On Friday, unions scored a temporary victory to maintain their ability to collect union dues from Wisconsin public employees when Judge Maryann Sumi (the same judge who refused to order striking teachers back to work in February) issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the implementation of Wisconsin’s new law governing public-sector unions.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
Judge Maryann Sumi said a lawsuit filed by the Dane County district attorney had enough merit for her to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the bill while she reviews the case.
This is a problem. Judge Maryann Sumi should have recused herself entirely from the Wisconsin battle due to her inability to be neutral in this case. You see, Maryann Sumi has a clear conflict of interest. Her son is a political operative who also happens to be a former lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and data manager for the SEIU State Council. Both the SEIU and the AFL-CIO have members who are public-sector employees in Wisconsin. In fact, as a federation, the AFL-CIO can boast of several member-unions that represent public-sector employees. Maryann Sumi is hardly an unbiased judge in the matter.
Jacob “Jake” Sinderbrand, Sumi’s son [see page nine here], runs a company called Left Field Strategies, a firm that works on political campaigns.
We are a firm dedicated to maximizing efficient and effective voter contact in a modern campaign atmosphere. Specializing in doorknocking and phone bank strategies, we use state-of-the-art campaign resources to ensure that no doorknock or phone call is wasted as you campaign for office. We bring extensive experience as professional canvassers and callers, who have knocked on tens of thousands of doors, and have cut hundreds of thousands of doors and phone numbers for various issue and electoral campaigns.
As a “lifelong political actvist,” it appears Sumi’s apple didn’t fall far from the tree. According to Sinderland’s bio on his website:
A lifelong political activist, Jake Sinderbrand got his start as a volunteer doorknocker, and has years of experience training both volunteers and canvassing staff. Jake graduated from Macalester College cum laude with a degree in political science, specializing in American political structures. He has developed his professional political experience serving as a lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and as data manager for the SEIU State Council through the 2008 election cycle. Jake’s expertise in canvass planning and turf strategy helped these organizations to have among the most successful field operations in Minnesota.
While FreedomEden has screenshots of Sinderbrand’s facebook page, one ironic twist to this whole sordid affair is that Maryann Sumi apparently gave a speech in 2007 entitled “Judicial Decision Making: Activism or Accountability?”
Clearly, both Sumi and her son are activists, which is why Sumi should be removed from the entire Wisconsin matter.
Photo credit: Nicholas Nikolic
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776