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Supreme Court recount could be ploy to stall decision on union reform

By   /   April 21, 2011  /   67 Comments

By Kevin Lee     Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON  —  An expert in legal politics says assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg may have launched a recount of votes from the April 5 state Supreme Court race to ultimately sway the outcome of a legal challenge to Gov. Scott Walker's union reform efforts.

David Schultz, a law professor at Hamline University in Minnesota, said Kloppenburg's recount in her contest against Justice David Prosser could be an attempt to stall matters until crucial issues come before the court. The next justice is scheduled to be sworn in Aug. 1, but a protracted legal dispute could delay the winner from taking office.

Kloppenburg on Wednesday announced that she would seek a statewide recount after canvassed results from the state's 72 counties showed her trailing Prosser by 7,313 votes, with more than 1.5 million votes cast.

"There are two reasons for this recount,” Kloppenburg said on Wednesday. “One is to verify the outcome. The other is to restore the public trust in the electoral process."

The candidates' campaigns on Thursday agreed to hand counting ballots in 31 counties after the Government Accountability Board, the state agency that oversees elections, said those counties would have difficulty counting ballots by machine because of a shortage in digital memory.

"You drag this out, you have to look at (it might) might affect certain types of litigation and how it might affect collective bargaining," Schultz said.

He has studied high-profile recount efforts in Minnesota, including the 2008 U.S. Senate race between Democrat Al Franken and incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race.

Gov. Scott Walker has signed legislation that would limit collective bargaining for public employees to matters of wages. It also changes how unions are certified and re-certified.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi has halted implementation of the law until she hears arguments concerning an alleged violation of the state's open meetings laws by top Republican lawmakers. Sumi has scheduled briefs to be submitted to the court next month.

Any decision made by Sumi could be appealed all the way to the state Supreme Court. Schultz said that the absence of Prosser, one of the justices believed to make up a four-member conservative majority on the state's high court, would lead to a deadlocked 3-3 court. That means any previous decision in a circuit court or appellate court would stand.

"Kloppenburg can serve as a kind of sacrificial lamb if her supporters can get other things, if they think the recount is worth it," Schultz said.

Melissa Mulliken, a Kloppenburg spokeswoman, denied Schultz's contentions.

"JoAnne is undertaking a statewide recount for the reason she laid out in her statement (on Wednesday)," Mulliken said.

Prosser spokesman Brian Nemoir did not know if Schultz's theories held weight, but said that recounts typically result in swings of a few hundred votes.

"It'd be the worst example of playing politics," he said.

Prosser's campaign team had previously indicated they would sue Kloppenburg if she asked for a recount, but Nemoir said that they now want to certify election results as quickly as possible.

Completed recall efforts now up to eight

The Supreme Court also may be asked to weigh in on a flurry of recall efforts, according to Schultz.

As part of the political backlash from the debate over the governor's collective bargaining changes, 16 state senators are facing recall efforts, though it's likely not all of them will be subject to recall efforts.

Recall committees have now submitted completed petitions for eight state senators. From the Government Accountability Board website:



Committee Name

Signatures Required

Petition Due Date

Date Petitions Filed



Robert Cowles

Committee to Recall Cowles


May 2, 2011




Lena Taylor

American Recall Coalition


April 25, 2011




Spencer Coggs

American Recall Coalition


April 26, 2011




Alberta Darling

Committee to Recall Darling


May 2, 2011

April 21, 2011



Sheila Harsdorf

Committee to Recall Harsdorf


May 2, 2011

April 19, 2011



Jim Holperin

Jim Holperin Recall Committee


April 25, 2011

April 21, 2011



Luther Olsen

Committee to Recall Olsen


May 2, 2011

April 18, 2011

Fred Clark


Mark Miller

Committee to Recall Mark Miller


April 26, 2011




Mark Miller

American Recall Coalition – Miller


May 4, 2011




Randy Hopper

Committee to Recall Hopper


May 2, 2011

April 7, 2011

Jessica King


Glenn Grothman

Committee to Recall Grothman


May 2, 2011




Robert Wirch

American Recall Coalition


April 25, 2011




Robert Wirch

Taxpayers to Recall Robert Wirch


April 25, 2011

April 21, 2011



Julie Lassa

American Recall Coalition (Noble)


May 16, 2011




Fred Risser

American Recall Coalition


April 25, 2011




Mary Lazich

Committee to Recall Lazich


May 2, 2011




Dave Hansen

Recall Dave Hansen


April 26, 2011

April 21, 2011



Dave Hansen

Committee to Recall Dave Hansen


May 16, 2011




Dan Kapanke

Committee to Recall Kapanke


May 2, 2011

April 1, 2011

Jennifer Shilling

More than one committee can initiate a recall petition, such as in the cases of Miller, Wirch and Hansen, who are each facing a recall effort backed by the Utah-based American Recall Coalition and other local recall groups.

Once signed petitions are submitted, the GAB is tasked with going over the petitions and finding whether there are enough valid signatures to justify a recall election.

Candidates can challenge the validity of signed petitions, as state Sen. Dan Kapanke, R-La Crosse, did on Tuesday. A lawyer representing Wisconsin Democrats filed a rebuttal. Kapanke's challenge to the GAB is pending.

Both major political parties are expected to be heavily involved in the recall efforts, either defending their party's incumbents or trying to win seats from their opponents.

Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said his party will be submitting an official complaint to the GAB, alleging that committees attempting to recall Democratic state senators have acted unethically, bringing in "mercenaries" from out-of-state to collect signatures.

"I will guarantee to the reporters on this call that there will be fraudulent signatures submitted by people who were paid by signature," he said during a teleconference on Thursday.

As one example, Tate said a petitioner working to recall state Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Pleasant Prairie, offered shots of liquor in exchange for signatures.

Republican Party Chairman Mark Jefferson accused Tate of trying to disenfranchise voters and their political will.

"The same people who are calling for a state recount that no one is necessarily calling for are now trying to institute recall challenges. I don't believe these instances took place, and I think it's a (public relations) stunt," he said.

He said that committees recalling Democratic state senators have been harassed constantly, as shown on a state GOP website: http://www.recallintegritycenter.com/.

The GAB is expected to review the validity of recall signatures in the coming weeks. State law provides for a maximum 31 days of review from the time signed petitions are filed to determine whether the petitions are valid, but the GAB this week asked for an extension because of the number of concurrent recall attempts.

In other developments around Wisconsin this week:

  • Wisconsin does not qualify for federal disaster assistance from the April 10 tornadoes, the Wisconsin Emergency Management said Thursday. The tornadoes did $25 million in damage, destroyed 46 homes and 10 businesses, and damaged 968 homes and 21 businesses. But not enough were uninsured to qualify for federal assistance.

  • The Joint Finance Committee moved to remove 21 non-budgetary items from Walker’s budget proposal now before the committee, saying the issues — such as the one concerning changes to charter schools — should be considered in separate legislation.

  • A new study by the Midwest Foundation for Media Research released Thursday shows how Republicans and Democrats use media differently. Republicans tend to rely on radio and the Internet; Democrats are more likely to rely on TV and newspapers.

  • The Department of Workforce Development said unemployment in Wisconsin stayed the same in March. The rate has hovered at 7.4 percent since January. The rate is down from 9 percent a year ago.

Kirsten Adshead contributed to this article


  • “The other is to restore the public trust in the electoral process.”

    I personally don’t think Kloppenberg will gain enough votes, but after Waukesha trust must indeed be restored. And as to liberal vs conservative judges, damn, I’d hope they ruled by Wisconsin law and not political ideology.

  • Mark Spohcog

    “The other is to restore the public trust in the electoral process.”

    Trust is not the word – competence in government is, and that is something that has been in question for years and years.

    @ Jack , I completely agree with your sentiment that judges should rule based on law. It’s funny, because while Prosser is the favorite of conservatives, he is far from a perfect candidate for them, it’s just that his opponent is so radical, he looks ideal.

  • lowell tiwetyen


  • Tpartywarrior

    The only state senators deserving recall are the 14 Democrats who fled the state for 3 weeks, proving they don’t work for their constituents but the union leaders. Since when did cutting and running become heroic in America?

  • Kirk Bailey

    Trust in the electoral process is important , but for many it will only be restored when voter id is passed, same day registration is no longer allowed, and abnormalities like the 10,000 over-vote in Dane County is reviewed.

  • Daryll Adamczak

    This Klop matter is truly a disgusting example of government breakdown. It is a sad day for all of us when our country’s fate is held in the hands of lawyers and not voters. JoAnn Klop should crawl back under the rock she came out from.

  • So, they should have just accepted Walker’s illegally shoving a bill down their throats? I don’t think so. I criticize Walker for planting without first preparing the soil. MAYBE he is right and maybe he is wrong, but he should have done a cost study before pulling the trigger. As well, I hope he does a “legitimate” cost study before selling off our state power facilities, which he is (under his bill) not required to do and not required to take alternative bids.

  • Classical Lib.

    Interesting that now that vote counting in Waukesha is questioned by Democrats there is the assumtion that it is a valid course of action. When Republicans questioned the electoral process in the City of Milwaukee the media and the general public attributed it to playing politics.

    There is no doubt that this is a tactic to stall the judicial process even more than what is already occurring. On the other hand, Republicans probably would do the same thing if the results had gone against them.


    May I quote exactly our Dictator-in-Chief?


    My advice to the losers? DEAL WITH IT!

    Running away is never the answer to any problem. GROW UP!

  • I agree, the only recall should be the 14 fleabaggers.

  • Dodi

    After the dems shoving ObamaCare down our throats who is anyone to talk that Gov. Walker did anything illegal. We had no choice to but to accept that pile of crap. The fleabaggers must have had time to at least read Walkers or they wouldn’t have fled the state so there wouldn’t be a vote on it. It seems like the dems always find a way to be crooked. As I said aday or so ago, this recount is only being done to stall the whole process. I believe the unions are behind the who thing. They should be made to pay for the destruction caused to our capital.

  • Yes, Obama was elected because George Bush was atrocious, and a Republican will likely win in 2012 because Obama is so atrocious. Isn’t this sort of a neat way to replace our leakers?

  • Victoria

    Why isn’t the person who asks for the recall responsible for paying for the recall? Oh, right, that wouldn’t be “fair”!!! It’s somehow more fair to ask the taxpayers who paid for the election to pay for the recount as well. Why can the candidates ask for recounts but the taxpayers must pay? Why don’t we let voters be the only ones who can ask for recounts if they feel it is necessary? The same thing goes for recalls. Let the voters be the ones who organize and file petitions for recalls.

  • Edward Perkins

    Jack Lohman has a short memory and evidently doesn’t read or follow current news. First under Gov. Doyle there was a very short finance committee meeting, maybe 1 hour, to discuss his last budget. Walkers budget underwent over 17 hours discussion with the finance committee. One hour against 17 hours and Walker is shoving his budget down our throats? Second the whole fiasco about the 2 hour notice is truly a fiasco since for 3 weeks the 14 democrat senators sat in Illinios getting minute by minute information on what was happening in the WI State Senate. Jack needs to be more truthful in his comments instead of being so partisan.

  • Edward Perkins

    The more we watch what Kloppenberg does the more ALL Wisconsinites need to be thankful she wasn’t elected to the WI Supreme Ct. This woman has no ethics, no scruples, no interest is what is best for the people of WI even though she wishes to convince us to the contrary. Remember ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS. Her actions betray her true intentions. For those of us wanting right to prevail we must take action to see that Prosser’s vote total is not destroyed by the big lawyers the unions are bringing into WI to overturn this election and to thereby deny Gov. Walker the ability to govern this state. WI is in a big financial bind and the dem’s want it that way so they can try to “SAVE US”. What bull!!

  • TROY

    Does anyone think it would help if we made all the unions and the klopp just disappear? I heard that alot of heavily armed Americans are looking for a job.

  • Alan

    Nothing Walker did was illegal. I agree the 14 who left the states were cowards and should face recalls to see if they will continue to stand. Recallling others just because you didn’t like the way they voted is childish. Kloppenburg IS stalling to play politics. The cost of the recount will be borne by taxpayers and I’m not happy about paying for something that is pure politics. Crybaby liberals just can’t stand it when they don’t get their way! Did you see Republicans crying about every Doyle action and constantly demanding recounts and recalls when things didn’t go their way for the past decade? No.

  • John


    You implied that the Walker illegally shoved a bill down their throats.

    What exactly was illegal in the way that the legislature introduced and tried to vote on the Budget Repair Bill?

    You and the rest of the Democrats may have a problem with the bill, but what was illegal about the way it was processed through the legislature in their special session?

  • John


    Bush might have been atrocious to some. I long for the days of 2004, 2005, 2006, and even 2007 when we had a growing economy and low inflation. When we were not printing money (QE1 and QE2) to monetize our own debt. The total deficit in 2007 was only $160 billion dollars. Obama’s deficit is ten times that last year and this year!

    To use as your rationale for Obama’s win as hatred for anything Bush is not entirely off base, but that is because that was how the Obama campaign salvation sold it to his base and the media was more than willing to kick a guy when he was down — in case you hadn’t noticed, Bush was not on the ticket, so why expect McCain to have the same policy? What evidence was there that McCain would have been a clone of Bush?

    You happened to buy into it (while you claim, you voted for McCain) you still believe the salient premise of his campaign: “I’m not Bush!” as evidence by your point.

    Obama had no executive experience. This has been reflected in his inability to make executive decisions and to “lead.” He is a good pitchman when he has his teleprompters working, but when it comes to answering questions to which there is no script, he is over his head.

    All the next presidential candidate has to do is:

    1. Increase domestic energy production. This will put millions of people to work almost immediately (over the course of one year for the next ten years). It will also reduce the cost of retail energy, which will…

    2. Defeat inflation caused by high energy costs.

    3. Reduce the mission of the federal government to only those tasks enumerated in the constitution. Change the Combined Reporting of SS and Medicare to reflect separate accounts which must be self-sufficient by design/law. As for Medicare, give each state a block grant and watch them experiment with what works best for their constituents. We don’t need a Department of Education. There are many, many other departments that are not necessary. Get business lobbying out of D.C. by reducing the influence of the fed.

    4. Reduce our economic aid to countries based on the number (projected cost) of their illegals we find in the U.S. Seal our border to illegals. Create a guest-worker program. Codify the law that does not give automatic citizenship to ANY person born in the U.S., but only to those whose parent is a citizen of the U.S.

    5. Healthcare is no more a “right” than is food, clothing, or shelter. While we may have programs for the very poor, I believe that it is better for charity to serve this function — if the fed wanted to fund some of those who were too poor to take care of themselves, it could do a matching program with a charity and allow the charity to administer the program. Government is inefficient. Those who perform this kind of charity work can do so much more with so much less… without the belief that there will always be money available because it is government that is funding it…

    6. The fed needs to set rules that creates a level playing field for business to function reasonably. They should not be “in the business” they purport to regulate. They should not be selling (campaign contributions) access to the writing of regulations or for permits to do business. To that end, the feds can write comprehensive underwriting regulations for Healthcare and allow the market to compete for the business. And, part of the regs will be to breakup the monopoly that exists between hospitals and doctors and where diagnostic/lab tests are done — e.g., no more of: doctors who wants to continue to have admitting privileges with Hospital X must refer all of their patients to the Hospital X-owned Diagnostic/Labs. This does not foster competition. If the feds want to help the poor with a voucher, that’s fine, so long as the feds don’t mess with pricing of the products — this is exactly what happened with Medicare when it began to affect the prices for all non-Medicare services (the losses had to be made up somewhere, so it increased the cost of commercial insurance and self-pay).

  • John

    In our state, anyone who has lost by a margin of less than 0.5% is entitled to a recount paid by the state. Kloppenberg’s loss was just under that threshold.

  • Randyd

    I am not as educated in the ways of State government, but I dont believe it takes a high IQ to see what happened here. The people of Wisconsin voted in the goevernment they wanted by majority, Walker was up front about what changes were needed leading up to the elections. His ability to balance a budget was well documented during his time in Milwuakee. The Unions, Demacrates, and Liberals were and still are upset about his winning the election. With Prosser winning the election it was a simple restatment of how the majority of the people in Wisconsin feel. As was stated many times over by many news papers and news outlets this election was about Walker not Prosser vs Kloppenburg. It was in essence a second loss to the Unions and Demacrates. Now whats going on here is a lesson to all of us to what extent Unions and Demacrates are willing to go to get their way, it isn’t about fair but about power, and they are willing to go to any lengths to get what they want even if they are the minority.

  • Frank Henry

    “The vacated Senate Democtats”.

    Its odd that the recalls are being entertained…yes, we all know the recallers are doing this because

    they can.

    As an outside observer (from Arizona) I’m supprised that the legislators and governor have been

    very patient with the senate Dems who have “vacated their seats” to avoid their volunteer and sworn

    duties as senators. They left the state to amplify their act of “vacating” their seats. The act of vacating

    their seat is not a co-incidental/incidental missing one or two works days …the act is/was a deliberate

    act of “vacating” their seat.

    In order to maintain a repubic (representative) form of governance in all our states, as recognize by

    the US constitution, it might be a good idea for the Wisconsin legislators (who remained seated)

    and the governor to decare the senate Dem seats as “vacated”, call for specail elections to fill the seats,

    and, since the few senate Dems have “vacated” the seats turn them away from the senate until they run

    for the seats and win.

    Thanks and Good Luck.

  • Fatts Lapinski

    Lets imagine a world where voters decide elections and not lawers…

    Well, O’Bama would not be President, McCain would have won. We would all be living in the glory of a conservative administration. Why? President Al Gore would have taken the honors of the night and Gov. Bush would still be throwing foul balls at Ranger Stadium.

    A Gore Administration would have found, and not forgotten about, Osama. We would have, probably, still gone to war in Afganistan; but Iraq would not have been the bait & switch war that it was. Thousands of Americans would still be alive, our recession would not have tanked, and the Tea Party movement would not have happened.

    Without O’Bama and the TP Movement, Walker would not be our governor. And, the Unions would still have collective bargining. Stop complaining about a recount. Voting has consequences and let the lawers do what lawers need to do.

  • John


    I don’t think that this kind of statement and it’s implication is appropriate.

    I hope that Wisconsin Reporter takes it down.

    Sorry. You may have good intentions or you may be planting some bait for others to bite. Either way, it was wrong, or maybe I inferred incorrectly…

  • John


    Well, first of all, you would have to count all of the ballots, and not just those from selected districts as Al Gore wanted to do…

    But, you make an interesting point about Gore being on top of bin Laden. I highly doubt it. Anyone who is so obsessed with the theory that cow farts cause a change in the weather is not someone who would have prevented or responded well to an attack by al Qaeda.

    Then there is the issue of Saddam. Gore may not have felt the same threat that Bush had felt, and I’m sure he would not have pushed the UN to do any more than Clinton had — which was essentially nothing. Why change? But, what would Saddam have done? Ask the person who spent the last several months of Saddam’s life with him. There was an Arab speaking FBI agent that interviewed Saddam before, during and after his trial, up toSaddam’s execution. According to the FBI report, Saddam admitted to planning to reconstitute his WMD program after the world’s attention was off of the silly inspections. Saddam was surprised that Bush attacked him. Apparently almost everyone believed that he had WMDs (Iran did, his generals did, many in the west did), so what would have been the difference if he were to actually produce them? He had already been accused, so in his mind: why not do the crime if you’re going to get pilloried for it, and wouldn’t it come in handy if pushed by the U.S. or Iran, or even if he were to use it against Israel?

    Saddam had broken so many of the UN sanctions, what difference would it have made to him if he reconstituted his WMD program and drew more sanctions? The answer is, None!

    Our recession was mitigated by the two Bush Tax Cuts. Each tax cut was a direct action against the harm that a recession would do if ignored. After the effects of the 9/11 terror attacks and the approximate $3 trillion loss in GDP over the next 18 months, it was the bubble of the sub-prime mortgages that caused part of the tanking of our economy. That was the gift from Carter (CRA was his creation) and Clinton (who enhanced CRA even further), and the Democrats in the Congress who ignored the warnings from the right that Fannie and Freddie would drag us all down. Of course, the fact that these products (subprime loans) were bundled and resold to a sophisticated market of professionals who didn’t know what they were buying is whose fault? Apparently ours, since we bailed them all out!

    As for Walker not being our governor because there would have been no Obama or TEA Party movement… Silly. Walker was the ying to Doyle’s yang. If Doyle didn’t raid so many flush WI funds and find ways to spend money and put Wisconsin in such a deep deficit hole he would have run for reelection. But since he did, he didn’t run. Walker, or somebody like a Walker would have emerged to challenge the left. The issue with public sector unions is not exclusive to Wisconsin or to Walker — this was the tactic that Indiana took in 2006. Walker simply copied them. Anyone could have done the same.

    If Wisconsin can pass a law that authorized collective bargaining for public sector workers, it can certainly modify or even rescind that law. What Walker had done is simply take the Wisconsin public sector union worker and put him/her on the same playing field as presently enjoyed by federal union workers. And for that…Walker gets criticized, by Obama. Go figure.

  • “Counter Attack,” fs

    There are two kinds of Wisconsin workers; 1). Union Socialists workers and 2). Non-Union workers. I am a former Teamster union member. I ran a picket line because I thought this was a good cause and I had a right to any thing this company had profited off my hard work. I was the union rep in 3 contract renewals and I watched as the union local reps wanted me to persuade the union members to take almost any new contract. I refused! If you non-union workers think for one second that these union workers care what happens to you or your family just ask them stand up publicly for you – a non-union worker. You are thought of as a SCABS. Every thing I have gotten for my family, I thank them RICH men who gave me a non-union job to buy a new home; buy 3 cars; tractors; sports machines; priceless antiques; food & clothes for my children; membership to many nice clubs and on and on. They make all the investment, just like the TAXPAYERS do. NO POOR MAN EVERY GAVE ME A JOB! Here is the difference – I worked 48 weeks (240 days) every year compared to 180 days for union contracts. That equals 36 weeks with many holidays coming out of that. Thank GOD, I never felt like I had to back in to get my check. A Fire breathing Capitalist, what made AMERICA great.

  • Apparently Edward you forgot the minutes-long legislative meeting at 1:00 am with 10 minutes notice where many Dems were not able to get there to vote. A senior moment?

  • See above:

    “Apparently Edward you forgot the minutes-long legislative meeting at 1:00 am with 10 minutes notice where many Dems were not able to get there to vote. A senior moment?”

  • I see, and you forgot the Bush-Paulson TARP bill? And your knowledge on health care is lacking. Hospitals are now buying up doctor-clinics and paying the doctors “productivity bonuses” for increasing admissions and the ordering of expensive tests like MRIs, all whether needed or not. Isn’t that kickback?

    And oh, “competition” does not exist when it is once-removed to the for-profit insurance companies. If they want to increase profits they just deny care.

  • Brad

    Yes. They should have accepted Walker and the republicans shoving that bill down their throats, just like the republicans accepted it when Doyle and the democrats shoved bills down their throats in less than 48 hours. As for “alternative bids”, give me a break. Doyle didn’t take bids, and his motivation was getting his palm greased.

  • Brad

    Hey, the lefty morons can break the law right in front of the union cops and get away with it. We’ve already seen that in Madison. They need chaos to get what they want. I hope that chaos never comes. But chaos or no chaos, do not give up your arms, ever. Remember 1930’s Germany? Not so good, huh. They probably will come up with some final, bull-crap reason to “collect” our arms. When they do, they might get them. Our duty is to make sure they get the bullets first.

  • Brad

    That’s right. Endless entitlement with no responsibility.

  • Brad

    I remember the morning after election day in Nov. 2000, when I heard a news report of “democratic lawyers” all flying down to Florida. I wondered, “democratic lawyers”, where do you find that in the yellow pages? And let’s not forget the ad agency that was hired by the democrat party, to gin up the bull-crap story of old people not being able to mark their ballots correctly. I new we were in for it then. Voting does have consequences, but in 2000 the Florida State Supreme Court messed its pants, in it’s efforts to help steal the election and give it to Gore. They might have succeeded if the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t force them to abide by their own rules. Therefore the voters did win in 2000, and all of your, would have been’s, are meaningless.

  • Brad

    Prosser is already a sitting supreme court justice. He doesn’t need to be sworn in. If this dog and pony show continues beyond Aug. 1, woopie do. Prosser is still on the court, and he needs to continue to do his job, and never take himself off of a case, ever. Remember, the lefties never do.

  • Brad

    You’re right Mark. Prosser is not pushing an agenda. He does not always come down on the conservative side. He applies the law to the cases that come before the court, unlike Abrahamson, Bradley, and (most of the time)Crooks.

  • John


    You wrote: I see, and you forgot the Bush-Paulson TARP bill?

    There are many things I could have included, but I didn’t forget anything… TARP bailed out the banks. The money was a loan. The loan has all but been paid back.

    You wrote: And your knowledge on health care is lacking. Hospitals are now buying up doctor-clinics and paying the doctors “productivity bonuses” for increasing admissions and the ordering of expensive tests like MRIs, all whether needed or not. Isn’t that kickback?

    A kickback? In a way. It is more like anti-trust. This should not be allowed since it does NOT foster competition. Your example of MRIs is excellent. A company like SmartChoice offers an MRI for about $600 and a hospital through their shills (doctors they own) will charge as much as $2,400. This kind of collusion drives up healthcare prices for everyone.

    You wrote: And oh, “competition” does not exist when it is once-removed to the for-profit insurance companies. If they want to increase profits they just deny care.

    If they do, they are breaking contract law. There is that thing called a contract… an insurance policy is a contract. Failure to pay a valid claim may obligate the offending insurance company to treble damages — certainly enough of a margin to entice a lawyer to take your case (you get your claim paid with one third, you pay your lawyer with one third, and you end up with one third for your inconvenience).

    Then there is the fines that an insurance carrier would pay to the state for their purposeful negligence. Lastly, in a free-market society, what do you think the reputation of the insurance company will be when they try to sell more product and such past actions are known to the buying public?

    You have none of those check and balances with a government-run program. Like the IRS, you get what they allow you have, or should I say, they take what they want and burden of proof is on the individual, not the institution.

  • John


    Edward may or may not read your point, so I will give you an answer until he does.

    From NY Magazine At 1 a.m. this morning, after three grueling days of debate and filibusters by the minority Democrats, Republican speaker pro tempore Bill Kramer called a voice vote. Within seconds, the ayes had it, 51 to 17. Only 13 of the Assembly’s 38 Democrats managed to vote.

    Notice the highlighted portions: Three days of grueling debate and “filibusters” by “minority” Democrats. Was this not enough time for the Assembly? Did the Democrats need more filibusters?

    And, when the dust settled and the question was called, what was the result? Well, since the Republicans have the majority in the Assembly, was their any question? Apparently to you, there was… At the best, it would have been 51 to 38. As it was, the result was 51 to 17. Is there really a difference? Apparently to you, there is…

  • John


    The part that was especially humorous for me was the fact that the officials in charge of voting were Democrats. That the Democrats placed a full-page ad in the news papers before the election with a sample ballot. That the system (punch ballots vs pen-marked ballots) was approved by the Democrats.

    You are so right in your recounting of what happened!

  • John


    You are partially correct. Until his term ends, Prosser is still a SSCJ. However that term ends on 7-31st. And, since the SC is in recess now, there is nothing for Prosser (or any of the justices) to do, though he is still a SCJ.

  • John


    You have failed to illustrate what was “illegal;” your word, not mine.

    Which criminal law did Walker break?

    Which legislature law did Walker Break?

    You seem to be so free with your charge that something was “illegal” but have nothing with which to support such a charge.

    I’ll give you another chance to tell me what was illegal about giving the Democrats in the Assembly three days to debate and filibuster the issue, while they only had a maximum of 38 votes and a loss by one vote is no different than a loss by 38 votes.

    I’ll be waiting…

  • 10 minutes notice, John. 10 minutes notice! It does not matter how long the contentious battle, the legal requirement is a couple of hours pre-notice to a vote. Why are you always kissing up to the R’s?

  • Ah yes, John, competition. Is that why privatized Medicare Advantage costs taxpayers 17% more than traditional Medicare? See this short video…


  • John


    I don’t know about your “short video” but it was not on point.

    1. Do you know what Medicare Advantage programs do that is different than regular Medicare?

    2. Are you against competition in healthcare?

  • John


    Your claims about what is legal and illegal are meaningless. Where is your reference? You’re retired. You have time to offer proof of your position.

    So, in a special session, what is the time requirement to notify everyone of the impending vote?

    A non-partisan hot-link will do just fine.

  • Not worth the time, John. Take it or leave it. If you think 10 minutes notice is fair, nothing I say is going to change your motives.

  • John, it *IS* on point… private is more costly than public.

    I don’t know your motives, perhaps you are with the insurance industry in some way. You’ve been very clever to keep that secret. But yes, I do know what competition stands for, as you recall I was in health care for 40 years.

    And *NO*, I do not trust private Advantage plans and do not believe that taxpayers should be subsidizing private industry over-and-above classic Medicare. It’s the “conservative” in me. But you obviously do. So be it.

  • John


    I’d prefer the free-market when purchasing most things, including healthcare. Apparently you would prefer the government run monopoly because it is cheaper. I highly doubt that anything done by the federal government will be “cheaper” in the long run than that done by a competitive free-market capitalistic system. But, that’s just the way I am, comrade.

    If government is so effective and cost efficient, why is Medicare so far underwater? Where was the keen sense of accounting and actuarial input to the potential losses so that we would not be tens of trillions of dollars in the hole? And, that is not even speaking to the issue of waste, fraud and abuse that goes on each day.

    The “conservative” in me tells me that buying most things from a monopoly (federal government) is a bad idea that will lead to an inferior product, poor customer service, and high pricing for what you get, if you can even get it.

    This is tax time. Ask a CPA for tax advice and his expertise is backed up with professional liability insurance coverage. His reputation rides on providing good service and being accurate. Give the IRS a call (or go to see them — good luck!) about your taxes. The advice they give you includes the caveat that they are not liable for any misinformation! Wow! And this is the source of the tax code but we can’t rely on them to give us the right answer…

    You didn’t explain the difference between Medicare Advantage and regular Medicare. And, here you tout your 40 years in healthcare but fail to answer that easy question.

    If you don’t know the answer just say so.

  • John


    Apparently the rules under which the Assembly conducts their sessions, and special sessions, has no standing with you. Those rules were debated and agreed to by all in the Assembly at some point in time. Yet, you feel that they were insufficient.


    Are not those who are Democrats smart enough to vote on a bill after so much debate (3 days)? When the question is called it means it’s time to vote. Would the outcome have been any different if instead of 51 to 17 it was 51 to 38?

    Why tilt at this windmill?

    The Dems knew the rules and they knew they were not going to prevail in a straight party-line vote. So, what do you do? You claim that Walker did something illegal.

    How is it not worth your time to know the difference between the right answer and the wrong answer?

    You come on to this site and spout that Walker did something illegal with so much bravado and in the end, your tail is between your legs, backing away with such words as, “Not worth the time, John. Take it or leave it. If you think 10 minutes notice is fair, nothing I say is going to change your motives.”

    All I want to do is be fair to you, Jack. I want to give you a chance to not look so extreme with your hatred for all-things-Walker. When Doyle was the governor the rules in the Assembly were the same. Were those rules not fair for the Republicans then? Where was your voice, then?

    Let’s be fair, Jack. You don’t have a solid position and can’t find anything to support your warped point of view, so you throw it back at me, as if I am the arbiter of what is or isn’t fair — when the point you originally made was: Walker did something illegal!

    He didn’t. Get over it.

  • Mark

    Then you are ignorant. Just look at the Dem advertisments for Klop

  • Mark

    How is that different from Obama care HMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  • linda wiesner

    I sure hope they don’t find 7,500 hundred votes for Klop. in the trunck of somebody’s car

  • “If you don’t know the answer just say so.” Your condescending arrogance is becoming obvious and tiresome.

    Of course I know the difference and you know that I know the difference. As an insurance company employee you also know that Advantage’s 17% higher costs would put them 17% further underwater than Medicare. All to cover the $15 million CEO salaries, bonuses, massive benefits, marketing costs, broker commissions, shareholder commissions, and political bribes. If you are stupid enough to pay those, turn Medicare down and go private. Over 70% of doctors and nurses and the public prefer Medicare-for-all.

    But I’m sure that would harm your income so you are forgiven.

  • Don’t be stupid John. The rules did NOT include 10 minute notices for votes. Even the judge that shot down the bill knew.

    Your partisanship is showing, and it’s making you look like an idiot.

  • Brad

    John: Good point.

  • Jill

    Joh for president in 2012, I wouldn’t vote for Jack as dog catcher!

  • John

    1. If you think my ending remark was arrogant, you haven’t seen anything yet. It was you who claimed there was a difference in MA that was not worth the 17% and you have yet to explain the pluses and minuses of both options.

    2. I do not work for any insurance company. While I have extensive risk-management experience, I have no conflict of interest in advocating for or against Medicare.

    3. In a regular Medicare plan, the claims are adjuicated by companies like Blue Cross and WPS. These companies earn a fee by processing claims. They take no risk in the claim. Medicare Advantage plans also process the claim, but they also take the risk of the Medicare patient — if they have a patient that costs $1 million the federal government doesn’t give the MA any more money. They “manage” the claim of the patient. According to Wikipedia:

    …an analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data published by America’s Health Insurance Plans found that Medicare Advantage enrollees spent fewer days in the hospital than Fee-for-Service enrollees, were less likely to have “potentially avoidable” admissions, and had fewer re-admissions. These comparisons adjusted for age, sex and health status using the risk score used in the Medicare Advantage risk adjustment mechanism.

    Now, while I’m not suggesting that this is or isn’t worth 17% for those who choose it, is this not the goal of good health care? To reduce the admissions, and re-admissions, improve outcomes, etc.? Maybe it is only worth 8% more? Or 5% more. But, the point is, the federal government does NOT have the risk of the claim — that was “sold” to the insurance carrier when the Feds gave the MA company the Medicare portion of the individual’s premium, including the Part B payment by the beneficiary.

    4. You’re rant about the margin that gets paid to the insurance company is silly. CEOs will continue to earn hefty compensation packages with or without Medicare. Maybe you want to destroy the whole private health insurance industry, eh? I’m still waiting for you to tell me how cost-effective the federal government is…

    There is “marketing costs” in everything. Even the post office, who has a monopoly on the delivery of mail, has spent millions of dollars on marketing. Why, if there is no legal competition for that business?

    A Medicare Supplement plan has a person who explained the costs and benefits to the Medicare enrollee. They are all paid some fee as a commission for that service. That fee is built into the cost of the supplement plan. When the Medicare beneficiary has a question they can call the person that sold them the supplemental plan and get an answer. The answer they get is backed up by the Errors and Omissions (Malpractice) Insurance that each such state-licensed sales agent must carry. If you have no supplemental coverage and have a question about the adjucation of the claim, call up Medicare directly and see what kind of answer you get, and tell me who stands behind that answer.

    For a “supposed businessman” you should know that there are no such things as “shareholder commissions.”

    Your non-sequitor of advocating for “going private” versus choosing a plan that does not cost the patient any more money, but gives the patient so many more benefits, and produces the better outcomes (less admissions and less re-admissions) is ridiculous.

    You must really be frustrated to rationalize the way you do…

  • TROY

    If the democrats weren’t around, all the problems would instantly go away. Correct?

  • John

    There you go again…

    You wrote: The rules did NOT include 10 minute notices for votes. Even the judge that shot down the bill knew.

    What amount of time do the rules require? I bet you don’t know.

    You just have that jerking-knee syndrome and can’t help yourself.

    Look here…Open Meetings law contains several exceptions to the 24-hour rule. Wisconsin Statute §19.87(2) states “No provision of this subchapter which conflicts with a rule of the senate or assembly or joint rule of the legislature shall apply to a meeting conducted in compliance with such rule.” In other words, if there is a conflict between the Open Meetings Law and legislative rules, the legislative rules prevail. Moreover, the Wisconsin Constitution grants the legislature broad authority in carrying out its business in Article IV, §8 where it states, in part, that “[e]ach house may determine the rules of its own proceedings.”

    Funny how you warn me about being stupid, and you are simply taking the partisan position of the left.

    Fact. Medicare is unsustainable without cuts in benefits and/or increases in Employer/Employee payments and/or Part B and Part D premium increases.

    Fact. Medicare’s unintended consequence has been the insufficient funding for senior healthcare that has resulted in the government setting limits on provider payments, which in turn, has proportionally increased the cost of non-Medicare healthcare.

    So, as the federal government screws up Medicare with huge deficits and the ruin of the non-Medicare healthcare pricing mechanism, what is your battle cry? “Give me more! And, let’s give it to Everyone!”

  • John

    Thank you.

    While I appreciate being drafted, I must decline.

    And, I’m sure that Jack would be just fine as a Dog Catcher.

  • John


    No, that would not happen.

    The problems we dwell on are sometimes macro and sometimes micro. Even if we were of ‘one mind’ on some of the macro issues, we will surely devolve into factions when it came to the micro. Look at Israel. They certainly have one mind in their quest to exist, but how that is accomplished is sometimes a all-out free-for-all — some people would think they are from different countries and different cultures when they meet in the Knesset.

    And the other side of that coin… The Arabs want to see Israel disappear. Yet, they cannot get along with themselves on many other issues and seem to want to subjugate their population or those of their neighbors.

    We need to have liberals spouting their philosophy so we can remember why we are conservatives. We need a foe to make us that much better at what we do. If everyoneacted the same way — take this web site for example — how boring would that be? It is only because people like Jack come in here and tell us how Walker is a crook that we can stop and analyze those comments. Since they have no basis in fact (only one man’s prejudice), I am even more certain that I am correct, as well as pleased with our new Governor’s actions. The more that the left challenges him, the better he looks, too!

    I don’t know about you, but I’m very proud of Paul Ryan, as well.

    Would we even have noticed Paul Ryan if there was no financial crisis looming? Probably not.

  • mike wilen

    Well I am going to point something out to all of the people on this list. The reason we are in such financial trouble is very simple. We keep electing the same people over and over. The two party’s have the public so brain washed into thinking they are the only answer. I will give a great example of the thievery Social Security is broke. The reason it is broke is because Republicans and Democrats put it in the general fund and spent both parties screwed us all. When you look at politics at the state level the ems waste money on there own pet projects as well do the republicans. People who deserve power would never seek it. Shame on all of you. As far as my view on Scott Walker he has a right to try to pass his agenda. You may or may not agree with it. The result of his lack of tact and good politicking has resulted in a citizen revolt which is very unwise. He can now ever have any chance at governing with out suspicion. His arrogance has come back to bite him in the ass. He may have won the vote for the budget but there is a good chance that he will not be in office his whole term.

  • John


    Most people want to simplify their lives. That means, when confronted with a problem they find it best to breakdown the possible solutions into two options. Even if there are many options, we try to uncomplicate our lives with winnowing down the options to two. Men are more adept at understanding this than women — that’s not a right or wrong thing, but just an observation. Women can look at many options (think buying clothes) and spend an inordinate amount of time on weighing all of the naunces presented (or perceived). Men… well, we like to shop the manly way — we want it simple; we want to make it a choice between only two options and get the process behind us.

    In many European countries they are more like women — there are lots of political choices and they have to form alliances with others (their former competitors for votes) to gain a majority in order to rule. We, as Americans, have simplified that process by having two parties that are not necessarily as pure in their ideology as found in Europe. That is why we have conservatives that aren’t. And, liberals who are… solcialists. The agnst of selling “policy” to the masses is relegated to one party instead of amongst several. So, your claim that a two-party system is at fault is not really valid. The same poor decisions on matters of economic issues can come out of a many-party system — Just look at Europe and see.

    If you think Obama is the same as anyone else, who might that be? I don’t see it. He’s more to the left than Clinton on matters economical. More incompetent than Carter on matters international. He’s even more to the left of FDR when it comes to social entitlements.

    And, is sameness so bad when one follows in the steps of one’s predessor who was a great leader?

    I can see your point on SS. However, what is to be done with the money collected by SS, if not invested? Since the U.S. has the ultimate obligation to honor the contact with seniors in SS, AND the U.S. Treasury has been the “gold standard” when it comes to investment safety, where would you have invested the funds? It is not so much as the fact that we have combined accounting , but that the SS surplus from the CA has been used to mitigate the perception of the deficit. Take away the SS surplus from the Clinton era and we would probably not have had a budget surplus!

    Wisconsin Republicans “waste money” on “pet projects?” Such as what?

    Walker and the republicans in the Assembly and the state Senate were very tactful. They presented a Budget Repair Bill. You could have put all kinds of ribbons on it, dressed it up like a supermodel and it would have still been rejected by the Democrats who rely on public sector union campaign contributions to get elected and increase the power they have in Wisconsin politics.

    The only people who “suspect” Walker of evil doings are those who didn’t vote for him or are closely attached to liberal union ideologies. Walker could stand on his head for the rest of his four-year term and they would never change their opinion of him. Walker will continue to govern Wisconsin for the good of Wisconsin and not for the good of public sector unions.

  • barney

    The same could be asked of your BLIND support of the runaway Democrats!

    Of course that is perfectly legal in the eyes of “the end justifies the means” mentality of the left.

  • barney

    We would certainly live in a much freer and productive world!

  • barney

    Sadly… the President of the USA doesn’t think that way.

  • Lavon

    I agree with you 100% that Scott Walker will govern for the GOOD of Wisconsin and not for the good of public sector unions or any other pressure group. I see good and great things in this governor, he needs to get this bill passed so he can get past that issue. He has hit the ground running and I don’t see him hesitating for anyone. We need to thank him once again for STOPPING THE TRAIN!

  • 300 million? Too many lawyers are bottom scum, We would be better off if 90% of lawyers did their mopping up on a floor stead of in a court room. There is something to be said for q brace of pistols and a pair of seconds at dawn. If the bastard were offed more then a few would cheer. By the way I love the yogurt, I just offed one. CherryMmmm.