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Buying Time 2013 – Wisconsin

The 2013 nonpartisan primary, which is scheduled to take place on February 19, has three candidates: incumbent Justice Pat Roggensack, attorney Vince Megna, and Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone.

Published: April 2, 2013

Three candid­ates parti­cip­ated in the 2013 Wiscon­sin primary on Febru­ary 19: incum­bent Justice Pat Roggen­sack, attor­ney Vince Megna, and Marquette Univer­sity law professor Ed Fallone. Justice Roggen­sack and Professor Fallone received the highest number of votes and moved on to the general elec­tion, which took place on April 2. Justice Roggen­sack won reelec­tion, main­tain­ing the Court’s 4–3 conser­vat­ive major­ity.

Tele­vi­sion spend­ing for this year’s Supreme Court race was lower than in recent years, where conten­tious races put Wiscon­sin fifth in the nation in TV spend­ing from 2000–2009. In 2011, total TV spend­ing in Wiscon­sin was more than $3.9 million, in a Supreme Court race that many groups recast as a refer­en­dum on Governor Scott Walker follow­ing his contro­ver­sial decision to change the state’s collect­ive bargain­ing process.

In 2013, Fallone was outspent by Roggen­sack and outside groups nearly four-to-one. The pro-busi­ness group WMC Issues Mobil­iz­a­tion Coun­cil spent approx­im­ately $250,000 on ads support­ing Roggen­sack during the general elec­tion, and the conser­vat­ive Wiscon­sin Club for Growth spent nearly $220,000 on ads support­ing Roggen­sack in the primary. Roggen­sack spent over $117,000 on TV ads, while Fallone spent almost $150,000. Progress­ive and labor groups sat out of this year’s race after spend­ing nearly $1.4 million on TV ads in 2011. 

Ads by Roggen­sack and the outside groups support­ing her campaign struck a posit­ive tone, high­light­ing her record and exper­i­ence. In contrast, Fallone’s one ad focused on dysfunc­tion in the Wiscon­sin Supreme Court, includ­ing an alleg­a­tion by Justice Ann Walsh Brad­ley that Justice David Prosser choked her during an argu­ment.

Total Primary Spend­ing (Updated Octo­ber 25, 2013): $283,400*

Total Elec­tion Spend­ing (Updated Octo­ber 25, 2013): $734,420*

For more inform­a­tion on spend­ing in Wiscon­sin, click here [PDF]. 

*After these numbers were origin­ally posted in the spring of 2013, CMAG released an updated estim­ate of TV spend­ing with numbers that were lower than previ­ously calcu­lated. CMAG’s data edit­ing process may take between three to four months, and as a result, estim­ated spend­ing totals were changed after the edit­ing process was fully completed. 


March 23 - Start Some­place Rev

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Justice Pat Roggen­sack says, “Luck­ily when it comes to our state Supreme Court there’s a very exper­i­enced, inde­pend­ent, and hard-work­ing candid­ate already on the job.”

March 20, 2013 – Giggles, Laughs, and Smiles

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An ad by the WMC Issues Mobil­iz­a­tion Commit­tee saying “Pat Roggen­sack protec­ted Wiscon­sin chil­dren, voting to close a loop hole that would have let a sexual pred­ator back on the street.”

March 19, 2013 – Descend into Dysfunc­tion

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Candid­ate Ed Fallone says, “People want to see a justice who has the cour­age to follow the law and stand up for the work­ing famil­ies of Wiscon­sin.”

Febru­ary 7, 2013 – Public Safety

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The Wiscon­sin Club for Growth says Justice Pat Roggen­sack  "has been bril­liant in her demon­stra­tion of lead­er­ship and sound judg­ment. She has upheld the values of fair­ness and neut­ral­ity."

Febru­ary 6, 2013 – Start Some­place

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Justice Pat Roggen­sack  says,  "Luck­ily when it comes to our state Supreme Court there’s a very exper­i­enced, inde­pend­ent, and hard-work­ing candid­ate already on the job."


Patrick Marley, Patience Roggen­sack, Ed Fallone Advance Out of Supreme Court Primary, Milwau­kee Journal-Sentinel, Febru­ary 19. 2013.

Patrick Marley, Supreme Court Fracas in 2011 Figures in Race, Milwau­kee Journal-Sentinel, Febru­ary 16. 2013.

Scott Bauer, Chal­lengers Push for Wis. Supreme Court Person­al­ity Change, Asso­ci­ated Press via Wiscon­sin Law Journal, Febru­ary 8, 2013.

Bruce Viel­metti, Wiscon­sin Supreme Court Candid­ates Mix It Up During First Joint ForumMilwau­kee Journal-Sentinel, Febru­ary 7, 2013.


All data on ad airings and spend­ing on ads are calcu­lated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satel­lite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estim­ates do not reflect ad agency commis­sions or the costs of produ­cing advert­ise­ments, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable chan­nels. Cost estim­ates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, result­ing in some fluc­tu­ations in the repor­ted ad spend­ing.