Wisconsin protests at the capitol, Madison, in March
From Denny: An obscure election got the royal treatment from activists and voters. Voters so hated Gov. Scott Walker's controversial anti-union initiatives they came out in droves to defeat a GOP incumbent for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The surprise dark horse vote came for Democrat unknown JoAnne Kloppenburg, down by an astounding 30 points right before the election. She is a state attorney general with support from several unions.
Election officials tallied her win at a razor thin 235 votes over the GOP incumbent of 12 years, Justice David Prosser, who is known to be sympathetic toward Gov. Walker's policies. Prosser had come out of his primary with a 55 percent vote win. Kloppenburg was second of four candidates with only 28 percent of that primary vote. Prosser was expected to experience an easy runaway win - that fizzled because of unusually high voter turnout.
Ballots are getting the official review before certification, checking for accuracy. Once the winner, Kloppenburg, is certified then Prosser has three business days to decide if he wants a recount of the vote. With a vote that close it's expected there will be a recount, unless the razor thin vote changes dramatically.
JoAnne Kloppenburg, winner
From Kloppenburg about her unexpected surprise victory: "Wisconsin voters have spoken and I am grateful for, and humbled by, their confidence and trust. I will be independent and impartial and I will decide cases based on the facts and the law. As I have traveled the State, people tell me they believe partisan politics do not belong in our Courts. I look forward to bringing new blood to the Supreme Court and focusing my energy on the important work Wisconsin residents elect Supreme Court justices to do."
For an obscure election both sides of the political aisle spent a lot of money, to the tune of $2.5 million over the past two weeks, to influence voters through TV ads. After all, the controversial new union-busting law signed by Gov. Walker will most likely end up in the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a decision later this year.
Right now, if Justice Prosser remains, the court is divided 4-3 between conservative and liberal justices. If Prosser does keep his seat in a recount then Gov. Walker's new anti-union law could stand, eliminating workers' rights. However, with Kloppenburg elected to the court it could swing in favor of the workers' rights and unions. This is why all eyes are again on Wisconsin to decide the battle for the rights of workers - and the middle class.
At present there are eight GOP Wisconsin State Senators, who voted for the union-busting bill. They will experience the sting of a recall election as the unions and Democrats move en masse to deal with political corruption in Wisconsin.
Finally, at least in one state of the union, Wisconsin, voters have heard my call to every Democrat: Get out and vote in the most obscure elections. Vote in every election and quit sitting around on your hands, waiting to vote only in the presidential elections that only occur every four years. By then it's too late to turn the tide of getting better candidates, especially if you refuse to vote in your own primaries.
Turn the GOP and their radical nasty policies on their ears: VOTE!!!!
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