Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Wisconsin Freedom PAC

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

Posted: September 5, 2018
Updated: November 5, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This committee is used by the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), which helps elect GOP attorneys general throughout the country, to make independent expenditures in Wisconsin elections.

Two days before the November election the group reported $120,000 on robocalls against Democratic candidate for attorney general Josh Kaul.

In mid-October RAGA sponsored a second ad that accused Kaul of seeking light sentences for drug dealers in plea bargains he negotiated as a federal prosecutor in Maryland.   The group also reported spending on mailings in opposition to Kaul.

In early September, the group sponsored a 30-second television ad that claimed GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel helped make schools safer by dispensing grants from a school safety program created earlier this year by the governor and the legislature.  RAGA said the ad would run about three weeks on cable.

In late September, the association sponsored another 30-second television ad that cited Schimel for addressing a controversial backlog of untested rape kits and claimed Kaul was a "D.C. liberal" who has never prosecuted a crime in Wisconsin.  Kaul's campaign said Kaul, a former federal prosecutor in Maryland, has prosecuted murderers and drug traffickers.

At the end of September the group first reported spending on online advertising in opposition to Kaul.

RAGA operates as a 527 group, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from any source.  Between January 2017 and June 2018, RAGA's 527 group raised more than $300,000 from nine Wisconsin contributors, including:

$125,000 from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce

$50,250 from Miller Coors Brewing

$50,000 from the Wisconsin Realtors Association

$26,725 from the Foley & Lardner law firm

$25,000 from Kwik Trip

This organization is registered with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission as an independent expenditure committee following the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.