MADISON, Wis. — A special interest group that calls itself a partner of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) will begin spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on television starting Friday to promote Scott Walker in the Republican primary for governor.
The statewide ad buy, estimated at over $200,000 over two weeks, is being paid by for the corporate anti-accountability group, American Justice Partnership (AJP), which names WMC as a “State Partner” on its website. AJP currently features two pro-Walker ads on its website, www.americanjusticepartnership.org, claiming “There’s a new hero in Wisconsin” and soliciting donations “to help AJP run more educational issues like this one” on the webpage.
“Scott Walker’s budget-busting $2 billion handout to the rich and big business got him huge applause from WMC’s February lobbying luncheon,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Now, the big businesses and CEOs, which would benefit from Walker’s opening of the Las Vegas loophole his income tax cut for only the top one percent of income earners, are investing their expected savings to get him elected.”
AJP was created by the National Association of Manufacturers and claims as “successes” the election of pro-corporate Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman. WMC spent a combined $4 million+ during those races, but came under fire from some of its members for the misleading, negative commercials it ran. AJP, which has stepped in to run these ads during the hotly-contested GOP gubernatorial primary between Walker and Mark Neumann, features these previous WMC ads on its site: http://www.americanjusticepartnership.org/the_states.php.
The Walker ads, scheduled to run in advance of the state GOP
Madison convention in the Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau and Green Bay media markets, promote him as a job creator, something he has utterly failed to be throughout his long tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. AJP says its main issue is court “reform” “¢ limiting a victims’ ability to collect from negligent corporations which cause harm or death, but only one of the two ads has even a passing reference to the issue.
AJP is also one of the largest donors to the Republican State Leadership Committee, giving $2 million since 2006. JB Van Hollen accepted $10,000 in campaign contributions from RSLC and consulted with its political director about a lawsuit against the federal health insurance reform bill. AJP’s website also features advertisements run by WMC against Kathleen Falk in 2006, Van Hollen’s opponent. WMC spent an estimated $2.5 million in Van Hollen’s razor-thin victory.