Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on The Presidential Coalition

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

The Presidential Coalition

Posted: August 1, 2011
Updated: January 16, 2014

Estimated Spending: $400,000

This group was created in 2005 to advocate conservative policies and support conservative leaders for state and federal offices that "have made our country what it is today." The Presidential Coalition is an affiliate of Citizens United, another conservative organization, and both groups share the same president, David Bossie.

The coalition sponsored two nearly identical ads in July 2011 to support incumbent Republican Senators Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and Luther Olsen of Ripon. The ads said Kapanke and Olsen support policies like merit pay for teachers to loosen the grip of unions on public education.  It was the first time the group got involved in Wisconsin legislative elections.

Kapanke and Olsen were among nine Wisconsin state senators - six Republicans and three Democrats - who faced summer 2011 recall elections as a referendum on Republican Governor Scott Walker and a Republican controlled legislature ending most public employee collective bargaining rights earlier that year.