Thursday, July 03, 2008

I hate you guys so much

Paul Soglin hates WMC, so very, very deeply.

(Graphic language in the video.)

You've got unsourced "facts" about the group's inner workings and a rather incredulous denial that a secondary boycott caused a WMC board member to resign. You've got calls for diclosure of the identity of those who contribute to WMC's issues campaigns. WMC is a player in state politics and is certainly a proper subject of discussion, but, as far as Paul is concerned, it is on.

Maybe I missed it, but inquiring minds want to know. Is Mayor Soglin receiving any support or renumeration from anyone for this? If he is, that's fine. There's nothing wrong with that and his arguments should still be met on their merits. If says that he isn't, that's fine too. His criticisms of WMC are certainly consistent with his ideology and money and other forms of support in politics often go to those that the donors already know agree with them. But since disclosure is a such a good thing ....

Update: In the comments, James Wigderson points out that Soglin has said he is being paid to go after WMC. As I said, I see nothing wrong with that. But who is paying him? And, if its One Wisconsin, where does that money come from anyway? Aren't I entitled to know so I can not do business with them?


Mike Plaisted said...

You're casting aspersions about whether Soglin is being paid for his WMC accountability campaign and you're complaining about HIS "unsourced 'facts'"?

Is there some reason you can't address this issue on the facts and the policy -- are WMC members fully aware of the extreme right-wing political activities of the "organization"; should businesses take extreme political positions to detriment of their consumers and should they be accountable if they do -- rather than just conducting ad hominem on the messenger?

Are you that threatened that your benefactors in the WMC brain-trust might be exposed to the light of day?

illusory tenant said...

a rather incredulous denial that a secondary boycott caused a WMC board member to resign.

Other way 'round. You've presented zero evidence of your claimed element of causation despite having had several days to do so, since raising this topic repeatedly.

Why is it so difficult to contemplate that Mr. Cullen's view of WMC's involvement in the election campaign may have been in accord with Ms. Faulkner's from the outset?

In a sense, your aspersions are an affront to Mr. Cullen's ability to think independently.

Rick Esenberg said...


The "evidence" is what Mr. Cullen said.


I was quite careful not to cast aspersions. I don't think he needs to be paid to say what he does any more than I do. I am just asking Soglin to operate by the same standards that he would apply to others.

As far as WMC being my "benfactor", I have never gotten a dime from WMC except for the following. Some years ago - when I was at Foley & Lardner (so it was before 1998) - I filed an amicus brief for them in a matter involving state law requiring manned cabooses on freight trains. The matter came to the firm through another partner but I assume that they paid us for that.

My client Rite Hite is a member of WMC. Although I had no involvement with that (I dont think they knew who I was until rather recently), I know that the group actually goes to great lengths to communicate its "extreme" political positions to its members. They were clogging up the executive fax machine all the time.

Anonymous said...

David J. Cullen
(608) 754-6601
Fax: (608) 754-9171

Ask him about Soglin's incredulous denial. I dares ya.

illusory tenant said...

The "evidence" is what Mr. Cullen said.

"[David] Cullen wouldn't address questions about whether his resignation from WMC's board was related to Epic's decision."

So if you don't have any evidence that Mr. Cullen's decision was even related to Epic's position, more remarkable still is your inference of causation.

It seems to me that if anyone or anything other than Mr. Cullen's own assessment of the situation was a factor in his withdrawal from WMC, it was Paul Soglin.

So you simply just don't believe Mr. Soglin, whom you're now comparing to a cartoon character, is that really all there is to your numerous observations on this topic?

Display Name said...

"Show me yours." "No, you show me yours first." Uh huh.

I'm still waiting to hear how WMC's Supreme Court advertisements were all about strengthening the social fabric.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Mayor Soglin should disclose who is paying him and feeding him the information that he continues to use in his attacks on the WMC. I don’t believe for a minute that he can be operating on his own.

Tom McMahon said...

Their foaming-mouth reaction against the WMC just shows how much the far left is afraid of a little competition in the marketplace of ideas.

James Wigderson said...

Soglin is indeed a paid agent to go after WMC, contributors unknown.

Rick Esenberg said...


I appreciate your commitment to the side but go back and read what I wrote, Cullen resigned from the WMC board stating that he wanted to manage the business to the benefit of its valued client and expressed support for the work of WMC.

One would think that if he were disgusted with WMC, he would say so.

I wouldn't go and ask him to comment because I don't want to make the situation any worse for the guy.

Display Name said...

I wouldn't go and ask him to comment because I don't want to make the situation any worse for the guy.

After all, WMC's staff wouldn't ever want to make anyone's life miserable if they openly criticized the organization's direction.

Scot1and said...

"Their foaming-mouth reaction against the WMC just shows how much the far left is afraid of a little competition in the marketplace of ideas."

Tom, if ideas are not expressed then where is the competition?

And, some of us on the right also despise WMC's character assasination of Justice Butler. I beleive that it is danagerous for any organization to treat the supreme court as if it were for sale.

If WMC is really against judicial activism, which it claims, then it needs to look no farther than its own pocket. All of the so-called conservative justices more judicially active than Butler. Is anyone really going to claim Below v. Norton, which was released this week is not judicial activism?

In Below, our conservative justices overturned a century of case law solely based on Judge made law.


Rick Esenberg said...

In Below, our conservative justices overturned a century of case law solely based on Judge made law.

What do you mean? Case law is judge made law. Below was a case about the common law of torts and decided an unresolved question about the scope of the economic loss doctrine which is fairly well accepted. The court was not asked to, and did not, interfere with the plaintiffs' statutory false advertising claim (they can still pursue it) or their claim in contract (which they seem to have blown). My initial reaction is that it was wrongly decided (i.e., I think I would have sided with the dissent), but I wouldn't call it activist.

illusory tenant said...

I'm not committed to anybody's side. I'm just from Missouri, as they say.

Anonymous said...

Super ID –

You want to claim that you’re on the conservative side of things but your positions seem to be on the left. Personally, I think Ziegler fooled the WMC, which is a mistake they will not repeat. Nevertheless, I hope they help speed up the retirement plans of our Chief Justice.

Mayor Soglin should disclose those behind his attacks on the WMC. The only reason that I can think of that he will not disclose it is because he is afraid that it will diminish the impact of his message. Or, perhaps the people behind him don’t want the same consequences that he is advocating for the WMC.

Dad29 said...

IT insists on auditioning for a role in Casablanca...

"Gambling? Here??"

Maybe he has the accent. He certainly has the same credibility.

Scot1and said...


I'm a moderate. I vote Republican. I felt that Butler was a moderate and Gableman was not qualified. Seeing Gableman getting overturned in simple insurance coverage case is not encouraging. See Chute. If that makes you think I'm a leftist then so be it.

I fully understand the statuory exceptions to the eld and their limitations. While 100.18 is broad, and a great remedy, (and an insured claim depending on the outcome of Stuart II, which has yet to be decided) the statute of limitations accrues from the violation and not the discovery.
In real estate transaction such as Below, the defects are often latent. You'd be amazed on what you find between the walls.

But, As Bradley points out, many other home buyers will be left without remedies because of the statute of limitations.

Further, I would disagree that the scope of the ELD was well established. Wisconsin is now the only state to apply it to intentional fraud in real estate transactions. The ELD was supposed to complement the UCC, where warranties were already in place through statute. But Wisconsin has taken a narrow doctrine and applied it to subjects well outside of its orginal scope.
In doing so, the Wisconsin supreme court has now overturned Ollerman and ignored that residential real estate has been carved out of previous ELD decisions. See Titesworth, Van Lare on accout of Ollerman.

Further, I would call Below activism, and I believe your collegue Professor Anzivio would as well. I note that the Wisconsin legislature has enacted a statute of limitation for common law fraud. Wis. Stat. 893.93(1)(b). Having a statute of limitation for a cause of action is a pretty good indicator that the legislature intended the State to recognize that cause of action. But our Court has now made that statute pointless.

That's judicial activism in my book.

I think there is much animosity on the Court right now. The majority cited Ollerman in a par. 18 as a subtle dig at Abrahamson who authored Ollerman.

Bradley's dissent was scathing--accusing the Majority of judicial activism in pars. 48-49, and lying in par. 68 "We should not take the . . . majority at its word . . ."

Interesting stuff, what will tomorrow bring.

Rick Esenberg said...

Super Id

It is interesting stuff and there does seem to be some tension between the camps. As I have said, my initial reaction is that I would have gone the other way. But I still don't think its activism. Bradley seems to be saying that the Court did not have to go that way and should not have. I think she makes a good argument. But cases can be wrongly decided without being activist.

The ELD doctrine exists. No one disputes that. The issue here was its scope, a subject on which the legislature has not spoken. (Acknowledgement of an action for common law fraud says nothing about whether there is such an action here.) My own very rough sense is that the ELD should not apply to cases where a plaintiff can show intentional fraud in the inducement (as opposed to an argument that the defendant "should have known" of some undisclosed fact). I understand the concerns that lead the majority to go the other way, but my off the cuff reaction is that markets are better served by enforcement of what I'd call a "pure heart" standard of honesty than by concerns underlying the ELD in cases like these.

illusory tenant said...

He certainly has the same credibility.

Where, then, is your evidence that "a secondary boycott caused a WMC board member to resign"?

I already understand how desperately you want to believe it.

Rick Esenberg said...


Why is this so hard for you? Here's what's in he public record. Epic announces to the world that it intends to engage in a secondary boycott. It goes to Cullen and asks him to resign. (Soglin admits this.) Cullen does. Upon resigning, he says nothing about being unhappy with WMC. To the contrary, he praises its work on behalf of the business climate but says he needs to manage his business to the benefit of its valued clients. I don't think you need a program to follow that.

Anonymous said...

"What do you mean? Case law is judge made law."

If adapting common law cannot be "activist," I hope an apology will soon be made to Justice Butler regarding the much maligned and misunderstood lead paint decision.