A new, nongovernmental panel, will be keeping tabs on judicial elections in Wisconsin, including state Supreme Court races. The seven member Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee , includes former Governor Tony Earl, former state Senator Tim Cullen, and former appeals court judge and legislator, David Deininger, who will serve as vice-chair. “This committee is looking at the conduct of the campaigns, the content of ads, the public face that candidates for the Supreme Court and those interest groups that participate in those elections . . . are disseminating to the public,” said Deininger.
State Bar of Wisconsin President Tom Basting serves as the committee's nonvoting Chair, and he insists the panel's role will be to try and level the playing field in judicial elections, and not to become a player in the elections. “We're here as a nonpartisan commission, to disseminate that information to the public,” Basting stated. “Does that make us a player in the elections? I don't believe so.” Basting said part of the impetus for forming the committee were the many negative comments he received from members of the bar, regarding the most recent state supreme court campaign, in particular the content of third party ads.