In the wake of a Supreme Court race that carried a nearly $6 million price tag, State Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) is pushing a bill that would cap donations to judicial campaigns and allow for public financing. Hintz says judges are not politicians, so they shouldn't be forced to raise millions of dollars to get a seat on the Supreme Court.
Hintz is hoping for an open discussion about how campaigns should be run for the state's high court. He says people should be confident justices can remain impartial, despite having to run for the office.
The Oshkosh Democrat says special interests have every right to get involved with judicial campaigns, but changes are needed to reduce concerns about conflicts of interest for future cases. Already, Justice Annette Ziegler has had to step back from deciding a case that involved a major campaign donor. Hintz says the rising cost of judicial campaigns will lead to more people scrutinizing those relationships.
The bill will receive a hearing at the Capitol later this month.