Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Posted: July 27, 2011
Updated: January 16, 2014

Estimated Spending: $700,000

WMC is the state's largest business organization and one of the most influential special interests in Wisconsin politics.  It generally backs Republican candidates for public office and has spent about $12 million on phony issue ads on candidates for legislative and statewide offices in spring and fall elections between 2006 and spring 2011.  Most of its outside electioneering activities consist of television and radio advertising.

The group sponsored a 30-second television ad and a 60-second radio ad in late July 2011 that supported "conservative leaders" for policies to increase job growth and improve the economy and accused labor unions of supporting budget deficits and tax hikes.  WMC also sponsored two additional 30-second television ads that did not target any specific recall campaign.  Both ads featured a woman telling viewers that Wisconsin faced tough choices but balanced its budget without raising taxes or laying off state workers to put the state on the right track.

WMC also sponsored two similar 30-second television ads claiming spending, taxes and deficits substantially increased when Democrat Nancy Nusbaum served as Brown County executive.  Nusbaum challenged incumbent Republican Senator Rob Cowles of Green Bay in an August 9 recall election.  Cowles was one of eight state senators - six Republicans and two Democrats - who faced August recall elections in retaliation for their respective positions on GOP Governor Scott Walker plan to end most public employee collective bargaining rights.

Last active election: 2011 Supreme Court