Hijacking Recall 2012 - Information on Republican Governors Association

Hijacking Recall 2012

Republican Governors Association

Posted: March 23, 2012
Updated: April 19, 2012

This group spends millions of dollars helping Republican candidates for governor get elected nationwide.  In Wisconsin, the organization spent an estimated $7 million in the 2006 and 2010 general elections on independent expenditures and phony issue ads to sponsor negative broadcast ads and mailings to support the Republican candidate for governor.  It was the top GOP electioneering group in the 2010 governor's race when it spent an estimated $5 million to help elect Governor Scott Walker.

In the second round of recalls in 2012 that targeted Walker, the lieutenant governor and four GOP Senate seats, the Republican Governors Association used its state political action committee called Right Direction Wisconsin to sponsor television ads and mailings.  The PAC's outside electioneering activities said taxes, government spending and unemployment all surged under the watches of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.  Falk and Barrett were among four Democratic challengers in the May 8 primary to decide who would face Walker June 5.  Barrett handily won the primary.

In addition to the PAC, the organization's 527 group raised $22.1 million in the last half of 2011 - mostly from major corporations and special interest trade associations outside Wisconsin.  Its Wisconsin contributors gave the group nearly $271,000, including $63,850 from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce and $50,450 from the Forest County Potawatomi Community in Crandon.

During the first three months of 2012, three Wisconsin donors - all corporations - donated $85,000 to the association's 527 group when it raised a total of $12.3 million and spent $5.6 million.   The Wisconsin donors include American Transmission Company of Madison at $50,000; Kohler Company of Kohler at $25,000; and Wisconsin Public Service in Green Bay at $10,000.

The Republican Governors Association's largest donor during the first quarter of 2012 was industrialist David Koch, a Walker supporter and the money man behind Americans for Prosperity, who contributed $1 million.  David, along with his brother Charles Koch are multi-billionaires and longtime supporters of conservative causes and candidates.

Last active election: 2010