Outside Groups Spent $4M+ So Far on Legislative, Statewide Elections

June 18, 2018

Twenty special interests groups spent an estimated $4.1 million so far this year on a statewide spring election and three legislative special elections.

The races and the amount spent by phony issue ad and independent expenditure groups were the:

Wisconsin Supreme Court, nearly $3.1 million. Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet defeated Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock in the April 3 spring elections.

1st Senate District, about $670,000. Democrat Caleb Frostman, of Sturgeon Bay, defeated GOP Rep. Andre Jacque, of De Pere, in a June special election.

10th Senate District, about $220,000. Democrat Patty Schachtner, of Somerset, defeated Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, in a January special election.

42nd Assembly District, about $140,000. Republican Jon Plumer defeated Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd, both of Lodi, in a June special election.

The top-spending outside electioneering groups in these elections were:

The Greater Wisconsin Committee’s issue ad and independent expenditures arms, an estimated $1,380,000. The group, which backs liberal and Democratic candidates, spent about $1.2 million to back Dallet in the high court race and another $178,500 in the three legislative special elections to support Frostman, Schachtner, and Lloyd.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest business group which traditionally back GOP and conservative candidates, doled out an estimated $1,225,000 to back Screnock for the Supreme Court.

Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, an issue ad group that supports GOP and conservative candidates, spent nearly $300,000 to back Screnock in the court race and Jacque in the 1 st Senate District contest.

For more information about the other groups involved in the legislative and statewide races that have taken place so far in 2018, check out our Hijacking Campaign 2018 feature.