Hijacking Recall 2012 - Information on Republican State Leadership Committee

Hijacking Recall 2012

Republican State Leadership Committee

Posted: April, 6, 2012
Updated: January 15, 2014


This Virginia-based group supports Republican candidates for state offices around the country. The group doled out about $936,000 for independent expenditures in the 2010 fall elections – the first time it sponsored outside electioneering activities in Wisconsin to defeat a Democratic legislative leader.  The following year, the committee spent an estimated $900,000 on independent expendiures and phony issue ads in various 2011 elections.

Republican Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican Senate seats were subjects of a June 5, 2012 recall election because of the governor's successful effort to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights in 2011. RSLC registered in April of that year to make independent expenditures in support of all but Republican Senator Scott Fitzgerald in the 13th Senate District.

In April 2012 the group sponsored two 30-second television ads - here and here against Democratic candidates in two of the Senate recall races. One of the ads accused Democratic Representative Donna Seidel of Wausau of voting against numerous job creation bills that could have helped the economy and stemmed job losses in recent years.  Seidel was a candidate for the 29th Senate District seat formerly held by Republican Senator Pam Galloway who resigned once a recall election was approved. Republican Representative Jerry Petrowski of Marathon ran in her place  The other ad accused former one-term Democratic Representative Kristen Dexter of voting to increase government spending and taxes when she was in the Assembly.  Dexter, of Eau Claire, opposed GOP Senator Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls. The incumbents in both races kept their seats.

The committee sponsored a 30-second ad to support Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch against Democrat Mahlon Mitchell.

The committee also sponsored a mailing that attacked former Democratic Senator John Lehman of Racine for supporting the 2009-11 state budget which contained a prison early release program the group claims puts dangerous criminals back on the streets before they serve their full sentences. Lehman defeated incumbent GOP Senator Van Wanggaard of Racine in that recall election.

Last active election: Recall 2011

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 expenditures.