Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on WEAC PAC

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011


Posted: March 21, 2011
Updated: January 14, 2014


This is the political action committee of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers union, and a perennially powerful player on Wisconsin political scene.

Among labor unions, WEAC is among the largest direct contributors to candidates for statewide office and the legislature. It is also one of the biggest-spending outside electioneering groups in Wisconsin fall and spring elections, making independent expenditures of more than $4.6 million between 2008 and 2010.

WEAC boasts 98,000 members across the state and many of them were among the thousands of unionized public employees and other supporters who participated in weeks of protests in February and March 2011 at the State Capitol over Republican Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to severely restrict collective bargaining rights for state and local employees. The proposal passed despite the protests and the efforts of Democratic legislators.

Walker’s plan spawned recall efforts against eight Republican state senators who approved it. A corresponding effort was mounted against Democratic senators who left the state in Februrary 2011 to forestall a vote on Walker's controversial bill.

On March 7, 2011 WEAC filed an oath of independent disbursements with the Government Accountablity Board opposing all eight Republican senators eligible for recall. Six of those senators were taken to recall on August 9. On June 28, WEAC filed an additional oath in support of Democratic Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay who faced a July 19 recall election. On June 30, WEAC reported sending more than $74,000 on radio ads supporting Senator Hansen. On July 21, WEAC filed an oath extending its support to all the other Democrats involved in recall elections on August 9 and 16.

On July 28, 2011 WEAC reported spending over $400,000 on radio ads in seven different senate districts - 10, 12, 14, 18, 22, 30 and 32.

WEAC spent nearly half a million dollars on the 2011 recall elections.

Last active election: 2010