Hijacking Campaign 2018

Americans for Prosperity

Posted: January 22, 2018
Updated: May 21, 2018

Spring: OathSpending
Special: OathSpending

This is a group created in 2003 by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire owners of Koch Industries and Wisconsin-based papermaker Georgia-Pacific.

Americans for Prosperity, which generally sponsors phony issue ads and has refused to disclose how much it raises and spends on Wisconsin elections until now, supports Republican and conservative candidates for federal, state, and local offices around the country. The Democracy Campaign estimates that Americans for Prosperity spent $5.7 million since January 2010 on undisclosed phony issue ads in Wisconsin legislative and statewide elections.

Only a few days before the April 3 spring elections, the group filed paperwork with the state showing it was making independent expenditures on behalf of conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock.  Screnock, a Sauk County Circuit Court judge, faces Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet for a 10-year seat on the high court.  Americans for Prosperity spent money to pay for staff salaries and canvassing to support Screnock.

Earlier this year, the group made independent expenditures to support support Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, who ended up losing a special election to Democrat Patty Schachtner in the 10th Senate District special election.  The group spent the money on mailings, digital and radio ads, and door-to-door literature.

In addition to the independent expenditures, the group’s longtime issue ad arm sponsored 60-second radio and 15-second digital advertisements supporting Jarchow.

The 10th Senate special election was held to fill the northwestern Wisconsin Senate seat that was vacated by longtime GOP Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, of River Falls, to become Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s agriculture secretary.

This organization is an unregistered independent expenditure committee that is required to report any such spending done within 60 days of a primary or an election to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission per Chapter 11, Subchapter X of Wisconsin Statutes.