Posted: April 14, 2011
Updated: July 12, 2011
This phony issue ad group is the state arm of the Washington-based GOPAC group which supports conservative causes and Republican candidates for state and federal offices.
The state group, which lists William Johnson as its treasurer, has a one-page web site that urges visitors to donate so the group can afford to buy broadcast ads to support Republican state senators in Wisconsin who are facing recall efforts. It also provides links to a related web site that backs recalling eight Democratic state senators.
GOPAC Wisconsin spent $38,500 around the time it sponsored two nearly identical 30-second television ads – here via WisPolitics.com – in mid-April 2011 to support Republican state Senators Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac then the subject of recall petitions. The ads tell viewers the state’s high taxes and government spending drive businesses and jobs out of Wisconsin. The ads say Kapanke and Hopper are working to reduce high taxes, unemployment and government spending.
In July GOPAC Wisconsin indicated that it intended to make independent expenditures in support of Kapanke and Hopper.
Eight Republican senators, including Hopper and Kapanke, and eight Democratic state senators were targeted by special interest groups for recall because of their actions involving a plan by Republican Governor Scott Walker to abolish most public employee collective bargaining rights. Walker’s plan ignited weeks of protests in February and March at the State Capitol by tens of thousands of state workers and their supporters.
Democratic senators were targeted for recall because they left the state for nearly a month in an unsuccessful effort to prevent the state Senate from approving Walker’s plan. The Republican senators were targeted for recall because they voted for the plan.