It Took $3.5 Million And Gov. Walker Controversy To Get 1.5 Million Votes
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (04/06/2011) - Special interest groups have spent more than 3.5 million dollars on TV ads for or against candidates Prosser and Kloppenburg in the 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court election. The high amount broke the previous Wisconsin record for television spending by non-candidate groups, according to data released Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice.
The total exceeded the $3.38 million spent by special interest groups in the notorious 2008 election between now-Justice Michael Gableman and then-Justice Louis Butler.
The 2011 data include all ads through Monday, April 4, and are likely to rise when any election-day ads are included in the final numbers, the Brennan Center said.
“The feverish special interest spending on television ads in this year's Supreme Court race, which eclipsed the record-setting spending of 2008, has cemented Wisconsin's reputation as a state in which, unfortunately, costly multi-million dollar judicial campaigns and vicious mudslinging attack ads are commonplace,” said Adam Skaggs, counsel for the Brennan Center’s Fair Courts Project.
Through Monday night, the Greater Wisconsin Committee, which hoped to defeat Justice David Prosser and elect challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, has spent an estimated $1,363,040 to air independent television ads.
They were followed by four groups seeking to re-elect Justice Prosser: Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which has spent an estimated $893,990 on air time; Citizens for a Strong America, $813,660; Wisconsin Club for Growth, $415,860; and Tea Party of Wisconsin, $53,710.
Since 2007, Wisconsin has spent more on Supreme Court elections than every state but Pennsylvania. Including spending by candidates and Brennan Center estimates of TV spending by special-interest groups, a total of $14.8 million has been spent on Wisconsin high court elections from 2007 through 2011. That compares with $15.5 million in Pennsylvania during the same period, according to the Justice at Stake Campaign.
“Once again, costly spending and negative attack ads have raged out of control in Wisconsin,” said Charles Hall, a Justice at Stake spokesman. “Regardless of who wins this election, public confidence in a fair, impartial court system will inevitably be damaged.”
The special interest group TV ad spending data were calculated and prepared by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG for the Brennan Center.
CMAG captures TV satellite data in the nation’s media markets; its calculations do not reflect ad agency commissions, the costs of producing advertisements, or airtime purchased on local cable networks that are not aired by satellite.
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