The Quickening Descent to Corporate-Owned Hell

If there was any debate about the rising influence of corporate interests like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce before the State’€™s highest court, the last two weeks have ended the discussion. It now appears the Wisconsin Supreme Court is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wisconsin’€™s corporate crooks.

Those of you following One WI Now’€™s reporting on the judicial ethics already know that ‘€œJustices’€ Michael Gableman and Annette Ziegler came to the court under a cloud of suspicion. Ziegler got an unprecedented reprimand from the High Court after she ruled in dozens of cases in which she and/or her husband had a financial stake; Gableman remains under investigation. And of course we all remember ads run by WMC supporting these two serial-ethics violators. Just a bit of background…

Last week I reported corporate lapdogs Gableman and Ziegler ruled that owners of a Wisconsin manufacturing company had the right to take millions of dollars in compensation as they drove the company into the ground and failed to pay up on its union contracts. WMC made it clear it early on that it supported the rights of the owners to screw the workers out of the pay they earned with their hard work. And when it mattered most for the CEOs/crooks WMC represents, the justices WMC spent millions electing came through in the clutch. Score: Corporate Special Interest ‘€“ 1; Wisconsin Working Families ‘€“ 0.

I guess when rains it pours.

Another decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court has drawn a clear line between the corporations that lined the pockets of Gableman and Ziegler and regular folks of Wisconsin, winners and losers, respectively.

Phelps v. Physicians Insurance, Inc.

Before we start, got a guess whose side Gableman and Ziegler were on?

Greg Phelps sued Physicians Insurance for emotional damages after he witnessed the death of his unborn child during his wife’€™s stay at the hospital. Turns out, the ‘€œdoctor’€ who was caring for Greg’€™s wife was an unlicensed first year resident who wasn’€™t even an official employee of the hospital. The residents job was to ‘€œassess and report findings’€ to the senior resident and the attending OB/GYN. He did neither. Instead, he examined Mrs. Phelps and promptly disappeared. Greg came to the hospital at 7 am, and while he was assisting his wife, they discover one of the babies was in the process of being delivered. Greg ran to get another doctor to deliver the baby, who is rushed to the infant ICU, but sadly dies.

Greg sued for $200,000 in emotional damages and the Supreme Court threw out his claim, saying that because he was a ‘€œbystander’€ that the health insurance company didn’€™t have to pay any damages for the emotional distress caused by watching his unborn child die. Gableman and Ziegler ruled in favor of the insurance company.

These outright gifts from the judiciary to corporate interests in Wisconsin is just one more example of the uphill climb working families of Wisconsin face against the tide of corporate takeover of the people’€™s government. One WI Now has reported on this before: to quote from Scot Ross ‘€œMore than half of the then-GOP caucus, 28 members, had a 100 percent fealty to WMC. Over half — 52 members of the the state Assembly scored 90 percent or higher. This included every single Republican member of the state Assembly.’€

It may be a daunting task, but we’€™re up to it. In fact, we’€™re in the middle of re-designing the WMC Watch website and we want your input. You can help us make the WMC Watch website even better by sharing your ideas for actions and improvements to the website by visiting and letting us know how we can make an even bigger impact against WMC’€™s corporate agenda.

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