Hijacking Campaign 2018

Right Direction Wisconsin PAC

Posted: September 11, 2018
Updated: October 19, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This is a state political action committee used by the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association (RGA) to make independent expenditures in Wisconsin elections.

The RGA’s mission is to elect Republican governors throughout the country. In Wisconsin, the group spent an estimated $18.4 million to help elect Republican Gov. Scott Walker in his 2010 general, 2012 recall and 2014 reelection campaigns, making it one of the top-spending outside electioneering groups that is involved in state races.

Earlier this year, the group said it would spend more than $5 million to help reelect Walker to a third term.  Walker, who was the RGA’s chairman in 2017, faces Democrat Tony Evers in the Nov. 6 general election.  The PAC is not required to file spending reports with the state until late September.

The group’s first 30-second television ad launched the second week in September was similar to others run by the state Republican Party and Walker’s campaign.  The RGA’s ad accused Evers, who is the state school superintendent, of allowing a Middleton teacher caught viewing pornography to keep his teaching license.

In early October, the group sponsored a second ad, claiming Wisconsin cannot afford Evers because he would raise taxes.

Click on image for full mailer

In mid-October, RGA sponsored three ads - here, here and here.  One ad said Evers plan to reduce the prison population would result in dangerous criminals being released into communities.  Two other ads claimed Evers would increase taxes paid by farmers and hurt job growth in Wisconsin by taking away farm and manufacturing tax credits.  The group also sent mailers claiming Evers allowed teachers guilty of sexual misconduct to continue teaching.

Fundraising and spending reports filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service show 11 Wisconsin contributors contributed nearly $1.9 million to the RGA in the first half of 2018. 

The RGA raises much of its money from wealthy individuals, corporations, and trade organizations tied to manufacturing, health care, energy, insurance, and other powerful special interests using a 527 organization. 527 groups must disclose fundraising and spending in periodic reports to the IRS, but are unregulated because they raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from any source.

Last active election: 2014