August 22, 2008
Read The Fine Print
Good advice from the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Tribune concerning upcoming judicial election campaign ads:
Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson will be up for re-election and likely will face opposition from big-money groups running so-called "issue ads" that actually are de-facto campaign ads. Based on past history, the ads will likely play on negative, nasty themes.
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a private group that tracks campaign spending and advocates for campaign reform, put out a report Wednesday that gave thumbnail sketches of the three conservative groups and two liberal groups involved in electioneering in the past two state Supreme Court races. On the conservative side are Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Club for Growth and the Coalition for America's Families. Liberal groups include the Wisconsin Education Association Council and the Greater Wisconsin Committee.
When the relentlessly negative ads start running next fall, look carefully at the fine print that says which group is supporting the ad. Pay more attention to what the candidates say, and then make up your own mind and vote.
The principle applies to all elections, not just those involving judicial office. (Mike Frisch)
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