Interest Group Spending Sets Record

In this update: 1. Special interest spending soars in Supreme Court race 2. WDC touches raw nerve with big donor report Interest Group Spending Sets Record

Email date: 4/18/08

In this update:
1. Special interest spending soars in Supreme Court race
2. WDC touches raw nerve with big donor report

A handful of special interest groups spent a record $4.8 million to influence the outcome of the recent state Supreme Court election, the Democracy Campaign estimates. Interest group spending was up 55% over the $3.1 million groups spent on last year’s high court election.

Leading the way among the special interest spenders was Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which backed winning candidate Michael Gableman. Other big spenders include the Greater Wisconsin Committee, which backed incumbent Louis Butler, and the pro-Gableman Club for Growth and Coalition for America’s Families. Next on the list was the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers union that supported Butler in the race, and the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund which backed Gableman.

More details on the spending and the groups behind it can be found in the Hijacking Justice section of our Web site. And an article on the subject that appeared in this morning’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is here.

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A Green Bay business executive who also is a big Democratic donor was none too happy when the Democracy Campaign pointed out Wednesday that campaign finance reports filed by candidates for state office show that he gave more in political contributions than state law allows. His reaction to our report and our reaction to that is the subject of our latest Big Money Blog.