New Dem Electioneering Group on Air in 18th Senate Race

September 27, 2016

A new Democratic outside electioneering group has spent more than $235,000 on television ads to support Democrat Mark Harris in his bid to win the open 18th Senate District seat in November.

The ad, sponsored by Prosperity for Everyday People, praises Harris’ record as Winnebago County executive. The group’s executive director, Sam Raymond, told the Wisconsin State Journal that the group’s top issues include fair taxation, job creation, and veterans and elderly care.

Raymond is a former Washington, D.C., energy and political consultant and campaign manager for former Democratic U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia.

Prosperity for Everyday People, which has a Windsor, Wis., address, is a 501(c)(4) organization that may secretly raise and spend unlimited amounts of money without reporting its activities. In addition, paperwork filed with the state shows that the group created a state independent expenditure committee earlier this month called Wisconsin Prosperity, which must report its fundraising and spending activities.

Dark money and other phony issue ad groups do not have to report their activities because they do not expressly tell listeners how to vote. Electioneering activities sponsored by independent expenditure groups generally explicitly tell listeners how to vote.

Harris faces Republican Dan Feyen to replace outgoing GOP Sen. Rick Gudex, of Fond du Lac.