Supreme Court Fundraising Record Falls

In this update: 1. Cash race dominated by incumbent in court election, by interest group in school chief contest 2. Assembly budget-season fundraising ban widely effective, but . . . . 3. PAC donations in 2008 election season posted on wisdc.org Supreme Court Fundraising Record Falls 

Email date: 7/21/09

In this update:
1. Cash race dominated by incumbent in court election, by interest group in school chief contest
2. Assembly budget-season fundraising ban widely effective, but . . . .
3. PAC donations in 2008 election season posted on wisdc.org

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Campaign reports detail fundraising, spending in spring elections
In the two statewide races on this spring’s ballot, those with the most money won. In the state Supreme Court election, it was the incumbent chief justice who set a new record for fundraising and blew the competition out of the water. In the election for state school superintendent, a single interest group spent more than all five candidates combined. For more on this spring fling, see the report the Democracy Campaign issued today.

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Assembly ban worked, with a few exceptions
Not all the campaign finance reports have been filed yet, but a preliminary review of those that are in shows that the rule adopted in the Assembly banning campaign fundraising during the state budget process largely succeeded in drying up campaign contributions while the budget was under development.

We did notice a few instances where contributions were received when the ban was in effect and posted a blog about it last Thursday. We alerted news reporters of a few more after Thursday and stories like this one appeared in the news today as the number of legislators who reported receiving donations during the blackout period reached seven, including four Democrats and three Republicans.

Today we identified an additional two -- Republican Phil Montgomery of Green Bay and Democrat Louis Molepske of Stevens Point. Montgomery’s report shows he accepted two contributions totaling $550 on February 17 while Molepske’s shows $500 received on March 13 and $50 on April 20. The fundraising ban was in effect from February 17 through June 29.

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Updated tally of PAC donations now available at wisdc.org
Political Action Committees (PACs) operated by special interest groups were busy in the 2008 election cycle. For a full accounting of their activity, go here.