“Non-partisan” election time

When will Wisconsin abandon its fiction of the “non-partisan” elections (held in April)? While they may be non-partisan on a local level (and I doubt they will stay that way much longer, witness recent Waukesha mayoral races), on a state level it has long passed being non-partisan in the true sense of the word.

The candidates for the two state-wide “non-partisan” races, for the seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court currently held by Justice Patience Ruggensack and the post of Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction, currently held by Tony Evers, are set and one can see the partisan divide developing already.

One candidate for the Supreme Court, Vince Megna, is not even hiding it. And I think just about every one on the left side of the debate has made up their minds against Justice Ruggensack. A former student has already posted on DailyKos that Ed Fallone is a “REAL Democrat” in enlisting support for his election and further refers to him as “Dem in WI Sup. Ct – Why he would bring great things to Wisconsin & needs your support.”

The reasons? Fallone has made “convincing arguments about the dangers of such efforts as the collective bargaining union stripping efforts, Voter ID laws, and even the minutiae involved in the process of enacting such legislation. He recognizes the value of progressive ideas, like stem cell research (he has been deeply involved with a company doing just that), immigration reform, and the invidiousness of voter suppression.”

Why hide it anymore? It’s obvious from recent history and developing strategies that partisanship control the non-partisan elections just as much as the partisan ones.


  1. I’m a bit conflicted on this, especially when we are electing Judges.

    Mayors, aldermen and other local officials I’d have no problem with. I heard a Milwaukee Alderman deny his relationship with the a political party on the radio and a few weeks later saw his endorsement of Tom Barrett for Gov, paid for by the Democratic party.

    Megna is nuts and Fallone has lied by omission in interviews I’ve seen.

  2. “Fallone has lied by omission in interviews I’ve seen.”

    Real men don’t cheep-shot other men by calling them liars “by omission”.

    Man-up Sam. If you’re going to label someone a liar, at least offer up some supporting evidence to give credence to your claim. Otherwise you just look petty and vindictive.

  3. It is not obvious to me that partisanship exists in local races. The sky is not falling as near as I can tell.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    No one is non-partisan. The term is a non-sequitur.

  5. Merriam says:
    Partisan: a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance.

    Apparently, ‘Fairly Conservatives’ are not ‘partisan’.

  6. Dale, I thought for a moment that I wish I understood what you were getting at in your comment, but then I realized you probably weren’t interested in a genuine discussion, so I let it go.

    Let someone know if you really want to hash it out.

  7. Bill Kurtz says:

    Some legislator should introduce a constitutional amendment to make Supreme Court races partisan.

  8. There is a tendency to use the word ‘partisan’ when ‘bias’ or ‘prejudice’ is more appropriate. At the local level where I live, we all suspect who is voting Republican or Democrat but competence is more important than ideology. There are no towns advocating bicycle paths when roads need repair. There are no towns trying to shrink the infrastructure of a town to something less than what it is today. When it comes to frac sand mining in rural Wisconsin, I am unaware of anyone running for town office and advocating less regulation and an expansion of frac sand mining in their town.
    Having said all of that, at the county level there is a clear indicator that size matters when it comes to Planning Commissions. I believe this is less a partisan issue than a qualification issue. In my experience, when an authority body does not have the qualified representation it needs to accomplish its mission, it seeks to expand its membership with the hope that more input will improve its decisions. (I have not found that expanded membership improves decision making.)

    If people do support the notion that we are all either Republicans or Democrats under the skin and that it is bred into our DNA, then instead of caving in and saying ‘Let’s admit judicial offices are partisan’ , we should denounce the partisanship behavior and declare the candidate unfit for nonpartisan office. Let’s hold to the standard that judges should not be ruling on cases with a partisan mindset. We need professional judges and by that I mean those that set aside their personal ideologies and judge a case based upon the law and the facts provided. And if any candidate suggests, for example, that his ideology would favor the environment or industry subsidies or Democrat/Republican positions, we should run him out of town on a rail.
    Perhaps in Milwaukee and Madison , everyone wears partisan glasses all the time. I have not experienced it in local government in this area.

    And finally, “Fairly Conservative” implies a degree of conservativeness and implies that not all conservative ideas are embraced to the same extent. By definition, a blog like FC cannot be considered partisan although it is biased. In this Humpty-Dumpty world though, a word “means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    And I object to that.

  9. What if, to your surprise, justices are ruling according to the unique quality of how they each interpret the law and you are calling it partisan?

    You object. That’s cute.

  10. What’s worse than Dale’s holier-than-thou rant is that 19 other morons bought into it in the 2012 7th Congressional District election.