Hijacking Recall 2012 - Information on Wisconsin Sierra Club Education Committee

Hijacking Recall 2012

Wisconsin Sierra Club Education Committee

Posted: May 7, 2011
Updated: January 16, 2014


This is a political action committee controlled by the state chapter of the Sierra Club, an environmental lobbying and advocacy organization.  The group has made independent expenditures since the 1996 elections to support Democratic candidates and helped pioneer the use of “issue ads”  in Wisconsin elections.  Between 2002 and 2011 the PAC spent nearly $87,000 on outside electioneering activities in legislative races.  The bulk of that spending occurred in the 2011 Senate recall elections.

The group registered to support Democratic candidate Kathleen Falk in the 2012 recall elections. During the May Democratic primary the PAC sponsored a mail campaign to members touting Falk as the best pro-conservation candidate to face Walker. Following Falk's loss in the primary, the PAC switched its support to the winner, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The PAC also indicated it would support the four Democratic challengers in the Senate recall elections.

The PAC initially reported spending slightly more than $15,000 on a mailing campaign supporting Barrett and the Democratic senate candidate but rescinded that spending on a later report. It's unclear why the group rescinded the recall spending unless it was for mailings or other communications to Sierra Club members which is exempt from independent expenditure reporting requirements.

Last active election: Recall 2011