MacIver News Service | March 14, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
UPDATE: Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Judge Lisa Neubauer has since told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she does not want former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder’s support and that she would recuse herself from cases involving his liberal organization should they come before the state Supreme Court. Neubauer’s campaign manager did not answer MacIver News Service’s earlier questions regarding whether the candidate would urge Holder to not campaign for her in Wisconsin this week and whether she would issue a statement rejecting Holder’s groups’ pledged $350,000 in the outside money she claims to abhor.
MADISON, Wis. — Liberal appeals court Judge Lisa Neubauer, who has railed against outside money in Wisconsin Supreme Court elections, has remained silent on the $700,000-plus in outside cash helping her campaign for the high court.
And as former U.S. attorney general and left-wing sugar daddy Eric Holder lands in Wisconsin today to rally support for Neubauer ahead of next month’s election, the judge has been curiously silent about the $350,000 Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee announced it would dump into the Supreme Court race on Neubauer’s behalf.
Her opponent, fellow appeals court Judge Brian Hagedorn, backed by conservatives, pointed out what he called Neubauer’s “broader pattern” of hypocrisy in the race.
“I would love to see Judge Neubauer stand up, hold a press conference tomorrow and tell Eric Holder to go home, to take his money and go home,” Hagedorn told MacIver News Service Wednesday on the Vicki McKenna Show, on NewsTalk 1130 WISN in Milwaukee. “If she’s being consistent that’s what she would do, but she doesn’t appear interested in doing that.”
Neubauer reserved the right to remain silent on her apparent double standard as of Thursday, just hours before Holder was expected to lead a meet and greet at the For Our Future Office in Madison, where the left-wing super PAC will be participating in a phone bank for their liberal candidate.
Reached Thursday morning, Neubauer’s campaign manager said he would get back to MacIver News Service. As of publication, he had not.
Neubauer has been vocal about her apparent disdain for outside money in the state judicial campaign process, last year year telling “Upfront” host Mike Gousha that the flood of cash has been “so toxic.”
“You know it runs down the court system in the minds of the public. It really undermines the public’s confidence in our judicial system and we only have the confidence of the public in our court system that it’s going to be fair and impartial,” Neubauer said. “So I have called on outside money to stay out and I hope they will.”
But it appears Judge Neubauer doth protest too much. She has offered little resistance to Democrat Holder’s group’s money or the five other big union and Democrat campaign groups pumping in another $400,000 to get Neubauer elected.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee is spending more than $162,000 on television advertising, according the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. Service Employees International Union is spending at least $131,000 on brochures and canvassing. For Our Future is dumping in another $80,000, also for brochures and canvassing. The Center for Popular Democracy has chipped in at least $10,000 on digital ads. And Greater Wisconsin Political IE fund spent $10,000 on digital advertising.
Hagedorn’s outside support, to date, amounts to just $17,300, from Americans for Prosperity.
Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee has targeted Wisconsin politics in a bid to pack courts and district attorney offices with liberals committed to their ideas of judicial reform. The committee and its affiliates spent more than $2 million in 2018 to help elect Democrat candidates, including Gov. Tony Evers and the liberal Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet, according to campaign finance records.
Neubauer and Hagedorn face off on April 2 in an election to fill the vacant seat of long-time liberal Justice Shirley Abrahamson.