Wisconsin Court Candidates Differ on Public Financing

Justice Bradley, at left, Judge Kloppenburg, at right
Justice Bradley, at left, Judge Kloppenburg, at right

In a debate on Wednesday, Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg supported the idea of returning to public financing of judicial campaigns in the state, while candidate Rebecca Bradley, an appointed incumbent seeking a full term, was skeptical.

Court of Appeals Judge Kloppenburg said public financing would spare judicial candidates having to raise campaign money from private donors, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. ¬†Justice Bradley said a Supreme Court race in 2011, when public financing was permitted, demonstrated that it¬†gives “an even more outsized voice for third-party interests.”

It was the last debate before the April 5 election. Kloppenburg accused the incumbent of an ethics lapse when she publicly discussed a case in which there is a pending motion for reconsideration. Bradley rejected the allegation and fired back by accusing Kloppenburg of hypocrisy given her remarks about occasions when judges should recuse themselves and her own record.