Wisconsin Supreme Court election, 2011

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wisconsin supreme court election, 2011
Wisconsin
2009 ←
April 5, 2011
→ 2013

  Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.jpg JoAnne Kloppenburg.jpg
Nominee David Prosser, Jr. JoAnne Kloppenburg
Party Nonpartisan Nonpartisan
Popular vote 752,694 745,690
Percentage 50.2% 49.8%

Wisconsin sc race 2..png

Red counties represent wins by Prosser, and blue counties represent wins by Kloppenburg. The darker the shading, the higher the percentage margin of victory for that particular candidate.

Justice before election

David Prosser, Jr.
Nonpartisan

Elected Justice

David Prosser, Jr.
Nonpartisan

The Wisconsin Supreme Court election of 2011 took place on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Unlike past elections for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the race between 12-year incumbent David Prosser, Jr. and challenger Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg gained significant nationwide publicity as it was widely seen as a referendum on Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget reforms in Wisconsin, and a part of the 2011 Wisconsin protests.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Campaign[edit]

Primary election[edit]

In December 2010, Prosser's campaign director expressed strong support for governor-elect Walker, saying Prosser's "personal ideology more closely mirrors" Walker's, and that a win by Prosser would result in, "protecting the conservative judicial majority and acting as a common sense compliment to both the new administration and Legislature."[10] He later disavowed the statements and claimed he had not seen the release.[11] Prosser's campaign manager also said that, "This election is about a 4-3 commonsense conservative majority vs. a 3-4 liberal majority, and nothing more."[12][13]

In a survey of attorneys conducted by the Milwaukee Bar Association that was published February 2011, Prosser received more votes saying he was "qualified" than any of his opponents; besting Kloppenburg by a margin of 296 to 112.[14] He was endorsed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Sun Prairie Star.[15][16][17] He won the primary handily, receiving 231,000 votes to second place finisher Kloppenburg's 105,000 votes; a 30% margin.


2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court Primary[18]
Candidate Votes Percentage
David Prosser (incumbent) 231,017 55%
JoAnne Kloppenburg 105,002 25%
Marla Stephens 45,256 11%
Joel Winnig 37,831 9%

General election[edit]

In the general election of April 5, 2011, Prosser again faced Kloppenburg. The contest received considerable attention due to the ongoing protests of Walker's budget repair bill and limitations on public employee bargaining rights; issues which would likely soon come before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Heading into the election, the court had a conservative majority of 4-2-1 with Prosser identifying as a conservative and N. Patrick Crooks[19] considered a swing vote. Both candidates stated their unhappiness with the increasingly partisan nature of the race.[20]

Kloppenburg, supported by unions, particularly those of the public sector employees, tried to tie Prosser to the policies of Republican Governor Walker, and his March 2011 law limiting most of Wisconsin's public employees' collective bargaining rights. The non-partisan race for the court seat was also characterized as a proxy battle or referendum on the administration of Governor Walker and other Republican officials.[21][22][23] Both candidates indicated their unhappiness regarding the increasingly partisan nature of the race,[24][25] with Prosser claiming that his defeat would mean the end of judicial independence.[26]

On March 31, Prosser's campaign co-chair, former Democratic governor Patrick Lucey, resigned from the campaign and endorsed Kloppenburg, claiming Prosser had lost his impartiality, and was showing "a disturbing distemper and lack of civility that does not bode well for the High Court".[27] The Wausau Daily Herald reversed its primary election endorsement, and urged its readers to vote against Prosser in the general, describing him as "an intemperate figure given to partisan rhetoric".[28] Citing the earlier statement of Prosser's campaign director that the election is about maintaining a conservative majority on the court, The Capital Times endorsed Kloppenburg.[29] Prosser was endorsed by the Sun Prairie Star, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (via Twitter), among others for the general election.[30][31][32]

State officials predicted a voter turnout of around 20 percent, a typical level of turnout for an April election.[33] However, voter interest and turnout were unusually high with nearly 1.5 million votes cast.[34]

Results[edit]

On April 6, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, with 100% of precincts reporting and absentee ballots all tallied, had Kloppenburg maintaining a 204 vote lead.[35] Recanvassing began the next day to verify to election results, and errors were found in counties favoring both contestants; Prosser gained votes from Winnebago and Waukesha, while Kloppenburg regained ground from a scattering of other counties, including Grant, Portage, Door, Iowa, Rusk, Vernon, and Shawano.[36] A news conference on April 7, held by the County Clerk of Waukesha County reported the existence of errors in Brookfield, Wisconsin where votes were never submitted to the Waukesha County total due to human error and that Prosser had picked up a 7,500-vote margin over Kloppenburg in the county as a result. In response, the Kloppenburg campaign filed an Open Records request for the contact records of the Waukesha County Clerk and a request was filed with the region's US Attorney to impound the additional ballots.[37]

As of April 8, 2011, Waukesha County's turnout was officially 47% (increased from 42% before the correction).[38] Statewide turnout during the election was officially 33%. On election day, Deputy Clerk Gina Kozlik had estimated turnout in the county to be 20-25%,[39] with up to 35% turnout in some polling locations within the county.[40] Nate Silver of Fivethirtyeight.com did an analysis on the turnout numbers and found the Waukesha results to be in line with previous elections.[41] An independent investigation into the actions of Waukesha County Clerk found probable cause to believe that she violated the state law requiring county clerks to post all returns on Election Night, but concluded that the violation was not willful and therefore did not constitute criminal misconduct.[42]

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board announced on April 8 that they were sending voting officials to Waukesha County to confirm the 14,315 votes that were found to never have been submitted from Brookfield.[43] On April 15, Prosser was named the official winner by 7,316 votes after all county canvassing was completed.[44] On April 20, Kloppenburg asked for a recount. The recount began on Wednesday, April 27 and must finish by May 9.[45]

At the end of May 9, all Wisconsin counties aside from Waukesha had completed their recount process. In response, a Dane County judge gave them an extension until May 26 to complete the recount process. It was reported that Waukesha County was counting only one ward at a time and, on May 9, moved to a larger area in the Waukesha County courthouse in order to count two wards at one time. This is much slower than the rest of the counties, adjacent Milwaukee County reportedly counted eight wards simultaneously. Waukesha County reportedly took extra steps to ensure all votes were counted correctly.[46]

On May 20, the recount was completed across the state with Prosser leading by 7,006 votes.[47] On May 23, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board confirmed Prosser won the election.[48]

County results[edit]

County Won
by
Prosser
 %
Prosser
votes
Kloppenburg
 %
Kloppenburg
votes
Adams K 48% 2,385 52% 2,557
Ashland K 30% 1,384 70% 3,266
Barron P 50% 4,708 50% 4,641
Bayfield K 33% 1,958 67% 3,960
Brown P 55% 33,345 45% 27,242
Buffalo P 51% 1,687 49% 1,608
Burnett P 54% 1,943 46% 1,659
Calumet P 62% 7,503 38% 4,645
Chippewa K 49% 6,854 51% 7,224
Clark P 58% 4,321 42% 3,063
Columbia K 45% 7,306 55% 8,963
Crawford K 41% 1,687 59% 2,431
Dane K 27% 48,655 73% 133,658
Dodge P 61% 13,379 39% 8,524
Door P 53% 5,193 47% 4,670
Douglas K 31% 3,815 69% 8,676
Dunn K 44% 4,067 56% 5,155
Eau Claire K 42% 11,425 58% 15,933
Florence P 62% 800 38% 483
Fond du Lac P 61% 15,942 39% 10,188
Forest P 56% 1,531 44% 1,198
Grant K 44% 4,285 56% 5,705
Green K 45% 4,886 55% 5,860
Green Lake P 65% 3,786 35% 2,056
Iowa K 38% 2,455 62% 3,915
Iron K 45% 755 55% 934
Jackson K 45% 2,216 55% 2,694
Jefferson P 58% 13,261 42% 9,763
Juneau K 48% 2,539 52% 2,700
Kenosha K 47% 14,419 53% 16,245
Kewaunee P 58% 3,328 42% 2,405
La Crosse K 41% 12,135 59% 17,404
Lafayette K 48% 2,032 52% 2,184
Langlade P 58% 2,664 42% 1,895
Lincoln P 50% 3,576 50% 3,545
Manitowoc P 61% 12,197 39% 7,765
Marathon P 54% 17,126 46% 14,836
Marinette P 55% 4,985 45% 4,084
Marquette P 56% 2,219 44% 1,723
Menominee K 37% 141 63% 240
Milwaukee K 43% 99,368 57% 129,108
Monroe K 49% 4,508 51% 4,692
Oconto P 57% 5,212 43% 3,879
Oneida P 52% 5,520 48% 5,138
Outagamie P 57% 24,785 43% 18,877
Ozaukee P 72% 20,854 28% 8,298
Pepin K 47% 882 53% 983
Pierce K 45% 4,056 55% 4,915
Polk P 51% 4,661 49% 4,439
Portage K 40% 8,121 60% 12,124
Price P 52% 2,165 48% 2,024
Racine P 56% 28,248 44% 22,577
Richland K 45% 1,797 55% 2,185
Rock K 40% 14,636 60% 22,196
Rusk P 53% 2,189 47% 1,941
Sauk K 44% 7,159 56% 9,187
Sawyer P 51% 2,126 49% 2,051
Shawano P 61% 5,543 39% 3,628
Sheboygan P 63% 19,546 37% 11,419
St. Croix P 51% 8,276 49% 7,960
Taylor P 61% 3,652 39% 2,292
Trempealeau K 46% 2,878 54% 3,330
Vernon K 45% 3,578 55% 4,331
Vilas P 60% 4,210 40% 2,821
Walworth P 61% 14,245 39% 8,936
Washburn K 48% 2,268 52% 2,451
Washington P 76% 30,797 24% 9,909
Waukesha P 74% 92,331 26% 32,777
Waupaca P 59% 7,204 41% 5,029
Waushara P 60% 3,402 40% 2,301
Winnebago P 52% 20,719 48% 18,908
Wood K 49% 8,865 51% 9,287

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CHRIS BURY (@ChrisBuryABC) (2011-04-07). "Wisconsin Election Results: Conservative David Prosser Retakes Lead in Supreme Court Race". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  2. ^ Davey, Monica (2011-04-04). "Wisconsin Election Is Referendum on Governor". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  3. ^ "Tuesday's Wisconsin Supreme Court election morphs into referendum on Scott Walker". Minnpost.com. 2011-04-04. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  4. ^ "Justice’s race now a governor's referendum". Washingtontimes.com. 2011-04-04. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  5. ^ "Wisconsin Supreme Court race becomes referendum on union bargaining law". Greenbaypressgazette.com. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  6. ^ Scott Walker's nonpartisan doppelganger[dead link]
  7. ^ Ungar, Rick (2011-04-06). "Scott Walker’s Election Nightmare in Wisconsin". Blogs.forbes.com. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  8. ^ Wis. election seen as referendum on governor[dead link]
  9. ^ Steven Elbow (2011-03-23). "Enraged by Walker, activists put Kloppenburg's Supreme Court campaign on their shoulders". The Capital Times. Host.madison.com. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  10. ^ Patrick Marley (2010-12-09). "First dust-up emerges in race for Supreme Court". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  11. ^ "Kloppenburg, Prosser Spar Over Impartiality". WTMJ4 (AP). 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  12. ^ Abe Sauer (2011-03-24). "Wisconsin's Nasty Spring Election: Impartiality with Its Sleeves Rolled". The Awl. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  13. ^ "Kloppenburg says Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Prosser "has prejudged matters that are likely to come before the court"". PolitiFact Wisconsin. Politifact.com. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2011-04-02. "Barely true" 
  14. ^ Sandler, Larry (2011-02-10). "Prosser tops Milwaukee bar ratings for state high court". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  15. ^ Wausau Daily Herald Editorial Board (2011-02-07). "In The Primary Elections We endorse". Wausau Daily Herald. Retrieved 2011-04-02. [dead link]
  16. ^ Sun Prairie Star Editorial Board (2011-02-04). "Our View: We Endorse ... Prosser, Bruskewitz get our nods". Sun Prairie Star. Sun Prairie, WI. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  17. ^ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board (2011-02-11). "We back Prosser - David Prosser is a hard-working, experienced justice. He is not the primary cause of the Supreme Court's squabbling.". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  18. ^ "Spring 2011 Primary Election Results". Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  19. ^ "Wisconsin Law Journal Blog Archive: Crooks still Supreme Court's swing vote". Wislawjournal.com. 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  20. ^ "Supreme Court Candidates Unhappy With Partisan Aspect in Race - WTAQ News Talk 97.5FM and 1360AM". Wtaq.com. 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  21. ^ Monica Davey (2011-04-05). "Wisconsin Election Turns Into Referendum on Governor". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Steven Elbow (2011-03-23). "Enraged by Walker, activists put Kloppenburg's Supreme Court campaign on their shoulders". The Capital Times (Madison.com). Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  23. ^ AP staff reporter (2011-03-28). "Supreme Court race all about union bargaining law". Beloit Daily News. The Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  24. ^ Staffer (2011-03-15). "Supreme Court Candidates Unhappy With Partisan Aspect in Race". WTAQ News Talk 97.5FM. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  25. ^ "State Supreme Court candidates face off in heated race". Green Bay Press Gazette. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  26. ^ JR Ross (2011-03-28). "Prosser says his defeat would destroy judicial independence, Kloppenburg knocks him as partisan". WisPolitics. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  27. ^ "Former Gov. Lucey Leaves Prosser's Campaign, Endorses Kloppenburg". Channel3000.com. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  28. ^ Wausau Daily Herald Editorial board (2011-03-24). "We endorse ... For state Supreme Court: JoAnne Kloppenburg". Wausau Daily Herald. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  29. ^ Capitol Times editorial board (2011-03-16). "Put independent Kloppenburg on court". Capitol Times (Madison, WI: Madison.com). Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  30. ^ Sun Prairie Editorial Board (2011-03-24). "Our View: We endorse... Bruskewitz, Prosser among those receiving our April 5 election nods". Sun Prairie Star (Sun Prairie, WI). Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  31. ^ "Prosser a vote for independence". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 2011-04-02. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  32. ^ "Palin endorses Prosser in Wis. Supreme Court race". Wisconsin Law Journal. 2001-04-01. Archived from the original on 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  33. ^ AP staff reporter (2011-03-28). "20 percent turnout expected for Wis April election". Madison.com. The Associated Press. Retrieved 2011-04-02. [dead link]
  34. ^ Todd Richmond (2011-04-06). "Wis. court election too close to call amid anger over union rights law". Associated Press. 
  35. ^ "TODAY'S TMJ4 Election". Elections.todaystmj4.com. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  36. ^ http://elections.wispolitics.com Vote updates being posted.
  37. ^ "Corrected Brookfield tally puts Prosser ahead after 7,500-vote gain". JSOnline. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  38. ^ "Prosser's huge gain comes after Waukesha County flub is caught". JSOnline. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  39. ^ "WisPolitics Election Blog: Turnout high in Appleton". Elections.wispolitics.com. 2011-04-05. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  40. ^ Millard, Sarah (2011-04-05). "Voter Turnout Could be 35% at Some Waukesha Polling Locations". Waukesha.patch.com. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  41. ^ Silver, Nate (2011-04-08). "Vote-Counting Error In Wisconsin Points to Incompetence, Not Conspiracy". The New York Times. 
  42. ^ G.A.B. Releases Report of Independent Investigation into Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus
  43. ^ "Prosser camp open to Waukesha County-only recount". JSOnline. 2011-04-09. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  44. ^ "Ballots are now totaled: Prosser wins by 7,316". JSOnline. 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2011-04-21. 
  45. ^ "May 9 deadline set for Supreme Court recount". JSOnline. 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  46. ^ Craig Gilbert, Patrick Marley and Laurel Walker (2011-05-09). "Recount cuts little from Prosser lead". JSOnline. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  47. ^ Patrick Marley, Larry Sandler and Mike Johnson (2011-05-20). "Prosser wins recount in Wisconsin Supreme Court race". JSOnline. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  48. ^ State board declares Prosser winner