Independent Expenditures

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Wisconsin Professional Police Association PAC

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Wisconsin Professional Police Association PAC

Posted: August 27, 2010
Updated: January 17, 2014

The Wisconsin Professional Police Association claims to be the state’s leading law enforcement lobbying group representing nearly 11,000 active and retired officers from more than 380 police departments. The WPPA gives bipartisan endorsements to candidates statewide who they believe demonstrate "a commitment to addressing the fiscal challenges confronting this state while protecting the services that Wisconsinites hold most dear."

In late September 2010, the PAC sponsored a 30-second television advertisement  supporting Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett and the reelection of Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen "because they support the law enforcement officers who keep you safe."

In early October 2010, the group sponsored a billboard campaign and 30-second television ad supporting 5th District Senate incumbent Democratic State Senator Jim Sullivan in his losing contest with Republican challenger Representative Leah Vukmir.  The billboard said "Jim Sullivan supports law enforcement.  Leah Vukmir does not."  The television ad said the group favored Sullivan because his voting record favored law enforcement 86 percent of the time and Vukmir voted with law enforcement only 33 percent of the time.

OathSpending

Last active election: 2008

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on RGA Wisconsin 2010 PAC

Hijacking Campaign 2010

RGA Wisconsin 2010 PAC

Posted: September 1, 2010
Updated: January 17, 2014

OathSpending

RGA Wisconsin 2010 PAC is the political action committee for the Republican Governors Association organized for the 2010 gubernatorial elections in Wisconsin.  The Republican Governors Association (telephone: 202-662-4140 or -4162 in Washington, D.C.) represents GOP governors and spends millions of dollars nationwide on outside electioneering activities to elect Republican candidates for governor.

The RGA kicked off their 2010 electioneering efforts with a negative television issue ad campaign in June and July against Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett.  After those advertisements, the group's PAC sponsored a 30-second TV ad in August – here – and another in September.  Both commercials are set in a tavern where patrons engage in a shouting match over whether Barrett is responsible for more taxes and or fewer jobs.  At the end of one of the commercials the bartender tells viewers Barrett is a "lousy politician," and that the "ongoing argument around here is what makes Tom Barrett the all-time worst – more taxes or less jobs?"

The group's sixth and seventh television ads release in late September and mid-October, continued to tie Barrett to the policies of outgoing Democratic Governor Jim Doyle.  These ads – here and here - accused Barrett of voting for tax increases as a former state senator and congressman and now mayor. 

The Government Accountability Board released a public notice in response to a number of calls they were receiving in early October from concerned Wisconsin voters who received a mailing from this PAC containing private information including voter birthdate and telephone numbers. The mailer was a combined campaign ad against Tom Barrett for governor and absentee ballot ("vote-by-mail") application. They clarified that voter lists that the GAB and local clerks are required by law to sell do not include confidential data on individual voters and provided contact information to the PAC for further information.

RGA Wisconsin 2010 PAC also sponsored two mailings that continued to warn voters that electing Barrett would mean higher taxes because he voted to raise taxes as a former state senator and congressman and current Milwaukee mayor.  One of the fliers said Barrett would be "A third term for Jim Doyle" and Walker would be "A new day for Wisconsin."  The other flier had a similar message and also told recipients where they could vote early.  "Only you can stop more Tom Barrett tax hikes.  Vote today!" the flier said.

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin Political Fund

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin Political Fund

Posted: August 13, 2010
Updated: January 8, 2014

OathSpending

Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin Political Fund and the Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin PAC, were part of a new Milwaukee-based independent expenditure group whose treasurer was listed as John Budzinski, a former union official with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United State and Canada.  The PAC and corporation spent a combined $29,283 in August on negative mailings to oppose the reelection of Democratic Senator Jeff Plale of South Milwaukee.

The group's August mailings accused Plale of being the "Absolute Conservative" and sponsoring legislation that helped the energy, cable and telecommunications industries.  Another mailer accused Plale of being against stem-cell research and abortion.  One of the mailings showed a race car decaled with the words "Lobbyists," "Cable Industries," "Big Oil Companies" and "Energy Utilities."  A phrase above the race car reads:  "Race cars should have corporate sponsors. . . Senator Jeff Plale's campaign should not." 

In the end the PAC and corporation spent over $68,000 combined in their successful campaign to replace Senator Plale with a Democrat more to their liking.

This organization 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 in the Fall 2010 state elections.

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Greater Wisconsin Committee PAC

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Greater Wisconsin Committee PAC

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

OathSpending

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

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters PAC

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters PAC

Posted: August 23, 2010
Updated: January 8, 2014

OathSpending

This is the political action committee of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, a pro-environment organization that seeks to influence the state’s legislative agenda by producing environmental "scorecards" for legislators and electing candidates favorable to the group’s goals.

The League supported the Democratic candidate for governor and made independent expenditures in two Senate districts and three Assembly races.

In the Assembly, it supported a primary challenge to the Republican incumbent in the 27th Assembly District. That challenge failed.

In the Senate, the League supported Democrat Chris Larson's successful primary challenge to 7th Senate District incumbent Democrat Jeff Plale. As part of that effort, it also contributed $20,000 to the Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin PAC.

Last active election: 2008

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Voces de la Frontera

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Voces de la Frontera Action Committee (VFA)

Posted: August 19, 2014
Updated: January 8, 2014

OathSpending

Voces de la Frontera is a Milwaukee-based immigrant rights group, new to independent spending in state elections this year. They provide legal, employment, and citizenship skills training to immigrant and low-wage workers.

VFA primarily supported Democrats from Milwaukee and Racine area congressional and state legislative offices. It supported Chris Larson, the successful primary challenger to the Democratic incumbent in the 7th Senate District, and open primary candidates JoCasta Zamarripa in Milwaukee's 8th Assembly District and Diane Hesselbein in the 77th Assembly District. The first two won their primaries and went on to when their seats in November's general election.

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 in the Fall 2010 state elections.

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin PAC

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin PAC

Posted: August 13, 2010
Updated: January 8, 2014

OathSpending

Citizens for a Progressive Wisconsin Political Action Committee and their corporate independent spending organization, ware part of a new Milwaukee-based independent expenditure group whose treasurer was listed as John Budzinski, a former union official with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United State and Canada.

The PAC and it's corporate political fund spent over $68,000 in the successful effort to replace 7th Senate District incumbent Democrat Jeff Plale with fellow Democrat Chris Larson, a Milwaukee County supervisor.

A campaign finance report filed by the PAC showed it raised $42,000 in August from unions, an outgoing Democratic legislator and an environmental group.  The contributions include $20,000 from the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters; $12,000 from Citizens for Spencer Black, the campaign committee of a Democratic representative from Madison retiring in 2010; $7,000 from the state PAC of the Service Employees International Union and $3,000 from the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI Election Fund

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI Election Fund (PPAWI PAC)

Posted: August 11, 2010
Updated: January 8, 2014

OathSpending

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin is a statewide political action committee formed in 2000 to make independent expenditures on behalf of candidates who support a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion.  They had done limited independent spending in elections for some years until the fall of 2000 where they spent $14,274 in support of Democratic candidates in a number of state legislative races. They have also supported candidates in the last three state Supreme Court elections.

PPAWI PAC spends primarily in direct mail and telephone campaigns as well as "viral videos" posted to their website and distributed via electronic mail to their members.

Note: Until September 29, 2010 this PAC went by the name Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin Inc. The name was changed when they chose to use this name as their first newly registered corporation (Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI Inc.) in 2010. Post-primary expenditures in the Milwaukee area ($498.62) were reported for this PAC (PPAWI) on September 14 but were subsequently removed and do not appear to have been claimed by any of  Planned Parenthood's other entities. All final reported spending by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin in the 2010 fall election was done through its two corporate entities, Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI Inc. and Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI Political Fund.

Last active election: Spring 2009

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Wisconsin Right to Life PAC

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Wisconsin Right to Life PAC

Posted:  August 9, 2010
Updated: January 17, 2014

OathSpending

This statewide, anti-abortion advocacy group has long engaged in outside electioneering activities in legislative and statewide campaigns. The PAC prefers to participate in as many legislative campaigns each election as possible. Most, if not all, of its spending was on direct mail and phone call efforts.

The amount it spends has declined each cycle from a high of more than $69,000 in 2000 to $8,411 in 2008 for a total of $100,029 in independent expenditures in races for legislative and statewide offices leading into 2010. In 2004 it followed numerous other special interest groups that switched from making independent expenditures to phony issue ads so it did not have to disclose spending on election activities. Right to Life spent an estimated $30,000 on a 60-second radio phony issue ad in the 2006 governor’s race.

In the 2010 fall election the PAC spent only a little over $9,000 although it claimed independent expenditure activity in nearly every office up for election.

Last active election: 2008

Hijacking Campaign 2010 - Information on Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Hijacking Campaign 2010

Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Posted: August 4, 2010
Updated: January 17, 2014

OathSpending

This committee is housed in the national office of Planned Parenthood in New York and first involved itself directly in Wisconsin campaign politics in 2004.

The group filed plans with the Government Accountability Board to make independent expenditures in state elections for governor and two Fox Valley assembly districts but reported no such spending.

Last active election: 2006

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