Hijacking Special Elections 2011

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Friends of Ann Schmidt

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Friends of Ann Schmidt

Posted: August 15, 2011
Updated: January 13, 2014

OathSpending

Friends of Ann Schmidt registered as a PAC with the Government Accountability Board for the sole purpose of supporting Democratic Representative Fred Clark in the 14th Senate District recall election in August 2011.

Ann Schmidt was the treasurer of the committee, a substitute teacher and Democratic party activist in Wautoma. She was one of the leaders the recall movement against incumbent Senator Luther Olsen.

This committee terminated after the recall election.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Our Country Deserves Better PAC

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Our Country Deserves Better PAC

Posted: August 15, 2011
Updated: January 17, 2014

Estimated Spending: $25,000*

This is a California-based political action committee created in 2008 that also does business as the Tea Party Express.  The group backs conservative Republican candidates for state and national offices and advocates conservative policy positions on issue, including health care and immigration.  The Tea Party Express engaged ran phoney "issue ads" when it sponsored a television advertisement in support of incumbent Justice David Prosser's reelection to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in an April 2011 election.

Our Country Deserves Better PAC sponsored two ads shortly before the August 16 recall elections of Democratic Senators Jim Holperin of Conover and Robert Wirch of Pleasant Prairie.  The ads endorsed the Republican candidates in the two races and criticized Holperin and Wirch for leaving the state for about a month in February 2011 in order to stall a vote on Republican Governor Scott Walker's plan to abolish most public employee collective bargaining rights.

Although the PAC ran ads that qualified as independent expenditures under Wisconsin law, it did not file with the state's Government Accountability Board nor did it file any other legally mandated documentation.

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*No oath or spending reports available. The PAC did not register with the Government Accountability Board.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on NFIB SAFE Trust

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

NFIB SAFE Trust

Posted: August 5, 2011
Updated: January 8, 2014

OathSpending

NFIB SAFE Trust (National Federation of Independent Business Safe America's Free Enterprise Trust) was newly established as a PAC in Wisconsin (registration date August 5, 2011) in order to make independent expenditures in Wisconsin's recall elections. It is sponsored by the National Federation of Independent Business which lobbies on issues of interest to small businesses. The organization has been accused of having a pro-Republican bias and in the recall elections it supported all the Republican candidates, challengers as well as incumbents.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Taxpayers Hoping for Change

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Taxpayers Hoping for Change

Posted: August 4, 2011
Updated: January 14, 2014

OathSpending

This organization first registered to make independent expenditures against Democratic Senators Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch on August 3, 2011, less than two weeks before the August 16 recall elections. Recall elections had been called for nine Senators as fallout from March passage of Republican Governor Scott Walker's bill limiting public employee bargaining rights.

The group's treasurer is Tim Dake, chair of the Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty, a group associated with the Tea Party movement and Americans for Prosperity.

According to the Government Accountabillity Board's records, the group first filed a report of independent expenditures nearly two years after the election, June 10, 2013 when it filed for termination.

This organization is registered with the Government Accountability Board following the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC as a corporation making independent disbursements.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Wisconsin Recall Initiative

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Wisconsin Recall Initiative

Posted: August 4, 2011
Updated: January 14, 2014

OathSpending

This organization registered with the Government Accountability Board just six days before the August 9 recall election in the 8th Senate District soley to make independent expenditures supporting Democratic challenger Representative Sandy Pasch in her unsuccessful bid to unseat the Republican incumbent Alberta Darling.

The organization's treasurer is Katarine Stanton who is listed in the WDC database as Katharine Stanton and as an employee of the Hogensen Strategies Group (aka HSG Campaigns) a political consulting group.

This organization is registered with the Government Accountability Board following the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC as a corporation making independent disbursements.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Americans for Prosperity

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Americans for Prosperity

Posted: August 2, 2011
Updated: January 16, 2014

Estimated Spending: $800,000

Americans for Prosperity is a conservative organization created in 2003 that touts many of the same principles as other conservative groups - lower taxes, smaller government and less spending.  The organization was founded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who made their fortune in the oil and gas industry.  The state chapter's director is Matt Seaholm, a former staff member for Republican U.S. Representative Sean Duffy and Republican State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

The group first engaged in outside electioneering activities in Wisconsin in 2006, and spent an estimated $25,000 on the state school superintendent's race in Spring 2009

The organization generally supports conservative Republican candidates for state and federal office and reportedly spent $380,000 in March 2011 on television ads - like this one - that supported Republican Governor Scott Walker's plan to restrict public employee collective bargaining rights.  That plan prompted recall elections in July and August against nine state senators - six Republicans and three Democrats. 

In July 2011, Americans for Prosperity purchased $150,000 worth of advertising time in the Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay television markets to support incumbent Republican senators in their August 9 recall elections.  At the same time, the group reportedly mailed absentee ballot applications and instructions to voters in two Senate recall elections that erroneously told recipients to submit the material to their city clerks after the election.

The group sponsored nearly identical 30-second television ads supporting incumbent Republicans Senators Luther Olsen of Ripon, Rob Cowles of Green Bay and Alberta Darling of River Hills.  The ads commended the Republicans for voting against higher taxes, spending and policies that discourage job growth while Democrats were in charge of the state.

Americans for Prosperity also sponsored ads accusing incumbent Democratic Senator Jim Holperin of Conover and Democratic Representative Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse of supporting $5 billion in new taxes and spending in years past when the Democrats controlled the legislature or the governor's office. Shilling challenged and defeated incumbent Republican Senator Dan Kapanke of La Crosse in the 2011 recall.

With the exception of Kapanke, all of the incumbents mentioned above won their respective recall elections.

Last active election: Spring 2009

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.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Volunteers for Agriculture

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Volunteers for Agriculture

Posted: August 1, 2011
Updated: January 9, 2014

OathSpending

Volunteers for Agriculture is the political action committee of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

The committee usually sponsors direct mailings that support Republican candidates for statewide office and the legislature. It supported Governor Scott Walker and one Republican legislative candidate in the fall 2010 election.

It reported its intention to support all but one of the Republican senators facing recall, the lone exception being Senator Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac but reported spending on newspaper and radio ads in only three races - Senate Districts 10, 14 and 32.

Nine state senators - six Republicans and three Democrats - faced recall elections in August and July prompted by GOP Governor Scott Walker's successful plan to sharply restrict public employee collective bargaining rights.

Last active election: 2010

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on NAACP National Voter Fund

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

NAACP National Voter Fund

Posted: July 29, 2011
Updated: August 8, 2011

OathSpending

This organization first registered with the Government Accountability Board at the end of July 2011 in order to make independent expenditures in the 8th Senate District recall race in Milwaukee. As it name indicates, it is sponsored by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

This organization is registered with the Government Accountability Board following the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC as a corporation making independent disbursements.

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