Saturday, December 19, 2009

Republicans Put the Judicial Branch of Government Up For Sale: It's Not about the Right to Spend, But How Much More You Can Spend.

A new lawsuit in campaign funding for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates is taking advantage of the conservative activist leanings of the current sitting justices on the state and federal benches. How else can you explain their blatantly obvious admission-

"The state's payment of matching funds ... neutralizes the independent expender's voice when it makes an independent expenditure," according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Madison. The lawsuit alleges that the rescue fund "creates a chilling effect of Wisconsin Right To Life's free exercise of protected speech and imposes a climate of self-censorship."-Wisconsin State Journal
Forget about the right to spend money on campaigns, a case they already won in court, now they want to make sure their candidates have a sizable spending advantage, essentially buying our votes.
Wisconsin Right to Life is clearly saying that the more money behind a judicial candidates run for office, the more likely it is they can drowned out their opponents message, and win the election. The quaint old days of arguing for the right to spend as much as you want, as a person or corporation, is over. Now the cockroach conservatives want the right to spend more. Free speech?
Wisconsin Right to Life attorney Jim Bopp says under the law, the speech of third parties is chilled because spending money on a candidate will trigger public money for their opponent.
It takes balls to make such a claim, when the decision to spend money is up to the third party, un-chilled and unencumbered. What is clear are the intentions of such a lawsuit.
"This isn't about the First Amendment. This (lawsuit) is about trying to drown out the voices of candidates and citizens," said Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, which has pushed for the law for a decade. Opponents of the Impartial Justice Act "hat a level playing field."
WRTL is desperately trying to make sure that playing field tilts their way because the first race the law will affect is in April 2011, when Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is up for re-election. He's a former partisan Republican legislator and lawbreaker who has admitted using his staff illegally for campaign work. He claims everybody else was doing it.
Justice Prosser defended unlimited amounts of money for electing justices saying it would protect justices from attacks by those who unfairly suggest campaign money influences decisions.
Yup, it's unfair to suggest campaign money may have influence a judges decision.
Justice Prosser blamed "outsiders," like the public, for thinking there might be an appearance of bias: Prosser said. "I'm sorry, I've had it. It is time to address a true crisis that has been created, not by people on the court but people outside the court."
Republicans first took away our political system by selling it to the highest "free market" bidder, now they want to do the same to our judicial branch of government. In the meantime, their reinterpretation of the constitution won't make our founding documents worth the paper its printed on either.

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