Hijacking Campaign 2018

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Wisconsin Leadership Committee

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

Posted: October 15, 2018
Updated: January 15, 2019

Fall: OathSpending

Note: The last update greatly reduces spending total to account for changes the committee made to its final report with the State Ethics Commission. The committee appears to have duplicated some expenditures on its orginal reports.

The newly registered independent expenditure committee is run by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee whose professed mission is to elect Democrats to state legislatures.

In mid-October it first reported spending over $80,000 towards online advertising in opposition to Republican candidates in four state senate districts. The group reportedly sponsored a mailing that accused Rep. Dale Kooyenga, of Brookfield, of being drunk during an Assembly floor speech in 2015. Kooyenga is running for the open 5th Senate District seat.

Last active election: 2016

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.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin Political Fund

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

Posted: October 11, 2018
Updated: June 13, 2019

Fall: OathSpending

Note: Bad links fixed with last update.

This independent expenditure committee created by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin in 2010 makes independent expenditures on behalf of Democratic candidates for statewide office and the legislature in Wisconsin. Planned Parenthood is the leading advocate and provider of reproductive health care for women in the state and the nation. Between 2010 and 2016, this committee spent more than $1 million on behalf of Democratic candidates. This is just one of several different committees Planned Parenthood has used to conduct campaigning over the last two decades.

In mid-October it reported spending on behalf of Democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state treasurer.

Planned Parenthood had already involved itself in various Wisconsin elections earlier in the year through its unregistered committee.

Last active election: 2016

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.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Wisconsin Firearms Owners, Inc.

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

October 10, 2018

Click for full mailerThis pro-gun group is a state charter of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the nation's most influential firearms advocate.  In state documents and on its website, the state group is also called Wisconsin Firearm Owners and Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, or Wisconsin FORCE.

Click for full mailerThe state group, which has a Seymour address, is a registered lobbying organization that frequently weighs in on pro- and anti-gun proposals at the State Capitol, including bills to do away with permits and training to carry concealed weapons and allow Wisconsin schools to offer gun courses.  It also describes itself as a volunteer-run membership organization that sponsors gun shows - most recently in Seymour on Sept. 22.

In October, the group sponsored two mailings against Democrat Paul Buhr, who is running for the open 96th Assembly seat against Republican Loren Oldenburg.  

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on AFSCME PEOPLE

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

Posted: October 8, 2018
Updated: October 31, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This unregistered committee is a new political action fund being used by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME),  which represents public sector workers, to sponsor electioneering activities on behalf of Democratic legislative and statewide candidates in Wisconsin.

In early October, the group first reported spending on online advertising to support Democrat Tony Evers, who is challenging Republican Governor Scott Walker's reelection bid in the November election.

This organization is an unregistered independent expenditure committee that is required to report any such spending done within 60 days of a primary or an election to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission per Chapter 11, Subchapter X of Wisconsin Statutes.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on WMC Jobs Fund

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

Posted: October 4, 2018
Updated: January 15, 2019

Fall: OathSpending

This is a an independent expenditure committee created in 2016 by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state's largest business group and one of the most powerful special interest influences on state spending, policy, and elections.

At the beginning of October the group reported spending nearly $86,000 on television and online advertising as well as mailings to oppose Chris Kapsner, the Democratic candidate in the open 23rd Senate District race. His opponent is Rep. Kathy Bernier, the Republican incumbent in the 68th Assembly District. Shortly afterwards, the group reported spending on radio ads in opposition to Wendy Sue Johnson, the Democratic candidate for Bernier's now open seat. Toward sthe end of October it reported spending on television advertisting to oppose Democratic incumbent Caleb Frostman in the 1st Senate District. Frostman was first elected to office in a special election held in June 2018.

While this is the first time in 2018 that the group has reported any independent expenditures, WMC has already been involved with issue ads in the fall election.

Last active election: 2016

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.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Jobs First Coalition Political Fund

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

Posted: October 4, 2018
Updated: March 4, 2019

Fall: OathSpending

This is a Brookfield-based organization that first surfaced in the 2010 fall elections and supports Republican legislative candidates.  At first it concentrated on running phony issue ads but later added independent expenditures to its repertoire.  Between the two the group has spent more than an estimated $1 million on outside electioneering activities between 2010 and 2016 to support GOP legislative candidates. Former GOP Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who was disgraced in the caucus scandal, helped create and raise money for the group.

At the beginning of October it reported spending nearly $11,000 on radio ads and mailings to support Republicans in three Wisconsin State Assembly races. In the end it reported support for Republican candidates in eight Assembly and one state Senate race. (The organization amended its original reports to increase its pending towards the end of February 2019.)

The organization ran issue ads during special legislative elections held earlier in 2018.

Last active election: 2016

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.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on NextGen Climate Action Committee

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

Posted: October 1, 2018
Updated: October 23, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This federal SuperPAC started operating in Wisconsin as an unregistered political committee.  It's part of a group called NextGen America, an environmental advocacy organization founded by San Francisco billionaire and hedge fund manager Tom Steyer.  Steyer and his group support Democratic candidates.

Steyer announced earlier he would spend $30 million on a nationwide get-out-the-vote effort targeting young adults, as well as $20 million on television ads calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The committee filed paperwork with the state in late September showing it spent about $167,300 on online advertising to support Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers.  Evers faces incumbent GOP Gov. Scott Walker on the Nov. 6 ballot.

This organization is an unregistered independent expenditure committee that is required to report any such spending done within 60 days of a primary or an election to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission per Chapter 11, Subchapter X of Wisconsin Statutes.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Volunteers for Agriculture

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

Posted: October 1, 2018
Updated: October 26, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This political action committee is used by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, one of the state's largest and most influential lobbying and advocacy organizations. The PAC is a longtime direct contributor to statewide and legislative candidates. The group has also been regularly active in making independent expenditures in Wisconsin elections, generally to support Republican candidates. Between 1998 and 2016, the PAC made nearly $1.4 million in independent expenditures.

At the end of September, the organization reported spending nearly $100,000 on radio ads in support of GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who faces Democratc Tony Evers on the Nov. 6 ballot for a third four-year term.

In mid-October the group first reported spending on newspaper ads on behalf of Gov. Walker, incumbent Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel and Mel Pittman, the Republican candidate for the open 31st Senate District seat. It also reported spending on radio ads to support Pittman.

Last active election: 2016

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Progressive Takeover Independent Expenditure Committee

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

Posted: September 28, 2018
Updated: November 2, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

Progressive Takeover is a Chicago-based organization whose self-professed mission is to flip state legislatures from Republican to Democratic control in order to have greater Democratic influence on the redistricting process nationwide.

The organization first got involved in Wisconsin politics when it reported independent expenditures in the June 2018 1st Senate District special election as an unregistered committee.

During the fall election campaign, the group said it planned to spend $700,000 on digital ads, mailings, and canvassing in a handful of state Senate races.  It reported spending a little over $15,000 on behalf of Democratic candidates in three state senate races at the end of September. The committee's September report, however, showed expenditures in excess of $173,000 of which a minimum of $73,000 appears to be campaign related.

About a week into October the group reported additional spending to support Democratic candidates in two more state senate races. In mid-October it expanded its activity to a total of six senate races.

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.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on High Ground Political Fund

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

Posted: September 24, 2018
Updated: November 1, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This newly registered Milwaukee-based independent expenditure group first reported spending on online advertising to support Democratic candidates in six Wisconsin State Senate races towards the end of September.

The organization shares an address with the politicial consulting group Nation Consulting. High Ground's registered agent, John Zapfel, is the political director for IBEW Local 494. Zapfel had previously worked for Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele as well as former Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl and former Democratic Gov. Jim. Doyle.

An unregistered Milwaukee-based organization with a similar name was involved in the 2018 Supreme Court election but the Democracy Campaign has not been able to establish a connection between the two.

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.