Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Groups Spend $3 Million on High Court Race

Karofsky leads Kelly in special interest spending on state Supreme Court race.

By - Mar 31st, 2020 01:41 pm
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Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky.

Daniel Kelly and Jill Karofsky.

Special interest groups spent more than $3 million as of Monday morning in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

Groups supporting Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky have spent nearly $1.9 million. Groups backing incumbent Justice Dan Kelly have spent nearly $1.2 million. The election is next Tuesday, April 7.

Until late last week, groups backing Karofsky had a large spending advantage over groups that were supporting Kelly, but two outfits that support GOP and conservative candidates filed more than $1 million in new spending to support Kelly to close the gap.

Karofsky has backing from Democratic contributors and outside groups and Kelly has support from GOP contributors and groups.

Groups backing Karofsky were:

A Better Wisconsin Together Political Fund has spent more than $1.4 million on television ads, mailings, and digital ads;

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has spent about $325,760 through two entities – here and here – on canvassing, texting, and digital ads;

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin – C4 – has spent about $64,925 on robocalls and online ads;

Wisconsin Conservation Voters IE Committee has spent $50,000 on online ads;

Indivisible Action has spent about $3,465 on texting;

Voces de la Frontera has spent about $170 on robocalls and digital ads.

Outside groups supporting Kelly were:

Republican State Leadership Committee – Judicial Fairness Initiative, about $840,445 on television ads and text messages;

Americans for Prosperity has spent about $301,000 on canvassing, mailings and digital ads;

Wisconsin Family Action has spent nearly $33,700 on printing and mailing brochures;

American Majority Action has spent $8,500 on texting.

For more details about these groups, click on their names or visit the Democracy Campaign’s Hijacking Campaign 2020 feature.

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