As the recall election for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker approaches, not surprisingly, the campaign against him has gotten more and more contentious.
The Recall Scott Walker campaign has been leading the way with its negative ads against the Republican governor. The group of funders behind it is well known to Wisconsin and especially to the elite liberal establishment in the state. And at a time when the left is railing against “the 1 percent,” it won’t be a surprise to many to learn that the organization itself is largely comprised of 1 percenters like Jonathan Soros, son of the hedge fund billionaire.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee owns the Recall Scott Walker website, and its affiliated political action committee, Greater Wisconsin Political Action Fund, spent over $3.3 million last go-around to attack Scott Walker and his allies. Established in 2004 as a 501(c)4, The Greater Wisconsin Committee describes itself as “a state-based, progressive issue advocacy organization that conducts aggressive grassroots and media campaigns on the important public policy issues facing the state.”
One of the group’s attack ads was so disingenuous and offensive to some that Politifact Wisconsin rated it to be “barely true,” an issue that I covered in great detail last year during the state’s brutal judicial election.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee claims David Prosser didn’t ask police to investigate a mother’s report that a 30-year pedophile priest had indecently touched her two sons, then refused to file charges [against] him and participated in a cover-up of the priest’s acts.
The committee’s TV ad uses generally factual statements to make its case, but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. By using information that only became known later, it suggests more information was available to Prosser at the time than really was. For instance, Prosser didn’t know that the priest had a long history of molestation — that came out 24 years later. And it wasn’t until 24 years later that one of the brothers made the most serious allegation against the priest.
The ad was so offensive to some that even one of the priest’s victims spoke out against it to ABC news in WI:
“In an email obtained by 12 News on Thursday, one of the victims in case, Troy Merryfield, wrote that he finds the ad offensive, inaccurate and out of context and said he hopes the organization will remove the ad.”
The Greater Wisconsin Political Fund’s donors in 2010 included some of the following:
- AFSCME: $915,000 – President Gerald McEntee’s total compensation is over $512,000
- SEIU: $185,000 – International President MaryKay Henry’s total compensation is over $250,000
- Judith R & Gordon T Faulkner, (Epic Systems CEO, Judith Faulkner): $60,000 – Faulkner’s net worth is estimated at $1.7 billion
- Lynde Uihlein of Brico Fund/Time Out Enterprises (Schlitz Brewing heir): $275,000
- Grant Abert (co-founder of the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Community Fund): $30,000
- Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and Democratic Governor’s Association: $1,580,000
- Jonathan Soros, Soros Fund Management: $5,000 – as co-deputy chairman, managed over $12.8 billion in investments, before stepping down from his father’s firm last year
I decided to check the group’s records for 2012 to see who’s most active in the campaign against Scott Walker today through donations to the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. In total, the committee has contributed over $3.6 million to date to try to unseat Walker.
- America Votes: $1,944,950 – this organization has so much history, it would require its own post! I recommend you search it on Breitbart.com to learn about its influence, past and donors. Eye-opening.
- Wisconsin Education Assn (WEAC)/National Education Assn (NEA): $500,000 – Executive Director Dan Burkhalter’s total compensation is over $240,000
- Lynde Uihlein of Brico Fund/Time Out Enterprises (Schlitz Brewing heir): $237,000
- Grant Abert (co-founder of the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Community Fund): $61,000
- Stacey Herzing, listed in Laguna Beach, CA, Dir of Communications at Herzing College: $40,000
- [NOTE: It seems SEIU has opted to contribute less than $10,000 to this PAC this year…perhaps 2008 and 2010 took a toll on the union’s bank account?]
With the recall campaign down to the wire, it will certainly be interesting to see just how much dirtier this campaign gets, and how much money the Greater Wisconsin Committee and its Political Fund pour into negative advertising and other campaign activities. Most wondered if it could get any sleazier than it did in 2011, but the liberal elite 1 percenters in Wisconsin rarely fail to disappoint in this arena.