Wisconsin Education Association Council
Posted: April 6, 2012
Updated: January 15, 2014
This corporation was created by the Wisconsin Education Association Council to make independent expenditures in the June 2012 recall elections involving Republican Governor Scott Walker, the lieutenant governor and four GOP Senate seats. The recalls were prompted by the 2011 passage of the governor's bill severely limiting public employee bargaining rights.
WEAC is the state’s largest teachers union and a powerful force in state elections that mostly supports Democratic candidates for statewide office and the legislature. WEAC claims 98,000 members and helped spearhead the throng of unionized public employees and other supporters who participated in weeks of State Capitol protests in February and March 2011 over Walker’s controversial bill.
WEAC’s political action committee was previously its sole independent expenditure arm – making over $5 million in such expenditures between 2008 and 2011. In addition to nearly $500,000 it spent on independent expenditures in the 2011 Senate recalls, the PAC also contributed $1 million in 2011 to to an arm of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, another Democratic outside electioneering group.
In the 2010 fall elections WEAC made nearly $1.6 million in independent expenditures through its political action committee. In the 2008 fall elections, its independent exependitures exceeded $2 million. In 2012 WEAC's PAC was inactive and the council was active in only one race - the 4th Senate District in Milwaukee - spending less than $1,400.
Once a recall for governor was approved in 2012, WEAC initially supported former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk for the Democratic nomination for governor. After she lost in the May 8 Democratic primary it switched its support to the primary's victor, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker's opponent in the 2010 general election. WEAC spent over a quarter million dollars in the recall elections.
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.