Liberal MegaPAC ‘We Are Wisconsin’ Violates Campaign Finance Reporting Law

MacIver News Service | September 1, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] The controversial MegaPAC We Are Wisconsin failed to disclose more than a hundred thousand dollars in late expenditures on time, as required by state law, the MacIver News Service has learned.

In their most recent filing with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, We Are Wisconsin listed $105,255.62 worth of disbursements which should have been disclosed 24 hours after they were made, which in some cases was several weeks ago.

The ‘Special Report of Late Independent Expenditure’ report filed with the GAB by We Are Wisconsin includes 21 disbursements for printing and postage for mailers in several recent state senate recall elections. WAW marked those entries with the disclaimer “We were not made aware of this invoice until after the election.”

According to state statutes and the GAB regulations, if there is an independent expenditure of more than $20 cumulatively to affect the election of a candidate during the 15 days after the close of the pre-primary or pre- election report and before the primary or general election, a Special Report of Independent Expenditures must be filed within 24 hours of making the expenditure. The information must also appear in the next regular report of the committee.

This week, We Are Wisconsin notified the GAB of previous disbursements against recently-defeated Republican state senators Dan Kapanke (La Crosse)  and Randy Hopper  (Fond du Lac). They also were delinquent in reporting expenditures in opposition to Republican senators Robert Cowles (Green Bay), Alberta Darling (River Hills), Shelia Harsdorf (River Falls) and in support of Senator Jim Holperin (D-Eagle River).

A call to the GAB seeking comment regarding We Are Wisconsin’s failure to comply with this requirement and whether an investigation into the matter was being conducted, went unreturned.

The new disbursements now on file with the GAB bring We Are Wisconsin’s total recall-related expenditures to more than $13 million.

We Are Wisconsin raised their money mainly from national labor unions. $2.9 million came from AFSCME, the AFL-CIO sent $5.7 million and the SEIU shipped $1.2 million. State and national teachers’ unions also sent more than $1.2 million to We Are Wisconsin.