The political battlefield in Wisconsin has expanded beyond the recall efforts targeting legislators and, potentially, Gov. Scott Walker (R). A progressive issue advocacy group, the Greater Wisconsin Committee, is running a new ad about the nominally non-partisan state Supreme Court race this April, tying incumbent Justice David Prosser to Walker's conservative brand.
"Can we trust David Prosser to be impartial?" the announcer says. "In the legislature, Prosser and Walker voted the same way 95 percent of the time -- both voting against the middle class."
"As a judge, Prosser has sided with corporations, and against workers. Now, Prosser has promised to act as a 'complement' to Walker -- because his views 'closely mirror' Walker's. Tell David Prosser, judges should be independent -- not a rubber stamp for Scott Walker."
[Note: Prosser was first appointed to the court in 1998, after serving as a Republican state Assemblyman from 1979-1996, including a term as Speaker from 1995-1996. Walker served in the Assembly from 1993-2002.]
I asked GWC executive director Michelle McGrorty about a possible nitpick with the ad: the "complement" and "closely mirror" weren't spoken by Prosser himself, but from his campaign director Brian Nemoir, in the course of promoting Prosser's re-election campaign.
McGrorty stood by the language, telling me: "I think what we're looking at is under the Wisconsin Judicial Code, a judge running for political office has to be in control of his campaign. And as his campaign is speaking for him, that is a statement from him."