Hijacking Recall 2012 - Information on Fire Fighters for Mahlon Mitchell

Hijacking Recall 2012

Fire Fighters for Mahlon Mitchell

Posted: March 28, 2012
Updated: January 15, 2014


This corporation was newly created by the AFL-CIO-affiliated International Association of Firefighters in Washington D.C. to make independent expenditures on behalf of Madison firefighter Mahlon Mitchell in his bid to be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor and face GOP Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch in a June 5, 2012 recall election. Kleefisch was one of six Republican office holders, including Governor Scott Walker and four Republican senators, targeted for recalls in response to pasage of the governor's 2011 legislation to restrict public employee bargaining rights. The IAFF backs firefighters across the country for local, state and federal office.

About a week before the May 8 primary, the union sponsored a 30-second ad that urged viewers to vote for Mitchell because he supports ending corporate tax giveaways and investing in public education.  Shortly after Mitchell won the primary, the group reissued the ad but changed the ending to urge viewers to vote for Mitchell in the June election.

Two weeks before the June election, the group had reportedly spent nearly $246,000, including $131,429 on television advertising and $105,995 on radio and online advertising. 

Kleefisch, Republican Governor Scott Walker and four GOP Senate seats were targeted for recalls after 2011 passage of the governor's plan restricting public employee collective bargaining rights.

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.