Friday, July 25, 2014

The debate about debates

By Bill Kraus

A very long time ago a wacky guy ran for District Attorney in Wisconsin promising he would only enforce good laws. Everybody laughed, and he lost.

Not so long ago a public official who was under investigation for behavior which had led to the imprisonment of some of his peers got the prosecution of his case moved to a more politically friendly part of the state. The District Attorney there said his caseload was full to overflowing and declined to prosecute the case.

A few sighs of relief may have been heard, but no laughter.

In the current four-person race for Attorney General of Wisconsin there have been some disturbing suggestions that candidates for that office may opt in or out of cases based on what they consider the virtue of the laws on which the cases are based.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The rules

By Bill Kraus

The rules about how elections are to be conducted in this country have been set over the years by legislators and endorsed or modified by three centuries worth of supreme courts.

What has survived into the 21st century are a few guideposts and a pretty consistent trend.

In the 19th century the court said that a corporation is a person when it comes to political participation and regulation.

This meant that any rules about political activity or the funding of political activity had to include this interesting characterization.