Hijacking Special Elections 2011

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on We Are Wisconsin PAC

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

We Are Wisconsin PAC

Posted: June 24, 2011
Updated: January 14, 2014

OathSpending

This political action committee is run by a coalition of unions that sought to recall Republican senators who supported Republican Governor Scott Walker's March 211 plan to restrict collective bargaining rights for public employee unions.  The committee made independent expenditures and conducted voter mobilization activities supporting Democratic candidates in the nine recall elections.  The committee's treasurer is Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the State AFL-CIO.

The committee claimed in early July 2011 that it had already raised $4 million, and it reported spending about $1.96 million as of July 7 in all nine recall elections combined. The AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education Treasury Fund, a Washington D.C. 527 group, contributed just over $3.1 million in May and June alone to We Are Wisconsin PAC.

We Are Wisconsin sponsored a mailing in mid-July that supported incumbent Democratic Senator Jim Holperin of Conover as "one of us," and attacked his Republican opponent, Kim Simac of Eagle River, as "dangerously out of step with Northwoods values and priorities."  In addition, the group sponsored an ad accusing Simac of not paying her property taxes until she decided to run for public office and for not having paid any income taxes numerous times in recent years.

We Are Wisconsin also sponsored an ad commending Holperin for supporting policies to preserve and create jobs in northern Wisconsin.

The group sponsored numerous television ads in July that criticized incumbent Republican senators - usually for supporting Walker's plans to cut more than $800 million in state aid to public education, substantial cuts to health care programs for the elderly and giving $200 million in tax breaks to wealthy individuals and corporations.

We Are Wisconsin also sponsored a television ad slamming Republican candidate Jonathan Steitz of Pleasant Prairie, callenger to incumbent Democratic Senator Robert Wirch of Kenosha.  The ad portrayed Steitz as a corporate lawyer defending banks and corporations that helped tank the U.S. economy and as a supporter of tax breaks for corporations and rich individuals.

We Are Wisconsin also sponsored a 30-second radio ad in July 2011 condemning 14th Senate District incumbent Senator Luther Olsen's support of Walker's cuts to education and tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations.

Earlier In June 2011, the PAC sponsored demonstrations in some of the home communities of GOP senators targeted for recall as well as at the State Capitol. 

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Candidates

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Independent Expenditures - Candidates

June 24, 2011

Only candidates actually in recall or special election are listed. Senators or other office holders who were subjects of recall petitions or oaths of independent disbursements but for whom no recall has been approved are not listed.

Click on a candidate's name to see independent expenditures for or against a particular candidate. Click on the office link to see all independent expenditures for that office.

Candidates

Abbreviation Key:

Party: Dem=Democrat, Rep=Republican

Candidate Party Office Election
Aaaron, Rick Dem Assembly District 60 Special
Arnold, Fred Dem Assembly District 48 Special
Brownlow, James Dem Assembly District 83 Special
Buckstaff, John D Dem Senate District 18 Recall
Church, Rol Dem Senate District 14 Recall
Clark, Fred Dem Senate District 14 Recall
Cowles, Robert Rep Senate District 2 Recall
Craig, Dave Rep Assembly District 83 Special
Curtis, Jake Rep Assembly District 60 Special
Darling, Alberta Rep Senate District 8 Recall
De Felice, Dave Dem Assembly District 48 Special
Doyle, Steve Dem Assembly District 94 Special
Duman, Perry Dem Assembly District 60 Special
Ekornaas, Fred R Rep Senate District 22 Recall
Freng, Steven Rep Assembly District 94 Special
Hancock, Cheryl Dem Assembly District 94 Special
Hansen, Dave Dem Senate District 30 Recall
Harsdorf, Sheila Rep Senate District 10 Recall
Heidt, Andy Dem Assembly District 48 Special
Hetland, Jon Rep Assembly District 94 Special
Holperin, Jim Dem Senate District 12 Recall
Hopper, Randy Rep Senate District 18 Recall
Huber, Gladys Dem Senate District 8 Recall
Junkermann, Otto C Dem Senate District 2 Recall
Kapanke, Dan Rep Senate District 32 Recall
King, Jessica J Dem Senate District 18 Recall
Kluessendorf, Rik Rep Assembly District 60 Special
Kopp, Lynetta Rep Assembly District 94 Special
Lautz, John Rep Assembly District 94 Special
Lussow, Robert H Rep Senate District 12 Recall
Melotik, Paul Rep Assembly District 60 Special
Moore, Shelly Dem Senate District 10 Recall
Nusbaum, Nancy Dem Senate District 2 Recall
Olsen, Luther Rep Senate District 14 Recall
Ordaz, Bethany Dem Assembly District 48 Special
Pasch, Sandy Dem Senate District 8 Recall
Schwister, Tim Rep Assembly District 60 Special
Selkowe, Vicky Dem Assembly District 48 Special
Shilling, Jennifer Dem Senate District 32 Recall
Simac, Kimberly Jo Rep Senate District 12 Recall
Smith, James D Dem Senate District 32 Recall
Soper, John Rep Assembly District 60 Special
Speed, Jake Rep Assembly District 94 Special
Steitz, Jonathan Rep Senate District 22 Recall
Stroebel, Duey Rep Assembly District 60 Special
Taylor, Chris Dem Assembly District 48 Special
VanderLeest, David Rep Senate District 30 Recall
Weix, Isaac Dem Senate District 10 Recall
Wickert, Gary Rep Assembly District 60 Special
Wirch, Robert Dem Senate District 22 Recall

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Offices

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Independent Expenditures - Offices

June 21, 2011

Only offices for which special elections have been called in 2011 are listed. Click on the offices listed below to see any independent spending for those offices.

Recall Elections

Special Elections

 

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

Posted: April 29, 2011
Updated: May 17, 2017

Recall: OathSpending
Special Elections: OathSpending

This is the political action committee of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, a statewide organization that lobbies the legislature and the governor on environmental issues and policy.  One of the league's key projects is a biennial scorecard that rates legislators' voting records on environmental proposals considered by the legislature.  The group is also active in legislative elections.  It recruits and endorses candidates that agree with the league's environmental agenda.  It supports candidates with extensive canvassing and get-out-the-vote activities.  Finally, the league sponsors broadcast ads and other electioneering activities on behalf of pro-environmental candidates at election time - spending over a quarter of a million dollars on those activities since between 2002 and 2010.

In spring 2011 the organization spent over $6,000 supporting the successful Democratic candidate in a special election to fill a vacancy in the 94th Assembly District.

In June it filed an additional oath of independent expenditures in support of Democratic candidates in all but two of the recall elections, the two exceptions begin the 2nd Senate District where its swore an oath in support of the incumbent, Senator Robert Cowles, and the 14th Senate District where it took no position at all.

The League sponsored a 60-second radio ad in early July 2011 on behalf of 12th District incumbent Democratic Senator Jim Holperin of Conover. The ad featured a Tomahawk special education teacher commending Holperin for keeping and creating jobs in northern Wisconsin, protecting sportsmen's rights and supporting public policies that protect the environment.

The League's corporate entity, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters IE Committee, was also involved in the recall.

Radio Ad

Last active election: 2010

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Waukesha County Tea Party

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Waukesha County Tea Party

Posted: April 29, 2011
Updated: January 14, 2014

OathSpending

The Waukesha County Tea Party is one of dozens of local Wisconsin groups affiliated with the national Tea Party Patriots, an organization that advocates conservative fiscal and social policies. The local group's website provides information about Tea Party Patriots and how to contribute to them, but no information about the Waukesha organization's activities, members or contacts.

The Tea Party filed an oath of independent disbursements to support two Milwaukee area Republican against whom recall petitions were circulated in spring 2011, Mary Lazich of New Berlin and Alberta Darling of River Hills. Recall petitions were successful against Senator Darling who faced an August 9th recall election. At the end of July 2011 the organization amended its oath to support Kimberly Jo Simac, the Republican challenger in the 12th Senate District recall election.

The Waukesha County Tea Party did not report any independent expenditures in the recall elections.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on NRA Political Victory Fund

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

NRA Political Victory Fund

Posted: April 27, 2011
Updated: January 8, 2014

Recall: OathSpending
Special Elections: OathSpending

The NRA Political Victory Fund is the political action committee of the Virginia-based National Rifle Association. The committee supports pro-gun candidates mainly through independent spending in state and federal races nationwide.

It supported two Republican candidates in the May 3rd special elections to fill three vacant Assembly seats and all of the Republican incumbents in the August recall elections.

Last active election: Supreme Court 2011

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011 - Information on Planned Parent Advocates of Wisconsin, Inc. (PPA-WI)

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Planned Parent Advocates of Wisconsin, Inc. (PPA-WI)

Posted: April 25, 2011
Updated: January 8, 2014

Recall: OathSpending
Special Elections: OathSpending

Planned Parent Advocates of Wisconsin was first registered as a corporation by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin in order to make independent expenditures in the fall 2010 elections.

Planned Parent Advocates filed oaths of independent disbursements for special elections in 48th and 94th Assembly Districts and for eight of the nine recall elections held in 2011. In all cases it supported the Democratic candidate and opposed the Republican. The 48th Assembly District featured a primary race among six Democrats and no Republican candidates. There was another corporation affiliated with Planned Parenthood Advocates registered to make independent expenditures in the recall elections.

At the end of July 2011 the organization began running a series of online videos opposing the Republican incumbents in the recall elections. The ads attacked the Republicans for funding cuts to Planned Parenthood and women's health programs and endorsed their Democratic opponents.  The nearly identical 30-second videos were aimed at incumbent Republican Senators Alberta Darling of River Hills, Randy Hopper of Empire, Dan Kapanke of La Crosse, Luther Olsen of Ripon and Robert Cowles of Green Bay.  They were among six Republican and two Democratic state senators who faced recalls in  August 2011 as a consequence of Republican Governor Scott Walker's plan to abolish most public employee collective bargaining rights.

At the end of June 2011 Planned Parent Advocates mailed flyers endorsing Chris Taylor, one of the Democratic candidates in the July 12th primary to fill a vacancy in the Madison based Assembly District 48.

Assembly District 48 Flyers
(Click to enlarge)
Assembly District 48 Flyer 1, Page 1 Assembly District 48 Flyer 1, Page 2

Assembly District 48 Flyer 2, Page 1 Assembly District 48 Flyer 2, Page 2

Last active election: 2011 Supreme Court

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 Advancing Wisconsin Inc.

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Advancing Wisconsin Inc.

Posted: April 25, 2011
Updated: June 24, 2011

OathSpending

This Madison-based group was created in 2008 to support Democratic candidates for statewide office and the legislature mostly with grassroots organizing, canvassing, door-to-door literature drops and negative mailings.

Advancing Wisconsin supported Steve Doyle, the winning Democratic candidate in the special election to fill the seat in Assembly District 94.

Last active election: 2011 Supreme Court

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 USAction

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

USAction

April 25, 2011

This organization creates and executes game plans for issue and election campaigns to support progressive candidates, equal access to health care, clean energy policies, quality public education and tax fairness. USAction’s board of directors is dominated by labor and organizations that back progressive social and economic policies.

In April 2011 it registered with the state's Government Accountability Board in order to make independent expenditures against Governor Scott Walker. Govenor Walker, however, is not eligible for recall until January 2011.

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 Jobs First Coalition

Hijacking Special Elections and Recall 2011

Jobs First Coalition

Posted: April 21, 2011
Updated: January 16, 2014

Estimated Recall Spending: $100,000

This group was created in 2009 and spent an estimated $160,000 to support Republican legislative candidates between the 2010 fall elections and a special election in spring 2011 in the 94th Assembly District. The group's contact information only lists a post office box in Brookfield. The only individual mentioned on the group's website is Bob Reddin, which also happens to be the name of a Brookfield alderman. Reddin is the author of numerous blogs on the group's website.

Jobs First sponsored numerous mailings leading up to recall elections in August 2011 against eight Democratic and Republican state senators.  The recalls were a response to GOP Governor Scott Walker's 2011 plan to end most public employee collective bargaining rights.

Around the time of the Republican primary in mid-July  the group sponsored flyers - here and here - against incumbent Democratic Senator Jim Holperin of Conover accusing him of voting for numerous tax increases on employers. Later end the month the group followed those with two other flyers - here and here - continuing the same line of attack. A fifth flyer continued the theme as did a sixth and seventh sent about a week before the election.

Jobs First Coalition
Anti-Doyle Flyers

Jobs First Coalition Flyer, Page 1
Jobs First Coalition Flyer

Jobs First also sponsored flyers criticizing Shelly Moore, an Ellsworth High School teacher and Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Senator Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls in a recall election.

In April 2011, Jobs First sponsored a mailing that criticized Democrat Steve Doyle, a candidate in the May 3 special election to fill the vacant 94th Assembly District seat. The mailing accused Doyle of being responsible for sharp property tax increases during his stint as La Crosse County Board chairman.

Special elections for the 94th Assembly seat and two others were ordered after the Republican incumbents resigned to take jobs in the Walker administration.

Last active election: 2010