Hijacking Campaign 2016

Greater Wisconsin Political Independent Expenditure Fund

October 27, 2016

Fall: OathSpending

This is a corporation created in 2010 to make independent expenditures.  It is one of four entities controlled by the Greater Wisconsin Committee to raise and spend money on electioneering activities.  The Greater Wisconsin Committee's four arms - the corporation, 527 group, political action committee and phony issue ad group - spent an estimated $32.9 million between 2006 and 2015 to support Democratic candidates for statewide office and the legislature.  This corporation alone doled out $10.51 million for independent expenditures between 2010 and 2015.

The group filed paperwork in late October showing it sponsored mailings that criticized Republican legislative candidates Keith Ripp and Pat Snyder in the 42nd and 85th Assembly races, respectively, and support Ripp's challenger, Democrat George Ferriter.

About a week before the April 5 spring elections, the corporation filed papers with the state that showed it planned to spend about $100,000 on online advertising against incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley.  Bradley faces Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg for a 10-year term on the high court.

In addition to the corporation's activities, Greater Wisconsin's issue ad group sponsored a 30-second television ad around the state a week before the election that criticized Bradley for columns she wrote about gays and birth control as a college student in the early 1990s.

As a whole the Greater Wisconsin Committee does not disclose all of its funding sources but gets substantial contributions to pay for its electioneering activities from labor unions and Democratic ideological groups that are supported by influential business interests, according to reports filed by Greater Wisconsin's 527 group with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Last active election: Spring 2016

This organization is registered with the Government Accountability Board/Wisconsin Ethics Commission as an independent expenditure committee following the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.