Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Greater Wisconsin Committee

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

Posted: March 26, 2018
Updated: July 17, 2019

This is the phony issue ad arm of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, which is mostly funded by labor unions and ideological groups to support Democratic and left-leaning candidates for local, legislative, and statewide offices.

In addition to undisclosed issue ad spending, Greater Wisconsin also uses a 527 group to raise money, and a corporation and a political action committee to make independent expenditures, which are electioneering messages that directly tell viewers how to vote. All told, the four entities operated by Greater Wisconsin spent an estimated $30.5 million since January 2010 statewide and legislative elections.

Fall Election

In mid-October, the committee sponsored a 30-second ad that criticized GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel for involving Wisconsin in a multi-state lawsuit that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions if the lawsuit is successful.  At about the same time, the group also sponsored a 30-second television ad that criticized GOP Sen. Howard Marklein, of Spring Green, for legislative votes that cut state school and road funding in his 17th Senate District.

A review of television ad buys by the Wisconsn Democracy Campaign found the group reserved about $2.5 million in advertising time around the state in the three weeks leading up to the Nov. 5 general election.

Supreme Court

Earlier, about a week before the 2018 spring elections, the Greater Wisconsin Committee sponsored two 30-second television ads  30-second television ad that criticized conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Michael Screnock.  One ad - here - went after Screnock for not supporting court rules that would prohibit a judge from sitting on cases involving large campaign contributors and special interest groups that spend money on outside electioneering activities to help elect the judge.  The second ad - here - said Screnock had extremist views on abortion and noted that he was arrested for participating in anti-abortion protests in the late 1980s.

Screnock, a Sauk County circuit judge, faced Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet for a 10-year seat on the high court.  Dallet won the Arpril 3rd election.

The organization's independent expenditure committee was also active the Wisconsin Supreme Court election and was involved in the 2018 special election for the 10th Senate District.

Last active election: 2016