David Prosser has a lot he’d like to get off his chest.
Given the ongoing investigations, the Supreme Court justice is limited on what he can say, but Prosser is ready to address the toxic atmosphere on the state’s high court and in state judicial politics.
In a wide-ranging and candid interview, Prosser discusses his campaign for re-election, the struggles on the court and his fight to restore his reputation. Prosser describes what it is like to “walk out of the Capitol and see scrawled on the sidewalk, ‘Prosser should be in jail.’ He also discusses relations among the justices and, in particular, the role of the chief justice.
Also in this issue, Mike Nichols takes a long look at former U.S. Rep. David Obey, who continues to be poster child for the way Washington works. Even though Obey “made his mark as a reformer,” Nichols notes, he has now “joined a long line of former lawmakers hired by Washington lobbying firms.” Equally revealing is the extent to which Obey continues to have his hand in the public purse. Nichols estimates that Obey now collects an annual federal pension of $125,000.
“Like congressional salaries, that $125,000 estimated annual payment will automatically grow over time until he dies,” writes Nichols. “If he lives to the age of 85 . . . Obey would collect approximately $2 million in federal pension benefits.”
Also in the issue, we feature UW-Madison Professor Donald Downs, historian Fred Siegel and a lively point-counterpoint on the future of public employee unions by Stephen Hayes of The (conservative) Weekly Standard and John Nichols of The (liberal) Nation.
— Charles J. Sykes