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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/5/18

A Stunning Victory Against the NRA in Wisconsin

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As Walker campaigned for Screnock, Dallet made her support for an independent judiciary central to her campaigning.

Several national Democrats endorsed Dallet, including Vice President Joe Biden and former attorney general Eric Holder. But when Holder came to the state, Dallet chose not to appear with him and reemphasized her commitment to drawing firm lines on ethics issues, telling reporters: "Certainly if millions of dollars were spent on my campaign by a party in a case that was sitting in front of me...then I would recuse myself. And I think that distinguishes me from Judge Screnock, who refuses to make those assurances."

In a measure of how desperate Screnock supporters became as the race progressed, the conservative's backers claimed that because Dallet had publicly refused money from the NRA, she had shown more bias on gun issues than Screnock, who had accepted NRA support but had "not stated his personal views on firearms."

The argument was laughable, as were many of the last-minute efforts by Walker's political team and corporate special-interest groups to smear Dallet. By speaking in smart, nuanced ways about gun issues, while at the same time refusing to bend to the NRA, Dallet framed an approach that was in tune with voters -- in Wisconsin and, potentially, other states across the country where the NRA has historically bullied candidates of both parties.

On Election Day, she ran well in urban areas. But Dallet also won a number of rural counties in western and northern Wisconsin -- many of which backed Donald Trump in 2016 -- where at least some pundits had presumed that the NRA endorsement of her opponent would sway the result in the other direction.

The calculus had changed. So it was that, before a cheering crowd on election night, the judge who will soon be Justice Rebecca Dallet declared: "Tonight we proved that when the people rise up and stand together, we can beat the special interests. We beat the NRA, and we beat the millions of dollars that were spent on this race -- flooding into our state."

Copyright - 2018 thenation.com -- distributed by Agence Global

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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