We Are Wisconsin reports more than $1 million in donations last week
By Greg Janetka and Geoff Pallay
MADISON, Wisconsin: The deadline for filing Pre-Election campaign finance reports with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board for the August 9 elections is today. A number of reports have already been posted to the state’s Campaign Finance Information website. We will have coverage of these reports later in the week as they become available.
Additionally, special reports on late contributions have been showing up. We Are Wisconsin reported raising $1,366,428.47 in the past week. This includes $500,000 from AFSCME, and $200,000 each from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association. The America Votes Action Fund reported receiving $50,000 from America’s Families First Action Fund.
Although voters officially go to the polls on August 9, in-person and mail-in absentee votes in the six senate districts with recalls on August 9 continue to flow in. Absentee voting began on July 25 and will continue through Friday at 5 p.m. CST. During the first two days, clerks in the 10th District reported between 26 - 48 in-person voters, while River Falls had 157 mail-in votes. Menomonee Falls Village Clerk Janice Moyer said that about 570 people had voted as of last Friday afternoon, a total which she says is similar to the state Supreme Court election in April.
Meanwhile, organizations on both sides have been accused of misleading voters with incorrect election dates. Flyers being circulated by Americans for Prosperity in the 2nd and 10th Districts instruct voters to return ballots "before Aug. 11," two days after the recall. Voters in the 32nd District reported receiving robocalls from the Democratic National Committee urging them to vote on August 16. The DNC said they stopped the calls on Saturday after they were alerted to the incorrect date. Clerks in some areas have also reported voter confusion due to the large number of political mailings regarding absentee ballots.
Verified complaint against Pasch
The state Republican Party filed a verified complaint (dead link) with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board today against Sandy Pasch (D), asking for an investigation into possible illegal collusion between Pasch’s campaign and Citizen Action of Wisconsin, a left-leaning organization "committed to achieving social, economic, and environmental justice."
Pasch is a member of the board of directors of Citizen Action, while her campaign treasurer Jackie Boynton also serves as treasurer for the organization.
In a press release, Stephan Thompson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said, "In recent weeks, Citizen Action has taken an unusual interest in attacking Alberta Darling, with nearly identical messaging as the Pasch campaign. We feel that it is only prudent to ensure that these circumstances are uncanny coincidences, not the result of illegal activity on the part of the Pasch campaign."
Andrew Davis, campaign manager for Alberta Darling stated, "As we have seen throughout the campaign from Sandy Pasch, she has little regard for right and wrong. Coordinating with third party groups is a very serious matter and the Darling campaign hopes that the Government Accountability Board looks into this immediately."
Pasch campaign spokeswoman Gillian Morris said there was no coordination, calling the complaint "a laughable attempt to attack her because they're running scared and they're seeing the writing on the wall." Robert Kraig, executive director for Citizen Action said the actions were completely unfounded.
- Sen. Robert Cowles (R) and challenger Nancy Nusbaum (D) have yet to debate, but continue to argue over whose fault that is. Last week Nusbaum criticized Cowles for not responding to debate requests, including a forum being held today. Cowles said he never received information on the debate, and that Nusbaum purposely accepted it for today, when he is required to be in the Senate for a special session. Cowles said, "Is there anything honest about this campaign? It's one crazy attack that's incorrect after another."
- Sen. Randy Hopper (R) and Jessica King (D) both appeared on "UpFront with Mike Gousha," over the weekend, but did not meet face to face as King declined to appear alongside her opponent. Hopper defended his actions on collective bargaining, saying, "I think once people understand the reason for why we did what we did, they'd support it ... the sky hasn't fallen." King said a better way to address the budget deficit would be through a reorganization of state government.
- Rep. Sandy Pasch (D) appeared at the Milwaukee Press Club today to answer questions from members of the press and the audience, while her opponent, Sen. Alberta Darling (R), will appear there tomorrow. The Press Club attempted to have the candidates meet face to face but Darling declined.
- Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011)
- Wisconsin State Senate
- Laws governing recall in Wisconsin
- Redistricting in Wisconsin
- Advertisements in the 2011 Wisconsin State Senate recalls
- WQOW, "Absentee votes in recall election starting to trickle in," July 27, 2011
- Menomonee Falls Patch, "Absentee Voting Deadline Is Friday," August 1, 2011
- Politico, "AFP Wisconsin ballots have late return date," August 1, 2011
- LaCrosse Tribune, "Robocalls arouse suspicion with bad election date," July 30, 2011
- Watchdog, "Wisconsin absentee voter battle creates casualties," July 28, 2011
- Citizen Action of Wisconsin Facebook page, "Info," accessed August 1, 2011
- Citizen Action, "Citizen Action of Wisconsin Board of Directors," accessed August 1, 2011
- WisPolitics, "WisGOP:Asks for investigation into Pasch’s Citizen Action connection." August 1, 2011
- WisPolitics, "Darling Campaign:Sandy Pasch must come clean on coordination," August 1, 2011
- Fox Point-Bayside Patch, "GOP Files Complaint over Possible Collusion Between Pasch, Outside Group," August 1, 2011
- Green Bay Press Gazette, "Talks of Sen. Rob Cowles, challenger Nancy Nusbaum debate heat up," August 1, 2011
- WisPolitics, "WisPolitics:Hopper, King discuss 18th SD race on ‘UpFront,’ August 1, 2011
- WTMJ, "Darling, Pasch to speak at Milwaukee Press Club," August 1, 2011
- WisBusiness, "Milwaukee Press Club: Newsmaker Luncheons to feature Darling and Pasch," July 21, 2011