Influence Peddler of the Month - For Our Future

August 1, 2018

This is a relatively new Washington, D.C. group that supports Democratic candidates for federal and state offices using a Super-PAC to make disclosed independent expenditures.

The group is active in six states, including Wisconsin where it has spent about $349,500 on statewide and legislative candidates since the 2016 fall elections.

Currently, For Our Future is gearing up to oppose Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s bid for a third four-year term this fall. The group initially reported in early July it may spend more than $45,000 on brochures, canvassing, and website development to oppose Walker.

Earlier this year, the group spent $63,816 on two legislative special elections in the 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District and another $157,801 on the spring Wisconsin Supreme Court race. One of the legislative candidates backed by For Our Future won – Caleb Frostman in the 1st Senate District race – as did Rebecca Dallet, the group’s pick for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Even though the Supreme Court election is officially a nonpartisan contest, Dallet drew much of her support from traditional Democratic allies.

Much of For Our Future’s spending in the 2018 spring and special elections was for online advertising, robocalls, and brochures.

During the 2016 fall elections, For Our Future spent about $127,850 to back Democrats and oppose Republicans in eight legislative races. None of the Democrats backed by the group won their elections.

Since the group operates in Wisconsin as an unregistered express advocacy committee, it does not have to disclose its fundraising activities or contributors. It must file election spending reports with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission within 60 days of a primary or election.

For Our Future was formed in 2016 by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and national labor groups, like the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, United Auto Workers, and the National Education Association. Steyer is one of the largest donors to Democratic candidates in the nation, but he has made no personal campaign contributions to Wisconsin legislative and statewide candidates.

Nationally, the group planned to raise and spend at least $70 million in the 2018 mid-term elections to back Democratic candidates in congressional and gubernatorial races in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia.

During the 2016 election cycle, the group’s federal PAC raised about $48.9 million and spent about $48.3 million, including $21.6 million in contributions to federal candidates. For Our Future doled out an additional $9.8 million on independent expenditures to back federal candidates.