Koch-Backed Group Buys $150K in TV Time for Wisconsin Ad Blitz

John Murray/JohnMurrayPhoto.com

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Americans for Prosperity, the conservative political advocacy group founded by David Koch and funded by a roster of right-wing think tanks, has purchased $150,000 in TV air time in Green Bay, Madison, and Milwaukee, three of Wisconsin’s biggest media markets. The ad buy comes in the run-up to Wisconsin’s big recall elections, which are just over a week away. If spent on pro-GOP recall ads, the buy brings AFP’s overall political spending on the recall races to more than $500,000.

The August 9 recall elections pit six under-fire state Senate Republicans against Democratic challengers. The six GOPers were targeted by voters after they backed Republican Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union budget “repair” bill, a piece of legislation that sparked weeks of protests in Madison, the state capitol. Walker won the battle over his bill, which curbed collective bargaining rights for most public-sector unions in the Badger State, signing it into law in March. But soon after it was blocked by a district-level judge, who claimed GOPers violated the state’s open meetings act in the passage of the bill. The bill eventually wound up before the state Supreme Court, where a three-justice conservative majority upheld the bill.

It’s not only Republicans who have faced blowback for their actions during the battle over Walker’s budget bill. Three Democratic state senators were targeted by conservatives for recall for fleeing the state in February to block a vote on Walker’s bill. In July, one of them, Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen won in a landslide in the first general election of the recall season. Democrats need a net gain of three seats in the state senate to take control of the chamber.

Scot Ross, executive director of the progressive group One Wisconsin Now, called AFP’s new ad blitz “the granddaddy of corporate, big oil special interest money” and a last-ditch effort to salvage the GOP majority in the state senate. “The Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity has now dumped over $500,000 to pollute Wisconsin airwaves about the failed agenda of Scott Walker and the Senate Republicans—and they may just be getting started.”

More Mother Jones reporting on Dark Money

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate