Look at today's [Sunday, April 10] Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Turn to page 2 of the first section. This is but one incident in the truckload of lies perpetrated daily by the right-wing. Yes, there are lies on both sides, but the right-wing has taken this to a new, outlandish level.
In the recent race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, it was expected to be a romp for David Prosser. After all, he held a seat on the Court for eleven years. He was the incumbent. He won overwhelmingly in the primary. Opposing him was little-known JoAnne Kloppenburg. She had never been a judge at any level. Her campaign was limping along, and there was no dynamic in her appeal.
Enter new Governor, Scott Walker. Having given no hint of the stunningly extreme measures he would take if elected, he infuriated many voters with his early actions. His was the action of an extreme right-winger. Hundreds of thousands of people marched against him in the capitol, in Madison, in Milwaukee, and throughout the state. There were protest raliies in every corner of the state.
Suddenly Ms. Kloppenburg's campaign came to life when it was realized that Prosser was very supportive of Walker and the right-wing actions. While justices on the state Supreme Court are expected to be as impartial as possible in matters related to politics and cases that may come before them, in this case Prosser showed a strong, pro-active support of Walker.
As amazing as it seems, Kloppenburg almost pulled off a major upset in the race, and Prosser won by about 7,000 votes in an election that saw 1,500,000 votes cast. And those 7,000 votes came about when miraculously there appeared thousands of extra votes for Prosser AFTER the results of the election were announced to the public. OK, he won. But in a race that changed so greatly after Walker announced his plans, it can only be concluded that this was a protest vote against Walker. In other races of various kinds around the state, there was a vote against Walker. Many lies and distortions surrounded the election. And more money flowed in the campaign than ever before at this level. Where did all this money come from? "Bob Dohmal publisher of the Wisconsin-based Conservative Digest, circulated an email on April 7 saying conservatives were outspent 10 to 1." That lie was exposed in the article on page 2 of the Journal Sentinel article refered to above, "Court spending claim smells smoky".
In Milwaukee, popular right-wing radio host, Charlie Sykes, said that Kloppenburg had a "3-to-1 money advantage." The PolitiFact/Wisconsin article in the Sunday Journal Sentinel found out that this was simply not true. It labeled Sykes and his claim worse than untrue, it was labeled "Pants on Fire."
It should be noted that the Journal Sentinel, if not objective, might tend to give Sykes a favor and not report this lie. Charlie Sykes broadcasts on WTMJ radio, owned by Journal Communications, the parent company of the Journal Sentinel. Hats off to the newspaper for choosing to be fair and objective.
It turns out that research by the newspaper actually found out that Prosser outspent Kloppenburg by almost 3/4 of a million dollars. So Charlie Sykes and Bob Dohmal not only lied, they lied in the extreme.
Look, lies fly all over politics. I hate it! Both sides tell them. But this is the first one in my memory in which so many lies were told by the right-wing in a race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Nothing is now sacred and immune from terrible lies and distortions. Is there no shame? And when a sister newspaper calls a company broadcaster about this article, he does not respond. That is pervasiveness in the world of politics, the world of lying. I don't want any excuses, or any distortions to try and explain this level of lying. I want it to stop. And I want Americans to insist on it. We have become partners in this crime if we allow it to continue.