Hijacking Campaign 2009

Independent Expenditures

November 9, 2009

PACs and individuals that made independent expenditures in the spring 2009 elections for Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Kenosha Education Association Council

Supported: AbrahamsonEvers
Spent: $129

UniServ (regional association) of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) that represents public school teachers, educational support personnel, technical college employees, and student teachers in Kenosha.

The PAC reported spending for an ad in a labor publication.

Past Independent Spending: 2002

MTI Voters (Madison Teachers Inc)

Supported: AbrahamsonEvers
Spent: $448

MTI Voters is the political action committee of the Madison Teachers Inc., a union for Madison area public school teachers. The union endorses and campaigns for pro-public education candidates in the Madison area and financially supports them through its PAC.

The PAC reported spending on a newspaper ad.

Past Independent Spending: 2008 Fall 2007200520042003

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin

Supported: AbrahamsonEvers
Spent: $15,129

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin is a statewide political action committee formed in 2002 to make independent expenditures on behalf of candidates who support a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion.

Planned Parenthood reported spending on auto calls and direct mail.

Past Independent Spending: Fall 20082008 Supreme Court20072006200420022000

Randall Melchert

Supported: KoschnickFernandez
Spent: $306

2008 Republican primary candidate for the open seat in Assembly District 24 and broadcaster Randall Melchert reported spending $306 in support of Rose Fernandez for Superintendent of Public Instruction and Randy Koschnick for Supreme Court.

WEAC PAC

Supported: AbrahamsonEvers
Spent: $564,993

The Wisconsin Education Association Council is the state’s largest teacher’s union and one the most influential special interests to weigh in on state spending and policy issues. WEAC PAC is among the largest direct contributors to mostly Democratic candidates for statewide office and the legislature. It spends substantial, undisclosed amounts on phony issue ads and traditionally spends more than any other independent expenditure group on broadcast advertising and other electioneering activities to support Democrats and attack Republicans.

For instance, it spent $2.1 million in five legislative races in the 2008 November elections and nearly $350,000 in the spring 2008 Supreme Court race to support incumbent Justice Louis Butler, who lost.

In the 2009 race for state school superintendent, WEAC supported candidate Tony Evers over Rose Fernandez, Lowell Holtz, Van Mobley and Todd Price. Evers and Fernandez emerged from the February 17 primary to face each other in the April 7 election.

The teachers union sponsored two television ads (via WisPolitics.com) supporting Evers during the election – an upbeat 30-second ad that ran a week before the February primary and a negative 30-second ad that ran a week before the April election.

WEAC’s first ad a week before the February primary told listeners schools need to keep pace with a changing world and that Evers’ goal was to keep class sizes small, improve statewide standards for quality and accountability and increase graduation rates.

WEAC’s ad a week before the April election used report cards that graded Evers and Fernandez on experience, support for quality public education and accountability. The teachers union gave Evers an A-grade in all three categories and gave Fernandez an incomplete and two Fs. It said she lacked experience and favored taking away money from public schools.

On March 24 WEAC also reported spending nearly $16,000 on brochures and mailings to support Evers and to oppose Fernandez.

Past Independent Spending: 2008 Fall2008 Supreme Court2006200420022000