Hijacking Campaign 2018

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on Wisconsin Conservation Voters Independent Expenditure Committee

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

Posted: September 12, 2018
Updated: March 22, 2019

Fall: OathSpending

This is a new committee sponsored by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, a statewide environmental advocacy group, to make independent expenditures on behalf of candidates the League supports in legislative and statewide elections.

In mid-September the organization first reported spending on behalf of the Democratic candidates in two State Senate races, the 17th and the 1st. In the latter race, the incumbent, Caleb Frostman, was elected in a June special election with the League's support.

In mid-October it first reported spending on behalf of Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tony Evers.  The group sponsored a 30-second television ad in late October, accusing GOP Gov. Scott Walker of protecting polluters rather than Wisconsin's drinking water.

This is now the third committee that the League uses to make independent expenditures. It has another independent expenditure committee and a PAC, both of which were last active in special legislative elections earlier this year.

 

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 Right Direction Wisconsin PAC

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

Posted: September 11, 2018
Updated: November 7, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This is a state political action committee used by the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association (RGA) to make independent expenditures in Wisconsin elections.

The RGA’s mission is to elect Republican governors throughout the country. In Wisconsin, the group spent an estimated $18.4 million to help elect Republican Gov. Scott Walker in his 2010 general, 2012 recall and 2014 reelection campaigns, making it one of the top-spending outside electioneering groups that is involved in state races.

Earlier this year, the group said it would spend more than $5 million to help reelect Walker to a third term.  Walker, who was the RGA’s chairman in 2017, faces Democrat Tony Evers in the Nov. 6 general election.  The PAC is not required to file spending reports with the state until late September.

The group’s first 30-second television ad launched the second week in September was similar to others run by the state Republican Party and Walker’s campaign.  The RGA’s ad accused Evers, who is the state school superintendent, of allowing a Middleton teacher caught viewing pornography to keep his teaching license.

Click for full mailerIn early October, the group sponsored a second ad, claiming Wisconsin cannot afford Evers because he would raise taxes.

In mid-October the group sent out mailers claiming Evers allowed teachers guilty of sexual misconduct to continue teaching.

In mid-October, RGA sponsored three ads - here, here and here.  One ad said Evers plan to reduce the prison population would result in dangerous criminals being released into communities.  Two other ads claimed Evers would increase taxes paid by farmers and hurt job growth in Wisconsin by taking away farm and manufacturing tax credits.  The group also sent mailers claiming Evers allowed teachers guilty of sexual misconduct to continue teaching.

A week before the elections, the group sponsored another 30-second ad, which called Evers too extreme for Wisconsin, again accusing Evers of allowing a Middleton teacher caught viewing pornography to keep his teaching license and for his plan to reduce the state's prison population.

Fundraising and spending reports filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service show 11 Wisconsin contributors contributed nearly $1.9 million to the RGA in the first half of 2018. 

The RGA raises much of its money from wealthy individuals, corporations, and trade organizations tied to manufacturing, health care, energy, insurance, and other powerful special interests using a 527 organization. 527 groups must disclose fundraising and spending in periodic reports to the IRS, but are unregulated because they raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from any source.

Last active election: 2014

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.

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on A Stronger Wisconsin

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

Posted: August 23, 2018
Updated: October 30, 2018

This is a phony issue ad group formed by the Democratic Governors Association, which raises and spends money to support Democratic candidates for governor around the country.

In the past, the Democratic Governors Association has directly spent very little on races for governor – only about $36,000 through a different committee during the 2012 attempt to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.  Instead, the group has opted to funnel most of its electioneering cash through other outside groups, like the Greater Wisconsin Committee.

The group started to release television ads in late August.  One ad condemns Republican Gov. Scott Walker for cutting state funding to education, health care, and roads.  The ad also says Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers worked with Republican and Democratic lawmakers to change a law to make it easier to pull state teacher licenses for misconduct. 

Another ad applauds Evers career in education.  Evers has been elected to three four-year terms as state school superintendent. 

A third ad accused Walker of playing politics and letting the state's roads, education, and health care systems languish.

The group also sponsored digital ads that hammered Walker on the same three topics - roads, education, and health care.

A fourth ad launched in mid-September features a woman who says she will not be able to afford her cancer treatments if Walker allows insurance companies to drop required coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. 

A fifth ad sponsored in late September accused Walker of turning down federal money to expand the state Medicaid program during his first term because accepting it would have hurt his short-lived, 2016 GOP presidential bid.

A sixth ad in early October characterized Evers as a life-long educator who tried to improve education and Walker as a politician who cut state aide to public schools in order to further his presidential ambitions in 2016.

In mid-October, Democratic Governors Association sponsored a seventh ad that accused Walker of supporting a plan to allow insurance companies to drop coverage for people involving pre-existing conditions.

In mid- to late October, the group sponsored two new ads – here and here – that continued to accuse Walker of cutting state spending on education and health care in order to please wealthy donors and improve his political standing during his failed 2016 GOP presidential bid.

The group sponsored a 10th 30-second television ad in late October that accused Walker of cutting state funding to public schools and turning down federal money for health care because he was doing what wealthy campaign contributors wanted.

Between January 2010 and June 2018, more than 200 Wisconsin individuals and businesses have contributed nearly $862,000 to the Democratic Governors Association, which operates as a 527 group that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on elections from any source. 

The top Wisconsin contributors to the Democratic Governors Association are:

Johnson Controls, of Milwaukee, $480,360

American Transmission Co., of Waukesha, $75,350

EMM Holdings LLC, of Milwaukee, $50,000

Hijacking Campaign 2018 - Information on End Citizens United Non-Federal

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

Posted: August 21, 2018
Updated: October 25, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

Based in Washington, D.C. this Democratic group seeks to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citzens United decision. To accomplish that goal the group runs a federal PAC and a 527 group to raise and spend money to support pro-reform candidates, advocate for reform, and support pro-reform ballot measures at the state level.

About a week after the August 14 primary, the group first reported spending on online advertising opposing the reelection of incumbent Republican governor Scott Walker. One online ad accused Walker of giving away millions of dollars in state aid to big donors.

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 Young Americans for Liberty, Inc

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

August 14, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This unregistered group appears to be affiliated with the national group Young Americans for Liberty that formed in the wake of former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's unsuccessful campaign in the 2008 Republican primaries for president.  The national group describes itself as a libertarian and conservative youth organization.

A day before the August 14 primaries, it reported spending on behalf of Republican candidate Shae Sortwell who is in a two-way primary for the open 2nd Assembly District seat.

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 Voces de la Frontera Action Inc.

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

Posted: August 15, 2018
Updated: November 16, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This unregistered committee is run by the Milwaukee-based Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights group that provides employment and legal services and citizenship and language training to immigrant and low-wage workers.

The group is active in both state and local elections. Between 2010 and 2014 the organization spent over $100,000 supporting Democratic candidates in state races via its registered independent expenditure committee.

At the end of October the group first reported spending on television and online ads to to support Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers against two-term Republican incumbent Scott Walker. It also reported online advertising in support of Democartic incumbent Rep. Jocasta Zamarripa in the 8th Assembly District. Shortly aftewards it reported spending on text messages to support Evers and Barnes.

In mid-October it first reported spending on radio ads in support of Evers. About two weeks before the November 6th election it first reported independent expenditures on behalf of Mandela Barnes and Joshua Kaul, the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general respectively.

The day of the August 14 primary, it reported spending on behalf of Marisabel Cabrera, the primary challenger who defeated Democratic incumbent Josh Zepnick in the 9th Assembly District.

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 Leaders for a Better Community, Inc

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

Posted: August 7, 2018
Updated: August 15, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This Milwaukee-based organization was created in 2015 and doled out about $31,000 in 2016 in Democratic primaries in four Milwaukee-area legislative races.  The group's website indicates it's interested in education, job creation, health care and crime issues.

About a week before the August 14 primary, the organization reported spending on flyers and online advertising supporting Milwaukee Democrats Kalan Haywood and Josh Zepnick in their respective primaries. You can see the flyers for Haywood here, here and here, and those for Zepnick here and here.

Last active election: 2016

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 AFSCME

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

Posted: October 23, 2018
Updated: November 2, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This is a new unregistered committee being used by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  This Washington, D.C.-based union represents public sector workers, and intends to sponsor electioneering activities on behalf of Democratic legislative and statewide candidates in Wisconsin.

In mid-October, the committee first reported spending on mailings to support Democrat Tony Evers in his bid to unseat Republican Governor Scott Walker's on Nov. 6.

At the end of October it first reported spending on mailings to support Mandela Barnes and Josh Kaul, the Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general respectively.

AFSCME also has another unregistered committee called AFSCME People that is supporting Evers in the 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 AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education Treasury Fund

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

Posted: October 23, 2018
Updated: November 7, 2018

Fall: OathSpending

This is a new unregistered independent expenditures committee run by the AFL-CIO labor union in Washington, D.C., which supports Democratic candidates for state and federal offices.

About two weeks before the Nov. 6 election, the committee first reported spending towrd online advertising on behalf of Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers.  Evers faces GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who is seeking a third four-year term.

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.