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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes


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 Interesting story from Media trackers: 

JoAnne Kloppenburg’s husband, Jack, a UW-Madison professor, has publicly opposed Gov. Walker’s attempts to restrict collective bargaining for public workers and donated money during the past years to two of the formerly AWOL Democratic state senators – including Sen. Mark Miller, the Minority Leader who gave the opposition speech to Gov. Walker’s budget address.

According to, Kloppenburg said during a debate with incumbent David Prosser this week that “she also wouldn’t need to recuse herself from any cases on the collective bargaining bill because she has remained independent during the protests in Madison.”

But her husband hasn’t remained neutral.

Along with other professors from UW, Jack Kloppenburg signed an open letter this February that said in part, “We are concerned, therefore, about the governor’s proposal to deprive public employees of the right to bargain collectively in Wisconsin.” The letter ran in a campus newspaper and was disseminated as a press release by a group called Defend Wisconsin (its website contains the subhead “against Scott Walker’s attacks”). The press release bears the headline, “260 UW Madison Faculty Support Collective Bargaining Rights For all Workers.”

This revelation, on top of the news of Kloppenburg’s acceptance of a donation from the husband of Judge Maryann Sumi, raises serious questions about whether Kloppenburg, if she were to win a seat on the Supreme Court, would have to recuse herself from all matters relating to Scott Walker’s budget.

“One of the great myths of the campaign has been our opponents self-described, and blindly accepted, independence,” said Brian Nemoir, campaign manager for Justice Prosser. “Piece-by-piece we learn the truth, whether it be past political acts, personal statements made during the campaign or the activities of family members. Our opponent can no longer bask in the light of independence.”

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