MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which spent $5 million to elect scandal-plagued Annette Ziegler and ethically-challenged Mike Gableman, is taking to airwaves on behalf of current Justice David Prosser, launching a smear attack against his opponent. Prosser cast the deciding vote to adopt rules in 2009, written part by WMC, that says campaign contributions and independent spending by groups like WMC do not require justices recusing themselves in cases involving those groups.
“David Prosser cast the deciding vote to allow Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to keep trying to buy the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Predictably, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is returning the favor by smearing Prosser’s opponent.”
In 2009, Prosser helped approve word-for-word language written by WMC and the Wisconsin Realtors Association regarding recusals. The decision was roundly criticized across the ideological spectrum as an assault on an independent judiciary.
WMC’s attack ad, which is available on WMC’s website, was telegraphed in a fundraising solicitation sent out by WMC President Jim Haney recently. Figures obtained show that WMC has committed at least $1.2 million for advertising, an amount which will likely rise. Recently, the National Review said James Buchen, WMC Vice President indicated that “his organization is prepared to spend millions to lift Prosser’s campaign” and that they would be “very close” to spending $3 million.
WMC’s work on Prosser’s behalf also comes from Prosser’s 100 percent, pro-corporate rating, according to the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council – a coalition of the state’s leading corporate special interests,which a top WMC lobbyist serves as Vice President.
One Wisconsin Now said citizens from around the state should register their outrage with members of WMC’s board of directors, available at: http://wmc.org/AboutWMC/catpage.cfm?category=8
“We are encouraging concerned citizens from across Wisconsin to register their opposition to WMC’s efforts to buy a pro-corporate Supreme Court,” said Ross. “Contacting the board of directors of WMC at their place of business, would be the most direct way to ensure the voices of the people are heard today.”
Previously, activists in the One Wisconsin Now community sent 13,000 emails to the board of directors of WMC demanding an end to their misleading issue ads. That same year, the organization launched WMCWatch.org, the first site dedicated to exposing the truth behind Wisconsin’s most-powerful corporate lobbying group.