Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Greater Wisconsin Committee PAC

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Greater Wisconsin Committee PAC

Posted: August 19, 2010
Updated: January 17, 2014


This political action committee first formed in mid-2004 uses negative radio, television and newspaper advertising and mailings to support Democratic candidates and oppose Republican candidates. The group gets its cash primarily from labor and business interests. One prominent donor in 2010 was Governor Jim Doyle whose campaign committee gave Greater Wisconsin $1 million in August.

In addition to its political action committee, Greater Wisconsin also has an unregulated issue ad group of the same name and an unregulated, secretive 527 group called the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund.  Greater Wisconsin's three entities have spent more than $8 million on the past three Wisconsin Supreme Court races, legislative races in 2006 and 2008 and the 2006 races for governor and attorney general. In October 2010 the group created a fourth organization, called, like the 527 group, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. This "corporate entity" registered with the Government Accountability Board in order to make independent expenditures in the 2010 fall election.

The Greater Wisconsin Committee's PAC reported spending over $500,000 in August on ads against Republican candidate for governor Scott Walker. One of the ads sponsored was a 30-second television ad that criticized Walker for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in special interest contributions from the insurance, banking and oil industries.  The ad says the contributions are the reason Walker favors policy and tax breaks sought by powerful special interests.  "So when Walker says he's on your side, remember, it's baloney," the ad concludes.

The PAC also sponsored two television ads in September.  One ad featured nurses criticizing Walker for proposing cuts to a state health care program for needy families called BadgerCare and support for tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations.  "Cutting families off health care to pay for tax loopholes?  That just isn't right," a nurse says at the end of the ad.  The second ad detailed problems in recent years at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, including sexual assaults among patients, and blames Walker because they occurred while he was Milwaukee County executive.  The ad said Walker's response to the problems was to cut health care staff and oppose funding for improved security at the complex.  "If Scott Walker can't manage Milwaukee County, how can we trust him as governor?" the ad concludes.

Last active fall election: 2008