A piece of the past could be a glimpse of the future in the State Supreme Court race. Randy Koschnick was doing his job as a public defender when he represented cop killer Ted Oswald in the 1990's, but the Supreme Court candidate expects that to be used as ammunition against him. Judge Koschnick is running against Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
Mike McCabe with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says the issue is irrelevant given the function of the high court.
"The Supreme Court doesn't conduct criminal trials, and it doesn't sentence convicted crimes. It's an appeals court," says McCabe.
He says the "intense focus" on criminal cases "dumbs down" voters from focusing which candidate is best qualified to serve the public interest on the bench.
In the previous Wisconsin Supreme Court race, Michael Gableman unseated Justice Louis Butler. Butler's opponents were aggressive with ads that portrayed the incumbent as soft on crime.
McCabe says Supreme Court campaign reform is needed to curb nasty politicking.