Amendment would eliminate citizens' vote for Supreme Court Justices

Supreme Court justice "elections really, in many respects, aren't that important," according to Senator Schultz.

In press release: Schultz, Cullen Draft Merit Selection Resolution, July 1

Senators Dale Shultz (R-Richland Center) and Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) proposed a State Constitutional amendment to eliminate the elections of State Supreme Court Justices.

Senator Shultz hopes to restrict the influence of campaign ads run by third-party special interests which "distort the records of the candidates, mislead the public, and unfairly tarnish the reputations of the candidates."

A constitutional amendment would eliminate influential campaign ads by eliminating elections.

Justices would be appointed by a committee, the Governor, and a Senate confirmation hearing.

In the news: Wisconsin needs stronger, not weaker, campaign ad laws, July 7

Mark Ladov, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice reports:
The Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted recently to approve legislation rolling back campaign finance disclosure rules ...
Studies show that anonymous spenders [campaign contributors] are more likely to run negative and misleading ads than groups that are required to disclose their funding source.
The conservative U.S. Supreme Court struck down limits on corporate spending
based on the belief that political spending should be paired with 'effective disclosure' to educate the voting public. Transparency in political spending is necessary, the court explained, because it 'enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weights to different speakers and messages.'

In legislature: Legislative committee rolls back campaign finance disclosure rules, June 23
After exterminating any and all public election financing in the state budget and thus handing state elections over entirely to private interests, legislators today took steps to make it harder for the public to see how special interests are funneling money into political advertising campaigns.

Hypothesis: Government will absorb power from the electorate with the Merit Selection Amendment.

This is not, as Senator Tim Cullen puts it, an "additional check." Senators Shultz's and Cullen's expansion of government is not in line with the views of liberals or small-government conservatives.

Future work: Is judicial appointment a bipartisan, socially conservative special interest?

Fun with resources:
  • Brennan Center for Justice - Democracy

    The Democracy Program works toward:
    A campaign finance system that reduces the role of big money in elections by providing voluntary public financing at the national, state and local levels.
  • The International Declaration of Human Rights
    The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Friday, July 8, 2011

In memorium, Maybelle Schein

In memory of life: Last week, 75-year old South Dakota resident Maybelle Schein was murdered brutally in her home.

I did not know this woman, but in my heart the world's loss reverberates.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(Excerpts taken from the United Nations General Assembly Resolution: The International Bill of Human Rights)

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Madison backs away from commitment to inclusive education

The world over, poverty contributes to childhood mental illness.  In Madison, this unsurprising pattern is repeated.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wisconsin Hypothesis adds Maintain the vote

Walkeright's campaign against the voters is moving fast. Pay attention, Wisconsin. Stay informed. Maintain the vote.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Walker's DHS boycotts state access to federal health care reform

Guy Boulton, of the Journal Sentinel, presents the blocking of grant applications as a sort of Walker-driven boycott of federal health care reform.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Milwaukee collective bargaining yields larger budget savings than Walker's "tools"

Through collective bargaining, Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association conceded $94 million for 2011-2013.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Smokescreen hides Walker's veto-created loophole

Wisconsin public records law is to be interpreted always with a presumption of complete public access. To build a smokescreen, Walker flouted this presumption.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Walker anticipates need for uninformed legislature

Following Senate recall, Gov. Walker will need an uninformed legislature. The Governor vetoed the obligations for producing several upcoming accountability reports for the legislature's Joint Committee on Finance. In exchange, Walker makes an unenforceable promise of direct public access to agency expenditures.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Marquette implies support for Campus SaVE Act (S. 834)

In the past, Marquette responded to sexual violence on campus in accordance with the student conduct code. Now, Marquette understands a college campus is not a sovereign nation.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Voucher-Choice works for Walker

The expansion of school voucher-choice programs is an efficient way for Walker to encourage the expansion of voucher-choice programs.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Walker & Co. minimize own scapegoat for fake problem

  • Walker's legislators have invented the notion that the legislative process has slowed down.
  • Walker's legislators identify the current recall situation as scapegoat.
  • Walker claims the public doesn't care about recalls

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Walker will demonstrate personal restraint when applying the governor's veto

Veto is a unilateral power maintained by the head of the executive branch.  In the case of Wisconsin, it is Governor Scott Walker who wields this power with his 19 pens.

In an appropriation bill, such as the state budget, the Wisconsin governor has the power to strike individual words. Walker won't need the single-word veto for the 2011-2013 state budget.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Governor Walker will now "ax" the Legislature's axings

Walker & Co. have shown they can taketh away.  For their next trick, they will demonstrate their power to pardon.

Monday, June 20, 2011