Andrew Leonard (Salon): Call it the miracle of Wisconsin … With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the liberal candidate for state Supreme Court justice, JoAnne Kloppenburg, boasts a whopping 204 vote lead over the longtime incumbent and conservative Wisconsin fixture David Prosser…
…That there will be a recount appears inevitable … but this is a fairly amazing result. In February, Kloppenburg managed to get only 25 percent of the vote in a primary contested by four parties. Prosser was considered a shoo-in … just six months later, the Tea Party tide, at least in Wisconsin, has been matched by a wave in the opposite direction.
Adding fuel to liberal euphoria, a Democrat also won election to the county executive seat in Milwaukee vacated by Gov. Scott Walker …and Kloppenburg decisively trounced Prosser in the district currently represented by Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke, the first legislator for whom Democrats have accumulated enough signatures to force a recall vote….
The best evidence of what was at stake in this election, ironically, comes from the Walker camp. The night before the election, Walker’s chief counsel, Brian Hagedorn, sent out an email outlining the dire consequences of a Kloppenburg victory. “If Justice Prosser loses:
* The Supreme Court will shift from a 4-3 conservative majority to a 4-3 liberal majority.
* Governor Walker’s agenda could be stopped in its tracks by this new activist majority.
* Union bosses and their allies will be emboldened and further push to recall the brave Senators who voted for Governor Walker’s budget repair bill.
* (Chief Justice) Shirley Abrahamson and her allies will continue to drag down the reputation of the Court, with an additional vote to further push through their radical agenda.”
One could argue about who really has the “radical” agenda in Wisconsin, but the gist of Hagedorn’s email shouldn’t be in dispute. Walker’s opponents will be emboldened. And so will anyone else looking for evidence of what can happen when enough people get out and vote.
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