Liberal Group’s Ad Attacks Supreme Court Candidate


MADISON, WI—The first attack ad in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race was launched Tuesday by a liberal group, targeting Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee Spokeswoman Michelle McGrorty would not say where or how long the ad would be running but the ad was on the air in Milwaukee and other markets exactly two weeks prior to the April 7 election.

Koschnick is up against Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson for a 10-year term on the high court.

The ad, which runs for 30 seconds, begins with a female narrator supporting Abrahamson, saying she protected victims, including children poisoned by lead paint, patients injured by negligence and consumers harmed by corporate wrongdoing.

The pro-Abrahamson comments in the ad refer to her decisions in allowing a boy to sue over lead paint exposure and injuries although he could not identify the company that made the product. The product that poisoned the boy overturned the state’s $350,000 cap on medical malpractice damages.

The second half has a different tone, with a male narrator talking over ominous music, and accuses Koschnick of siding with corporate special interests, the wealthy and powerful, and against victims.

“It looks like the left wing smear machine is getting active on Shirley Abrahamson’s behalf,” said Koschnick’s campaign adviser, Seamus Flaherty. He had not seen the ad.

Abrahamson’s campaign manager Heather Colburn declined immediate comment.

Third party groups have been heavily involved in the past two Supreme Court races, but remained silent in this election until Tuesday. Abrahamson has run two ads that do not mention Koschnick. He has not run any ads yet due to lack of money. Through February 2nd, Koschinik had only raised $50,000, compared to more than $1 million for Abrahamson.

It was reported that the release of an ad attacking Koschnick shows that Abrahamson’s backers are worried and that Judge Koschnick’s message is resonating with the voters.

Abraham, age 75, has been on the court since 1976 and has served as chief justice since 1996.

Koschnick has been a judge for 10 years and previously worked as a public defender.


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