Typically Democrats and Republicans (and the media) ignore the Green Party whenever possible, but lately there has been a shift in attention as conservative groups are starting to use the Green Party to scare and influence voters to vote for or against other candidates.
Case in point – the Wisconsin Supreme Court election on April 5. The conservative incumbent, David Prosser, has suddenly found himself in trouble in a race against Madison attorney JoAnne Kloppenburg, an Assistant Attorney General. The race has grown to major significance because the collective bargaining rights bill that the GOP passed will likely be addressed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine whether it is legal. If Prosser retains his seat on the Supreme Court than a Conservative bloc will make that decision, while if Kloppenburg wins the race, a “Liberal” bloc will likely overturn the law. Consequently labor unions and others are throwing everything they have to get Kloppenburg elected.
Prosser and the the conservative groups that support him must be feeling the heat, and two weeks ago they began to go on the offensive against Kloppenburg. Among the many charges they have laid against her include her association with Ben Manski, the Green Party candidate for State Assembly who won 31% of the vote last November.
Here is what the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (a pro-business lobbying group) sent out in a fund raising letter last week:
WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc. is launching a television ad campaign to counter the distortions from government unions and their allies about Justice Prosser. Justice Prosser has been a solid, rule-of-law jurist who has taken on the activist wing of the court. Kloppenburg, who has never been a judge, has strong ties to Wisconsin’s extreme left, including endorsement by the former national co-chairman of the radical Green Party, Ben Manski.
Prosser himself has added the “Green Party Boogieman” to his talking points, using it on public radio interviews and at forums. Here is a quote from Prosser’s piece in the Madison Capital Times:
My largely unknown opponent hides her extreme ideological views behind a Mary Poppins persona. A candidate who supports Green Party candidates and principles should be willing to admit that publicly. A candidate who won’t forthrightly acknowledge her views disrespects the voters’ right to make an informed choice.
And now, days before the the April 5 election, the Green Party has been invoked in Letters to the Editor across the state. See for example the Oshkosh Northwestern, Steven’s Point Journal, Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Appleton Post Crescent, WiscNews, etc.
Will this tactic work against Kloppenburg, (who is NOT a Green Party member, by the way), or is this the last desperate attempt to save Prosser’s seat?
Next case: Oklahoma City, where a run-off election for a City Council seat between Charles Swinton, a banker, and Ed Shadid, a spinal surgeon, who apparently ran as an Independent candidate for State Assembly last year with the backing of the Green Party. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent on the City Council races in Oklahoma City, and with this district the last one to be resolved, Shadid has become a target. The mailers being sent out speak louder than words (click for full size image):
The Green Party – the Right Wing’s new “Boogeyman”