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Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby Woofer » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:10 pm

pjbogart wrote:If St. John had wanted more of a firewall between herself and Walker, she could have built one.


...Like Frank Remington apparently did. I bet both Roger Allen and Rebecca St. John would like to know his secret.
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:19 pm

Anyone remember the fate of another gubenatorial appointment to the bench, former Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler? Of course, he was appointed by a different governor.
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby Steve Vokers » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:26 pm

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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby david cohen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:56 pm

Maybe Scooty thinks that if he stops appointing Dane Co. judges, then Dane Co. judges will stop fucking with his laws;)
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby pjbogart » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:24 pm

The fact that he's mad about it makes me think we probably did a good thing. And he's probably right... appointing a judge basically assures that the judge will lose their next election. Better to just wait for the next election.

Of course, another solution would be to have Madison officials offer him candidates, but that would include working with Democrats, so I suppose that's off the table.
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:40 pm

Woofer wrote:
pjbogart wrote:If St. John had wanted more of a firewall between herself and Walker, she could have built one.


...Like Frank Remington apparently did. I bet both Roger Allen and Rebecca St. John would like to know his secret.


Judge Remington had an unfair advantage -- his father was respected UW Law Prof, his brother was Bob Kastenmeier's counsel at House Judiciary Cmte. He was born with a firewall.
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby Woofer » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:04 am

Well, and that's the strange irony, Stu. Remington's indeed got sterling liberal cred embedded in his DNA. Roger Allen is no conservative, as he was the City's happy warrior against Act 10. And St. John's clearly no conservative, as she got the unreserved and enthusuastic endorsements of an array of liberal local politicians and more sitting judges than I've ever seen actually make endorsements in any spring election (some people unfortunately pointed to her husband's conservative connections, which are certainly apparent, but that's unfair to her-- and anyone who knows that couple understands they're like Carville-Matalin in reverse). So, really, Walker's appointments to this bench have indeed been people who reflect the ideological leanings of the county as a whole (and certainly of the city of Madison). As much as Walker complains about the Dane County "activist bench," his appointments seem to set himself up for more of the same. I would have expected the small but vocal local conservative crowd to deride Walker's appointments from the get-go, but they have been strangely low-key over all three. Instead of expressing their ire or disappointment at this apparent repeated betrayal, they've actually expressed cool support for Walker's picks (Vicki McKenna was telling people to vote for St. John, for example), which just feeds the liberal/progressive backlash and advances the false notion that at leasst two of these three appointees were stealth conservatives.

All of that said, it will be just fine if Walker does not make any appointments should there be more retirements on the Dane County bench. There's a good stable of reserve judges available to move the calendars along. And then we'd get elections for open seats that would be free of these unfortunate politics. I feel pretty convinced that neither Ellen Berz nor Rhonda Lanford would have participated in (let alone prevailed in) judicial elections that would not have allowed the playing of the "Walker appointee" card. I say that only because we will see sitting court commisisoners and/or sitting Assistant District Attorneys and/or sitting municipal judges running for those open seats-- folks who do not run against sitting judges as a matter of professional respect and courtesy.
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby snoqueen » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:20 am

I feel pretty convinced that neither Ellen Berz nor Rhonda Lanford would have participated in (let alone prevailed in) judicial elections that would not have allowed the playing of the "Walker appointee" card. I say that only because we will see sitting court commisisoners and/or sitting Assistant District Attorneys and/or sitting municipal judges running for those open seats-- folks who do not run against sitting judges as a matter of professional respect and courtesy.


This is the problem. The general public does not pay a lot of attention to county judge elections and votes are cast on very flimsy impressions (like "Walker appointed her"). In reality, voters do not know these candidates either personally or by reputation. There's not enough money in these elections to counter the flimsy impressions, and when the votes are counted, it shows.

By the same reasoning, I doubt the general public knows a thing about Remington's ancestry so his control of his seat can't be credited to that factor. Lots of Dane County voters were not even alive during the Kastenmeier era.

Who holds these seats is pretty much up to who runs, then. If progressive voters want to keep a good judge (like Allen or St. John) we need to work together and dissuade ambitious careerists in a polite way. Apparently professional courtesy is a dead concept. I was quite dismayed when Allen drew an opponent, and while I knew less about St. John I saw the same dynamic at work.

When courtesy fails, it all falls back on how much money can be raised to conduct a campaign. The answer seems to be "not enough."

If the Teaps want to run a candidate against a progressive candidate, of course that's perfectly fair. But they don't seem able to put up any candidates at all in Dane County.

Walker's just being a big baby, and it won't change a thing around here. He's only got two years to go, anyway. I'm of the opinion he doesn't want a second term. The governorship has turned out not to be as much fun as he fantasized.
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby rabble » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:57 am

snoqueen wrote:Walker's just being a big baby, and it won't change a thing around here. He's only got two years to go, anyway. I'm of the opinion he doesn't want a second term. The governorship has turned out not to be as much fun as he fantasized.

Makes a great stepping stone for a career in Washington, though.

Even if he's got a rep for pissing off more people than any governor in Wisconsin history, he's made himself one of tea party anointed ones. Who needs a second term when you're already on track for a top spot in the Koch machine?
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby gargantua » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:50 am

Can we stop with the wishful thinking already? I loathe the man, but he's going to run for re-election and he's going to win.
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Re: Walker appoints Dane County Circuit Court Judge

Postby rabble » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:35 pm

He does have plenty of options, yes. And not many possible contenders to worry about.
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