Wisconsin Ground Zero for state supreme court elections as progressives pursue power by seizing control of judicial branch

The “Colorado Model” progressive “Blueprint” is being aggressively exported to other states…

An essential element of the “Colorado Model” used to facilitate a “progressive” takeover of our state was missed in the eponymous Weekly Standard article (The Colorado Model by Fred Barnes, July 2008) and the otherwise excellent (and highly readable) book, The Blueprint (by former Rep. Rob Witwer and former 9News Reporter Adam Schrager): the backstop (and occasional door-opener) provided by the progressive-left dominance of the Colorado Supreme Court.  Former Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey reliably advanced the progressive agenda, or blocked conservative or liberty-oriented policies and legislation, from her position on the high court.  Continued dominance of the court by her chosen successor, newly-elected Chief Justice Michael Bender, is carrying out much the same tradition.

Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics.” (Military aphorism, variously attributed)

Translating from the military vernacular to the political, “amateurs” focus on short-term electoral gains (transitory shifts in legislative majorities or changes in who holds political office) while “professionals” focus on building long-term institutional and philosophical shifts – and there are few institutions with more (and more enduring) power to impact public policy than the states’ highest courts.

In Colorado last year, the elections with the greatest and most long-lasting implications for the future of the state were not the votes for legislative or executive office, but the once-in-a-decade opportunity to hold an increasingly powerful and expansive judicial branch accountable to the public and to their sworn duty to uphold the Colorado Constitution and the rule of law.  Unfortunately, the bad guys won.

Many of the “leaders” on the center-right in Colorado have still failed to grasp this fact, and its implications (starting with continued domination of the Congressional redistricting and state-level legislative reapportionment process).  However, the ongoing battle (which will be decided in elections today) in Wisconsin over a single state supreme court seat shows that the powers-that-be in that state (on both sides) “get it” – and “the national implications of the contest are even greater,” according to a Newsmax article (‘Filthy, Dirty’ Tricks Alleged in Pivotal Wisconsin Election):

Prosser is part of the Wisconsin high court’s 4-to-3 conservative majority. The court ultimately is expected to rule on the legality of Walker’s efforts to rein in the power of public-sector unions.

So if Democrats and their union allies can push Kloppenburg over the top, they stand an excellent chance of blocking key reforms Republicans say are necessary to plug a $3.6 billion budget deficit without resorting to massive layoffs.

But the national implications of the contest are even greater. Most analysts say defeating Prosser will send an unmistakable signal that Republicans who stand up to the forces pushing for the continual expansion of big government may have to pay for it with their political careers.

With so much at stake – “[b]oth sides are describing Wisconsin as ground zero in the national battle over how to address the nation’s fiscal woes” – it should come as no surprise that resources (people – particularly national union organizers and cohorts – and money) are pouring in to the race:

Sources report that about $2.5 million already has been spent on the race, and projections are that expenditures on both sides could tally more than $5 million when the smoke finally clears.

By comparison, costs in a normal election cycle for a state Supreme Court race in Wisconsin probably would amount to less than $400,000.

Sad (and sobering) to think that a mere fraction of that amount could have changed a state supreme court majority for the better right here in Colorado.

However, even with a significant influx of money, the campaign against Colorado’s incumbent ‘unjust justices’ would have remained clean (if occasionally irreverent), in marked contrast to the “dirty tricks” and personal attacks that have characterized the Wisconsin state Supreme Court elections.  As noted in this BigGovernment article,

We all know Democrats and public unions plays dirty. That’s not the question. The question is only how dirty, and in their bid to get Kloppenburg on the court, they played it as dirty as anyone can — going so far as to exploit a victim of sexual abuse. Here’s a disgusting smear that’s been airing non-stop in Wisconsin for a week now:

The ad buy was for a full $3 million but immediately upon release the victim, Troy Merryfield, asked Kloppenburg to call for the ad to be taken down, calling it “offensive, inaccurate, and out of context.” Incredibly, Kloppenburg refused, and residents of my home state tell me that as of yesterday the smear was still airing ad nauseum on every channel.

Obviously disgusted with the Left shamelessly exploiting what was obviously as traumatic and painful an experience anyone can go through, Merryfield bravely took to the airwaves today with a devastating ad that Milwaukee talk radio host Charlie Sykes has learned is part of a massive buy:

The dueling TV ads are merely the most visible part of a dirty, high-stakes campaign by Wisconsin and national progressives to seize control of that state’s supreme court (as the Left has seized control of state supreme courts in Colorado and many other states in order to fortify or expand their hold on government power).  As another article (Prosser vs. Kloppenburg: Wisconsin Supreme Court battle royale) indicates, the organized Left is very much aware of what’s at stake – and the importance of judicial elections in Wisconsin, and in other states:

And unions are excited.  In fact, a letter sent out by the American Federation of Teachers states that: “a Kloppenburg victory will swing the balance to our side.  A vote for Prosser is a vote for Walker.  It’s time to ‘get even.’”

The battle lines are clear; and the fight is unrelenting.  Those who would use the courts to advance a partisan political agenda – instead of insisting that the courts maintain their proper role of defending the Constitution and the rule of law – are ruthless, well-organized, well-funded, and pervasive.  Although it is an uphill battle – they must be stopped.

Clear The Bench Colorado will, with your support, continue to promote transparency and accountability in the Colorado (and, working with allied groups, nationwide) judiciary, informing the public to increase awareness of the substantial public policy implications of an unrestrained activism and political agendas in the courts.  We will continue to work with legislators and others interested in reforming the systemic shortcomings of Colorado’s “merit selection & retention” system to increase transparency and accountability to the public, and to provide useful evaluations of judicial performance.

However, we can’t do it alone –  we need your continued support; via your comments (Sound Off!) and, yes, your contributions.  Freedom isn’t free –nor is it always easy to be a Citizen, not a subject.

Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.

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