The Wisconsin Supreme Court will soon be hearing a case involving the Government Accountability Board and its authority to oversee campaign funds coming from, you guessed it, Corporate interests and PACs. Arguing for corporate interests wanting to continue the practice of non-reporting of soft money is Attorney James Troupis. The same attorney who represented the GOP in its highly partisan redistricting process; as well as the attorney representing Associate Justice David Prosser in the recent recount process. This is the same James Troupis who goes back to the Prosser/Scott Jensen days in the State Assembly. Also the same James Troupis who was thanked personally, and by name, by David Prosser in his “victory reception” held in Legislative Chambers after Joanne Kloppenburg conceded. In fact, Prosser used the words “owes a great debt of gratitude” when naming both Troupis and Jensen. Yet David Prosser would have us believe he is able to hear this case impartially. Even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recognizes the clear conflict for Prosser.
When the State Supreme Court heard a case which involved Prosser’s former staffer Scott Jensen, Prosser recused himself in a case which opened the door for Jensen’s trial to be moved to Waukesha County. Jensen was able to avoid serving jail time and receive a plea bargain from a politically sympathetic Waukesha County Court system. As was the case then, Prosser has direct personal, political, and financial ties to Troupis. If not through Troupis’ representation on behalf of Prosser in the recount; through political financial contributions and the parties who will benefit from Troupis’ success in this case. Both Troupis and Prosser share the same deep-pocketed political allies.
The inability of Prosser to recognize, or worse yet acknowledge this conflict makes him a dangerous presence on the bench. He is obviously willing and capable of putting personal and political motive above that of the Constitutional interpretation of the law. Prosser’s arrogance in this matter is a clear violation of conflict of interest, and he should be held accountable by the State Judicial Oversight Commission, and more importantly, his peers on the bench and voters.