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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

 4:22 PM 

The Spring Election Stock Report

WisPolitics.com Spring Election Stock Report
--A collection of insider opinion--
(April 4, 2007)


Annette Ziegler: The Washington County judge shakes off questions about her ethics to easily win the right to replace Jon Wilcox on the state Supreme Court with 58 percent of the vote. Insiders on both sides believe Ziegler's background as a judge, and early positive paid media, gave her an edge that Linda Clifford and left-leaning groups could never overcome, no matter what they threw at her. Her money edge and the high turnout in her home county of Washington sure didn't hurt, either, they add.

WMC: The state's largest business group flexes its muscle in another statewide race, this time pouring more than $2 million into helping Ziegler win a spot on the state Supreme Court. Insiders saw Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce attacking Linda Clifford as it did attorney general candidate Kathleen Falk. In doing so, it also laid out a blueprint it will likely use again next year when it targets incumbent Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler in a race that many think will make this year's campaign seem like a staid affair.

Dave Cieslewicz: The Madison mayor easily cruises to re-election without breaking much of a sweat against challenger Ray Allen. Insiders say Mayor Dave was able to defuse potentially damaging issues without having to fend off nasty attacks in what was seen as a gentlemanly race.

Mark Graul: The GOP strategist, who was on the losing side in the guv's race, gains some redemption by guiding Ziegler's campaign to a statewide victory.

Michael McGee Jr.: The controversial Milwaukee alderman, a favorite target of Milwaukee talk radio and a lightning rod for criticism, easily beats back a recall attempt. Needing at least 50 percent to avoid a run off and retain his seat, McGee garners almost two-thirds of the vote. His nearest competitor in the multi-candidate race received 14 percent.


School spending: Voters rejected referenda totaling $425 million while approving $239 million. Voters approved just less than half of the 72 questions on the ballot, but rejected most of the big-ticket requests. A record $663 million was on the ballot in 52 districts.


Linda Clifford: Dems lament her campaign, which they say didn't present any kind of paid media presence until the final month, didn't effectively make the case for a non-judge to get elected, and didn't create any of the positive name ID needed to take advantage of Ziegler's "scandal." Defenders say Ziegler and supporting conservative groups simply "bought" the seat. But critical insiders say the campaign barely got her past first base, her home county of Dane.

Alan Lasee: The longtime GOP state lawmaker loses big in his race for Brown County executive. But he's still got his Senate seat.

-- By WisPolitics Staff


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