UNITED STATES NEWS

Wisconsin justice included horses in ads as vulgar joke about opponent, campaign manager says

Feb 6, 2024, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:04 pm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiwiecz’s campaign consultant inserted images of horses in ads as a vulgar joke about her opponent, her campaign manager told a liberal podcast last month.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday that Protasiewicz’s campaign manager, Alejandro Verdin, told The Downballot podcast on Jan. 25 that her campaign operatives had heard people make baseless jokes at campaign focus groups and functions that her opponent, Dan Kelly, looked like someone who fornicates with horses.

Protasiewicz’s media consultant, Ben Nuckels, inserted hidden images of horses in television ads attacking Kelly as an inside joke. A review of Protasiewicz’s ads on her You Tube site turned up horses in the background in at least three ads.

Nuckels also produced a radio ad with narrator with a western drawl saying “Dirty Dan” was riding off into the sunset as horses whinny in the background. That ad also was part of the joke, Verdin said.

“It was quite hilarious,” Verdin said during the podcast.

Kelly didn’t immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press on Tuesday. He told the Journal Sentinel that he found the joke “sick” and Wisconsin residents should be appalled.

“This goes a long way towards explaining why Janet Protasiewicz’s campaign was so dishonest, undignified and lacking in respect for the office of Supreme Court justice,” Kelly told the newspaper.

Verdin and Nuckels didn’t immediately return messages from the AP on Tuesday. No one immediately responded to an email sent to Nuckels’ communications firm, Strothers Nuckels Strategies.

Protasiewicz defeated Kelly in a race for an open Supreme Court seat last April. The win handed liberals a 4-3 majority on the court.

Protasiewicz leaned into anger over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn its landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, declaring on the campaign trail that she supports abortion rights. Protasiewicz also declared during the campaign that she thought Republican-drawn legislative boundaries were “rigged.” Both moves were highly unusual; typically judicial candidates refrain from revealing their stances to avoid the appearance of bias.

The court’s liberal majority overturned the GOP maps in December and has ordered the Legislature to draw new ones.

The justices will likely decide in the coming months whether Wisconsin’s 174-year-old ban on abortion stands. A Dane County judge in September ruled the ban prohibits feticide — harming a woman in an attempt to kill her unborn child — but not abortion. Republicans have appealed the decision.

Republican legislators have called for impeaching Protasiewicz over her campaign comments, but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has backed off that position and such a move appears unlikely.

United States News

This undated photo provided by the family's lawyers in July 2024 shows Sonya Massey of Springfield,...

Associated Press

Officials to release video of officer shooting Black woman in her home after responding to 911 call

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials in Illinois’ capital plan to release video on Monday of police entering the home of a woman who called 911 for help and the violent scene that ensued when a sheriff’s deputy shot her in the face. The Illinois State Police announced that Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser will […]

10 minutes ago

FILE - The Fulton County, Ga., Jail is seen, April 11, 2023, in Atlanta. The Bail Project, a nation...

Associated Press

National bail fund returns to Georgia after judge says limits were arbitrary

ATLANTA (AP) — The Bail Project, a national nonprofit that aids thousands of low-income people behind bars, said Monday it is reopening its Atlanta branch after a judge temporarily blocked part of a Georgia law that restricts organizations from helping people pay bail. Last month, the Bail Project said it would no longer be able […]

18 minutes ago

Associated Press

Shooting outside a Mississippi nightclub kills 3 and injures more than a dozen

INDIANOLA, Miss. (AP) — A shooting outside a Mississippi nightclub left three people dead and more than a dozen injured over the weekend, authorities said. A large crowd gathered outside a club near the Sunflower County courthouse in Indianola early Sunday, and officers were putting up barriers to help with traffic flow before the shooting […]

40 minutes ago

Associated Press

Truck driver charged in Ohio interstate crash that killed 3 students, 3 others

A truck driver in Ohio has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in a chain-reaction crash involving a charter bus filled with high school students that left six people dead and 18 injured. The crash on Interstate 70 last November killed three students on the bus and a teacher and two chaperones who were in […]

50 minutes ago

Associated Press

Evacuations lifted for Salt Lake City fire that triggered evacuations near state Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities in Utah lifted evacuation orders for a wildfire in Salt Lake City that threatened neighborhoods near the state Capitol over the weekend. The evacuation order was lifted late Sunday after authorities said more than 100 firefighters worked to protect homes. Officials cautioned that residents needed to remain ready to […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Baltimore man arrested in deadly shooting of 12-year-old girl

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore man was arrested Sunday in the recent shooting of a 12-year-old girl who was found dead on the first floor of an east Baltimore rowhome. The shooting occurred Friday night. Police said they quickly identified Omar Passmore, 28, as a suspect. Passmore had a child with the victim’s mother, according […]

1 hour ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Wisconsin justice included horses in ads as vulgar joke about opponent, campaign manager says