Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wisconsin: A primer on how to buy a high court

Is there anything under the sun that money can't buy?

You wonder.

Item:  You think of the recent 4-2  decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to pitch out a case in the 2012 recall campaign in which Gov. Scott Walker was accused of  playing pattycake with major conservative contributors to spare him of walking the plank.

Actually it's been an ongoing insurance policy for Walker over the years by such major   outfits as the Wisconsin Club for Growth and the  Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, both operating on the far right and looking after their interests with the state supremes.

Here' are   some estimates of the non-partisan Wisconsin  Democracy Campaign , a nonprtisan watchdog group. Check  their numbers for Walker's foursome on the court:

The powerful Club for Growth gave $400,000 to Justice Annette Ziegler in 2007; $507,000 to Justice Michael Gableman in 2008; $520,000 to Justice David Prosser in 2011; and $350,000 to Justice Patience Roggensack in 2013.

Meantime,  Wisconsin Manufacturers and  Commerce chipped in with an estimated
$2.2 million for Ziegler; $1.8 million for Gableman; $1.1 million for Prosser and $500,000 to Roggensack.    And Citizens for a Strong America, a pass-through for the Wisconsin Club for Growth  gave $985,000 to Prosser.   (Wisconsin justices are elected to 10-year terms so the right-wingers can relax for awhile.)

There's more. The Wall Street Journal reported an odd ruling from the court:

It ordered prosecutors investigating  Walker and his advisers to "cease all activities related to the investigation, return all property seized in the investigation from any individual or organization and permanently destroy all copies of information and other materials obtained through the investigation."

You can't wipe out fingerprints (or mice turds) much better than that.  Do you think Walker broke up in relief upon hearing that tidy partisan excision of what could have belabored his presidential pursuit down the yellow brick road?

Matt Rothschild, the executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, described the court's ruling as "regrettable" and "dangerous".

"The decision,"', he said, "is regrettable because it lets Walker off the legal hook, even though there  was strong evidence that he was engaging in potentially illegal activity when he was working closely with so-called outside groups to raise money during the recall campaign."

He added: "The decision is a field day for corruption and an early Christmas present for the CEOs, multimillionaires  and billionnaires, who already exercise an undue infuence over our elections.""

To answer the question at the top of this column:   No, there is nothing under the sun that money can't buy.  That's particularly true hen a guy like Walker,  the evangelical son of a preacher, can commune in high places.  And we're not talking about his traditional God.

Wanna bet it won't be forgotten that easily?

(Reposted from Plunderbund) 

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