Where's a Good Lawyer When You Need One?
Wisconsin Public Television is looking for a smart, well-spoken attorney to participate in a mock trial about the civil unions and marriage ban. No, they're not looking for one on our side. Those are easily found among the state's firms and law school faculty, or pretty much wherever you find smart, well-spoken attorneys.
They're looking for one on the other side and -- are you surprised? -- they're coming up empty.
So Andy Moore, senior news producer at WPT, issued an open casting call in yesterday's Wisconsin State Journal.
At Wisconsin Public Television, we're putting the proposed marriage amendment to the state constitution on trial. Courtroom dramas have always been popular prime time programs. We're taking the color and excitement of the genre and turning it into a serious exercise in public policy.Carrie Lynch, at What's Left, first wrote about this yesterday:
Unlike the dramatic TV shows, our courtroom will be populated with real people; Wisconsinites with points of view and personal stakes in the outcome of the November marriage ballot.. . .
Trouble is, we've run into what Hollywood would call a casting problem.
We can't find a good attorney who's willing to argue for a "yes" vote to define marriage as between "one man and one woman." [Aside to Andy: the ban has a second sentence too.] Outreach to state and national traditional marriage lobbying groups and legal aid organizations has been unsuccessful.
The so-called "traditional marriage" groups have declined to even help find a lawyer because they believe that everyone that watches WPT will vote against the amendment and all of the folks on their side are found in churches rather than watching television.Also, the XoffFiles has some ideas about who WPT should recruit.
I think it's safe to say that not everyone that watches WPT is going to vote against the amendment, but even if they are, shouldn't they be willing to defend their side of the argument?
Unless it's not defendable.
Okay, so we shouldn't get complacent. Given Vote Yes's limited financial disclosure and now this refusal to provide a spokesperson, we don't know exactly what they're up to -- or what they could pull off in the future.
But giving up an hour in front of a statewide television audience? What's going on over there anyways?