February 2, 2011

Supreme Court candidates raise too much money

Associated Press via the State Journal:
[Wisconsin] election officials have ordered Prosser to return money from about 20 out-of-State donors and Kloppenburg to return about $4,000 in contributions because she exceeded the contribution limit to qualify for public money.
What do out-of-State donors want from Wisconsin's Supreme Court anyway? It has no jurisdiction beyond these borders.* Recall that tens of thousands of dollars in out-of-State donations came pouring into Michael Gableman's political campaign during its waning days as well.

If public financing puts an end to that, then this is a good thing.

* eta: An exaggeration, admittedly misleading, and the professor is substantially correct. What I should have said is that while the court's jurisdiction over out-of-State parties is both contemplated and provided for, it isn't assumed for any individual case, and it may be exercised only after satisfactory proof having been made from among a number of factors — several of which still require physical presence or ownership of property within the State exercising jurisdiction if not the "sufficient minimum contacts" to which the professor alludes — related to certain types of action. My point was a political one — parochial, even — but I don't mind copping to the flippant hyperbole.

He (Shark) nabbed (bit) me fair and square.

Yet it is pleasing to have such a devoted and assiduous reader.

And I'm not objecting to out-of-State donations per se, I'm merely raising the question of the perception of the court's own political entanglements as illustrated by the specific example linked above.

This is, after all, Supreme Court election season again (or still?) and all four candidates — especially the three challengers — are actively engaged at exploiting those perceptions, as they should be.


Clutch said...

What do out-of-State donors want from Wisconsin's Supreme Court anyway?

An example; proof in principle; a thin edge of the wedge.

"Sure it sounds like absurd corporate fellating, but that's how they ruled in Wisconsin!"

xoff said...

Maybe it's from Uncle Izzy in Brooklyn. Who cares? People have friends and family in other states.

More interesting to me is that the candidate who turned down public financing raised very little. She's right that you can't run a real statewide primary campaign on $100,000, but it looks like she will have even less.

illusory tenant said...

The top money raiser warranted an honorable mention in the Journal-Sentinel's coverage of last week's forum: "The fourth candidate is Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg."