Opponent requests judge candidate return money from email pitch - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Opponent requests judge candidate return money from email pitch


MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County judicial candidate Rhonda Lanford's opponent is asking Lanford to return contributions from an email solicitation, after 27 News uncovered the pitch was in apparent violation of a supreme court rule.

27 News reported the email asked potential supporters to chip-in $10 to keep a campaign ad running on television, and was signed, "Rhonda." Lanford campaign manager Jeremy Jansen told 27 News he was responsible for mistakenly having Lanford identified as the email's author.

"While mistakes certainly can happen, the fact remains this mass email was sent in what appears to be a clear violation of a rule known to you that prohibits judicial candidates from directly soliciting money," wrote Melissa Mulliken, campaign manager for Judge Rebecca St. John.

The campaign email was sent one day after Lanford spoke at a candidates forum and referenced calling up potential supporters in connection with campaign fundraising. Lanford later told 27 News her comments were intended to indicate she was present when campaign staff members made fundraising calls.

Jansen told 27 News Lanford had no intention of returning campaign funds that resulted from the email blast to about five hundred people. Jansen said he has no information of how much money was raised.

"This is just a tactic to distract voters from their campaign's attempt to hide the fact Rebecca St. John was appointed by Scott Walker," Jansen told 27 News.

 The ad at the heart of the Lanford-authored email solicitation highlights St. John's appointment by the governor last year.

St. John and Lanford face off in next week's election.



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