Hefty outside spending appears to be taking off in this year’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election. A conservative group called Wisconsin Alliance for Reform may spend as much as $415,000 on a TV ad buy to begin this week to help elect incumbent Justice Rebecca Bradley to a full term, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.
Bradley, an appointee of Gov. Scott Walker, is opposed by Court of Appeals Judge JoAnn Kloppenburg and Circuit Judge Joe Donald. There is a documented history of big spending around judicial elections in Wisconsin, and you can learn about outside spending in the last Supreme Court election and subsequent controversy over impartial judges, from a report by Justice at Stake (co-authored with partner organizations) about political spending in the 2013-2014 election cycle.
Meanwhile a report by USA Today Network-Wisconsin was headlined, “Some judges violate ban on partisan donations.” A separate article from the same investigative team was titled, “Party politics color governors’ judicial picks.“