Hijacking Campaign 2006
August 8, 2007
Listed below are the PACs that filed oaths with the Government Accountability Board indicating they intended to make independent expenditures in the 2006 fall elections. Links to information on past independent spending since 2000 are provided when available. Where applicable, issue ad, conduit and PAC contribution activity is provided.
Total Independent Spending: $329,658
A newly registered labor union political action committee for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees headquartered in Washington DC. The PAC made independent expenditures in support of Democratic Governor Jim Doyle and against Republican candidate for governor Mark Green. The last reported independent expenditures by an AFSCME PAC before this election were in 2002 by the Wisconsin People Conference.
Total Independent Spending: $45,856
This is a Michigan-based group formed in 2003 to promote private school voucher programs, commonly known as school choice, like the one in Milwaukee. The group was formed by Michigan billionaire Dick DeVos, who ran for governor there as a Republican in 2006 and whose family founded the Amway Corporation. All Children Matter works with a state pro-choice group known as the Alliance for Choices in Education headed by George and Susan Mitchell of Milwaukee. This is the first time All Children Matter has filed as an independent expenditure group having run issue ads in the past.
All Children Matter, which spent more than $1 million on undisclosed issue ads, filed as an independent expenditure group with the State Elections Board three days after two unions and two Racine residents filed a complaint against the group.
The complaint came after All Children Matter mailed out fliers in October in the hotly contested 21st Senate District race saying, “There are over $12 Billion reasons to vote against John Lehman,” the Democratic candidate in the open seat race. The complaint said the statement expressly tells people how to vote, making it an independent expenditure that would require All Children Matter to file reports that disclose its fundraising and spending.
The Elections Board ruled November 29 the flier did expressly tell people how to vote. It also ruled the group has until January 2007 to disclose who ordered and paid for the flier and mailing. In addition to its newly registered Wisconsin PAC, the group has a PAC in Virginia and home offices in Michigan. The board said the group could face criminal charges of false filing if it turns out the group lied about its Wisconsin PAC being responsible for the flier.
Total Independent Spending: $88
Archie Henkelmann is one of three individuals registered as a PAC to make independent expenditures in 2006, something that has not been done since 1998. He is listed as owner and manager of Archie's Seaplane Base (aka Archie's Airport) in Janesville. He made modest contributions to Republican gubernatorial candidates Tommy Thompson in 1994 and Scott McCallum in 2002. On those campaign reports he is listed as retired. In 2002 he supported Republican candidates Mark Green, J.B. Van Hollen and Debi Towns. He is a Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame inductee and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. In addition to aviation, Henkelmann is noted to be a Harley-Davidson and National Rifle Association enthusiast.
Total Independent Spending: $31,522
Political Action Committee affiliated with the Wisconsin Builders Association, a statewide organization comprised of twenty-five local home builders associations throughout Wisconsin. Its conduit, Builders Direct Fund, directed more than $170,000 to candidates during the 2005-2006 election cycle.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $99,702
Total Independent Spending: $106
This organization represents Wisconsin's smaller community bankers and has not made independent expenditures or engaged in issue advertising before the 2006 elections. It usually prefers direct political contributions to candidates through its PAC, Community Bankers of Wisconsin PAC, or its conduit, the Coalition for Community Banking. In the 2005-2006 election cycle, the PAC contributed $13,700 and the conduit more than $22,000 to candidates for state and legislative office.
In July 2006, the group spent $106 on a mailing in support of Republican candidate for governor Mark Green.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $13,700
Total Independent Spending: $3,789
This is the regional association of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) that represents public school teachers, educational support personnel, technical college employees and student teachers in the La Crose Area. They have spent independently in 2004 and 2000 primarily in Senate District 32. In 2006 they supported the Democrat incumbents for governor and lieutenant governor.
Total Independent Spending: $103,695
This Washington, D.C. based PAC registered in Wisconsin for the sole purpose of supporting Peg Lautenschlager's reelection as attorney general. They do independent spending and phony issue ad campaigns throughout the country to elect Democrats to the office of Attorney General. Travis Berry of Denver, Colorado was listed as the PAC contact at the time of the election. All spending took place before the Democratic primary in September.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $21,560
Total Independent Spending: $64,870
This is the political action committee of a Milwaukee-based group formed in mid-2004 that uses negative radio, television and newspaper advertising and mailings to support Democratic candidates and oppose Republican candidates. The group draws its cash from labor, lawyer, tribal and business interests. Their president is David Cross, a law partner with Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee and a regular contributor to Democratic gubernatorial candidates and state party leadership. This is the first time Greater Wisconsin Committee has filed as an independent expenditure group having run issue ads in both the 2006 and previous elections.
Total Independent Spending: $997
Sponsored by the Milwaukee chapter of the Human Rights League for Lesbians and Gays, this PAC seeks to elect candidates who will defend and promote equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. It made some modest candidate contributions prior to first reporting independent expenditures in 2002.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $4,746
Total Independent Spending: $0
Marilyn Townsend is a Madison attorney and long-time Democratic contributor. Townsend intended to support Peg Lautenschlager and oppose Kathleen Falk in the Democratic Primary for Attorney General, but she did not report any spending. This is the first time an individual has registered as a PAC to make independent expenditures since 1998, when three individuals reported spending over $13,000.
No reported spending.
Total Independent Spending: $1,683
The Milwaukee Police Association is the union for the City of Milwaukee police officers. In 2006 they spent on behalf of Milwaukee area candidates from both parties. It favored the Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in 2006 as it did in 2002. No expenditures were reported in 2000 or 2004.
Past Independent Spending: 2002
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $17,063
Total Independent Spending: $693
As the name suggests, NARAL takes a pro-choice position on abortion and supports candidates that support that position. This PAC first made independent expenditures in 2002 as the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights PAC. NARAL has a relatively new conduit which contributed at least $1200 to candidates during the 2005-2006 election cycle.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $250
Total Independent Spending: $4,199
Carpenters union based in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Although it has a history of making direct contributions to candidates, it almost never makes independent expenditures. The only other time was in 2002 when then, as in 2006, it only backed gubernatorial candidate Jim Doyle.
Past Independent Spending: 2002
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $1,500
Total Independent Spending: $741,065
The NRA Political Victory Fund is the political action committee of the Virginia-based National Rifle Association. The committee supports pro-gun candidates mainly through independent spending, but in the 2004 election cycle it made more direct contributions to candidates - $7,525 - than it spent on independent expenditures.
The PAC made $26,625 in direct contributions to mostly Republican candidates for statewide office and the legislature from 1995 through December 2006.
In September and October 2006, the NRA launched a “Dump Doyle” against Democratic Governor Jim Doyle using radio ads and billboards. The group told voters Doyle’s opposition to legislative proposals to let residents carry concealed weapons was a threat to sportsmen and personal freedom. It also sponsored ads and billboards supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green. The group spent $466,512 to oppose Doyle and support Green.
In June 2006, the committee made $34,888 independent expenditures on flyers and banners to oppose Doyle, 37 Democratic legislators up for reelection and Republican State Senator Luther Olsen, who the group identified as a Democrat in its oath. Olsen was not up for reelection by the way.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $1,500
Total Independent Spending: $149,404
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 state branch of Planned Parenthood also made independent expenditures in the 2006 election through its PAC, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.
In November, the group aired a 60-second radio ad urging listeners to reelect Democratic Governor Jim Doyle because his opponent, Republican Mark Green, favored banning all abortions and imprisoning women who sought them and doctors who performed them, even in cases of rape. The ad also said Green favored making it more difficult for women to get emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy after an assault.
Past Independent Spending: 2004
Total Independent Spending: $109,276
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin is a statewide political action committee formed in 2002 to make independent expenditures on behalf of candidates who support a woman’s right to choose whether to have an abortion.
Total Independent Spending: $0
Evidence suggests this may be the same Ray Feldman listed as the owner of Mauston Mobile Manor and as an attorney in the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign database. He has made modest contributions to Governor Jim Doyle (D), Representative Judy Krawczyk (R-Green Bay), Senator Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) and Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox in the past. He registered his intent to oppose incumbent Rep. Sheryl Albers (R-Reedsburg) but reported no spending.
No reported spending.
Total Independent Spending: $550
This is the political action committee of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199, also known as Wisconsin's United Professionals, a statewide labor union representing the interests of health care workers in public and private employment in Wisconsin. It has offices in Madison and Milwaukee. Previous expenditures were made in 2002 and 2004.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $7,660
Total Independent Spending: $40,616
Service Employees International Union Political Education and Action Fund (SEIU PEA) is a state general purpose committee sponsored by the Service Employees International Union and is centered in Washington, D.C. This is the first independent expenditure reported by this arm of SEIU. SEIU is a labor union which represents health care, home care, nursing home, public service and building service workers in Wisconsin.
Total Independent Spending: $14,187
The political action committee of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a labor union which represents health care, home care, nursing home, public service and building service workers in Wisconsin. A leading PAC contributor to candidates, this is the third consecutive fall election in which it has made independent expenditures.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $28,500
Total Independent Spending: $159,339
This political action committee is used by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation to support candidates who vote the way the bureau wants on agricultural issues.
Volunteers for Agriculture has engaged in independent spending since 2000 through newspaper and radio ads and direct mail.
The committee spent more than $160,000 in independent expenditures in the 2006 elections. Nearly a third of it, $51,380, was spent on outside electioneering activities in the attorney general's race to support Republican JB Van Hollen and oppose Democratic candidate Kathleen Falk.
In July, the committee spent $9,841 to produce and air radio ads in supported of Republican Senator Dave Zien of Eau Claire.
In June 2006, the committee filed documents showing it may make independent expenditures on as many as 75 incumbent Senate and Assembly candidates, including 57 Republicans and 18 Democrats.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $5,600
Total Independent Spending: $1,993,438
The Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) represents public school teachers, educational support personnel, technical college employees, and student teachers in Wisconsin. WEAC is among the largest contributor directly to candidates for statewide office and the legislature. It also spends substantial sums on independent expenditures and issue ads.
In the 2006 elections, WEAC spent about $2 million on independent expenditures. Most of that spending was in the governor's race - to oppose Republican Mark Green and support Democratic incumbent Jim Doyle.
In October 2006, WEAC spent $1.8 million mostly on two television ads against Green. One ad accused Green of supporting congressional proposals that gave drug manufacturers billions of dollars in breaks while opposing Canadian drug imports and other proposals that backers say would reduce burdensome drug costs. Another advertisement accused Green of supporting breaks for big oil companies that later sharply raised gasoline prices.
WEAC has two conduits (United Staff Union and Children's School Fund) through which it contributed over $142,000 to candidates in the 2005-2006 election cycle.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $58,389
Total Independent Spending: $2,253
This state-based gun lobby describes itself as the grassroots alternative to the National Rifle Association. Their motto is that confrontation, not compromise, is the best political strategy. They take the commitment to repealing Wisconsin's ban on concealed carry one step further by not requiring that gun owners obtain a permit to carry concealed weapons. Their anti-compromise position is aptly demonstrated by their reported plans not only to oppose Governor Doyle's reelection campaign, but also oppose the reelection of pro-gun advocate, Senator Zien. Corey Graff is their executive director.
Total Independent Spending: $11,728
Wisconsin Hospitals PAC (formerly Healthy Wisconsin PAC) is the political action committee of the Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association. It not only makes independent expenditures but also makes substantial direct contributions to candidates. The Wisconsin Health and Hospital Association also has a conduit through which its individual members can make candidate contributions; it made more than $171,000 in such contributions to candidates during the 2005-2006 election cycle.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $27,851
Total Independent Spending: $53,311
This is the political action committee of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, a pro-environment organization group that seeks to influence the state's legislative agenda by producing environmental “scorecards” for legislators and electing candidates favorable to the group's goals.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $1,200
Total Independent Spending: $51,707
The Wisconsin Professional Police Association claims to be the state’s largest law enforcement lobbying group representing 11,000 active and retired officers from more than 375 police departments.
In June 2006, the organization ran 60-second radio advertisements thanking five legislators for voting the way the group wanted in 2005-06 on law enforcement issues. The ads ran in the districts of three Republicans - Senators Carol Roessler and Luther Olsen and Representative Robin Kreibich - and two Democrats - Senator Julie Lassa and Representative Sheldon Wasserman.
The ads urged listeners to give these legislators their continued support even though the three senators did not face reelection in 2006, and Wasserman ended up unopposed in both the primary and the November elections. The ads supporting the three inactive senators cost $9,714.40. For spending on active candidates, see the links below.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $2,500
Total Independent Spending: $12,393
This statewide, anti-abortion advocacy group has been very active in extra-curricular electioneering since 2000. It made $69,417 and $16,738 in independent expenditures during the 2000 and 2002 elections, respectively. In 2004 it went the route of numerous other special interest groups, forgoing independent expenditures in favor of phony issue ads so they did not have to disclose how much they are spending to influence elections.
In August 2006, the group announced it may make independent expenditures affecting 99 candidates for legislative and statewide offices.
In October, the group started to do issue ads.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $354
Total Independent Spending: $3,732
The Sierra Club, a pro-environment membership organization with a major focus on lobbying, has been making independent expenditures since the 1996 election cycle and helped pioneer the use of “issue ads.” It was a party to the Wisconsin Supreme Court case concerning ads which ran during the 1996 campaign. In 2006 they are spending in the 57th Assembly District in support of a long-time member and environmental advocate, having taken 2004 off from making independent expenditures.
Direct PAC contributions to 2006 candidates 2005-2006: $482
Total Independent Spending: $45,273
This new PAC lists their contact as Kimberly Gorden with a Middleton, WI address. There is little information available on the group. They intended to support Republican incumbents Tom Reynolds and Robert Brown in the the 5th and 31st districts respectively. There is a labor-based Working Families Party with chapters in New York State, Connecticut and Oregon, but its emphasis on working-class, middle-class, and poor people issues suggests there is no connection to the similarly named Wisconsin PAC.