Hijacking Special Elections 2003: Independent Expenditures

PACs that reported independent expenditures in the 2003 special elections.
Hijacking Campaign 2003

Independent Expenditures

Posted: September 3, 2003
Updated: May 17, 2010

Listed below are the PACs that reported independent expenditures in the 2003 Supreme Court race or the 2003 special elections. Links to information on any past independent spending between 2000 and 2002 are provided when available.

Concerned Business & Industry

Total Spent on 2003 Special Elections: $5,000

This political action committee is associated with the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. WMC does its reported independent spending through this group. However, its activities are minimal compared with the massive spending WMC does through its phony "issue ads."

Spending on: Assembly District 21

Dane County Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Total Spent on Supreme Court race: $832

Union representing the non-civilian staff of the Dane County Sheriff’s office. The union supported Judge Ed Brunner in the 2003 Supreme Court race.

Spending on: Supreme Court

Human Rights League PAC

Total Spent on Supreme Court race: $195
Total Spent on 2003 Special Elections: $439

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. The candidate it supported in Senate District -- Joel Brennan -- lost the Democratic primary to the eventual winner of the general election. Its candidate in the Supreme Court race, Barron County Circuit Court Judge Ed Brunner, made it through the three-way primary but lost in the general election to Court of Appeals Judge Patience Roggensack.

Spending on: Senate District 7 and Supreme Court

MTI Voters (Madison Teachers Inc.)

Total Spent on Supreme Court race: $17,912

MTI Voters is the political action committee of the Madison Teachers Inc., a union for Madison area public school teachers. MTI Voters supported Paul Higgenbotham, a Dane County based circuit court judge, in the primary for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. After he lost in the primary, the union shifted its support to Judge Ed Brunner of the Barron County Circuit Court. He lost in the general election to Court of Appeals Judge Patience Roggensack.

Spending on: Supreme Court

SEIU WI State Council (formerly WI Joint Council #4)

Total Spent on 2003 Special Elections: $46

Political action committee of Service Employees Union (SEIU), a labor union which primarily represents health care workers in public and private employment in Wisconsin.

Spending on: Assembly District 21

Volunteers for Agriculture

Total Spent on Supreme Court race: $1,091
Total Spent on 2003 Special Elections: $27,487

This is the political committee of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau an organization devoted to agricultural interests and claims a Wisconsin membership of more than 48,000 families. It is affiliated with the American Farm Bureau.

It backed the winning candidate, Appeals Court Judge Patience Roggensack in the Supreme Court election.

In the 71st Assembly District, its candidate -- Jesse J. Higgins -- lost the Democratic primary to the eventual winner of the general election.

Spending on: Assembly District 21, 71, Senate District 24 and Supreme Court.

WEAC PAC

Total Spent on Supreme Court Race: $6,600
Total Spent on 2003 Special Elections: $52,965

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 contributors in Wisconsin politics.

It supported the losing candidates in both the special Assembly election and in the general election for Supreme Court.

Spending on: Assembly District 21 and Supreme Court

Wisconsin Right to Life PAC

Total Spent on Supreme Court race: $558
Total Spent on 2003 Special Elections: $1,481

WI Right to Life is a pro-life advocacy organization. Independent spending has been its preferred method of operation for many years as it very seldom makes any direct contributions to candidates.

It supported the winning candidates in Senate District 7 and the Supreme Court races and the loser in Senate District 24.

Spending on: Senate Districts 7, 24 and Supreme Court