Wisconsin Progress and ADCC: All in the Family
Last month a government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against a group that trains and recruits Democratic candidates in Wisconsin and the state Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee. The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s complaint accuses Wisconsin Progress of contributing more than eight times the allowable limit to the ADCC between July and October of 2016. While this complaint was covered by the media, the incestuous relationship between Wisconsin Progress, the ADCC and various other liberal organizations went unreported.
For starters, at the time of the contributions in question, Jason Sidener was the chairman of the board for Wisconsin Progress. He is now the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Progress also has both Jackie Boynton and Sandy Pasch on their board. Both Boynton and Pasch have been long involved in a range of left-leaning groups, including the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin and Citizens Action of Wisconsin. Media Trackers reported extensively on the intriguing backgrounds of both back in 2011:
Jackie Boynton is a Milwaukee attorney who has been actively involved in numerous progressive organizations in Wisconsin. Besides working as campaign treasurer for the Sandy Pasch for Senate Campaign, Boynton also works as treasurer for Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
As has been documented in recent days, Citizen Action of Wisconsin is a left-wing umbrella organization that boasts as its affiliates WEAC, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, SEIU, and numerous other left-wing interest groups.
Most prominently, and clearly most embarassing, among Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s affiliates is Wisconsin Jobs Now!, the organization that has been caught red-handed in what appears to be an illegal voter drive conducted on August 1. In the wake of the scandal, Wisconsin Jobs Now! went to work scrubbing their website of connections between themselves and Citizen Action of Wisconsin, including deleting the address and phone number which happens to be the same as Citizen Action, as well as deleting the name Matthew Brusky as treasurer for the organization who happens to be the Political Director for Citizen Action.
But Jackie Boynton’s connection to left-wing organizations goes far beyond Citizen Action of Wisconsin.
As far back as 2007, Jackie Boynton was one of the founding members of a secretive organization known as the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin. The Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin is a group of 25 very wealthy liberal donors who help fund nearly every left-wing organization in Wisconsin.
The Board of Directors for the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin include Jackie Boynton, Grant Abert, Melinda Scott Krei, Don Layden, Leonard Sobczak, and Anne Summers who represents Lynde Uihlein. Larry Marx, a former program officer for the large left-wing Proteus Fund, is the Executive Director for the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin.
The Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin boasts funding of over $1.7 million with leverage of over $3 million to fund left-wing organizations in Wisconsin. The goal of the organization is “short term wins and permanent infrastructure” with the mission of “working in partnership with Wisconsin organizations to enact enduring progressive values through systemic change.”
What makes the liberal in-breeding of the groups in question notable is that Matt Rothschild, executive director of the left-leaning Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, told the Capitol Times that it was action by Republicans in the Legislature and Governor Scott Walker that led his group to look into legislative campaign committees activity:
Rothschild said the group has been looking closely at legislative campaign committees’ finance reports since the Republican-led Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker approved changes to state campaign finance laws in 2015, including allowing corporate contributions to political parties and campaign committees. The changes took effect at the beginning of 2016.
“Corporate donations to campaigns were against the law for more than 100 years, and we vigorously opposed this change in the law. This is an area that is ripe for corruption on all sides,” Rothschild said.
The complaint filed with the state Ethics Commission last month alleges that Wisconsin Progress did $97,340 worth of research work on behalf of the ADCC in the last half of 2016. That could violate a state law limiting donations by corporations to $12,000 per year, the complaint alleges.