Hijacking Campaign 2000


June 1, 2001

Special Interests hijack a campaign by spending huge amounts of money, sometimes even more than candidates themselves, trying to dominate the message that goes to the voters. This spending is supposed to be done without coordination or consultation with the candidate. One method used to hijack a campaign is to form a Super-PAC.

A Super-PAC is created when several political action or political party committees pool money into a new PAC in order to make independent expenditures. Often these PACs contribute the maximum amount they are allowed to give a candidate and then provide additional money to the Super-PAC to support the same candidate. Through this mechanism they effectively circumvent contributions limits. Generic names such as Independent Citizens for Democracy, Wisconsin Voter Education Fund and Project Vote Informed are used by Super-PACs.

Independent spending by Super-PACs creates a disclosure problem because voters cannot tell who is behind it by reading the disclaimer on the ad that all political communications must carry. At a minimum, it requires sorting through the Super-PAC’s financial report at the state Elections Board. And when the Super-PAC has contributors from outside of Wisconsin, it may be impossible to track the true sources of the money.

Sources of Money for the Super-PACs

Independent Citizens for Democracy

Contributions Received July 1, 1999 through December 31, 2000

PAC Name Amount
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (Washington DC) $292,000.00
Operating Engineers Local 139 $60,000.00
WI Laborers District Council $59,500.00
WI Credit Union League LAF $17,500.00
Coastal Employee Action Fund (Texas) $10,000.00
Transportation Political Education League (Ohio) $10,000.00
Friends of Rod Moen $10,000.00
UAW WI State PAC $8,000.00
United Northeast Educators $6,500.00
Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers PAC (Washington DC) $5,000.00
IBEW Educational Committee (Washington DC) $5,000.00
Plumbers Local 75 PAC $5,000.00
Bayland PAC $4,000.00
PAF 1199W United Professionals $4,000.00
Ameritech of WI PAC $3,370.17
WISBANK PAC $3,000.00
WI SEIU Joint Council 4 PAC $3,000.00
West Allis Firefighters PAC $2,000.00
Kenosha Education Assn PAC $2,000.00
Banc One WI PAC $2,000.00
MTI Voters $2,000.00
AT&T PAC - WI $1,500.00
Milw Prof Firefighters Assn $1,500.00
WI State IBEW PAC $1,000.00
Capital Area Uniserv - North $1,000.00
Sheet Metal Workers PAC $1,000.00
Roy May (Chicago) $1,000.00
Professional Firefighters WI PAC $1,000.00
Paula May (Chicago) $1,000.00
Brotherhood Locomotive Engineers PAC (Ohio) $500.00
WAMC PAC $500.00
Total Contributions Received: $550,374.17

Inependent Citizens for Democracy Description

Wisconsin Voter Education Fund

All of the money received by this group came from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee of Washington, DC, which is affiliated with the national Democratic Party. See below for a list of the Wisconsin contributors to the DLCC.

Total Contributions: $360,100

Wisconsin Voter Education Fund Description

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC)

(Sole provider of contributions to Wisconsin Voter Education Fund)

Wisconsin Contributors to the DLCC
January 1 through December 31, 2000

PAC Name Amount
WI Laborers District Council PAF $32,000.00
Friends of Riley $25,000.00
Friends of Shirley Krug $25,000.00
Operating Engineers Local 139 PAC $22,000.00
WI Insurance Alliance PAC $8,500.00
WI Teamsters Joint Council $7,500.00
WISBANK PAC $6,000.00
Citizens for Richards $5,700.00
M & I Corp PAC $5,000.00
Friends of Jeff Plale $3,100.00
Community Bankers of WI PAC $3,000.00
Professional Firefighters of WI $2,600.00
MTI Voters $2,500.00
PAF 1199W United Professionals $2,500.00
WI Sheet Metal Workers PAC $2,000.00
WI Insurance & Financial Advisors PAC $2,000.00
Northwestern Mutual Life Federal PAC $2,000.00
Building a Better WI $2,000.00
WI Credit Union League $1,750.00
Northern States Power PAC $1,500.00
WI Physicians PAC $1,000.00
WI Steamfitters Local Union #601 $1,000.00
Citizens for Marlin Schneider $1,000.00
WI Credit Union League LAF $1,000.00
District 2 WI United Steelworkers $1,000.00
WI Institute of CPAs $1,000.00
American Family Insurance PAC $1,000.00
WI Federation of Nurses & Health Prof $1,000.00
WI Education Assn Council $1,000.00
Staskunas for Assembly $1,000.00
Tavern Industry PAC $1,000.00
WAMC - PAC $1,000.00
MTEA - PAC Fund $1,000.00
Alliant Governmental Action Com $750.00
Human Rights League PAC $750.00
Menominee Indian Tribe of WI PAC $500.00
Pocan for Assembly $500.00
WI Wholesale Beer Distributors PAC $500.00
TDS Telecom PAC $500.00
Concerned Citz for Consumer Credit $500.00
SEIU Local 150 $400.00
Iron Workers Local Union #8 $250.00
Milw Building & Construction Trades $250.00
Milw Professional Firefighters $250.00
Milw & Southern WI Carpenters $250.00
Lassa for Assembly $223.00
WI SEIU Joint Council No. 4 $200.00
Friends of Bob Turner $100.00
WI Homes & Services for Aging Support $100.00
Total Contributions Received: $180,673

Wisconsin Voter Education Fund Description

Project Vote Informed

Out of $147,000 in contributions -- all received on November 1, 2000 -- all but $2,000 came for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. The remaining $2,000 came from TDS Telecom State PAC.

Total Contributions: $147,000

Project Vote Informed Description