Wispolitics is reporting that Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is planning to “sit out” this spring’s race between Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick. Forgive me if I’m not dancing in the streets just yet. It would probably be best to check back in April. Chances are high that this is simply a conservative shell game.
The report says that the big biz lobby, that so tarnished the last two elections for the state Supreme Court, plans to only provide “background” on the two candidates this time around. We will see what they mean soon enough. Will they pay another Federalist Disciple to produce a “white paper” that serves as little more than a conservative hit piece? Will they launch a strategically timed series of press releases for “background only” that end up unfairly attacking another sitting justice? Will that “background” turn into front page stories?
If they really do “sit out” this one, we should pay even closer attention. What will likely happen is that the corporate cash will just go to the many shameless conservative groups that have been perfecting the smear campaign. That could serve as another Christmas for groups like All Children Matter, WIL and others. If the cash flows in that direction, then this new announcement will mean very little. Many of these groups have already shown that they have no problem with ratcheting up the sleaze factor and keeping us from a real and substantive debate. That has also been the corporate lobby's calling card, whether WMC's name is on the TV ad or not.