MADISON -- A conservative group is firing back at Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg with a TV ad calling her soft on crime.
The Wisconsin Alliance for Reform says Kloppenburg sided with a convicted sex offender, allowing him a new hearing.
Kloppenburg's campaign calls the ad "deceitful," and records show the offender is still locked up.
The ad is running for two weeks, and the group is spending $700,000 on it.
Below is a statement from Kloppenburg's campaign manager on the ad:
The Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign has sent a letter to stations carrying a deceitful ad produced by an unregulated special interest group, Wisconsin Alliance for Reform. The group has ties to the Koch Brothers and ran $1 million in ads supporting Judge Kloppenburg’s opponent, Rebecca Bradley during the recent primary. Rebecca Bradley has been appointed three times to three judgeships in three years by Scott Walker, whose ties to the Koch Brothers are also well documented.
In the letter, Kloppenburg Campaign Manager Melissa Mulliken writes,
“The advertisement in question refers to a case (14AP1270-CR State of Wisconsin v. Daniel Fierro) in which a defendant pleaded guilty to sexual assault, then appealed his conviction based on his contention he did not understand his plea deal. The Court of Appeals, in a unanimous three judge decision, sent the case back to the circuit court for a hearing on that question. The Circuit Court ruled the State had met its burden to prove Fierro did understand his plea agreement. The advertisement, which presents the Fierro case, puts in bold letters on the screen at its start “Conviction Overturned.” That is absolutely false. Fierro’s conviction was never overturned. He was, has been, and remains in prison. The facts in this case are indisputable. The Court of Appeals followed the law, the lower court followed the law and a man convicted of a crime has never left prison.”