02 April 2011

The Effect of Citizen's United

Third party groups are pouring money into very misleading, negative ads against JoAnne Kloppenburg.

They can’t win this campaign on the facts so they resort to disrespectful and deceitful ad campaigns.

Let’s set the record straight on a couple of their most outrageous allegations:

Fiction:  JoAnne put an 80-year-old farmer in jail for not planting native grasses on a field.

Fact: A farmer named Wayne Hensler in Jefferson County was ordered by the State of Wisconsin to take action to stop pollution from run-off from his farm going into Rock Lake. Mr. Hensler refused to do the work but finally agreed to pay to have others do the remediation work. Then he refused to pay the money he’d agreed to pay. Jefferson County Judge Randy Koschnick (who you may remember ran against Shirley Abrahamson) ordered Mr. Hensler to pay what he owed. He would not. Finally, another Judge in Jefferson County, John Ullsvik, found Hensler in contempt and put him in jail for a few days. Two facts are pertinent here: no attorney can put anyone in jail. Only a Judge can do that. Secondly, the farmer was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to pay money he had been repeatedly ordered to pay, not for “refusing to plant a field.”

Big money being used to try to mislead you: Our research shows that the “Citizens for a Stronger America” is spending about $526,000 on this TV ad.

Fiction: JoAnne is unqualified for the Court because she has never been a judge and because in the past she has applied for open judgeships for which others were chosen.

Fact: JoAnne is a graduate of Yale, Princeton and the UW Law School. She has been a prosecutor for 21 years. Her legal experience is broad and deep and she has tried numerous cases in Wisconsin Circuit Courts, the Court of Appeals and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. JoAnne has earned the endorsement of sitting Judges who know best what what it takes to do the job.

It is not unusual for attorneys who aren’t judges to be elected or appointed as a judge and many legal experts say it is healthy that judges come from a variety of backgrounds. David Prosser was not a judge when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. Nor was Shirley Abrahamson. One of the Supreme Court Justices David Prosser says he admires most, Justice Rehnquist was not a judge before being appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

It is also not unusual for attorneys to apply for open judgeships and JoAnne has applied for open seats. Those openings usually attract long lists of very qualified applicants and only one can be chosen. Some of those applicants end up not being selected for the judgeship and running for office. For example, Brian Blanchard applied to be an appeals court judge. He was not selected. He then ran for the Court and was elected handily.

Big money being used to try to mislead you: Our research shows that "Americans for Prosperity" and the Tea Party are spending about $45,000 on radio and TV ads with this fiction in it. It is also in the Citizens for a Stronger America ad.

We're counting on your help to get the facts out. With only five days before the election, quickly setting the record straight is crucial -- because spreading untrue statements about JoAnne is all that our opponents have left.

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