August 13, 2018
About a dozen outside electioneering groups have spent about $655,300 on legislative and statewide primary elections that will be held Tuesday. And nearly two-thirds of the spending was made by unions to support Democratic candidate for governor Mahlon Mitchell.
These groups make disclosed independent expenditures and represent labor, business, school voucher, and conservative ideological interests. The groups spent their money on the governor’s race, a state Senate race, and eight Assembly primaries. The figures represent spending reports filed by the groups with the state through Sunday.
Here are the candidates who were subject to the most outside spending:
Nearly $412,300 was spent by three unions to support Mitchell. Strong Wisconsin, a state committee created by the International Association of Firefighters in Washington, D.C., spent more than $321,000 on online and television advertising to support Mitchell, who is a firefighter. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) doled out about $75,550 on billboards, canvassers, and door hangers to promote Mitchell. And the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin, which Mitchell leads, spent about $15,700 on yard signs and other campaign material to support Mitchell.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is seeking a third four-year term in November, drew fire from For Our Future, which has spent about $58,300 since late June on canvassing and brochures against him. The Washington, D.C., group created by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and labor unions, supports Democrats for state and federal offices.
Two Democratic candidates in Milwaukee-area Assembly races drew more than $100,000 in support from Leadership MKE, a committee created and mostly funded by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. The committee spent about $57,550 to support LaKeshia Myers in her 12th Assembly District primary and another $50,000 to back Liz Sumner in her 23rd Assembly District primary.
For more information about all of the outside electioneering groups and the candidates they support and oppose, go to our Hijacking Campaign 2018 feature and check out the Fall Elections roster of groups.