Scandal or not, Diane Hathaway did us a favor

You know by now that Diane Hathaway has been plagued by short-sale scandal for several months, culminating in her recent announcement that she will resign. It’s unfortunate that she is resigning, bringing us from 4-3 GOP-Dem (endorsed) bench to likely a 5-2. I don’t know who Snyder will appoint but it’s sure to be someone approved of and likely selected by Dick DeVos.

Many progressives and Dems are angry with Justice Hathaway for bringing this scandal on us. Personally I don’t comment on lefty scandals because I’m having too much fun beating on the right. It takes a lot to get me to bitch about one of my own, and generally speaking, a short sale isn’t even enough to get me to bitch about someone on the right. I just don’t care about that. The available facts of the case seem clear to me so I knew she wasn’t long for her seat, but after the way the Republicans handled lame duck, I had hoped she would hold on to that seat just for spite. But she announced her resignation and I think that is for the best; we don’t need another scandal in our faces.

Much more wisdom over the fold ..

That said, too many on the left are forgetting what Diane Hathaway did for us. Remember Cliff Taylor, the incumbent Chief Justice who had “blown away all fund-raising records for judicial elections in his state” ?

Taylor owned the previous Michigan Supreme Court fundraising record of $1,340,000, set in the campaign of 2000. Taylor’s 2008 total is the seventh time a Michigan Supreme Court candidate has raised over $1 million, and the first time it has been accomplished prior to a party nominating convention. Taylor’s campaign had raised only $350,000 as of the 2000 pre-convention report.

Defeating an incumbent justice is very difficult, especially one who can raise money like a sonofabitch. In fact, Diane Hathaway was the first to do that in 24 years.

Cliff Taylor was a bad guy, for a lot of reasons. If you had asked me 4 years ago whether I would want Cliff Taylor and his corporate greed on the bench, or Diane Hathaway and her personal greed on the bench, I still would have voted for Diane Hathaway. Cliff Taylor was far more dangerous.

We’ll fight the good fight in 2014 and take that seat back; we have no choice on that. It may be a mid-term but the wars on women, labor, etc., mean we’ll outperform our normal numbers. Until then, I’ll roll my eyes, bite my tongue, and be thankful that someone was willing and able to knock Cliff Taylor out of that seat.

For more fun reading, here are Cliff Taylor’s top contributors (pdf): DeVos / Prince family is at #2. Must have been important to them to keep that seat …

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