Prosser is quite the contentious fellow. He has called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a “total bitch” and threatened to “destroy her.”
He also promised to be a “complement” to hard-right Governor Scott Walker and the Republican union-busting legislature. He’s that David Prosser.
So the race is heating up and coming to a head (yes, seriously mixed metaphor, but fun). Prosser recently appeared at a March 22 candidate forum, where he was questioned about his contentious remarks. His reply:
It’s a little disconcerting to me that today they [Abrahamson and Bradley] have ganged up and tried to recruit candidates to run against me and create a foul atmosphere inside the Court.
As David Nir at Daily Kos succinctly notes, “So the ‘bitches’ have ‘ganged up’ on poor David Prosser.” Jeez.
Prosser is no closet Republican. As Wisconsin blogger Jim Rosenberg notes, a pro-Prosser campaign slogan — “Prosser equals Walker” — is now being turned against him, thanks to … well, Walker:
What’s coming out as the bumper sticker message is that “Prosser Equals Walker” – something that might have been okay early last November, but could well be a losing strategy for April 2011, if his detractors can keep that message front and center. (See www.prosserequalswalker.com .)
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is heavily financed by right-wing money:
Conservative interests like Club for Growth and the Wisconsin Association of Manufacturers & Commerce all but sponsored two of the last three winners in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court races. While WMC-backed justices Annette Ziegler and Mike Gableman both had issues raised relating to their ethics, they remain on a court that tilts a bit to the right. Prosser made no bones about his right-wing credentials early on.
See here for more about Ziegler and Gableman. Prosser, Ziegler, Gableman and Roggensack are the Republican caucus on the seven-member court, and they make no bones about the pro-business views their business-financed campaigns have enabled. A vote for Prosser really is a vote for Walker. And Walker’s laws will end up before the court.
An experienced assistant attorney general, Kloppenburg actually raised more money than Prosser leading up to the primary by a few thousand dollars. But with the well-worn playbook for the conservatives relying on third-party groups to buy up millions in media advertising for their picks and Kloppenburg not being theirs, it didn’t seem like it would matter. While Prosser may still get some help from the usual quarters, it may not be as helpful as it might have been in the past with a tuned-in and enthusiastic opposition group just waiting for evidence that the usual suspects are involved.
With the vote a little more than two weeks away, Kloppenburg is crossing the state and finding herself very welcome. Her name is regularly showing up on the signs of supporters demonstrating in Madison and elsewhere – something that is not lost on her. Kloppenburg’s stump speech is upbeat and she stresses her independence, unlike Prosser’s early stance that relied on his association with the Republicans. The April vote could be substantially heavier than the February primary, with the office of Milwaukee County Executive and Madison mayor on the ballot.
If you’re a Wisconsin voter — organize your friends and vote. And if you like, volunteer to support Kloppenberg. What more can I say?
(For fun, click here to see Prosser in action, to get a sense of the man. It’s a pro-Prosser speech segment in which Prosser criticizes Kloppenberg, once a prosecutor for the Dept. of Natural Resources, for (ready?) prosecuting environmental violations. Yep, an out and proud Republican to be sure.)