Hijacking Campaign 2012 - Information on Wisconsin Recall Action Fund

Hijacking Campaign 2012

Wisconsin Recall Action Fund

Posted: December 29, 2011
Updated: May 24, 2017

Fall: OathSpending
Recall: OathSpending

This right-wing group was created in 2011 to oppose the recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker.  The Milwaukee-based organization supported conservative causes and opposed labor-led efforts to recall the governor because of his economic policies, which included a plan that slashed public employee collective bargaining rights.

Fall Elections

Wisconsin Recall Action Fund reported it intended to make independent expenditures against Democratic incumbents in the 18th and 32nd Senate Districts but only reported spending in the latter.

Recall Elections

Wisconsin Recall sponsored a 30-second television ad in mid-May 2012 that urged viewers to support Walker in the June 5 recall election because he balanced the state budget.  The ad criticized Walker's Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, for increases in unemployment, poverty and property taxes in Milwaukee during his stint as mayor.

The group also sponsored a 30-second television ad that accused former Democratic Senator John Lehman of Racine of supporting the early release of dangerous felons and cuts to programs that track sex offenders.  The provisions were part of the 2009-11 state budget that Lehman supported.  Lehman successfully challenged Republican Senator Van Wanggaard of Racine who faced a recall election for his support of Walker's plan to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights.

Wisconsin Recall Action Fund does not appear to have reported independent expenditures until two years after the recall when it reported spending a little more than $300,000 on television advertising and mailing services, considerably below the Democracy Campaign's initial estimate of $1.4 million. Considering that the group reported spending more than $1.9 million during the election and that it was formed for the sole purpose of making independent expenditures, it may have under reported its independent expenditure activity in the recall.

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.