WI Supreme Court Election Is Today -- Could Signal First Political Victory Against Walker's Union-Busting Agenda

Today's an important day in Wisconsin, as incumbent state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser goes up against JoAnne Kloppenburg, a liberal environmental lawyer, at the polls. Kloppenburg was seen as the underdog in this race (and Prosser the shoe-in) until last month, when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unrolled his absurd union-busting "budget repair" bill. As Prosser's campaign manager, Brian Nemoir, told the Washington Post, “You could feel the energy of this race change almost instantly" when Walker's anti-worker campaign got underway.

More from the Post, which calls this election Walker's "first political test":

Today’s vote then is being looked at by opponents and proponents of the Walker bill, which passed the state legislature last month, as an early test of the political fallout from the fight. (There’s another election today that’s a referendum of sorts on Walker — the race for Milwaukee county executive.)

As Democrats work to recall Republican legislators who voted for Walker’s proposal, the legislation is headed to the state’s highest court. Right now, that court leans conservative with a bare four to three majority. If Kloppenburg is elected, that majority would shift to the ideological left.

“Before this campaign began, David Prosser was polling ahead of JoAnne Kloppenburg,” said Stephanie Taylor of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group that’s been heavily involved in the race. “So if Prosser loses today, this will signal a real rejection of Republican policies by Wisconsin voters.” But labor advocates working in the state say no one knows what will happen today.

The PCCC and Democracy for America, the groups behind the effort to recall several Wisconsin Republicans, have been robocalling Wisconsin voters today, urging them to get to the polls (as with all spring elections, voter turnout is expected to be low). Here's audio of the call, and here's the text:

Hi - this is State Senator Chris Larson, one of the "Wisconsin 14."  I'm calling, along with the PCCC Recall Committee and DFA Wisconsin, to remind you that today is an important election for the state Supreme Court.

The Republican candidate, David Prosser, voted with Scott Walker 95% of the time when he was in the state legislature. His opponent, JoAnne Kloppenburg, will be an independent, fair voice on the Court.

Whoever wins this election will decide the legality of Scott Walker's recent anti-worker bill.  I hope you'll join me in voting for JoAnne Kloppenburg for the Supreme Court today, April 5th.  Thanks for your time.

This call is paid for by PCCC Recall Committee, Adam Green Treasurer, [phone number] and DFA Wisconsin, Mia Moore Treasurer, [phone number]. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Have a great day.

The polls close at 8:00pm in Wisconsin. We'll be sure you update you on the outcome as soon as we can.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at April 5, 2011, 7:23am

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018
Today's Top Stories