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Monday, March 31, 2008

 5:27 PM 

Outside groups register more than $500,000 in independent expenditures

Outside groups had registered more than half a million dollars in independent expenditures with the state by this afternoon, with 85 percent of that going to support Butler.

The WEAC PAC had the largest expenditure registered at $249,325, with the majority of that going to a TV buy. The Greater Wisconsin Committee listed an independent expenditure of $96,858, while Planned Parenthood had one for $939. That totaled $447,122 in pro-Butler expenditures.

The NRA Political Victory Fund registered $73,458 for a mailing to support Gableman, while the Volunteers for Agriculture, the Farm Bureau's PAC, registered $3,766 for ads in three publications supporting the judge. That totaled $77,224.

The Center for Advocates PAC had a $1,292 independent expenditure for multiple candidates, including Butler, while the Kenosha AFL-CIO Political Donation Fund registered $1,000 for an independent expenditure that also mentioned Butler among multiple candidates supported.

Two groups that registered their intentions to make independent expenditures in the race hadn't reported any spending yet.

One is the Milwaukee Police Association PAC, which planned to support multiple candidates, including Butler.

The other is the Citizens to Defend the Constitution, a group dedicated to electing Dem judges. It had registered its intentions to support Butler, and a spokesman for the Democratic Judicial Campaign Committee, which is related to the CDC, reported robocalls going out today. See more in an item below.

Outside groups had spent some $3.1 million on TV ads on the four major network affiliates in Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee alone, according to a WisPolitics tally from last week. Combined with the independent expenditures, third-party groups have already blown by the record $3.1 million they spent on last year's Supreme Court race.

-- By JR Ross

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