Outside Group Spending Nears $900K in Gov’s Race

August 28, 2018

Outside group spending on the governor’s race approached $900,000 as of Tuesday, according to reports reviewed by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

The top-spending group was the Greater Wisconsin Political Independent Expenditure Fund, at about $379,300. This is one of four electioneering arms operated by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, which backs Democrats in legislative and statewide races. The group spent the money on television advertisements over the past two weeks to support Democratic candidate for governor Tony Evers after he won the primary earlier this month.

For Our Future and End Citizens United Non-federal, two Washington, D.C.-based groups that support Democrats for state and federal offices, dropped about $83,300 during the past several weeks on electioneering activities against incumbent GOP Gov. Scott Walker.

Earlier, Strong Wisconsin, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Fire Fighters for a Better Wisconsin spent nearly $427,000 to support Democratic candidate for governor Mahlon Mitchell, a firefighter and union leader, who lost to Evers in the primary election.

All told, more than a dozen groups have disclosed spending nearly $1.1 million so far on all Wisconsin legislative and statewide races. These committees and groups report their disclosed independent expenditures to the state. The groups represent labor, business, school voucher, and ideological interests. (They don’t include the political parties themselves.)

In addition to the $1.1 million in disclosed spending so far, the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association (RGA) have reserved nearly $3.4 million in TV ad time around the state in September and October. A Stronger Wisconsin, which is the Democratic Governors Association’s state group, has reserved more than $1.3 million so far. The RGA has reserved more than $2 million in TV time in September and October. Both groups have pledged to spend even more.