cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Where do we begin? Our governor has now seen the light concerning campaign financing, or so he wants it to seem. This from one of the most adroit fund raisers we've seen in a long time. He has managed to keep money from several sources that has a taint about it and continues to build his war chest, even though he pledged he'd not run again. The idea of him as our governor for four more years after this term is almost more than I can comprehend, much less stomach. I know I can't afford that from a financial perspective.
A special session has been called for December 11th. Governor Doyle is proposing, among other things, that supreme court justice candidates be granted $400,000 in taxpayer money in order to be able to tell us how good they are and why we should vote for them. A total of some $10 million in taxpayer funds will be involved in this scheme for use in many offices. We have had the opportunity to have money taken from our taxes for that purpose for years, and I've never permitted that to occur. So now, this move would seem to take away my right to say no to the use of my tax money for someone's election campaign; someone whom I may or may not like as a candidate.
All this is due, of course, to the 'horse collar' being thrown around the neck of Justice Ziegler by the Democrats. She was forced to recuse herself from a case where the Realtors Association filed a friend of the court brief. This was supposedly because they had run independent campaign ads for her election. She has been vilified by the Dems and the press. She is being backed into a corner. She'll be fortunate to be able to hear a handful of cases, and none that have the flavor of liberal cause versus conservative cause. Why you might ask? Well, because it is feared she will prove to be a conservative justice and that would upset too many apple carts for the ruling group in Madison. We can't have a more balanced supreme court now, can we? Even if us voters decided that is what we wanted. If the liberals aren't assured of a majority on every case, they simply will try to cause Ziegler to recuse herself.
When was the last time you read of a liberal justice being asked to recuse him or herself on any case because WEAC (the primary Wisconsin teachers union) or another union had funded ads for that person? When was the last time you recall that anyone who received direct financial backing from WEAC was asked to recuse him or herself? Better yet, when was the last time a liberal supreme court justice did recuse him or herself over anything? What a great trivia question. They don't do that kind of thing. Instead, they ignore public opinion and ride it out knowing they'll be re-elected forever if they desire.
I am simply amazed that the only bad guys we seem able to find are conservative bad guys. We can find them even if they aren't really bad guys. Reality doesn't stand in the way of the 'vilification express'. Lay enough claims out over the airways and in the newspaper pages, and...voila! It finally becomes common knowledge, even though it was a figment of some nefarious imagination.
We have seen history rewritten time and time again on the national scene. Why not on the state scene as well? Lies repeated often enough and long enough take on the aura of truth with many of us. We simply tire of trying to maintain our grip on what we know to be the truth, and we finally tell ourselves that no one believes that malarky...even though many do. We need only to look at the rewriting that is going on now with presidential hopefuls. Each conveniently can't recall, or decries the 'lies' being spread about them, or make outright claims they never said what is recorded for posterity.
I don't know about you, but I don't want taxpayer money being used for electioneering. They have more than enough of my money now. I can't imagine how much these 'campaigns' will require once you and I are funding every one of them. And, there will be 'loopholes' so that while all candidates were equal, some will become more equal than others. The party in power, if not as honest as it ought be, can find any number of ways to circumvent these new rules. Remember the '529' money that suddenly took over the federal election scene when that foul McCain-Feingold Act became law? Does the name George Soros of MoveOn.org fame ring any bells?
We may be nearing that point where honest, upstanding citizens simply stay away from political office due to the threat they'll be maliciously attacked and driven from office. That cannot be permitted to occur, for then only the crooks will run and be elected.