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COURT GESTURES BLOG: Offseason workout has Prosser rounding into shape

Court_Gestures_WLJ-homepage_We’re still several months away from any major state Supreme Court election activity, but recent campaign finance reports reveal who continues to plug away during the offseason.

Of the three justices and one former candidate who filed reports this month, Justice David Prosser’s campaign has been the most active as it works to pay off debt.

It’s no secret that Prosser’s 2011 fight for re-election against current Court of Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg drove his campaign into debt; about $230,000 to be exact. That election triggered a recount, and Prosser won by just 7,004 votes.

Since then, his PAC has put the word out that he needs money, and got support from former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

It appears the calls are working.

Prosser’s campaign has steadily been paying off its debt with donations to a political action committee, the Prosser Victory Recount Fund. As of Dec. 31, it owed $200,000. But as of June 30 that debt had dropped to $75,000.

According to campaign finance records, Prosser’s PAC raised $194,251 between Jan. 1 and July 30 of this year. The majority of that, $125,000, went to Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC, Milwaukee, (spelled incorrectly as Reinhardt Boerner Van Buren on the campaign finance report) for legal fees.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Justice Ann Walsh Bradley’s campaign. Even though she is the next justice up for re-election, her campaign raised no money between Jan. 1 and June 30.

Bradley’s term ends next year. So far, nobody has announced whether they are running against the justice, who is widely recognized as one of two on the court’s hard left wing.

bradley-prosserThe justice herself has not said anything either, but told me in May that she looks forward to “serving many more years on the court.”

According to a campaign finance report filed July 13, Bradley’s campaign has $23,883.56 on hand. Her campaign only spent $39 in the past six months to cover tax obligations.

The next reports will come later this year.

Bradley’s campaign hasn’t raised any money in the past five years. But who knows, maybe this will be the first campaign in a while where money isn’t pouring in.

About Eric Heisig

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