Sunday, June 26, 2011

The "Not My Fault" Excuse

Once again, Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, a close Republican ally of Gov. Scott Walker (R) is claiming that his actions are not his fault. Justice Prosser who has been on the court since 1998, ran as the incumbent candidate in the the Wisconsin Supreme Court election in April, 2011. Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg ran against Prosser in the election. Prosser has a history of inappropriate behavior. In March, 2011, Prosser declared that he was goaded into insulting the Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
As the deeply divided state Supreme Court wrestled over whether to force one member off criminal cases last year, Justice David Prosser exploded at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson behind closed doors, calling her a "bitch" and threatening to "destroy" her. ... "In a fit of temper, you were screaming at the chief; calling her a 'bitch,' threatening her with '...I will destroy you'; and describing the means of destruction as a war against her 'and it won't be a ground war,'" [Justice Ann Walsh] Bradley wrote in a Feb. 18, 2010, e-mail to Prosser and others.

Prosser acknowledged his outburst, but said he was justified—and then proceeded to blame it on the woman he had verbally assaulted:
"I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted.... They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."

After the April election, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg had initially declared victory by a an unofficial 204-vote lead over Justice David Prosser, as reported by the Associated Press. However, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, subsequently found more than 14,000 votes that had not been reported from her predominantly GOP county which gave conservative Justice David Prosser a 7,500-vote lead.

Controversy has followed Prosser since the election.
Democrats in Wisconsin were crying foul Friday after a significant vote-count change in the hotly contested Supreme Court election gave the conservative incumbent the lead in a race that could decide the fate of the state's new divisive collective bargaining law.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said it was "human error" that resulted in more than 14,000 votes from her predominantly GOP county not being reported on Tuesday. The corrected totals gave conservative Justice David Prosser a 7,500-vote lead, according to unofficial tallies, and undid the earlier likelihood of a recount.

Rep. Peter Barca, Democratic Assembly minority leader, said Nickolaus' revelation "raises disturbing questions, particularly in light of her partisan history."

"The new Supreme Court race vote totals she 'discovered' during canvassing not only swung the election but also put the race just barely past the amount needed to trigger a state-financed recount," he said in a statement.
Recently, Prosser is being accused of chocking the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley.
Justice Ann Walsh Bradley came forth with a statement late Saturday saying that fellow Justice David Prosser choked her and refuting claims that she attacked him first.

"The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a choke-hold," she said. "Those are the facts and you can try to spin those facts and try to make it sound like I ran up to him and threw my neck into his hands, but that's only spin.

"Matters of abusive behavior in the workplace aren't resolved by competing press releases," she said.
"I'm confident the appropriate authorities will conduct a thorough investigation of this incident involving abusive behavior in the workplace."
Prosser's behavior against several female Chief Justices include both verbal and physical aggression. An unnamed source who is on Prosser's side of the argument has now accused Bradley of initiating the violence.
"She charged him with fists raised," the source told the paper, saying that Prosser "put his hands in a defensive posture" to block her, and made contact with her neck. Bradley is then said to have immediately complained of being choked, while another, unnamed Justice responded, "You were not choked."
Prosser has denied the allegations against him.
For his part, Prosser -- who had initially declined to publicly comment -- released a statement containing a denial, and that would make no further public comments: "Once there's a proper review of the matter and the facts surrounding it are made clear, the anonymous claim made to the media will be proven false. Until then I will refrain from further public comment."
There are now calls for Prosser to step down or be removed. Think Progress has Four Ways Justice David Prosser Can Be Removed from Office.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has exploded. He has cursed. He has threatened. He has choked. He has acknowledged. He has denied. He is a bully who excuses his behavior by blaming his victim.

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