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Wisconsin recalls: ad buys, accusations, and the Tea Party Express
By Greg Janetka
MADISON, Wisconsin: With just over 10 days to go until the recall elections against six Republican state senators, candidates are busy knocking on doors, debating, and making accusations against their opponents. Meanwhile, volunteers canvass the districts, in-person absentee voting continues, a new round of campaign finance reports are due to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on Monday, and money continues to pour into radio and TV advertisements.
Organizations on both sides of the fight have made major ad buys recently. The Wisconsin Education Association Council, a member of the National Education Association, reported $424,00 in spending on radio advertisements on July 22. Included in this was $92,930 in support of Sandy Pasch, $87,670 in support of Robert Wirch, and $74,704 in support of Fred Clark.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America bought $150,000 in TV time to target Republicans Alberta Darling and Luther Olsen. Meanwhile, One Wisconsin Now is reporting that Americans for Prosperity have recently purchased over $150,000 in TV airtime.
Tea Party Express
Next week the Tea Party Express will be coming to Wisconsin in support of the Republicans facing recall. The group will be holding rallies August 5 - 8 throughout the recall districts. Sam Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” is reported to be one of the speakers on the tour.
Jonathan Steitz’s campaign issued a release saying that opponent Robert Wirch was asked to cease and desist the use of the Ocean Spray logo on campaign literature as he was doing so without the company’s approval. Steitz called it “a desperate attempt by Bob Wirch to align himself with a successful business when his record on job creation for the 22nd District is so dismal.”
As we reported yesterday, there has been an ad war in the 12th District over Kim Simac’s tax history. Simac originally planned a news conference for yesterday to prove she had paid all of her taxes, but canceled it due to scheduling conflicts. Department of Revenue documents show Simac did not owe any state taxes on her business in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. County property tax records show Simac had late payments in 2007, 2009 and 2010, but that they had all been paid.
Democrats from the 10th Congressional District in Illinois announced they will be campaigning for Sandy Pasch in Wisconsin on August 6. Last winter the group joined the protests in Madison against the budget repair bill.
The Alliance for Retired Americans and the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups hosted a forum yesterday where Randy Hopper (R) was to face off with challenger Jessica King (D). Hopper, however, did not show and King took questions by herself. Sean Stephenson, Hopper’s campaign manager, said the senator did not receive an invitiation. He went on to say, "I would challenge (the forum organizers) to prove who they talked to because I handle the Senator's schedule, and I was never consulted about any dates."
Faith Family Freedom Fund announced yesterday they were launching an ad campaign in support of Dan Kapanke that would run through election day. FFFF chairwoman Connie Mackey explained their interest in the race, stating, “Madison liberals will do whatever it takes to advance their liberal agenda of abortion on demand, higher taxes and more spending even it means recalling a hardworking State Senator like Dan Kapanke. Faith Family Freedom Fund stands with Senator Dan Kapanke because he is a duly elected official with the fortitude to do what's right.”
Shelly Moore and Sheila Harsdorf met yesterday in the second of three scheduled debates. The event, hosted by the River Falls Chamber of Commerce, drew 300 people. The final debate will be on August 4 at radio station WHWC-FM.
- Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011)
- Wisconsin State Senate
- Laws governing recall in Wisconsin
- Redistricting in Wisconsin
- MacIver Institute, “In One Day, WEAC Spends Nearly a Half Million Dollars to Support Democrats in Recalls,” July 28, 2011
- Talking Points Memo, “Progressives Go up with Massive Healthcare Attack in Wisconsin Recall Fight,” July 29, 2011
- One Wisconsin Now, “Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity Begins Six-Figure Ad Buy for GOP Recall Candidates,” July 29, 2011
- Menomonee Falls Patch, “Tea Party Express to Enter Wisconsin’s Recall Fray,” July 28, 2011
- Dane 101, “Total Recall: Sam the Motivational Speaker returns to Wisconsin; ads ahoy!,” July 29, 2011
- WisPolitics, “Steitz Campaign: Wirch asked to cease and desist,” July 28, 2011
- Wausau Daily Herald, “State Senate candidate’s financial history under fire,” July 29, 2011
- Whitefish Bay Patch, “Illinois Democrats to Campaign for Pasch,” July 28, 2011 (dead link)
- The Northwestern, “Liberal groups hold forum without Hopper’s attendance,” July 29, 2011
- Sacramento Bee, “FRC Action’s New [[Super PAC (dead link)] Launches Radio Ad Campaign in Wisconsin Recall Senate Race,” July 28, 2011]
- Rivertowns, “Second Harsdorf-Moore debate draws 300 people,” July 28, 2011 (dead link)