By Collin Roth
In the final days of the campaign for Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 17, the hand picked union candidate Carolina Stark is doubling down and dumping $27,000 of her own money into the race according to recent GAB campaign finance filings. Stark, who previously loaned $21,041.36 to her own campaign, now has $48,041.36 of her own money personally invested in the campaign to unseat Judge Nelson Phillips III. This comes to about 71% of the $67,147.76 total raised by her campaign.
Stark’s last minute investment of tens of thousands of dollars may be a result of the fact that despite endorsements from unions like AFSCME, AFT, and SEIU, Stark has not seen support from these unions materialize in the form of cash donations to her campaign. Only the Milwaukee Teacher Education Association (MTEA) PAC donated $3,000 to Stark on March 27 and District Council 48 of the AFL-CIO donated just $100.
Despite the lack on union support, Stark has received contributions from other campaigns. Stark’s campaign received contributions totaling $3,000 from Ald. Bob Bauman’s campaign and $1,000 from Democrat State Senator Lena Taylor’s campaign.
With this last desperate cash dump by Stark, the challenger appears on the verge of outspending incumbent Judge Nelson Phillips III, affording the challenger a potential money advantage in the final days of the election.
Stark, who Media Trackers noted recently, has politicized the race for Milwaukee County Circuit Court by attacking her opponent for being appointed by Governor Scott Walker. According to Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Stark proudly stated in a video “I did not apply to be appointed by Scott Walker, because I did not want to be associated with his values.” And Carolina Stark compromised her impartiality when she eagerly signed a recall petition for Governor Scott Walker on November 16, 2011, the day after the effort officially kicked off.
Since 2006, Carolina Stark has donated $940.00 to Democratic candidates including Mayor Tom Barrett and Democrat Rep. Sandy Pasch.
Carolina Stark will face Judge Nelson Phillips III for Milwaukee County Circuit Court Branch 17 on April 3.