You know... the fact that Judge Ziegler will not be able to hear a single case from Wisconsin Manufacturers from now until she retires, or is thrown off the court by her colleagues, without everyone checking their wallets makes me think we might want to take the jokers out of the Supreme Court's electoral deck.
What if we had public funding of Supreme Court justices? They wouldn't need to advertise, there could be plenty of information distributed using pre-existing state budget lines, and private groups could still advertise on behalf of candidates at their own expense and peril.
We wouldn't have to spend a new dime in tax money: a month of conversations on PBS stations across the state or run through UW Extension should provide plenty of info to let voters make good decisions. Extension has the electronic outreach capabilities already available.
And then those bringing cases before the courts wouldn't have to wade through the judge's income statements to be comfortable about their fairness.
I know. It's too crazy to work. From GMToday.
Area’s state legislators question governor’s push:
"The Senate will not take up the trio of issues Gov. Jim Doyle called on to vote on next week. A special committee that sets the Senate’s calendar left those off the table for its one-day meeting.
One of the biggest impediments to compromise is the public financing of state Supreme Court races, which Doyle and Democrats have promoted. Doyle wants state Supreme Court candidates to be held to spending a maximum of $400,000, which would be publicly funded.
'We just got done with an irresponsible budget,' said Sen. Glenn Grothman. 'I don’t think the taxpayers should have to pay for ads for Supreme Court candidates.'"
A usual, Glenn misspeaks. Had it been impossible, they wouldn't have finished it. We're already paying his, now higher, salary. We're already paying for all the infrastructure needed to make all the relevant information available to voters -- all we'd need to do is channel the campaigns away from the questionable motives of profit driven industry and into the hands of citizens driven by a need for fair judges.
I'm just thinking out loud.