Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bottom Line in Wisconsin

You've probably seen the latest hijinks, in which Divine Right Monarch Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi has now turned her restraining order into fiat:
Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi said that her original restraining order issued earlier this month was clear in saying no steps should be take to advance the law. The GOP governor's administration did so after the bill was published Friday by a state agency not named in Sumi's earlier temporary restraining order.

"Further implementation of the act is enjoined," Sumi said.

"Apparently that language was either misunderstood or ignored, but what I said was the further implementation of Act 10 was enjoined. That is what I now want to make crystal clear."

I don't know who died and made a circuit court judge the arbiter of such things. It should be clear to anyone who thinks the matter through that (a) Sumi has no standing, as a county judge, to essentially veto a law that the legislature passed and that the governor signed into law; and (b) that the Secretary of State doesn't have veto power, either.

The goal here has always been to push the thing until after the state supreme court election. Democrats and their union pals believe that a supreme court with a 4-3 Democrat majority, which would be the case if challenger Joanne Kloppenburg defeats the incumbent, David Prosser, would find some pretext to invalidate the law.

That might happen, of course. But would it really be a victory for anyone? The economics haven't changed in any fundamental way. Wisconsin has a huge structural problem with promised pension benefits and the overall compensation formula for state employees. The unions might be able to stop Gov. Scott Walker and the legislature from enacting reforms, but all that would mean is that the day of reckoning will come sooner and that the available choices will be a lot worse.

No one is going to be able to bail Wisconsin out. That's the bottom line. Wisconsin can either start to solve its problems now, as Scott Walker is attempting to do, or it won't. If it doesn't, when the day of reckoning comes, no one will be singing the praises of Joanne Kloppenburg, Maryann Sumi or any of the other luminaries who have been throwing spanners in the works.

And one other reminder. We face the same issues in Minnesota, but we won't be addressing things any time soon, because we have Brave Sir Mark Dayton, the bug-eyed DFL/union firewall, in the governor's chair. The legislature has been passing bills with regularity in this session, but Dayton will veto anything that might actually help. The drama going on across the St. Croix is a preview of what we might see here in 2015.

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

I don't know who made the judge arbiter, but I seem to remember that Hennepin County judges also labor under the same mistake. They've done a lot, after all, to undermine the MPPA.