Hijacking Justice 2011

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on Citizens for a Strong America

Hijacking Justice 2011

Citizens for a Strong America

Posted: March 20, 2011
Updated: May 16, 2017

Estimated Spending: $985,000

This is a conservative, phony issue ad group with a Beaver Dam, Wisconsin address that claims it’s made up of citizens, businesses and nonprofit groups. The group advocates for lower taxes, increased public safety and parental control over a child’s medical, psychological and educational needs, according to its website.  At the time of the election the group’s website, citizensforamerica.net,* was registered to a John Connors whose Milwaukee address was in the same building as Americans for Prosperity, a phony issue ad group that’s been involved in past Wisconsin elections. Connors is also a former national director of Students for Prosperity, an arm of Americans for Prosperity.

Citizens for a Strong America sponsored two television ads supporting incumbent Justice David Prosser in his April 5 reelection bid against challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, a veteran assistant attorney general.  One ad criticized Kloppenburg for suing businesses and farmers on behalf of the state.

The second ad  featured a statement by Troy Merryfield, who publicly claimed in 2008 that Prosser "dropped the ball" in the late 1970s when he did not prosecute a Green Bay area priest that Merryfield and his brother accused of sexually abusing them.  Prosser was Outagamie County district attorney at the time and the priest went on to abuse other children before he was sent jail in 2004.  But in the group's ad, Merryfield defended how Prosser handled the case and says "now we're being victimized again" because Kloppenburg did not condemn the ad and tell its sponsor, the Greater Wisconsin Committee, to pull it. 

*An ICANN WHOIS search conducted on May 16, 2017 shows that the organization's 2011 web address is now registered to what appears to be a Japanese web domain registration company.

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on PCCC Recall Committee

Hijacking Justice 2011

PCCC Recall Committee

Posted: March 30, 2011
Updated: January 8, 2014

Candidate supported: JoAnne Kloppenburg
Reported spending: $5,013

This is a political action committee for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.  As the PAC name suggests, it was formed to get involved in various recall campaign efforts underway against Republican state senators.

As many saw the April 5, 2011 Supreme Court election as a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining policies, the PCCC Recall Committee supported Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg's unsuccessful bid to defeat incumbent Justice David Prosser, a former Republican legislative leader in the state Assembly.

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on Wisconsin Sierra Club Education Committee

Hijacking Justice 2011

Wisconsin Sierra Club Education Committee

Posted: March 30, 2011
Updated: January 8, 2014

Candidate supported: JoAnne Kloppenburg
Reported spending: None

This is the political action committee of the Wisconsin chapter of The Sierra Club, a pro-environment membership organization with a major focus on lobbying and long a player in Wisconsin electoral politics.

The Sierra Club intended to support JoAnne Kloppenburg in her bid to unseat incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in the April 5, 2011 election but reported no spending.

Last active election: 2006

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on Faith Family Freedom Fund

Hijacking Justice 2011

Faith Family Freedom Fund

##WISDC.WebsiteForms:enableJMP3()##

Posted: March 29, 2011
Updated: April 5, 2011

Candidate supported: David Prosser
Reported spending: $11,330

This political action committee is controlled by the Family Research Council, a Washington D.C.-based conservative organization that opposes abortion and promotes marriage between men and women.

The national group’s state arm, the Wisconsin Family Council, has spent an estimated $150,000 on independent expenditures and phony issue ads spending in Wisconsin since 2006 to support Republican candidates for the legislature and a pro-marriage referendum.

The Faith Family Freedom Fund registered with the state's Government Accountability Board to make independent expenditures to support incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser in the April 5 spring election against challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant state attorney general. The group sponsored radio ads supporting Prosser on 34 stations across the state during the week before election day.  You can hear the radio ad it ran below.

Radio Ad

 

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on ProgressWorks.org

Hijacking Justice 2011

ProgressWorks.org

Posted: March 29, 2011
Updated: May 16, 2017

Candidate supported: JoAnne Kloppenburg
Reported spending: $3,514

ProgressWorks.org only registered with the Government Accountability Board on March 13, 2011 and filed an oath of independent disbursements supporting JoAnne Kloppenburg on March 28.

ProgressWorks.org self-described mission is to provide logistical support for progressive political and issue campaigns. (As of May 16, 2017 the progressworks.org domain appears to be owned by an oganization in Maine that concentrates on job creation.)

Flyers distributed by ProgressWorks accused Republican Governor Scott Walker of  "making it harder to vote, raising taxes on low-income workers, busting unions and slashing schools. The flyers touted Kloppenburg as a "check and balance on illegal power grabs."

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on Roger and Martha Jensema

Hijacking Justice 2011

Roger and Martha Jensema

Posted: March 29, 2011
Updated: March 31, 2011

Candidate supported: David Prosser
Reported spending: $53

Roger and Martha Jensema registered as a PAC with the Government Accountability Board in order to make independent expenditures supporting incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser's reelection bid on April 5, 2011.

The Jensemas run a large dairy operation ($2.5 to $5 million in annual revenue) in the Sheboygan Falls area. Both Roger and Martha have a history of making modest contributions to local Republican legislators.

All reported spending was on an ad in a local news weekly.

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on NRA Political Victory Fund

Hijacking Justice 2011

NRA Political Victory Fund

Posted: March 29, 2011
Updated: July 5, 2011

Candidate supported: David Prosser
Reported spending: $9,988

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 in state and federal races nationwide.

On July 5, 2011 - three months after the April 5 election -  the PAC reported nearly $10,000 on mailings supporting Justice Prosser during the spring campaign.

Last active election: 2010

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on Southwest Education Association (SWEA)

Hijacking Justice 2011

Southwest Education Association (SWEA)

Posted: March 29, 2011
Updated: January 8, 2014

Candidate supported: JoAnne Kloppenburg
Reported spending:  $658

This is a UniServ (regional association) of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) that represents public school teachers, educational support personnel, technical college employees and student teachers in southwestern Wisconsin.

This PAC placed ads supporting JoAnne Kloppenburg for the Supreme Court in various newspapers circulated in southwestern Wisconsin. The election was held on April 5, 2011.

Last active election: 2004

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on Wisconsin Right to Life

Hijacking Justice 2011

Wisconsin Right to Life

Updated: January 16, 2014

Estimated Spending: $20,000

This statewide, anti-abortion advocacy group has long engaged in outside electioneering activities in legislative and statewide campaigns. The organization typically uses its PAC to support a wide-range of legislative candidates through independent expenditures as it did most recently in the 2010 elections. In 2010 it also registered as a corporation to make independent expenditures in a targeted state senate race.

Before this election, the last time this group used issue ads was the 2006 gubernatorial campaign when it ran an issue ad touting Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green’s oppostion to stem cell research.

In the 2011 spring election, Wisconsin Right to Life’s PAC spent a small amount on independent expenditures to support Justice David Prosser before the February 15 primary.  Prosser faced Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg in his bid for another 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Right to Life sponsored two different flyers that suggested Prosser would uphold any "pro-life" laws passed by the legislature that might be challenged in the State Supreme Court. The flyers cited Prosser’s vote for "pro-life" legislation when he was in the legislature. They contrast his record with the lack of a clear position on abortion by Kloppenburg but also claimed she received money from the director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, a "strongly pro-abortion" group.

Pro-Prosser Flyers
Click to enlarge.
Wisconsin Right to Life Pro-Prosser Flyer 1Wisconsin Right to Life Pro-Prosser Flyer 2

Last active election: 2006

Hijacking Justice 2011 - Information on Middle Wisconsin

Hijacking Justice 2011

Middle Wisconsin

Posted: March 28, 2011
Updated: April 7, 2011

Candidate supported: JoAnne Kloppenburg
Reported spending: $680

This political action committee first registered with the Government Accountability Board on March 25, 2011. It supported JoAnne Kloppenburg for the Supreme Court.

The committee's treasurer is Wausau resident Ben Swanson.

Page 2 of 5