We Are Wisconsin

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We Are Wisconsin
Website:We Are Wisconsin
Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

Senators Facing Recall
Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila HarsdorfDave HansenJim HolperinRandy HopperDan KapankeLuther OlsenRobert Wirch

Table of Contents
Recall TimelineSignature ChallengesFake CandidatesSupportersIndividual RecallsCampaign ContributionsVoter IDBackgroundRecall ProcessState Legislative RecallsIneligible Officials in 2011National Impact

Other Recall Information
Recalls by YearRecall Law in WisconsinRecall laws in other statesRecalls in Wisconsin2011 Scott Walker Budget Repair BillProtests over Budget Repair BillWisconsin Government Accountability BoardRecall timelineElection Results
We Are Wisconsin (WAW) is a nonpartisan coalition of union and labor groups in Wisconsin that was born out of the 2011 budget bill protests. Their three main goals are voter education and mobilization, grassroots lobbying, and candidate advocacy through independent expenditures.[1] They played a major role in the 2011 recall of Wisconsin state senators.

As of July 2011, they have statewide offices in Wausau, Eau Claire, and Madison, as well as offices in each of the nine districts where senators are targeted for recall.[2]


On their website, WAW lists three issues it believes in:[3]

  • That the economic crisis facing Wisconsin and the rest of the country has to be solved together, not just balanced on the backs of Wisconsin’s working families.
  • That a strong middle class is good for Wisconsin.
  • That lawmakers need to listen to their constituents’ concerns regarding extreme cuts to education, public safety, health care and the environment.

2011 recall


$4 million+ in six weeks

We Are Wisconsin created a PAC to raise funds for the recall efforts targeting Republicans. On July 1, 2011, they announced the PAC had raised more than $4 million during the six weeks prior. More than $3 million of that came from the national AFL-CIO's Committee on Political Education and another $162,552.71 from the Service Employees International Union Committee on Political Education.[4] Large donations also came from the AFSCME, Wisconsin Education Association Council, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.[5]

Week before July 12 primaries

July 5 was the deadline to file pre-election reports on campaign contributions and spending, leaving a full week for continued giving before the first recall primaries on July 12. According to Wisconsin law, if a candidate or organization receives a contribution of $500 or more, that must be reported within 24 hours to the GAB. That information is filed with a GAB-3 document. Some of the reports in that week include:

July 1-25

On August 2, WAW issued a media memo calling on organizations to disclose their donors. The memo states:[6]

While We Are Wisconsin operates with GAB full disclosure, AFP and CFG have systematically operated in a manner designed to eliminate any transparency regarding their financing.

We Are Wisconsin raised $4,769,893.49 between July 1-25 - $21,054.31 are contributions from 640 individual donors who have an average donation of $32.89. The remaining $4.7 million come from other organizations like AFL-CIO, AFT Wisconsin COPE and AFSCME.

Fourteen organizations are responsible for the rest of the money contributed to We Are Wisconsin. Three of the organizations - SEIU, American Federation of Teachers, and UFCW - had donations from their national headquarters in Washington DC and from a local chapter in Wisconsin. The AFSCME included donations from the national headquarters in DC as well as a local chapter in Springfield, Illinois. Here is a breakdown of the donations:

Organizations donating to We Are Wisconsin July 1 - 25
Donor Monetary donations In-Kind donations Total
AFL-CIO $1,913,926.39 - $1,913,926.39
AFSCME $800,000.00 $460,082.30 $1,260,082.30
SEIU $501,729.18 $197,418.07 $699,147.25
American Federation of Teachers $500,000.00 $27,597.50 $527,597.50
WEAC - $81,000.00 $81,000.00
IAFF $80,000.00 - $80,000.00
MTEA $75,000.00 - $75,000.00
UFCW $15,000.00 $40,690.76 $55,690.76
WI PEOPLE Conference - $18,298.77 $18,298.77
National Education Association - $17,073.52 $17,073.52
DLCC - $14,407.27 $14,407.27
State Professional Education & Information Council $3,500.00 - $3,500.00
WI League of Conservation Voters - $2,358.42 $2,358.42
South Central Education Association - $707.00 $707.00
TOTAL $3,889,155.57 $859,633.61 $4,748,789.18

Week before August 9 recalls

We Are Wisconsin reported raising $1,366,428.47 in the week of July 25-29. This includes $500,000 from AFSCME, and $200,000 each from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association.

Campaign finance reports

The following are campaign finance reports filed by the We Are Wisconsin PAC with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board:

We Are Wisconsin PAC Reports (GAB ID No. 0501500)
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures) Cash on Hand
Special Pre-Election[7] August 1, 2011 $2,332,604.95 $4,769,893.49 $(5,300,231.69) $1,802,266.75
July Continuing[8] July 11, 2011 $1,980,891.89 $9,596.05 $(8,977.90) $1,981,510.04
Special Pre-Primary[9] July 5, 2011 $0.00 $4,576,127.84 $(2,595,235.95) $1,980,891.89

Ads by WAW

We Are Wisconsin submitted a GAB-7 on July 6 -- which deals with expenditures -- noting a $42,000 ad buy against Kim Simac and a $42,000 ad buy for Jim Holperin.

See also

External links