Pro-Bradley Groups Outspend Pro-Kloppenburg Groups 4-1

April 6, 2016

Scale with Money Bags

In the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, outside groups supporting Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley outspent those supporting Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg almost 4 to 1.

All told, outside groups for Bradley spent about $2,714,000 while those for Kloppenburg spent about $710,000. That’s a ratio of 3.8 to 1.

Kloppenburg lost her bid on Tuesday for a 10-year seat on the high court to Bradley.

Topping the list of outside spenders was the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, a conservative Madison-based group formed late last year that doled out an estimated $2.6 million on four television ads and a radio ad to support Bradley. Two of the broadcast ads – radio and video – praised Bradley and the other ads – one television and two radio – attacked Kloppenburg for decisions in three cases before the Appeals Court she sits on.

The Alliance is an issue ad group, which means that it can secretly raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to spend on its outside electioneering activities.

Behind the Alliance was the Greater Wisconsin Committee, which spent an estimated $710,000 on issue ads and independent expenditures to support Kloppenburg. Greater Wisconsin, which was formed in 2004 to mostly support Democratic candidates for statewide office and the legislature, doled out an estimated $600,000 through its issue ad arm to air a television ad – here – that attacked Bradley for controversial opinion columns she did as a college student. In addition, Greater Wisconsin’s corporation said in paperwork filed with the state that it would spend about $107,300 on online advertising against Bradley.

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which was created in 2002 to support GOP candidates for the legislative offices throughout the country, registered a committee with the state that spent about $114,000 on a 60-second radio ad – here – and mailings to support Bradley. The RSLC’s Judicial Fairness Initiative was formed last fall to support conservative judicial candidates around the country.

Finally, WEAC Region 3 PAC, a political action committee affiliated with the Wisconsin Education Association Council which is the state’s largest teachers union, spent about $2,400 on mailings to support Kloppenburg.