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Karofsky’s liberal, out-of-state grassroots campaign

Empower Wisconsin | April 1, 2020

By M.D. Kittle  

MADISON — Thanks to a burst of donations from the state Democratic Party and their allies, liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court challenger Jill Karofsky brought in nearly three times more campaign money than conservative Justice Daniel Kelly in the latest reporting period. 

What hasn’t been widely reported is that the Karofsky campaign’s grassroots operation is being run by liberal, out-of-state activists and big-money interests. 

Karofsky, a Dane County judge, took in nearly $2 million between Feb. 4 and March 23, according to state campaign finance reports. Karofsky reported spending more than $1.4 million over the period, with north of $640,000 on hand.

The incumbent, Kelly, raised nearly $600,000, while spending $658,000 with about $400,000 of cash on hand. 

Karofsky’s campaign was fed with about $1.3 million from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The campaign also picked up more than $130,000 from Big Labor, including the American Federation of Teachers, Laborers, and Carpenters. Planned Parenthood chipped in $5,000. 

The approximately $65,000 in contributions to Kelly from the Republican Party of Wisconsin over the period pales in comparison. 

Kelly and Karofsky face off in the April 7 spring election — an election held during an unprecedented health crisis that has kept voters effectively locked down at home. As of Tuesday morning, elections officials had sent out a record 900,000 absentee ballots to Wisconsin voters. 

Karofsky benefited from nearly a half million dollars from George Soros, billionaire sugar daddy to far left causes and candidates, money pushed through the Democratic Party. 

The judge’s campaign is buttressed by a liberal grassroots operation run by liberal, out-of-state activists, feverishly working to reshape the Wisconsin Supreme Court from a conservative majority to a judicial activist-led third branch. 

Eventbrite notes several phone banks for Karofsky in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Chicago. A virtual phone bank was scheduled for Tuesday evening by the Sister District Project. The organization usually works to “help Democrats win critical state legislative seats.” They’re making an exception. 

“This is not an official Sister District race, but it aligns with Sister District stategic goals. The makeup of the state Supreme Court is crucial for addressing Wisconsin’s extreme partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, and issues such as reproductive health and public education,” states the organization, whose PAC is based in California. “This election will be CLOSE. Last year, a progressive lost a Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin by half a point. We can’t let that happen again!”

And all those “friendly, handwritten” reminders voters have received in the mail in recent weeks? Those have been sent on behalf of Karofsky by Postcards to Voters, The well-healed liberal group of “volunteers” sends their messages to “targeted voters” giving Dems “a winning edge in close, key races.” 

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