Hijacking Campaign 2016

Prosperity for Everyday People

Posted: September 27, 2016
Updated: May 31, 2017

Prosperity for Everyday People has a Windsor, Wisconsin address and supports Democratic candidates for state office.

Some of the group's funding comes from labor. A 527 organization used by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing & Pipefitting Industry made a $50,000 contribution to the group on October 5, 2016, and a state political action committee controlled by Operating Engineers Local 139 gave the group $50,000 earlier in July.

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.

The group is registered with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501c4 organization which allows it to secretly raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on "issue ads" without reporting its activities. Paperwork filed with the state, however, shows that the group created a state independent expenditure committee in September 2016 called Wisconsin Prosperity which must report its fundraising and spending activities.

The organization first appeared in the 2016 fall elections when it sponsored television ads praising 18th Senate District candidate Democrat Mark Harris for his record as Winnebago County executive. Harris lost his bid for the open seat to Republican Dan Feyen in the general election.

The group also unsuccessfully opposed Republican incumbent Luther Olsen in the 14th Senate District.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign estimates that the group spent nearly $1.2 million on its unsuccessful electioneering activities in the two Senate races.