Green Bay Press Gazette endorsed Joanne Kloppenburg today.
During her campaign, Kloppenburg has made every effort — sometimes, almost to a fault — to articulate and emphasize her independence, a quality we agree is critical for justices to rule fairly. During an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial board, the assistant attorney general expressed a reluctance to discuss certain cases that have come before the high court — or that might — ostensibly for fear of betraying any inkling of preconceived bias. And while we understand and appreciate this emphasis on independence, Kloppenburg's reticence puts her in danger of coming across as uninformed. We do not believe this is the case.
Further, Kloppenburg strikes us as the more levelheaded candidate, and frankly we have been troubled by some of Prosser's statements throughout the campaign. During a meeting with the Press-Gazette editorial board, Prosser said repeatedly the Impartial Justice Act, which provides public funding for state Supreme Court candidates, was designed to oust him from office. At one point, he went so far as to call it "a law designed to get Dave Prosser," and said he had "a target on my back." His insistence that this is the case is unsettling.
During a tense March 21 debate at Marquette University, Prosser made an unnecessarily awkward statement about a posting on Kloppenburg's Facebook page, inquiring whether he was the "turd" to which a poster referred. Any legitimate point Prosser, a former Republican lawmaker, may have had about the nature of the campaign was lost in this odd exchange, which we also find troubling. Taken together, statements such as these indicate Kloppenburg is the more levelheaded of the two candidates. This, combined with her experience and insistence on independence, make Kloppenburg this newspaper's preferred candidate for the state's high court.