Hijacking Campaign 2016 - Information on Construction Trades Coalition

Hijacking Campaign 2016

Construction Trades Coalition

Posted: July 25, 2016
Updated: June 2, 2017

Fall: OathSpending

This Pewaukee-based independent expenditure group was created in 2014 to support and oppose both Democratic and Republican candidates in eight legislative races, but it did not report spending no money on outside electioneering activities in those contests. 

During the first half of 2016, three groups - Operating Engineers Local 139, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and Wisconsin Infrastructure Investment Now - contributed about $88,000 to the coalition to pay for its electioneering activities.

In late July 2016, the group reported spending $10,000 on radio ads supporting Democratic candidate Julia Arata-Fratta in the 46th Assembly District, who faced fellow Democrat Jimmy Anderson in the Aug. 9 primary for the open seat. Anderson won the primary and the seat because there was no Republican candidate in the race. The radio ad sponsored by the coalition drew fire because it attacked Anderson for not signing a petition to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2012. Anderson, who was paralyzed from the chest down after a drunken driver struck his family's car in 2010, says he was unable to sign a petition because he could not hold a pen at the time.

The organization also reported independent expenditures totaling about $8,200 on yard signs to support Democratic candidates Brian Smith and Bryan Van Stippen from the 14th and 12th Senate Districts, respectively. The coalition also reported similar spending on mailings to support Democratic incumbent Josh Zepnick in the 9th Assembly District.

In mid-September and late-October, the group reported spending on radio ads to oppose Republican and support Democratic candidates in four Senate races. Paperwork filed by the group showed spending to oppose GOP Sen. Rick Gudex, of Fond du Lac, who was not seeking reelection for his 18th Senate District seat and who actually died on October 12, 2016 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Democracy Campaign attributed the spending against Gudex to the actual GOP candidate in the 18th Senate race, Dan Feyen, who won the election.

Last active election: 2014

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.