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Program to Focus on Dark Money in Judicial Races

Ellen Frantz | Published on 1/15/2023

A new Wisconsin Supreme Court justice will be elected this spring. This is a non-partisan position, but the extreme polarization that impacts other elected positions also impacts our court elections.

The League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area will present Lisa Graves, founder and executive director of True North Research and president of the Board of the Center for Media and Democracy, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, via Zoom to discuss the impacts of dark money in judicial races and what solutions might be available to slow the flow of dark money. You can register for this public event at our website at

More money was spent on campaigns this midterm than ever before. Both sides contributed millions of bit money and dark money to support a candidate, and this type of spending has increased in judicial races. These funds do not provide any transparency, often come from groups outside our state, cannot be regulated, and can have a significant impact on elections. Huge influxes of money allow last-minute targeting, often negative, leaving the other party no time to respond.

Can recusal rules be tightened for big money contributions? Can we treat dark money in judicial races differently than in political races given the stated non-partisan nature of a supreme court justice? Or try to decrease the politicization of our courts? Join us on Jan. 17 to learn more.