Off-Color Jokester Lawyer Runs Court Race With Personal Cash and Publicity
By Paul Thurman
Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack has raised more than $38,000 in contributions from individuals and committees in the latest campaign finance reports that became available on Friday. Lemon-law expert Vince Megna beat Marquette University Law School Professor Ed Fallone with cash on hand as both challengers struggle to raise money.
As the February 19 primary nears, Roggensack shows a commanding lead in fundraising for her re-election bid. Megna and Fallone have primarily funded their own campaigns with personal loans. Megna, who has built his legal career by suing car dealers and manufacturers, shows $6,930 in the bank while Fallone has just over $5,000.
If financial backing for either challenger is to emerge, it appears it will be during the final months of this off-season election.
Megna, who hopes to beat out Fallone in the primary, has made a name for himself over the past year with a series of crazy web videos. In one video he stands outside the Waupun Correctional Institution urging people to donate money to Governor Scott Walker’s criminal defense fund, calling it the “keep me out of Waupun trust fund.” Megna has announced that he is a Democrat, which explains why many of his videos echo Democratic Party of Wisconsin talking points and narratives.
He has also written a book titled, “Lap Dancers Don’t Take Checks: The Truth About Law, Lawyers and Other Trivialities. The cover of the book shows Megna standing with a scantily dressed woman – hardly the stuff most think of when they consider judicial demeanor.
Megna has seen a media bounce in the final weeks of the primary by making headlines calling on both candidates to not take any money from groups outside the state. Fallone has been relativity silent the last two months with little publicity coming out of his campaign.
Some have argued that Megna’s extreme positions and crazy antics could hurt him and that he couldn’t possibly beat Fallone in a primary for the Supreme Court seat. Critics should remember, however, that Jerry Springer was mayor of Cincinnati.
The top two vote getters on February 19th will face a final competition on April 2nd. That election promises to be the most important race of 2013.