State Supreme Court campaigns could be publicly financed, under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate. Chippewa Falls Democrat Pat Kreitlow argued for passage of the Impartial Justice Act , which would provide a system of public financing for state Supreme Court candidates. "Very few people can argue with the fact that our state Supreme Court elections must be above board, must be above reproach, and must not have even a wiff of a hint that special interests are buying influence," said Kreitlow.
Neenah Republican Mike Ellis voted for the bill, but not before taking a shot at the Wisconsin Education Association Council, trial lawyers, Native American tribes, and other special interests which have primarily supported Democratic party candidates. "We need to get money out of the Supreme Court races. Absolutely," Ellis said. "But I'm a little tired . . . of constantly hearing that all the evil money is on the Republican side." Ellis also argued for passage of Senate Bill 12, comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation. Ellis and three other Republicans voted yes, as the bill passed the Senate on 23-10 vote . With the legislative session winding down, the measure faces an uncertain future in the Republican controlled Assembly.