In Wisconsin, PACs combined to raise over $90.3 million during the 2020 election cycle, boosting candidates and initiatives up and down the ballot. The interests of influential PACs leading up to the November elections offer a glimpse into the types of issues and policies that may be reflected in lawmakers’ legislative decisions in 2021.
Of all of the money that flowed into Wisconsin’s 2020 races, these are the PACs that raised the most. Given the breadth of both their party recognition and their reach, it probably comes as no surprise that the majority of the top PACs are specifically aligned with either the Democratic or Republican party of Wisconsin.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is the Democratic Party’s state organization in the Badger State, boosting organizing efforts across the state. According to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission data, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin raised $27,639,905 during the 2020 election cycle, with its top contributor, Karla T Jurvetson, contributing $2,800,000.
Second on the top PACs list is the counterpart to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. The Republican Party of Wisconsin reported raising $11,827,383 during the 2020 election cycle, with top donor Diane M Hendricks contributing $2,900,000.
The Wisconsin Republican Assembly Campaign Committee reported $5,823,700 in contributions during the 2020 election cycle, boosting the successful effort by Republicans to retain control of the State Assembly. Top contributor Elizabeth Uihlein was reported as contributing $804,000 to the PAC during the 2020 election cycle.
Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin was the primary backer of the successful effort to pass The Wisconsin Marsy’s Law Crime Victims Rights Amendment in 2020. Receiving just under 75 percent of the vote during an April 2020 election, voters backed the proposal’s passage. The committee reported raising $4,438,884 during the 2020 election cycle.
A Better Wisconsin Together’s website describes the organization as a “state-based research and communications hub for progressives.” The organization’s political fund brought in 4,376,101 during the 2020 election cycle, with Wisconsin State Victory Committee serving as the group’s top contributor, kicking in $1,200,000.
The Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee backed Democrats across the state who sought election to State Assembly seats in 2020. According to their Ethics Commission reports, the committee picked up $3,353,235 in contributions during the 2020 election cycle. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin served as the committee’s top contributor, reporting $1,140,211 in contributions to the organization.
The Committee to Elect a Republican Senate found success in 2020, with Republicans retaining control of the State Senate and expanding their majority in the chamber. According to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, the committee reported $3,184,765 in contributions, with the Republican Party of Wisconsin serving as top contributor with $200,000 in donations reported.
The State Senate Democratic Committee is next up on the list of the state’s top PACs, following its efforts to back Democrats seeking Senate seats last year. The committee reported $2,598,356 in contributions during the cycle. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin served as the group’s top donor, contributing $886,800.
The Republican State Leadership Committee – Judicial Fairness Initiative supports Republicans seeking offices in the judiciary. According to our data, the committee reported $2,143,061 in contributions in 2020, with its parent PAC, the Republican State Leadership Committee Inc, serving as the committee’s top donor.
The Greater Wisconsin Political Independent Expenditure Fund’s website says the group “continuously conducts aggressive grassroots and media campaigns on the important public policy issues facing Wisconsin.” The website also features advertisements in support of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Judge Lisa Neubauer, who won re-election to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in 2020. The group reported $1,231,096 in contributions in 2020.