Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WI Special Election: Supreme Court Election Results

Looks like a “Chicago style election”—just change the city of Chicago for the city of Milwaukee and I think we have “been here before”.


Wednesday Morning Update:

Here's the current tally, according to the AP:

Prosser: 738,514
Kloppenburg: 738,883
Precincts Reporting: 3625/3630

Update #28: This is headed for a recount.  Please email if you have any info on absentees.  Address: jellis@businessinsider.com.

Update #27: Absentees!  8000 to be counted in Milwaukee, says the Mayor (how convenient!). Prosser lead 1600 votes.

Update #26:  Back to 2000 vote lead for Prosser.

Update #25: Snapback!  He's up by 5000 votes!

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/wisconsin-election-results-long-night-ahead-2011-4#ixzz1IiZdymrH

Click on the following for more details:  WI Special Election: Results

State Supreme Court race with wide implications nearly deadlocked - JSOnline


was too close to call late Tuesday, after a hard-fought campaign dominated by political forces and outside interest groups.

contest for a 10-year term, Kloppenburg is trying to accomplish the rare feat of unseating a sitting justice. Michael Gableman defeated then-Justice Louis Butler in 2008, but before that it had been 41 years since an incumbent lost a race for a high court seat. Unlike Butler, who was appointed to the post, Prosser was elected to his current term.

Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School estimates interest groups spent more than $3.5 million on TV ads, breaking the $3.38 million record set in the 2008 Gableman-Butler contest, with four conservative groups backing Prosser spending a total of 37% more than one liberal group backing Kloppenburg.

Gableman's defeat of Butler that swung the court majority from 4-3 liberal to 4-3 conservative, with Prosser frequently - but not always - in the conservative bloc.

Gableman's victory also was controversial because of a misleading television ad he ran against Butler. The court deadlocked, 3-3, over whether he violated the judicial ethics code, with Gableman abstaining and Prosser siding with conservatives against disciplining him. Prosser's support of Gableman became a campaign issue.

business groups spent heavily on ads backing the more conservative candidate, in this case Prosser, seeking to ensure rulings favorable to their interests. Kloppenburg was portrayed as soft on crime and overzealous in enforcing environmental laws.

liberal Greater Wisconsin Committee ran ads that played up Prosser's 2010 outburst against Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, leader of the liberal bloc - in which he called her "a total bitch" and threatened to "destroy" her - and his 1978 decision, as a district attorney, not to prosecute a priest later convicted of sexually abusing children.

Just five Wisconsin Supreme Court justices have been unseated by challengers since the court was created in 1852 - Samuel Crawford in 1855; Robert M. Bashford in 1908; James Ward Rector in 1947; George R. Currie in 1967; and Butler in 2008.

State Supreme Court race with wide implications nearly deadlocked - JSOnline

Governor Walker demotes son of campaign contributor - JSOnline


The move comes one day after the Journal Sentinel reported that Brian Deschane, 27, had landed an $81,500-a-year job in Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. The promotion amounted to a raise of 26%.

His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association. The group's political action committee gave $29,000 to Walker and his running mate

The younger Deschane has no college degree, little management experience and two drunken driving convictions.

Walker chief of staff Keith Gilkes recommended Brian Deschane for a job with the Regulation and Licensing Department. In January, he became bureau director of board services, a position that paid $62,728 a year.

His pay will return to the lower amount when he resumes duties Wednesday

Click on the following for more details:  Walker demotes son of campaign contributor - JSOnline

17 named in clergy sex-abuse case | StarTribune.com

names were released by St. John's Abbey of Collegeville as part of a settlement of clergy abuse lawsuits announced on Monday (3-28-2011)by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson. The clergy taught at St. John's Preparatory School or were assigned to parishes in St. Cloud.

four are deceased, three are no longer at St. John's and the others live at the abbey "with the constraints of a safety plan and supervision

Rev. Thomas Reese, a clergy sex abuse expert at the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington, D.C., said the diocese of Baltimore and others have begun to make public lists of

"The bottom line is the church did such a bad job in handling this [clergy sex abuse], that no one has any confidence or trust in the hierarchy's handling of these priests,'' Reese continued. "I think it's inevitable in today's world, the church is going to have to publish these names."

 Click on the following for more details:  17 named in clergy sex-abuse case | StarTribune.com

Stephen A. Hurlbut—The rest of the story

General Hurlbut is often pictured as a hero in Belvidere—here is a very different story.   Jeffrey N. Lash in 2003 published A Politician Turned General, nice, readable biography that lays its subject bare.  The following is a condensation of the book available on the internet.

Stephen A. Hurlbut - Brady-Handy.jpgHurlbut was a scoundrel to the core – at least up to and including his time in New Orleans. Hurlbut was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1815. He received a liberal education and studied law, the starting point for most shady politicians. By the 1840's Hurlbut was low on funds and had resorted to cheating at cards to supplement his income. By 1845 he had graduated up to forging checks and was forced to leave Charleston, probably in the dark of night.

Hurlbut moved west a sufficient distance to avoid scandal and landed in Belvidere, Illinois. ….

1861, Lincoln nominated Hurlbut as a brigadier general. Hurlbut had little to recommend him, but Lincoln paid his political debts, both to Hurlbut and others. Newspapers at the time called his nomination "a joke" and "an outrage." Another called Hurlbut a "one-horse lawyer, and a brawling precinct politician." Hulrbut was sent back to Illinois to command four regiments. Their task was to protect the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroads in Northern Missouri. Southerners, not yet really in the war, were forming militia bands and raiding communication and railway systems.

often" "so intoxicated as to be unable to walk." …the Chicago Evening Journal was calling for his court-martial. Even the New York Times was critical of his behavior and they were a long way from it. Lincoln refused to discipline him and instead reassigned him to Benton Barracks near St. Louis.

After six weeks of penance, he was sent to Tennessee to serve under Grant. In this assignment he would have his one military success. In the battle of Shiloh, Hurlbut showed great personally bravery and gallantry under fire. He did so again at the battle of Hatchie Bridge. Grant then reassigned him and made him the commander of the Military District of Memphis. Memphis in no way deserved this treatment…While skimming thousands of dollars out of the cotton smuggling trade, he completely ignored other aspects of his command.

He would invent an infraction, arrest the Jew in question and confiscate their goods. After a time in prison, they would often be released, but their property was never returned. Asked about it, Hurlbut responded that the gold had been confiscated from a smuggler and minted into currency by his provost. He did not add, "and put into Hurlbut's deposit box,"

involved in the heavy prostitution trade in Memphis.

Eventually Hurlbut would be investigated by Secretary of War Stanton. Before Stanton could look too closely into the matter, however, Hurlbut tended his resignation to Lincoln, pleading that he needed to return to his legal career to support his family

Click on the following for more details of this anti-hero:  Entry

Another review of the book is also available.  Nick Kurtz writes:  “not every general could be on the battlefield, some needed to govern the territory gained. Hurlbut spent most of his war doing just that, and along the way he may have made a tremendous amount of money for himself through embezzlement. “  See more of his comments at:  http://shilohnick.blogspot.com/2011/03/stephen-hurlbut.html