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Thursday, March 31, 2011

 12:04 PM 

Abele, Stone exchange swipes at forum

Milwaukee County Executive candidate Chris Abele swiped at Gov. Scott Walker’s mantra that “Wisconsin is open for business” at a UW-Milwaukee forum, calling the concept “way too passive" and calling for a more coordinated, targeted approach.

Meanwhile, Abele’s opponent, Jeff Stone, reiterated his support of Walker and the governor’s budget repair bill, adding Abele’s criticism of Walker “just shows he cannot work with other leaders.”

The two also disagreed on residency requirements for city workers, with Abele, a philanthropist, taking the side of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who wants to keep them, and Stone siding with Republicans who want to get rid of them.

"You can't force people to be part of a community," said Stone, a veteran Republican Assemblyman and former local elected official.

See more WisPolitics coverage.

-- By Kay Nolan

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 10:01 AM 

Prosser, Kloppenburg spar in final Supreme Court debate

Justice David Prosser continued to hammer at Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg as an inflexible ideologue as they two met in their final debate a week before before the election.

Kloppenburg countered it was her opponent who has a history of partisanship on the court. Both insisted they would interpret the law without the influence of partisanship rhetoric, while accusing one another of just the opposite.

“She is a brass knuckles person unwilling to compromise,” Prosser said during the debate before the Milwaukee Rotary Club. “She is a very liberal Democrat who has wandered into supporting Green Party candidates and policies.”

The forum addressed the lack of collegiality in the court at length, and both candidates were asked whether they believed it to be an issue.

According to Kloppenburg, Prosser plays a role in this division.

“The court does need new blood,” she said. “People can't be sure that his decisions are based on law and the facts and not his personal quarrels.”

See footage of recent Supreme Court debates.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

 4:34 PM 

Supreme Court ad spending already hits $1.69 million, $3.9 million expected

The Brennan Center for Justice says spending on TV ads in the state Supreme Court race has hit at least $1.69 million. But JoAnne Kloppenburg’s campaign figures the spending on TV, cable and radio through Election Day will be closer to $3.9 million.

The Brennan Center bases its number on information collected by CMAG through yesterday, a week out from the election. Those totals didn't include cable TV or radio.

The group found through Tuesday, the Greater Wisconsin Committee had spent $769,000, the Club For Growth had spent $415,000 and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce had spent $233,000. The Citizens for a Strong America has also begun running ads, but the Brennan Center said it would be a few days before those numbers started showing up on its tallies.

Kloppenburg campaign manager Melissa Mulliken, however, said information from the campaign’s ad buyer shows $1.9 million in spending by the GWC through the election with $2 million between CFG, WMC, CSA, the Faith Family Freedom Fund and Americans for Prosperity.

Those totals include broadcast and cable TV, as well as radio, she said.

-- By JR Ross

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Monday, March 28, 2011

 3:31 PM 

GAB projects turnout of 20 percent

The GAB today predicted turnout next week of 20 percent in the spring general election.

In addition to the Supreme Court race and local offices that will be filled, there will be primaries in the 60th and 94th Assembly districts for the May 3 special elections that will fill those seats and the 83rd.

GAB Director Kevin Kennedy noted in a release that turnout for spring elections with Supreme Court contests at the top of the ticket have ranged from 18.2 percent of eligible voters to 20.9 percent over the past decade.

-- By JR Ross

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