MADISON, Wis. — Despite over $1 million spent on her behalf by an outside special interest group the majority of voters on Tuesday cast their ballots against Rebecca Bradley. On the heels of her disappointing showing, Gov. Scott Walker’s crony pick for the state high court, who has claimed she’s left her “partisan inclinations” behind, will be making what appears to be her first post-primary public appearance at a major Republican Party fundraising event in Milwaukee.
“Why has a right-wing special interest group already spent over $1 million on Rebecca Bradley? And why would Gov. Walker appoint her to judicial spots an unprecedented three times in three years?” asked One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “Because they know that regardless of what Rebecca Bradley may say to try to win an election, she’s going to have their backs and toe the party line.”
As an example of serious concerns about her ability to be impartial and avoid conflicts of interest, Ross noted Bradley has refused to say whether she would participate in a case where an organization that was investigated for wrongdoing had also spent a record $167,000 on her election defending the local judicial seat in Milwaukee County she was appointed to by Gov. Walker.
Now, as reported by the media and listed on the website of the Milwaukee County chapter of the Wisconsin Republican Party, Bradley will appear at a partisan fundraising event on Friday evening along with other GOP politicians, including U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Her appearance comes despite contending in numerous on the record media interviews that she has left her “partisan inclinations” in the past.
Bradley has also vowed she would not work with outside groups in her campaign nor would she coordinate campaign activities with the Republican Party. And yet a right-wing group, the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, ran television ads that featured video footage produced by Bradley’s own campaign. Recently filed finance reports from Bradley’s own campaign also reveal the Republican Party of Wisconsin provided $4,709.73 for campaign staff wages for her on January 31 and spent another $3,532.74 on paid phone calls for her campaign on January 8.
Ross noted that Bradley has written that she supports the right of judicial candidates to lie in their campaigns, penning a column with three fellow attorneys in which she attacked the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee effort to keep candidates from producing, or benefitting from others, misleading and underhanded campaign advertising.
“Rebecca Bradley may have earned the trust of the corporations, special interests and right-wing politicians but she’s done nothing to demonstrate the rest of us can count on her to be fair and impartial. Kicking off her general election campaign by appearing at a Republican fundraiser after promising she’s left partisan politics behind sure doesn’t help,” concluded Ross.