The cruel and unusual candidacy of David Prosser

I wanted to expand on Zach\'s post pointing out that Prosser’s home town paper reversed their endorsement of him.
For one because I wanted to use this title for a story on him and secondly, because the incompetence of Prosser can not be stressed enough! After the Appleton Post Crescent endorsed JoAnne Kloppenburg for WI Supreme Court(vote April 5th), The Wausau Daily Herald followed suit.

Lastly, we are troubled by Prosser’s decision last year to vote in favor of an ethics rule, written by the Wisconsin Realtors Association, which stated that justices need not recuse themselves from cases involving campaign donors, no matter how large the contribution. For the judiciary to have credibility with the public, there must be some sort of recusal standard in place — sometimes the appearance of a conflict of interest can be as damaging to the court as an actual conflict.

Maybe after seeing this \"love fest\" of praise from Michael Gableman. We learned that Prosser should have recused himself from the Gableman case. Also one of the reasons he was so crazed in attacking Justice Abrahamson, was because she was speaking bad of Prosser’s “Good friend” (an alleged rumor discussed below)Mike Gableman(Like my wife and I, many happy couples like to shop together at Whole Foods in Madison, WI).

Another thing that is lost in the whole David Prosser is a bitter partisan debate, is his support for convicted felon Scooter Jensen:

But here’s something else that might have been missed amid Wisconsin’s recent political ugliness. In 2006, Prosser said that while he was a legislative leader, staffers who worked under his direction did campaign work. He also acknowledged that in his interview with The P-C on March 18.

Here’s a member of the highest court in Wisconsin, whose judges are expected to possess unimpeachable integrity, admitting he condoned illegal activity as an elected official.

In a brief filed by the attorney of former state Rep. Scott Jensen, a Prosser protege who was charged with three felony counts of misconduct in office (in a December 2010 plea deal, Jensen pleaded no-contest to a misdemeanor charge), Prosser said he basically did the same thing that caused Jensen to be charged.

In the brief, after outlining how his leadership role involved getting more Republicans elected to the Assembly, Prosser said:

“During my term as a legislator and as a speaker, there were caucus members and caucus directors who participated in activities including but not limited to the following: Campaign and political meetings in the Capitol office; assisting the speaker and the elected leadership by recruiting candidates; gathering voting lists and target lists; setting up, attending and staffing fundraisers; and assisting legislators in creating and implementing office plans.”

Prosser’s statement was presented in Jensen’s defense. He’s saying, as others said, that’s the way business is done in Madison. That’s what Jensen’s job was about, too.

It’s illegal. It was illegal when Prosser was in charge and it was illegal when Jensen was in charge.

In his statement, Prosser saw it differently. He said, “Every activity that could be characterized as a campaign activity can be conceivably construed to be an act that furthers the legislative process.”

So, campaigns and legislative work are so intertwined that it’s all part of the same process.

As a taxpayer, what do you think? Should your tax dollars, which were used to fund the caucuses until they were disbanded in the wake of a scandal, have gone toward campaigning?

Only someone who works — or worked — in the Capitol would think taxpayers would go for that.

Again, it was against the law. You’d think Prosser would acknowledge that, even if he didn’t agree. But he told The P-C that “it was a different era and public expectations were quite different.”

Prosser said that the law “had never been interpreted that way.”

So, what do we do? Let bygones be bygones?

We can’t.

Neither can I!


Related Articles

34 thoughts on “The cruel and unusual candidacy of David Prosser

  1. I’ve known Prosser for a long time, and he has always epitomized the negative perception of the “lifelong politician.” He lost my trust long ago and has never gained it back.

  2. I have one gay friend who counsels me on GOP, self-hating politicians to the effect of: I’m not gay, so I don’t know and I can’t judge until I walk in their shoes. Sort of an Atticus adage.

    But I lean towards the view of another gay friend who says simply, and I’m quoting: “Out the f*&ker.”

    Prosser and Gableman are like the two evil trolls: Cohn and Hoover.

  3. As a proud liberal, it’s pretty disgusting to me that a liberal blog would spew homophobic crap like this. But I’m sure all your middle school readers will appreciate the humor in the “nudge nudge wink wink” comment.

  4. i dont think its the least bit “homophobic” at all, as I am not the homophobic whatsoever. Its meant to show what hypocrites many on the right are, especially some of his staunchest supporters(julaine appling anyone)…

    1. Jeff, I disagree. I fail to see why your (wink wink nudge nudge) comment was necessary, nor do I think it was appropriate, because it’s not at all relevant to the argument against Justice Prosser.

    2. And for what it’s worth, you know you’d be calling out conservatives if they said the same thing about a Democratic/liberal candidate, so I fail to understand the humor in what you wrote.

  5. Zach, sorry I dont mean to offend, BUT there are many rumors and I have even had people email me these same rumours who I trust as being very credible sources.

    Between Gablemans despicable win, and the hard right partisanship of Prosser and his supporters. I think it is a very relevant to the arguments against judge prosser.

    Just as it was relevant when the rumors were out there about Larry Craig. I agree with Mal about the two camps and i agree with camp 2 here. When you spend your life judging the private lives of others, then your private life is no longer private.

    However I understand the thought process of the first camp and respect that also.

    I understand that it is a fine line to walk, but because the position he is going for is so very important to the lives of all WIsconsinites that I made the call to add in the tips i had been given.

    1. Rumors are rumors; that doesn’t mean we have to make snarky comments about every rumor we get. I get a hundred rumors a week, but very few of them ever find their way into my posts, simply because I try really hard not to report on wild rumors.

      Besides, what business is it of yours or mine what David Prosser’s sexual orientation may or may not be, and what bearing would that have on the Supreme Court race?

  6. Plus if there is a personal relationship between Prosser and Gableman dont you think that’s relevant to the issue? Just the fact that he did not recuse himself from the Gableman ruling shows everything about him. I would say the same thing if there were rumors sent to me of Prosser and Roggensack or Prosser and Abrahamson for that point.

    Do you think it would be ok for say Bill and Hillary Clinton to both serve on the Supreme Court?

    Maybe some day everyone can truly live as who they are and be judged accordingly.

    1. No, I don’t think unsubstantiated rumors about Justice Prosser’s sexuality are relevant to whether or not he’s qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

    1. Again, I get a lot of rumors from people I trust, but remember that rumors wouldn’t be rumors if they could be proven with facts.

    2. I also thought it was vile (and believe I said so) when “reliable” allegations were made against a former Lt. Gov on a similiar issue. It was irrelevant and disgusting.

        1. Since you pride yourself on taking your kids to sleep on the dirty floors of the Capitol, are you also teaching them it is okay to smear somebody if you disagree with their issues? You are a class act Jeff. Goodnight!

  7. Zach,

    I put a lot of thought into if i wanted to use this or not and after reading numerous stories etc… on Prosser and his supporters decided to. I think the campaign Gableman ran was shameful and the fact that the court is so divided makes it so dysfunctional and Prosser might be the biggest problem why. If he is having a relationship with Gableman then there is a major problem. I could try and call his campaign and ask directly but I doubt i would get a straight answer.

    I would hope that I would not defend a liberal candidate for these accusations in the same circumstances. I would probably not be defending someone who worked to take away the rights of a calls of people and yet lived that way secretly.

    I have many friends that are living with the real consequences of what the right has done to them.

    However because I gave it so much thought, I totally see the other side. I understand and respect where you are coming from.
    let me think about this for a bit and ill edit….

  8. Jeff, whatever Prosser might or might not be pales in comparison to the nervous and insecure bully that he revealed himself to be in the pubtv debate the other night.

    I think the good justice does deserve more of a very bright spotlight, and just a bit of encouragement, and he will eagerly provide us with a host of examples of why he is unfit for office.

    And who or what he is diddling isn’t one of them.

  9. I personally think we expect too little of our elected representatives and the penalties when they get caught are too lenient. Our Government should not be their playtoy(yes Huebsch and the Fitz family I mean you too)! So I think having this alleged information as part of the discussion is fair as long as its recognized as a rumor and I will edit the post to say such.

  10. 1.

    [D]uring [Prosser’s previous] tenure [as Republican Assembly member and speaker] Republican Gov. Lee Dreyfus signed into law legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation (1982), making Wisconsin the first state in the nation to pass such a law.

    But Prosser was not among the GOP elected officials who supported that law. Instead, he was one of 45 Assembly members who voted against the landmark legislation, which passed on a close vote of 49-45.

  11. 2.

    The question of whether the state should provide benefits to same-sex partners wasn’t decided in a split-decision ruling Thursday by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

    But in the course of barring eight municipalities from joining the lawsuit, court members lashed out at one another in sharply written separate opinions.

    Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, writing for the four-member majority, accused the three justices in the minority of stirring “the cauldron of hot-button issues” with a dissent addressing abortion, the influence of the American Civil Liberties Union and gay rights.

    Guess who wrote the dissenting opinion:

    In the dissent, Justice David Prosser questioned the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion.

    In response, Abrahamson accused Prosser and the two other justices in the minority – Annette Ziegler and Pat Roggensack – of turning to “political considerations and appeals to emotions.”

    The case at hand is about procedure, Abrahamson said: The court does not even come close to addressing the issue of whether gay state workers should have benefits equal to heterosexuals.

    Prosser argued in the dissent that the case was not about procedure but rather “one of the great social and political controversies of our time.”

    So its a controversy to be homosexual? or to just expect the same rights as heterosexuals?


    Prosser has been a speaker at right-wing events, where he’s shared the spotlight with some of the most ardent foes of equality. A good example is the Defending the American Dream Summit, which was sponsored by a coalition that reads like a who’s who of right-wing Wisconsin extremist groups, including the Wisconsin Family Council.

    So he has spent his life as a far right fighter against gay rights. I agree that who is or isnt in a relationship with is not an issue, UNLESS it is with another Justice who he was a deciding vote in favor of a case in which the person he allegedly is having a relationship with did not have to face trial (

  12. Sorry for the numerous postings, it kept telling me they looked “spammy”. Anyway in terms of how i would treat a liberal. I was very harsh on mike Sheridan during his whole “scandal”. I could care less who he sleeps with UNLESS its a lobbyist for the payday loan industry while your working on a payday loan bill. So much so he “defriended” me on Facebook.

    Just saying I have been consistent in my views!

    1. Wow I guess you deserve a pat on the back then. How about sticking to real issues?

  13. The real issue is David Prosser wants to be there for Scott Walker to complement him and help him get all of his stuff passed, irregardless of what is in the bill or if he shoiuld recuse himself. He cares little for the law and has no interest in reviewing each case judiciously simply to make sure everything that fits his hard right agenda passes.

    I would consider that a relevant issue.

    1. While Prosser is not running on advancing the Walker agenda, Kloppenburg surely is running against it. You think that is appropriate?

      1. Prosser’s campaign did announce he’d be a good complement to Gov. Walker and the Republican legislature, which could be considered a statement that he’d advance the Walker agenda if reelected.

  14. I stand by what I wrote earlier. I emphatically disagree with you bringing up rumors about Justice Prosser’s private life, because I just don’t believe those things have any bearing on the race, other than to smear Justice Prosser.

    I’ve made it very clear I don’t like Justice Prosser and won’t be voting for him based his temperament, his past history as Outagamie County DA, and his admission that he engaged in illegal campaign activities as Speaker of the Assembly, and not because of a salacious rumor.

  15. Zach I understand and its noted and I respect that. As I said I spent a few days thinking if I thought it was relevant or not and made the decision. I understand both sides, and have made clear my thought processes and how I came to my decision.

    Although it took away the major point of the post is what you just said:

    his admission that he engaged in illegal campaign activities as Speaker of the Assembly!

    That was the main point I was trying to make .

    1. If that was the point you were trying to make, then you should have just come right to that point, instead of adding extraneous rumors to the mix. There’s a lot to be critical of when it comes to David Prosser; we don’t need to be attacking him on unsubstantiated rumors.

  16. I urge all to consider watching Kirby Dick’s Outrage: The “searing indictment of the hypocrisy of closeted politicians who actively campaign against the LGBT community they covertly belong to.”

    Sources who can confirm on the record are difficult to find, that’s why it all on background, i.e.: “Rumors.” A gay, Appleton man won’t go on the record — Shocker. Another guy in Outagamie County won’t talk about it. Can blame them?

    I do believe that we who are straight and progressive have not fully publicized the damgage that closeted politicians are inflicting onto the LGBTQA community.

    We still live a culture of bigotry and Prosser helps to maintain this insidious status quo.

    As Rep. Barney Frank said, lawmakers must be subject to the laws they make.

  17. Zach should stop dissing gays. A judge would have to recuse himself in a case involving his wife (a heterosexual relationship). But Zach says a gay relationship would be irrelevant to a case. Really?

Comments are closed.