Democratic Group Books $500K+ in TV Time for Fall Elections

April 13, 2018

A group that raises money to support Democratic candidates for governor around the country has already reserved more than $500,000 in television time for the fall elections.

The Democratic Governors Association booked about $551,200 worth of ad time in the Green Bay and Milwaukee markets during the five weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 general elections.

The ad buys were made under name Building a Stronger Wisconsin, which has the same Washington D.C. address as the Democratic Governors Association. Building Wisconsin’s chairwoman was identified as Elisabeth Pearson, who is also executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and a leading strategist in the party’s redistricting efforts.

Last month, the DGA announced it would spend a total of $20 million on broadcast advertising in Wisconsin and three other states this fall involving the gerrymandering, or redistricting, process to draw legislative maps every 10 years.

Wisconsin’s controversial 2010 redistricting maps are now in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that is likely to be decided in June.

The top Wisconsin donors to the Democratic Governors Association between January 2015 and December 2017 were:

Johnson Controls, of Milwaukee, $120,700

American Transmission Co., of Waukesha, $30,000

Laura Peracchio, of Milwaukee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee marketing professor, $20,000

Building a Stronger Wisconsin was also the name of an outside electioneering group that was active in Wisconsin legislative elections in 2008 and 2010. That state group spent more than $1.2 million on phony issue ads and independent expenditures through a political action committee to support Democratic candidates and attack Republicans in at least eight state Senate races in 2008 and 2010.