Hijacking Campaign 2013

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Posted: March 21, 2013
Updated: April 24, 2014

Estimated Spring Spending: $500,000

WMC is the state's largest business organization and one of the most powerful special interest groups Wisconsin that lobbies on state policy and spending.  It supports policies to lower taxes on business, cut education spending, reduce local control government and weaken environmental regulations.  WMC has spent an estimated $18.4 million since 2006 on phony issue ads to support conservative candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Republican candidates for governor, attorney general and the legislature. The group, which refuses to disclose its funders and spending on electioneering activities, spends most of its money on radio and television ads and mailings that praise Republicans and smear Democrats.

Starting a little more than a week before the November 19 special election to fill a vacant seat in the 69th Assembly District, WMC sponsored four mailings - here, here, here and here - that accused Democratic candidate Ken Slezack of supporting policies that would increase taxes.  Slezack faced Republican Bob Kulp for the seat vacated earlier in 2013 by GOP Majority Leader Scott Suder who is now a lobbyist for the paper industry.

WMC doled out an estimated $500,000 in the 2013 spring elections, mostly for a 30-second television ad - here via WisPolitics.com - to support incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Pat Roggensack's reelection bid April 2 for a second, 10-year term on the state high court.  The ad praised Roggensack and claimed she helped render decisions that made communities safer from crime - an issue WMC only highlights in its phony electioneering activities but seems to care little about in its lobbying activities or pro-business legislative agenda.

Last active election: 2012