Wisconsin voters once again will head to the polls tomorrow, April 3, 2018 where two statewide concerns will be decided. One, an election of a new justice to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The other, whether the Wisconsin Treasurer should remain an elected official or that office’s job duties split apart to varying people appointed by the Governor.
Wisconsin Supreme Court
There are two candidates vying to replace Justice Michael Gableman on the Wisconsin Supreme Court – Judge Rebecca Dallet and Judge Michael Screnock. Wisconsin judicial elections are non-partisan.
Judge Dallet earned her law degree from Case Western Reserve in 1994. During her legal career, Judge Dallet served as an Assistant District Attorney for Milwaukee County, prosecuting hundreds of criminal cases, and was an adjunct professor at Marquette Law School. She was first elected to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 2008 and re-elected in 2014. Dallet has the support of Senator Tammy Baldwin, the AFL-CIO, and Planned Parenthood.
Judge Screnock earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006. He was first appointed to the Sauk County Circuit Court bench by Governor Scott Walker on April 10, 2015. He then won a full term during the 2016 election. Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Screnock was an attorney with the firm Michael Best & Friedrich in Madison. Screnock has the support of the NRA and the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
The candidate who wins tomorrow’s election will serve a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Constitutional Amendment – Question 1 on the Ballot
Voters will be asked to decide whether to eliminate the elected position of State Treasurer. Wisconsin has elected its State Treasurer since it received statehood in 1848. A “Yes” vote is a vote in favor of eliminating the state treasurer and a “No” vote is a vote for keeping the status quo – an elected state treasurer.
Opponents of the amendment want to keep an elected Treasurer to ensure a division of the executive power so that too much power is not concentrated in the executive branch, i.e. governor’s office. They argue that independent oversight and control of Wisconsin’s coffers in an elected official will be a check against corruption.
Supporters of the constitutional amendment eliminating the elected state treasurer argue that the position is unnecessary as many of the treasurer’s job duties have already been transferred to other officials or departments. Thus, many supporters believe that Wisconsin will save money by eliminating the state treasurer.
Although the Wisconsin Constitution requires an elected treasurer, it does not prescribe any specific job duties to that office. Over the last few years, the legislature and Governor have stripped the treasurer’s office of many of its duties. In other words, if the position has become unnecessary, it has been through the deliberate decisions and actions of other elected officials. What do those individuals have to gain by eliminating checks and balances and oversight? Only fewer checks and balances and less oversight. Please vote to preserve the elected Wisconsin Treasurer and vote “NO” on Question 1.
Polls are open statewide on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Enter your address at the following link to find your local polling place: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/FindMyPollingPlace