Let’s be honest. Nobody knows what lies ahead, except that 2012 will be the biggest, most expensive and consequential political year in Wisconsin history.
Our cover story is an encore of sorts. Back in 2000, we asked WisPolitics.com founder Jeff Mayers to examine the alternative scenarios of that year’s elections, and it became one of the most talked about stories of the year. In retrospect, the stakes of that election appear almost quaint compared with the potential for political Armageddon we now face: the recall of a sitting governor; the potential for not one, but two flips in control of the state Senate, an open U.S. Senate seat, and a presidential election.
Adding to the drama are layers of uncertainty ranging from the identity of the candidates, the outcome of a John Doe investigation, and even the timing of the elections themselves. As Mayers notes, “The most predictable thing is the unpredictability of the what-if scenarios and the political times we’re in.”
Meanwhile, the narrowly balanced Wisconsin State Supreme Court remains at the center of controversy. In our last issue, we featured an interview with Justice David Prosser. In this issue, embattled Justice Michael Gableman weighs in with a critique of the divisions on the court, adapted from remarks he delivered at the annual dinner of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.
I’m delighted to offer an excerpt from my latest book, A Nation of Moochers, dealing with the ongoing division of the Two Americas — the public and private sectors — and the struggle right here in Wisconsin.