Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Americans for Prosperity

Hijacking Campaign 2018 | Independent Expenditures | Issue Ads | Candidates | Offices | Campaign 2018

Posted: January 8, 2018
Updated: December 13, 2019

This phony issue ad group was created in 2003 by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire owners of Koch Industries and Wisconsin-based papermaker Georgia-Pacific. 

Americans for Prosperity, which refuses to disclose how much it raises and spends, supports Republican and conservative candidates for federal, state, and local offices around the country. The Democracy Campaign estimates that Americans for Prosperity spent $5.7 million since January 2010 on legislative and statewide elections in Wisconsin.

Fall Election

In late June, the group announced it would make a seven-figure television and online advertising buy around the state to support Republican Gov. Scott Walker's fall reelection bid.  One of the advertisements claims Walker's economic development policies have helped Wisconsin residents and urges people to call and thank him.

The group also spent modest amounts - and estimated $15,000 - to support the Republican incumbent in the 35th Assembly District, Mary Felzkowski, and the Republican canidate in the open 5th Senate District, Representative Dale Kooyenga.

Special Election

Americans for Prosperity was also sponsoring electioneering activities early in the year.  Less than two weeks before a January 16 special election to fill the vacant 10th District Senate seat, the group sponsored 60-second radio and 15-second digital advertisements supporting Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, in the race.

The advertisements – here and here – claim Jarchow supported policies that created jobs and cut taxes for families and small businesses.

On January 22, the group reported spending over $19,000 on independent expendtitures in the race.

Jarchow faced Democrat Patty Schachtner to fill the northwestern Wisconsin Senate seat that was vacated by longtime GOP Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, of River Falls, to become Walker’s agriculture secretary.

Schachtner won the election and Jarchow chose not to run for reelection to the Assembly in the fall.

Last active election: 2016