Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Some want to strip your opportunity to vote

They are quite predictable come election time. Editorial writers around Wisconsin preach the importance of a high voter turnout and urge voters to head to the polls to exercise their civic duty. Ironically, some of these same editorial writers are now advocating stripping away one of your voting rights.

The state Supreme Court deadlocked in a decision to seek a Wisconsin Judicial Commission review of Justice Michael Gableman about an ad broadcast during his campaign. Both the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Beloit Daily News have overreacted, calling for the appointment of state Supreme Court justices that would replace the current system of a public vote. The Beloit Daily News writes that because so few voters cast ballots during state Supreme Court elections, the argument to preserve the public vote is, using the newspaper’s word, “lame.”

I vehemently disagree. Here is an excerpt from a column I wrote during December 2009:

“Government should run plentiful honest elections, and do whatever is necessary to assure the public that their elections are clean and fair. Clean and fair elections mean the old adage of one man, one vote. Clean and fair elections do not mean stifling free speech. Clean and fair elections do not mean this game of government creating rules it believes control the fairness.

The more people are involved in their government, the better decision making the people will get from the government. That can not happen with people's voting privileges stripped away.

Assuredly the controversy surrounding the Wisconsin Supreme Court is causing people to sit up and pay attention. Would it be better that the high court be one big happy family we hear nothing about? Would it be better that the justices are all of one stripe and are mired in groupthink?

The controversy forces the justices to toil with difficult thought and present the public with their judicial philosophy, and the media then has something to stir up into controversy.

I say let the people vote. Do not eliminate that right. Let the noisy elections and public vetting be thorough and plentiful!”

You can read the entire column here. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, “The Legislature should explore appointed justices.”  The idea smacks of arrogance, that somehow a board or commission knows better than the 830,450 voters that cast ballots during the April 2008 state Supreme Court election. I  do not support taking away your right to vote for state Supreme Court justices.


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