Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

Posted: March 18, 2011
Updated: January 16, 2014

Estimated Spending: $150,000

This is a Washington D.C.-based fundraising group connected with the national Democratic Party that supports Democratic candidates in state legislative elections nationwide. Past and current U.S. Internal Revenue Service records show the organization gets support from unions and large corporations.

The committee was first active in Wisconsin in the late 1990s and the 2000 and 2002 legislative elections when it was part of a shell game that helped illegal corporate money flow into legislative races. Their activities in the Badger State and elsewhere were investigated by the FBI for federal campaign finance law violations. The committee wholly or partially funded five independent expenditure groups in Wisconsin, including Independent Citizens for Democracy.

Independent Citizens was run by former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala who was later convicted in the state Capitol corruption scandal and sentenced to nine months in jail for misconduct in public office and making an illegal campaign contribution.

In mid-March 2011, the committee launched a television ad attacking Republican State Senator Luther Olsen of Ripon who became the target of a recall election by organized labor and their supporters because he was among 18 Republican senators who control the Senate and voted to strip Wisconsin’s public employee unions of most of their collective bargaining rights with state and local governments. The measure was part of Republican Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill.

The ad criticized Olsen for abolishing most public employee collective bargaining rights and for failing to oppose provisions in Governor Walker’s proposed 2011-2013 state budget that cut hundreds of millions of dollars in state education and health care programs for seniors. “Call Senator Olsen, tell him to stop rolling over on Wisconsin families,’’ the ad says.

The group also conducted independent expenditure campaigns in the 2011 recall elections through its DLCC Wisconsin PAC.

Past Issue Ad Activity: 2002