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Former Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly’s existing record is reason enough for Wisconsin Conservation Voters to conduct its largest-ever voter outreach effort, but other local races also deserve voters’ attention, the group’s deputy director said.

The upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election could have a direct impact on future environmental matters, which is why the Wisconsin Conservation Voters (WCV) group is engaging in its largest ever outreach campaign for a spring election. 

Interviewed Thursday on UpNorthNews Radio, the organization’s deputy director, Seth Hoffmeister, said organizers have begun knocking on tens of thousands of doors to urge pro-environment voters to cast a ballot on April 4. The group has placed a high priority on ensuring conservative former Justice Dan Kelly does not get back on the state’s highest court, calling him a “clear threat” to natural resources.

“When he ran in 2020 and lost by a landslide, he already had a really bad conservation record to point to,” Hoffmeister said. “He has taken money from families that were profiting off of Enbridge, the company that builds oil pipelines and is constantly surrounded by controversy for the impact that they have on Native land up north and all sorts of other places. And he continues to bring in corporate donations from folks that are going to directly profit off of the destruction of our environment, the poisoning of our drinking water.”

“We don’t only assume that he’s going to do that,” Hoffmeister said, “but he already has a track record.”

WCV has also made endorsements in key races affecting cities, villages, and towns as well as the special legislative election in the 8th State Senate District.

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Speaking at the Wisconsin Counties Association annual conference on Wednesday, Milwaukee Co. Judge Janet Protasiewicz said she would recuse herself from cases involving the state Democratic Party because of their significant financial support toward her election. Kelly would not offer a similar pledge, and he has previously served as a paid legal counselor to the Republican Party when they sought to promote a slate of fake Donald Trump electors in 2020. 
Earlier in 2020, Kelly recused himself from a case involving a right-wing group’s effort to purge valid voters from the registration files, but then withdrew his recusal once he lost his election and became a lame duck justice. The push to purge voters ultimately failed.