Political Party/527

Greater Wisconsin Political Fund

Location:

Madison, WI

Parent Organization:

Greater Wisconsin Committee

The Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is a super PAC that is affiliated with the Greater Wisconsin Committee, a liberal and Democratic Party-aligned advocacy organization that focuses on supporting left-progressive candidates in Wisconsin elections. The Greater Wisconsin Committee and affiliated PACs the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund and Greater Wisconsin Political Action Committee are among the largest funders of political campaigns in Wisconsin. The organization is funded by various left-leaning organizations, most prominently labor unions, and is best known for funding attack ads and political mailings targeting conservative and Republican candidates. [1]

The organization is funded by Wisconsin-based and national left-leaning groups, labor unions, and advocacy organizations including the National Education Association, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Governors Association. [2]

Background

The Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is one of two PACs operated by the Greater Wisconsin Committee with the other being the Greater Wisconsin Political Action Fund, a state-level PAC. [3] The Greater Wisconsin Committee was founded in 2004 to support Democratic campaigns and left-leaning causes through political contributions and independent expenditures. The Greater Wisconsin Committee does not reveal its donors, leading many to criticize it as a “dark money” group. [4]

While much of the spending through the Greater Wisconsin Committee is not disclosed, the spending of the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is required to be filed with the Federal Election Commission and open to public review. The Political Fund has spent millions in each election cycle since 2006, but spending spiked to an all-time high of over $11 million spent in the 2012 cycle, which included not only the general elections but also an ultimately unsuccessful effort to recall then-Governor Scott Walker (R). The group spent $5.3 million in the 2014 cycle, $1.5 million in the 2016 cycle, and over $3.6 million in the 2018 cycle. [5]

Activity

The most recent ads that the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund highlights on their website are related to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court election in 2019, when the organization supported liberal-aligned Judge Lisa Neubauer over conservative-aligned Justice Brian Hagedorn. The organization also ran ads supporting Gov. Tony Evers (D) in his victory over incumbent Gov. Scott Walker (R).[6]

Funding

Many left-leaning organizations have contributed to the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund including We Are Wisconsin, America Votes, the Democratic Governors Associationthe National Education Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees all donating over $1 million solely during the 2012 gubernatorial recall election. The Political Fund consistently enjoys support from left-leaning labor unions and particularly did so during the 2012 recall, which was partly inspired by Governor Scott Walker’s successful attempt to pass government-worker collective-bargaining reform legislation in Wisconsin. [7]

Other notable organizations that fund the organization include Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY’s List, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization, the Wisconsin Education Association, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and the Service Employees International Union/Wisconsin. [8]

References

  1. “Greater Wisconsin Committee Spends Big”. Urban Milwaukee. May 1, 2018. Accessed May 6, 2021. https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2018/05/01/campaign-cash-greater-wisconsin-committee-spends-big/ ^
  2. “Greater Wisconsin Political Fund”. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed May 6, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2018&ein=204668584 ^
  3. “About Us”. Greater Wisconsin Committee. Accessed April 23, 2021. https://www.greaterwisconsin.org/aboutus.htm ^
  4. Craver, Jack. “Dark money: How Wisconsin’s most politically influential organizations avoid disclosing their donors”. The Capital Times. January 15, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2021. https://madison.com/ct/news/local/writers/jack_craver/dark-money-how-wisconsins-most-politically-influential-organizations-avoid-disclosing-their-donors/article_8ddf078f-1112-5f44-9268-cb9e5f2d3fd2.html ^
  5. “Greater Wisconsin Political Fund”. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed April 21, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2018&ein=204668584 ^
  6. “Home Page.” Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. Accessed April 22, 2021. http://greaterwisfund.com/ ^
  7. “Greater Wisconsin Political Fund”. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed April 21, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2018&ein=204668584 ^
  8. “Greater Wisconsin Political Fund”. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed April 21, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2018&ein=204668584 ^
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Greater Wisconsin Political Fund


Madison, WI