08 December 2007

Glenn Grothman: wrong on privatizing the supreme court elections.

Hi folks,

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.



Publius said...

No, Mpeterson, you misspeak.

"We're already paying his, now higher, salary."

You are not already paying his higher salary. You WILL BE paying a higher salary for whoever wins that election next fall. Who knows, maybe you should run - after all, you complain regularly about your measly pay raises...

Legislators cannot receive changes in pay during a term of office.

I'm sure you knew that, though.

Mpeterson said...

Thank you my publiusly anonymous friend. Quite right. The raises won't go into effect until after the next election.

But hey, you shouldn't confuse my reporting the facts about the UW budgeting process (lower salaries than other nearby state universities, a legislature drunk with the memes of neocon resentment trying to bleed out and starve the evil intellectual cultus, etc.) with complaining. I'm not complaining. I like my job and am content with the cost-benefit calculus of working where I do.

I only get my back up about this because every time I turn around I hear that the UW System is milking the taxpayers dry, and yet, the numbers indicate otherwise. Why would that be?

Political hay. That's all.

So I make a point of repeating the numbers. My incredulity is not about my own situation, but about the ways truth is sacrificed to -- in the case of this particular blog -- Glenn's ideology.

In his *Republic*, Plato is explicit about how timocratic regimes, in which tradition and honor are held to be more important than excellence, distrust intellectuals and go after anyone who thinks reasoning is better than merely believing.

Facts get in the way of ideology and, in Wisconsin, timocracy looks a lot like the neocon sectarians currently masquerading as conservatives inside our own State legislature. Hmm.

Maybe you're a closet Alcibiades?

Most interesting of all is your apparent need to correct my procedural goof rather than address the actual point of the posting.

I can only suppose that's because your love of sarcasm trumps anything useful you might have to say about a better way to elect our judges and improve our courts?

Be well.

Real Debate said...

I wonder how you feel about Jim Doyle signing bills favoring people who donate to him who know how much?

Special interests like the teachers union and trial lawyers for example that have given him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mpeterson said...

Well, if he allotted state funds on the basis of patronage, I'm agin' it.

If he allocates state funding on the basis of his politics ... well, that's democracy isn't it?

I may still disagree with his politics, btw, but that too is democracy.

I don't remember seeing anything in which he gave state funds directly to the WEAC itself. I can't imagine that'd be either legal or smart. Or to the trial lawyers either.

Did he?

Or do you mean he simply funded the schools and thus, by implication "paid off" the union that supported him.

That sounds pretty close to democracy too.

Or is it your suggestion that funding education is itself always wrong?

He could still fund education for bad reasons but, then, you'd have to tell me what you think those are.