In a 4-3 decision the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against the State of Wisconsin in the Department of Revenue v. Menasha Corporation case. Of all people, ethically challenged Justice Annette Ziegler wrote the majority opinion. Last year hundreds of Wisconsinites called for her to recuse herself from the case because it was a major priority for her benefactors at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Who could forget that they spent some $2 million helping to get her elected? That was more than she spent on her own campaign and almost more than both campaigns combined. She refused to recuse herself and now has delivered a big victory to her benefactors.
It looks like WMC just won a $265 million return on a $2 million investment in just one year. Unfortunately this special interest gain is a big loss for Wisconsin. During this troubling economy and a time of tough budgets, Ziegler’s decision gives us $265 million less to invest in schools, public safety, or to fix our crumbling infrastructure.
Although she chose to step down from many cases last year, oddly this was one that she refused to leave. At the time she said that she would only consider recusing herself if one of the parties in the case requested it. The person that was supposed to represent Wisconsin in the case was Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who also owes his current job to WMC’s deep pockets. Naturally Van Hollen didn’t cross them by asking for their latest installation to step aside. WMC really covered their bases on this one and it got what it paid for, meanwhile the rest of us just get the shaft.