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Conservation Voters Lead Efforts To Elect Leaders Who Will Protect Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Ryan Billingham   
Monday, 05 November 2018 16:06

clean-drinking-waterNonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded to protect Wisconsin's public health and natural resources steps into the election process big this year to ensure elected leaders hear the priorities of people.

MADISON – In 2018, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and related entities invested more than $1.5 million to elect Tony Evers as governor, Mandela Barnes lieutenant Governor, Josh Kaul attorney general, Sarah Godlewski state treasurer, and to support state senate candidates who are dedicated to conservation values and committed to defending clean air, clean water, and open spaces.

Earlier this year, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters played a key role in helping to elect Senator Patty Schachtner and Senator Caleb Frostman in special elections and in securing a “no” vote on a spring ballot referendum that would have eliminated the office of state treasurer.

metallic-sulfide-mining-runoffNow is the time to build on this progress and increase the growing, widespread support for conservation in Wisconsin. In this year’s governor’s race, voters are responding positively to Tony Evers’ commitment to protecting our environment over Scott Walker’s history of siding with polluters and his refusal to stand up to the Trump administration’s attacks on our clean air and water. From the debate stage and TV screens to conversations with voters at their doors, environmental issues are breaking through the often contentious campaign rhetoric.

caleb-frostman-farmWe still have a final sprint before the polls close on Tuesday night, but one thing is clear: Wisconsin’s conservation community has stepped up in a huge way to ensure that our elected leaders hear the priorities of people and reclaim Wisconsin’s legacy as an environmental leader.

See below for an overview of Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters election work in 2018:

Over $1.5 Million Invested

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has invested over $1.5 million in 2018 electoral spending focused on direct voter contact, digital persuasion and mobilization, and investment in individual campaigns by WLCV PAC and through GiveGreen.

  • Television: $690,000 in ads supporting Tony Evers for Governor and Senator Frostman
  • Digital: $470,000 for a digital program focused on persuading and turning out voters for Tony Evers and state senate candidates
  • Radio: $50,000 spent in state senate races
  • Mail: $50,000 spent to persuade and turn out voters in state senate races
  • Direct contributions: Over $16,000 contributed by Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters PAC to state legislative candidates
  • GiveGreen in the States: Nearly $350,000 contributed by environmental donors directly to key statewide candidates and states senate races via GiveGreen, a project of the LCV Victory Fund and NextGen America.

Over 20,000 Door Knocks

Voter mobilization is key to electing environmental champions up and down the ballot. That’s why Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has prioritized direct voter contact and, once again, ran one of the largest field programs outside of the campaign itself.

Since the June special election, our field program has reached tens of thousands of voters across Wisconsin:

  • 21,260 door knocks to reach persuadable voters in Senate Districts 1 and 17
  • More than 10,000 additional door knocks to turn out voters during the final week

Environmental Messaging Breaks Through

This year, clean water and climate change have been defining issues for statewide and legislative races. Polling and conversations with voters indicate that Wisconsinites are very concerned about water quality and maintaining strong environmental protections.

Tony Evers has frequently criticized Walker for his assault on science-based decision making and lack of enforcement of environmental protections and funding of Department of Natural Resources staff.

Drinking water has been a top issue in the state senate. From the driftless region to the Door peninsula, voters are concerned about groundwater contamination from manure spills and the harmful effects it has on our families, fish, and wildlife.

In Wisconsin’s Senate District 1, our campaign ads have called attention to the need to find real solutions to the 30 percent or more of contaminated private wells in Kewaunee County. Sen. Frostman is the leader we need to bring stakeholders together to solve the problem. For six years, Frostman’s opponent, Rep. Andre Jacque, has refused to lead on this major issue affecting northeast Wisconsin. He has voted time and again for policies that weaken protections for water around the state. By keeping a steady drumbeat on Jacque’s abysmal record on water, we’re making sure that voters know the truth and take that knowledge with them to the polls.

Finally, Walker’s and Jacque’s records of putting polluters above people earned them the honor of being named to the Dirty Dozen in the States – the state-level companion to the national League of Conservation Voters’ Dirty Dozen – which highlights 12 of the most anti-environment state-level candidates from around the country whom state LCVs are working to defeat. At the same time, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters also launched Walker’s Wisconsin to expose Walker’s longstanding anti-conservation record.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters’ Influence in Governor’s Race

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters spent over $650,000 to elect pro-conservation candidate Tony Evers as governor. Highlights include:

WMTV, 10/31/2018

Groups ramping up spending in tight legislative races

WisPolitics, 10/26/2018

New TV ad calls out Walker for looking out for polluters, donors over WI families

Urban Milwaukee, 9/12/2018

81 Wisconsin Candidates Take 100% Clean Energy by 2050 Pledge

Wisconsin Gazette, 9/10/2018

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters releases its full slate of endorsements

Winning Down Ballot – State Legislative Races

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is working to elect a conservation majority to the state senate by prioritizing two incumbents and five challengers in state senate races. To accomplish that, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has raised and invested $614,000 in state senate races in total this year.

Key endorsed candidates include:

Prioritized incumbents

  • SD01 – Senator Caleb Frostman (D- Sturgeon Bay)
  • SD25 – Senator Janet Bewley (D- Ashland)

Prioritized challengers

  • SD05 – Julie Henszey (D- Wauwatosa)
  • SD09 – Kyle Whelton (D- Sheboygan)
  • SD17 – Kriss Marion (D- Blanchardville)
  • SD19 – Lee Snodgrass (D- Appleton)
  • SD23 – Chris Kapsner (D- Sheridan)
  • SD31 – Jeff Smith (D – Eau Claire)

Moving Forward

With pro-conservation wins up and down the ballot, Wisconsinites will be one step closer to reclaiming our state’s legacy as an environmental leader.

Next legislative session, conservation voters will work to expand water protections that will cut down on manure contamination in wells, reduce sources of lead in our faucets, and pass policies so Wisconsin can be a leader in the clean energy economy.

Making progress is not possible without leaders who will put our communities ahead of polluters, which is why Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters made a substantial investment in electing decision-makers committed to conservation and willing to provide consistent leadership to protect, preserve, and improve Wisconsin’s environment. No matter the result next Tuesday, conservation voters will continue to hold our elected official accountable.


Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable, and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin's public health and natural resources.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 12:29
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