Mike Browne, Deputy Director
MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker’s former campaign manager, pollsters and digital team ganged up to form a super-PAC, ostensibly for the benefit of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir. But, based on the recent ad the PAC says it is spending $625,000 to air on statewide cable and television and digitally, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered for whom are they working?
“Scott Walker’s old campaign team is supposed to be working for Leah Vukmir,” commented Ross. “But the ad they’ve produced features their old boss, his rhetoric and his agenda and is funded by a handful of his major donors. It makes you wonder, who is it they’re really trying to help?”
In the 30-second ad, supposedly produced to promote Leah Vukmir’s campaign, Scott Walker is mentioned by name three times, his name is displayed in writing three times and the camera lingers on a photo of a smiling Walker in the foreground and Vukmir standing behind him. The spot also features Walker’s offensive characterization of the teachers, nurses and public safety workers who opposed his stripping of their workplace protections as “thugs.”
Ross noted that campaign finance records reveal the PAC relies on major Walker donors for its funding. Diane Hendricks, who wrote the largest single campaign check to a candidate in state history to Scott Walker, has contributed $500,000 and an employee of the Hendricks-owned ABC Supply added $25,000. The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, that has funneled significant sums into Walker’s election efforts through the Republican Governors Association, kicked in $500,000 and Fred Young, with over $73,000 in contributions directly to Gov. Walker, added $25,000.
Ross concluded, “Scott Walker has always been willing to do or say anything to try to win an election. Now it looks like that extends to featuring himself in ads that are supposed to be for other candidates.”