MADISON, Wis. — State Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Bradley has claimed she would not coordinate her campaign with a political party or outside group and left her “political inclinations” behind, after the first of her unprecedented three judicial appointments by Gov. Scott Walker in just three years. But Bradley’s public statements look increasingly farcical as spending on television ads by a right-wing group, featuring video produced by Bradley’s campaign, hits the $1 million mark and campaign finance reports reveal the Republican Party of Wisconsin has directly provided her campaign with staff and automated phone calls.
“Either Rebecca Bradley doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘coordinate’ or she doesn’t care if she intentionally misleads people with her campaign. And I suspect she’s familiar with the meaning of the word,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “The preponderance of the evidence is that — despite public, on the record statements to the contrary — she’s running a blatantly partisan campaign, in coordination with other groups.”
A new right-wing group, the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, headed by state Republican political operatives, began running advertising on Bradley’s behalf in early February. The group’s television ads featured video footage produced by Bradley’s own campaign. According to the latest information obtained by One Wisconsin Now, their expenditures on network and cable television and radio now exceed $1 million.
Recently filed finance reports from Bradley’s own campaign 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.
Yet when speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in late 2015, Bradley was quoted saying, “I have absolutely no plans to coordinate any campaign activities … ” The Janesville Gazette on January 11, 2016, as part of a news story about Bradley and the races for the state high court reported that she alleged that she, “does not coordinate her campaign with the party.” As part of her carefully crafted campaign talking points Bradley oft states that she has left her “political inclinations” in the past, including in this televised interview on the statewide televised UpFront with Mike Gousha program.
Ross noted that Bradley has previously suggested it is acceptable for a judge to lie in their campaign, penning a column in collaboration 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.
He concluded, “Much like her political patron Gov. Walker, Rebecca Bradley is willing to do or say anything to win an election – she’s campaigning in coordination with outside groups and a partisan political party and, despite clear evidence, willing to say that she’s not.”