Hijacking Campaign 2014

Wisconsin WOMEN VOTE

Posted: March 7, 2014
Updated: October 30, 2014

OathSpending

The Washington-based pro-choice group Emily's List - a longtime supporter of women Democratic candidates for state and federal offices around the the country - formed this state organization in February 2014 to made independent expenditures to support Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke in the 2014 fall election.  During the 2011 recall elections, Emily's List made independent expenditures through the similarly named Wisconsin WOMEN VOTE!

The group announced it planned to spend $1.2 million on television ads in October to support Burke and attack incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker's record on women's health issues.  Two ads - here and here - accused Walker of approving laws that make it more difficult for women to get abortions and seeking to make all abortions illegal even in cases of rape and incest.

The ad buy follows $1 million in contributions between May and September by the Milwaukee-based Brico Fund to a 527 group controlled by Emily's List, according to documents filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  The Brico Fund was created by Lynde Uihlein, a Milwaukee philanthropist and longtime supporter of Democratic candidates and women's causes.

In addition to the television ads, it was reported in mid-October the group also planned to spend several hundred thousand dollars on mailings and web ads attacking Walker for his opposition to abortion in all cases.

This organization is registered with the Government Accountability Board as an independent disbursement committee following the January 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.