2009 Supreme Court Race Starting to Take Shape

In this update: 1. High court showdown in the making 2. Freedom of Information Council to celebrate 30th birthday 3. Air wars in judicial contests increasingly commonplace 4. WDC on lookout for special interest campaigning 5. Blogging up a storm 2009 Supreme Court Race Starting to Take Shape

Email date: 10/3/08

In this update:
1. High court showdown in the making
2. Freedom of Information Council to celebrate 30th birthday
3. Air wars in judicial contests increasingly commonplace
4. WDC on lookout for special interest campaigning
5. Blogging up a storm

It looks like the race is on for another seat on the state Supreme Court. And not just any seat. The court’s chief justice, Shirley Abrahamson, sits on this one. Allow us to introduce you to her likely challenger.

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Speaking of Justice Abrahamson, she will deliver the keynote address at the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council’s 30th anniversary program October 13 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

The event, which will run from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.

Democracy Campaign research coordinator Mike Buelow is a member of the council.

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And speaking of court elections, Wisconsin is not the only state that is witnessing campaign fundraising and spending frenzies in judicial contests, driven by the cost of television advertising. The arms race is escalating in a number of states, as a report released today shows.

For more about what’s happening across the country, including a writeup of the most recent Supreme Court race in Wisconsin, see Buying Time 2008 on the Brennan Center for Justice web site.

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With a month to go before election day, expect to soon see heightened special interest group campaigning in key state legislative races. Much of the activity skirts state campaign finance disclosure requirements, so the Democracy Campaign depends on citizens throughout the state to be our eyes and ears and let us know what groups are up to. Please use our Hijack Hotline to report any broadcast or newspaper advertising, direct mail, automated telephone calls, billboards or other forms of electioneering that interest groups are employing.

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In recent days, we’ve posted a number of new items on our Big Money Blog on subjects ranging from the Wall Street bailout to the attorney general’s voter list lawsuit. Our latest blog takes a look at a cozy little deal going down in a Fond du Lac area state senate election.