Hijacking Campaign 2012
American Federation for Children Action Fund Inc.
Posted: August 9, 2012
Updated: October 24, 2012
This is the second corporation created by the American Federation for Children, a Washington D.C.-based school choice group, to make independent expenditures in Wisconsin elections. Its counterpart spent nearly $125,000 on independent expenditures in the 2010 general elections and the 2011 Senate recall elections to back legislative candidates who support Milwaukee's school voucher program and its expansion.
Aside from independent expenditures, American Federation for Children - a spin-off of the Michigan-based All Children Matter - has spent an estimated $3.6 million on phony issue ads to back mostly Republican candidates and some Milwaukee-area Democrats in regular and recall elecitons since 2010. The federation's leader is Betsy de Vos, wife of Dick de Vos, Michigan billionaire and son of Amway Corporation co-founder Richard de Vos. Scott Jensen, former state Republican Assembly leader and one of the leading figures in the Wisconsin caucus scandal, is the group's senior policy advisor.
The group’s efforts on behalf of numerous Democratic candidates in the primary is unusual because it generally backs GOP candidates. Following the primary, the group and its counterpart both reported intentions to support the 18th Senate District Republican challenger. The 18th Senate District is a Republican-leaning district with a Democratic incumbent following successful recall of Republican Randy Hopper in 2011. Just two to three weeks before the general elections the group reported, more true to form, their intentions to do independent expenditures against Democratic candidates in eight assembly races and in the contentious 18th and 30th Senate Districts.
This organization is registered with the Government Accountability Board following the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC as a corporation making independent disbursements.