Wisconsin SC Race

Tonight we find out whether the right wing fat cats can purchase a state supreme court seat in the great state of Wisconsin. The Louis Butler – Michael Gableman race, previously discussed here, has drawn much attention (along with several million dollars of tort “reform” attack ad money).

WisPolitics.com provides a running tally here. As of this writing, insurance industry darling Gableman leads incumbent Butler by a 51%-49% margin with 57% of precincts reporting. Disturbing, to be sure, but on the plus side Gableman’s lead was as high as twelve points earlier in the evening.

Please be sure to check in with Illusory Tenant for a comprehensive post-mortem.

Update: With 72% of precincts reporting, Butler now leads 51%-49%. This is exciting as hell, and I haven’t so much as set foot in Wisconsin for ten years!

More: 92% of precincts reporting and Gableman leads 51%-49%, with a margin of about 10,500 votes. According to this, “Louis Butler told supporters a short time ago his campaign was still crunching numbers.” In my experience, such statements are a let-your-supporters-down-easy way of saying, “We’re pretty much convinced that we’re screwed.”

Still More: Yes, Virginia, a river of dirty money coupled with lack of compunction re aggravated and egregious lying can indeed buy a supreme court seat in the state of Wisconsin: Gableman declares victory, Butler concedes ‘privately’

And: The Madison Capital Times offers this brutally candid assessment of the outcome.  After detailing and dismissing various possible explanations for Butler’s loss (Butler was eminently experienced, ethical, competent, collegial and capable of drawing bipartisan support), the author gets down to business:

So why did Butler lose? Those attack ads by the Gableman campaign distorted the incumbent’s record and flashed images of an African-American justice next to those of an African-American child molester.

There was no subtlety to the Gableman campaign. It was explicitly racial in its messaging. The point was to stir fear and resentment. And, with an assist from the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce corporate lobby, it worked.

. . .

[N]o one has ever come to the state Supreme Court in so dishonest and dishonorable a manner as Mike Gableman. He ran a shameful campaign and deserves no praise or respect in victory. His presence on the bench will diminish respect for the judiciary.


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  • GO GABLEMAN  On April 1, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Supreme Court
    REPORTING: 75%

    Mike Gableman: 332,442
    Louis Butler: 322,083

  • genghishitler  On April 1, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Damn, that’s some tight shit right there.

  • GO GABLEMAN  On April 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    79% Reporting

    Gableman: 51% 338,634

    Butler: 49% 326,673

  • GO GABLEMAN  On April 1, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    80% Reporting

    Gableman: 51% 347,881

    Butler: 49% 334,208

  • GO GABLEMAN  On April 1, 2008 at 9:01 pm


  • GO, GABLEMAN  On April 2, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Yep, Wisconsin has been made safe for corporate malfeasors. Ziegler and now Gableman — with solid planning and deep pockets, there could be an entire court of purchased justices with records of unethical behaviour!

  • genghishitler  On April 2, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Indeed. Supply Side Jesus is in His heaven and all is right with the world.

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