62% of what the pro-Prosser groups did), and I think it would be foolish of anyone to think this shows weakness on the part of the Democrats. Indeed, that is a big part of my problem with Walker and Company. They are acting as if the win they enjoyed in November means the Wisconsin electorate has fundamentally transformed itself. There is no indication this is the case. None. Actually, Walker is acting exactly like Obama did after the 2008 election. It was a stupid thing to do when a Democrat did it, and its still a stupid thing when a Republican does it.