Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Jobs First Coalition

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

Posted: February 1, 2018
Updated: June 7, 2018

This Brookfield-based organization first surfaced in the 2010 fall elections and supports Republican legislative candidates.  Former GOP Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who was disgraced in the caucus scandal, helped create and raise money for the group.

The coalition operates a phony issue ad group and briefly used a corporation, which it terminated in 2016, to make disclosed independent expenditures.  All told, the group spent just over $1 million on all of its outside electioneering activities since January 2010 to support GOP legislative candidates.

The group purchased more than $66,000 in radio ads at two Milwaukee radio stations to back Republican Jon Plumer, who faces Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd in a June 12 special election in southern Wisconsin's 42nd Assembly District.

Earlier, the group sponsored at least two mailings in the week leading up to a Jan. 16 special election in northwestern Wisconsin’s 10th Senate District.  The mailings – here and here – accused Democratic candidate Patty Schachtner of sharply increasing her budget as St. Croix County medical examiner and opposing drug testing for welfare recipients.

Schachtner, who won the special election, faced Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, to fill the seat vacated by longtime GOP Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, who resigned to become Walker’s agriculture secretary.

Jobs First Coalition was one of more than two dozen conservative groups involved in a John Doe investigation into whether Republican Gov. Scott Walker's campaign illegally coordinated with issue advocacy groups during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections. The probe was shut down by a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in July 2015 that found coordination between candidates and issue ad groups was legal, among other things.

Last active election: 2014