A conservative group has placed a statewide ad promoting Rebecca Bradley, that is causing concern in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race. Specifically, from the other candidates in the race who claim with the ad, Bradley is breaking a pledge.
This ad is running across the state promoting state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley – ahead of a February primary. And one of her opponents says with it, Bradley is showing voters she can’t be trusted.
“Rebecca Bradley did say she would not coordinate with third parties,” said JoAnne Kloppenburg, who is also running for a seat on the Supreme Court. “This looks like coordination.”
Kloppenburg says it appears Bradley worked with the conservative group, Wisconsin Alliance for Reform – who placed the ad because it uses footage uploaded last month to Bradley’s YouTube channel.
It’s issue advocacy which is legal in Wisconsin. But Kloppenburg says Bradley pledged not to coordinate with outside groups during this campaign – on ads just like this.
“We know what she said and we know what it looks like,” Kloppenburg said.
The communications director for the Wisconsin Alliance on Reform, Chris Martin, told us “all footage featured in the ad is publicly available.”
And Bradley’s campaign manager, Luke Martz, in an email told Local 5 “The Bradley campaign has absolutely not coordinated with any independent outside groups. The pictures and footage the campaign has posted are in the public domain.”
But Charley Jacobs, a St. Norbert College professor in political science, says voters might not see it that same way.
“Most voters have become so jaded by the process, the loopholes you can crawl through, processes you can use to your advantage,” said Jacobs. “They are not likely to give the candidate the benefit of the doubt that nothing went on to suggest these two groups are working together.”
“It calls it into question for voters, raises concern that voters have as to the degree they can trust her word,” said Kloppenburg.
The ad was placed as part of a six-figure media buy, set to run statewide until February 8th, one week before the primary election.
Also in the primary, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Joe Donald.