Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Esenberg Fails To Make His Case

Rick Esenberg - MU law professor, GOP operative and Bradley Foundation employee - tries to defend Walker against the recall and fails miserably.

He starts out with the tired, old routine of "it's because the union bosses want the ease of having dues automatically deducted from the workers' checks."  This, of course, fails to account for the hundreds of thousands of non-union members who are also very much involved in the recall process.

I guess he just is afraid of taking on the right versus wrong argument.

But then he comes up with this paragraph (emphasis mine):
Jim Rowen complains that Walker did not campaign on collective bargaining reform but it is unclear how that supports a recall. As George Mitchell asks, would Jim have thought it appropriate to recall Governor Doyle for not campaigning on a tax increase? Do we want a principle that says that public officials cannot implement any policy that they did not mention during their campaign?
Mr. Esenberg's recall of recalls is quite faulty.

You see, my good buddies at the misnamed Citizens for Responsible Government did try to recall Doyle because of the tax issue.

Twice, in fact.

So, according Mr. Esenberg's logic, this would show that the Republicans actually set the precedent of recalling everyone they don't like, for a mere policy decision, nonetheless.


  1. There's not a limited range of reasons the people of Wisconsin can recall their elected and appointed public officials. "Because they want to" is all the reason the state constitution requires. I'm worried about the junta's hijacking of the GAB, though. Ironic to gather enough signatures to recall, only to have Scooter veto it in the end.

    Article XIII, Section 12

  2. I am not an employee of the Bradley Foundation. I am the founder and President (and an employee) of a nonprofit that receives grant money from Bradley. This does not make me an employee of Bradley. No one from the Bradley Foundation sits on the board of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. The foundation does not direct or control our activities.

    These are important substantive and legal distinctions. You should respect them.

    I am not a member of CRG. I did not participate in or support any effort to recall Governor Doyle. I am unaware of any rule that requires me to agree with CRG or endorse everything that it does.

  3. Hi Rick!

    For your first point, it's a matter of you say tom-ai-to and I say tom-ah-to.

    The Bradley Foundation is giving you money, granted filtered through your "organization" in the expectations of you forwarding their agenda. While there may be legal distinctions, for all practical purposes, you work for them.

    Secondly, I never said you were a member of CRG, nor did I say whether you agreed with them or not. Your point was whether Doyle was recalled on the tax issue, and the fact is that they tried, twice.

    Furthermore, the recall of Ament was based on a policy decision, so that point is moot as well.

  4. Look, I know you aren't a lawyer but it is not at all a differnce in opinion or emphasis. To employ someone is to, among other things, direct their activities. The employees of nonprofit corporations are not employees of the organization's donors. The donors have no right to control the activities of the donee organization and there might be tax consequences if they did. Neither Bradley nor anyone other than me and the the Board of Directors of WILL (on which no Bradley employee or director sits) controls WILL.

    Your statement is legally and substantively inaccurate. You should care about that.

  5. Yes, we know that they don't sit on your board. You said that already.

    Would you prefer friend with benefits?

  6. What's the legal definition of "minion who wouldn't get more money if he wasn't doing what the patron wanted"?