Newsmakers: Public Financing for Supreme Court Elections
For the first time, candidates for the Supreme Court seat up for election in April can qualify for public grants to avoid having to solicit donations from special-interest groups with current or future cases pending before the court. The Impartial Justice Act will give candidates who agree to abide by strict fund-raising limits up to $100,000 for the primary election, and up to $300,000 for the April general election. If third-party groups directly spend money for or against them, a candidate can also get supplemental grants equal to those amounts – another new provision. Kevin Kennedy, director of the Government Accountability Board; Board Attorney Michael Haas and Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin, discussed the new public financing law in a Newsmakers show taped in the WisconsinEye studio on Dec. 20.