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Finding North Without a Compass

A retired Army officer and retired Fortune 500 executive, Warren may be best known for making waves while serving on the Mequon Common Council and Ozaukee County Board. He's no longer an elected official, but he has plenty to say about local, state and national issues.



As the political campaigns heat up, the foremost message seems to be that all of us voters are in the grips of the "special interests" and that their vice-like hold will be broken if we just vote for the "right" candidate. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been wondering about whom all these "special interests" really are and how do they control the country?

The conclusion which I reached, and on which I will expand is best reflected in a take-off from that famous comic strip philosopher, Pogo: "We have met the "special interests" and they is us!"

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ELECT or APPOINT? – The Supreme Court Brouhaha

The Butler/Gableman election may be over but the debate has just begun. Shall we support changing the process so that our Supreme Court judges are henceforth appointed and their elections abolished? Everybody is welcome to chime in with most of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sunday’s Crossroad section dedicated to the discussion. In addition, earlier in the week, the paper’s columnist, Eugene Kane, pitched in with the thought that Judge Butler did retain his integrity in a nasty campaign.

Mr. Kane and I conducted an E-mail debate over that contention.  My point was that Judge Butler’s integrity could be called into question when he accepted Governor Doyle’s appointment to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He had previously lost a contested 2000 election for that same seat to Judge Diane Sykes by a substantial margin. Certainly he knew that his liberal judicial philosophy differed by a substantive margin from Judge Sykes’s conservative judicial philosophy – and that the election result left no doubt which judicial philosophy the electorate supported.

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Mark Twain was quoted "Never pick a fight with a man who buys his ink by the barrel." I ignored this excellent advice the last few weeks. First, debating with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Eugene Kane by E-mail, over whether Judge Louis Butler would have better preserved his integrity by declining Governor Doyle’s appointment to the State Supreme Court after losing his first election against Judge Diane Sykes by a substantial margin. Anyone interested in more detail on this subject is referred to my previous blog.

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