The group, which has traditionally supported Democratic women candidates who favor abortion rights, won’t say precisely how much it plans to spend in Wisconsin, only that it is significant and will be used for a range of activities including voter outreach and media.
For now, a sizable part of that money will be used to buy ads in two districts that boarder Minnesota.
Democrat Shelly Moore is running in Wisconsin’s 10th district, which is adjacent to the Twin Cities area, and Jennifer Shilling, is running in the state’s 32nd district, which includes La Crosse.
EMILY’s List’s efforts in Wisconsin go beyond the organization’s traditional stand on the abortion issue, said group president Stephanie Schriock. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s policies on collective bargaining, education and health care have broader effects on women.
“These policies are a very direct attack on woman to have economic security and viability to move forward,” she said, pointing to the state’s fiery debate over collective bargaining rights for public employees as an example. Most teachers, she said, are women.
Typically the group endorses a candidate and financially supports the candidate through media and voter outreach with so-called coordinated expenditures.
In Wisconsin, EMILY’s List will depart from its traditional model and use independent expenditures to promote candidates. This type of spending is done without consulting candidates and isn’t subject to the same legal limits as spending done by the campaigns and political parties.