MacIver News Service | July 28, 2011
[Madison, Wisc...] WEAC, Wisconsin's largest teachers'union, spent nearly a half million dollars in one day on behalf of Democratic candidates through their political aciton committee, the MacIver News Service has learned.
According to records on file at the Wisconsin Governement Accountability Board, on July 22 WEAC PAC spent $424,000 on a radio ad buy to support two Democrat State Senators being recalled, and five Democrat candidates who are challenging Republican incumbent Senators.
Top beneficiaries of the WEAC independent disbursements include Sandy Pasch, $92,930, Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie), $87,670, and Fred Clark $74,704. Pasch is running agains GOP Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills). Clark, a State Representative from Baraboo, is challenging Luther Olsen (R-Berlin).
WEAC also supported Shelly Moore with a $60,026 radio buy. As MacIver previously reported, Shelly Moore is a teachers' union operative whose Menomonie campaign office is located in the West Central Education Association Office building. The WCEA is the one of the Wisconsin branches of WEAC.
WEAC PAC is the Political Action Committee of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state affiliate of the NEA, which (currently) represents 92,000 teacher union members.
For the pro-union Democratic party forces across the country, the Wisconsin state senate recalls are viewed as a symbolic counterattack against efforts to weaken Big Labor, long recognized as the driving force within the Dem party infrastructure. In Wisconsin, WEAC has traditionally been the most active and aggressive poltical campaigner for the state Democrats. All told, Big Labor is pouring millions of dollars into nine state legislative races this summer in an attempt to wrest control of the state senate from Republicans who recently voted to modify government unions’ bargaining powers here.
See the official documentation from the Wisconsin Goverment Accountability Board: GAB-7 Report of Independent Disbursements (15)