Has the Republican Governors Association Hit the Panic Button?

Media Firm Working for RGA Reserves $2 Million in TV Time in April for Final Weeks of 2014 Election

MADISON, Wis. — According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a media firm that has already purchased $2 million in television airtime this year on behalf of the Republican Governors Association (RGA) has reserved another nearly $2 million worth of time in the final weeks before the November election. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the latest influx of out-of-state campaign cash looks like part of an increasingly desperate attempt to prop up Gov. Scott Walker by the special interest funded RGA.

“The Republican Governors Association is utterly failing to cover up the cronyism, corruption and incompetence of Gov. Scott Walker and his administration with millions in attack ads to date,” said Scot Ross. “This latest ad buy seems to be an admission that they’re going have to keep attacking Gov. Walker’s opponent with millions in negative ads to try to keep him in office.”

According to the newspaper story, the Washington D.C. based RGA has already spent over $2 million on ads purchased through the media buying firm Target Enterprises in 2014. Additional information disclosed in campaign finance filings, reveals they have also spent just over $200,000 in online advertising. The new ad buy for the final weeks of the campaign reportedly spends heavily in the Milwaukee and La Crosse media markets with time also reserved in Green Bay and Wausau.

The RGA, headed by fellow scandal plagued Gov. Chris Christie, is notorious for shaking down special interests to fund attack ads to keep governors favorable to their narrow corporate self-interest in office. Notable Wisconsin funders of the RGA include the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, the owners of Jack Link’s — recipients of large taxpayer funded grants from the Walker administration — and right-wing millionaire Terry Kohler. Recent campaign finance filings have revealed a $1 million donation to the RGA from a Milwaukee couple, and a transfer of the same amount of money to the Right Direction Wisconsin PAC that is running the negative TV ads just 11 days later.

Ross concluded, “The wealthy and corporate special interests that have bankrolled Gov. Walker seem more and more alarmed with what the polls show. This latest spending spree apparently intended to try to bail out Gov. Walker is yet another sign that his trickle down economic agenda is intended to appease the corporate special interests funding the ads instead of helping out the hard working families of Wisconsin.”

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One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.