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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Why I Am Voting Today for Michael Gableman | Main | More on Why Butler Lost »

April 02, 2008


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Jess Wundrun

I wish I could share your optimism. In my last minute GOTV phone calls to friends yesterday I was amazed at how many were unaware of the WMC's role in choosing Gableman as a candidate and not the other way around.

And every newscast this morning is saying that the race was 'nasty' but doesn't attribute 99.9% of that nastiness to the WMC, Club for Growth and the NRA all on the side of Gableman.

I feel nearly as downcast as I did on Nov. 3, 2004.

And now we have a moron on the Supreme Court who happily demonstrates that he has no understanding of the law.


Jess, I too am bummed out by the result. Especially, regargless of politics, that such a fine scholar and just man was replace on the Supreme Court, by a man who does even command respect form those who bought him.

But if you look at the results in Dane and Milwuakee counties, where the word was more effectively spread about WMC and their plots, the results speak for themsleves. Even Dane County is not as 'left' as the Butler percentages. That was the result of the reaction to WMC. We can and will spread this message throughout the state.

T Walsh

People want consevative judges.

Michael J. Cheaney

I am actually just glad the whole thing is over.

As a Conservative I found all the ads and the hub-bub surrounding them embarrassing.

However that being said why is it that whenever a Democrat loses that instead of asking what can we do to win the next election, they always resort to excuse making? 2 statements by Paul illustrate this point perfectly.

1. The close outcome, with a suppressed vote, demonstrated that the influence of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) and their right wing companions, the Club for Growth Wisconsin and the Coalition for America's Families no longer have a magic bullet that guarantees they can win elections.

Now I DO NOT like all the slime ads run by either side. However to blame voter suppression--I am speaking only for me-- is just saying that the People of Wisconsin are just not SMART enough to make up their own minds. And I find that to be quite Arrogant. As I am sure others do also.

2. First, it means that if the overall financial playing field is leveled, progressives will be elected.

I don't think this is a campaign reform issue. Money has nothing to do with a candidate winning or losing its based on likability and where they stand on the issues that are important to the voters during any given election cycle.

Perhaps I am being simplistic when I say this but if the Democrats could actually find a likable candidate, (Hard to find I know but keep trying. They have to be SOMEPLACE!) And quit making excuses I think you'll do a lot better in future Elections.


I have to disagree with your analysis. That the WMC was still able to win illustrates that if they throw enough money at a race, they'll win, and they will continue to win. They have their equation: prosecutor vs. liberal. This will win every time and unfortunately, Chief Justice Abrahamson may be next.

I know Butler well and am intimately familiar with most of the decisions that Gableman and the WMC used to undo him and I think this race illustrates a problem. From now on, a sitting justice will always lose against a prosecutor if that sitting justice ever voted to reverse or vacate a criminal conviction. Incumbency means nothing with this much money at stake and an uninformed electorate. Butler upheld criminal convictions 97% of the time but was considered by most of Wisconsin to be "soft on crime."

Finally, with respect to newspapers: this result shows their irrelevance. People simply don't read the paper anymore, they watch TV or listen to the radio. Those ads meant a lot more than editorial endorsements.

You can spin this any way you want, but an intelligent, thoughtful, moderate sitting justice should not have lost against a candidate that most consider to be an intellectual lightweight. Imagine what will happen if they field a competent candidate?

Michael J. Cheaney

And at least Milwaukee had enough sense (Finally) to dump Michael McGee.


To clarify: The name of the Janesville paper is simply the Janesville Gazette.




Ok, a little less snotty...You find a bright side for your side in the fact that despite having overwhelming support by the traditional media and the liberal/dem strongholds of Milwaukee and Madison, Louis Butler became the first Supreme Court Justice in 41 years to lose an election?


Mark F.

I know you're trying to put a positive spin on the outcome of this election Paul, but I'm going to have to agree with Eric on this one.

How many other shills for WMC is the state of Wisconsin going to have to put up with on the Supreme Court? I'm skeptical that Gableman is going to be the last.


Losers make excuses. Winners get the job done.


I too am depressed. Gableman has no moral compass. I predict there will be a scandal involving Gableman's conduct, past or future. Mark my words.

At least the right used to run candidates that were basically accomplished and good-mannered. Not this time; they must feel that the public will go along with whatever they're selling, no matter how flawed.

Our Supreme Court is for sale. The side with the most money to spend on ads will win.

Steve M

Sadly you've live too long in the Republic of Madison to recognize that the vast bulk of Wisconsin is a conservative state. To see a conservative elected shouldn't surprise anyone who looks at the big picture. Take away all the outside spending and I'd bet that the result would have been the same. Consider the Walker victory in Milwaukee. The voters recognize the value of a conservative, tax controlled approach.

Pat Repka

I find it interesting that today there have been calls from some lefists in Milwaukee to forego state supreme court elections from now on. It seems that appointing these judges is now seen as the best way to get activist judges on the bench.

Can you not see that so many on the left believe in the democratic process when they WIN but not when the lose? Luckily, more and more people are beginning to see this and are tiring of all the whining from the left-leaning losers. boo hoo.

Dob Bylan

Greater Wisconsin Commitee
WEAC and Mary Bell
Greater Milwaukee Commitee...etc

The Democrat cabal in Wisconsin is simply upset that they no longer own the franchise for action committees. Do as the Democrats say, not as they do. They only thing suppressed in this race was the involvement of the unknown Democrat supporters and the likes of The Greater Wisconsin Committee who fail to acknowledge the members of their committee, though WEAC and Mary Bell felt no shame in their spurulous lies against "Justice" Gableman.

What this should be conveying to you Paul, is that the state is slowly tipping more right than left. The left wing in this state is flapping madley, trying to convince everyone that they are the truth and the light, and are simply spinning in circles as they slowly drop to the ground.

Madison lefties live in a magical world, a sliver of land surrounded by water and the realities of the normal, common folk who look to the legal system to give fair judicial renderings, not set the state up to be a magnet for trial lawyers looking to fill their pockets at the expense of employers and the residents (lead paint lawsuits).

You lefties crack me up.

Gableman, Walker, Zeigler and on and on.

Appropriate that you would end your piece with the lyrics of an old Dylan song.

From 1968 to 2008. The times they are a changin' but the lefties in Madison are still stuck in the sixties.

Bong Along Paul...


The Founding Fathers were on to something when they elevated the federal judiciary above the slums of public opinion. And I say "slums" in the best sense of the word here. While some may call this position "arrogant," my experience with every single one of my close friends and with my own family showed me how powerful the Gableman Willie-Horton ad and the Gableman third-party interest ads were. I had to convince them that Justice Butler is not about finding "loopholes" and does not "like criminals." Frankly, I was shocked at the ads' effectiveness. I know that's not "empirical" evidence, but it was the phenomenon I encountered. I suspect I'm not alone.

Let me be upfront about this: I have nothing against democracy. But I DO have a problem when the public debate is (mis)shaped by WMC or any other entity capable of rerouting the debate to the loser discussion of who was a prosecutor and who stood shoulder to shoulder with victims of crimes. While such scheming may be a fact of life in any arena of politics, the judiciary isn't supposed to be about politics; it isn't supposed to be about 30 second tv commercials; it isn't supposed to be about being "tough on crime" or "law enforcement's choice." It's supposed to be about the careful study of jurisprudence, the role of this state's supreme court in our system of federalism (not that group of powder-wigs that insists there's such a thing called "original intent" but the division of power between the feds and the states), and, with an emphasis on, the philosophy applied when interpreting the law. And that philosophy has to be explored more than the talismanic "I'm a judicial conservative that gives the plain meaning to the law." As any attorney knows, it's a rare but happy day when the meaning of the law is plain, since our job is made clear.

Adam James

"Losers make excuses. Winners get the job done."

I'm sure the ends justify the means in the political world, but in the judicial world...? That statement should never be the case. "Getting the job done", winning the election, is not a comment on the capability of the judge, but on the capability of the politician.

Unfortunately, Michael was an effective politician.

The charges of arrogance are just ridiculous. I feel it's more arrogant to lie to people with some song and dance, playing on their emotions and some poll numbers with some dark music in the background. That's arrogance. To be so sure of your position that you're willing to lie about someone to win.

Oh well - I guess you have to frame people somehow. This election will probably be framed as a victory for conservatives - which it was - but it was more a victory for special interest groups.

Lou Kaye

Curious if the results would have been different if held during the Obama/Clinton primary?

We seen this train coming and we froze in the lights. The activist base of the accused activist judge never showed up at the booth for this election. It is our fault.


The WMC wins again. 'nuff said


I voted against Justice Butler based on his rulings for collective liability and against caps on pain and suffering damages. But if it makes you feel better, go ahead and keep telling yourself that the citizens are dupes.


Liberals are lazy and only interested in the hot horse race. I know many friends and neighbors who are all charged about the presidential race who did not vote yesterday. The fact that there were mostly uncontested county board races in Dane County and no contested school board races was bad for Dane County turnout. The pro-life and pro-gun folks I am sure were very motivated to get out and vote on this one. Ugggh! So close. This is not what the public wants but most were not paying attention.


If you leftists would quit supporting candidates who are happy to have the court act as a super-legislature, then you wouldn't have court races that turn into partisan battles.

You created the problem - blame yourselves.

Butler was a poor choice for the court when Doyle appointed him in the first place. He is no scholar, he is a joke. The voters rejected him, Doyle appointed him and the voters, when given the opportunity again, rejected him again.

Again - blame yourselves.


I voted for Butler but he wasn't a great candidate and he didn't run a good campaign. It's a shame.


Have you noticed...when a democrat loses an election...the process was corrupt, the campaign was nasty, and feelings were hurt!!!!!
When a democrat wins, then the process doesn't need to be "fixed"????
Gableman won fair and square...wonder when the calls for a recount will begin?


A quote from the walking cadaver, Bob Dylan? You are not only breathing the BOZONE in Leftyville, you are now drinking electric Kool-Aid. Next time, quote from Puff The Magic Dragon.

Gableman used Muhammed Ali's rope a dope technique on Butler. Then he quoted Ali: the bull (Butler) is strong but the bull fighter is smarter.

Of course Pauly, you and your ilk (lefty stooges) will want to take the vote away from Wisconsin citizens. This is where We The People are allowed to judge the judges.

What voter suppression? I havent heard of any suppression but I know lots of corrupt Damned-ocrats who voted two or three times. There were lots of dead people walking from Milwaukee and Dane County cemeteries to the polling places.

Face it, your side lost. You are showing what a poor loser you and your side is.


I voted for Gableman and WMC had nothing do with it. I don't even know what WMC is. Didn't see a single TV ad or hear one on the radio. But I did see them debate. That was enough for me. Butler not only wasn't strict constructionist, but wasn't willing to admit he wasn't one. If you're going to be an activist judge, at least be honest about it and get folks who believe in that to vote for you.


I'd like to know more about the "suppressed vote." How was the vote suppressed?


I like it how Gableman seemed to base his campaign around being tough on crime and whatnot, yet he lost in the two counties (Dane and Milwaukee) that actually have crime.

Hopefully he can use his new power to put those Burnett County cow-tippers behind bars, though I can't help but feel that taking up a spot on the Supreme Court is a bit of a waste for his agenda. Perhaps he meant to run for sheriff, but filled out the candidacy registration form incorrectly?


Some good points, Mr. Soglin, but I think these Bob Dylan lyrics also apply:

"Money doesn't talk, it swears."

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