A new conservative nonprofit, Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, has sprung up in advance of the 2016 elections and quickly claimed a pair of key Republican staffers.
The alliance announced this week that its communications director will be Chris Martin, formerly the communications director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. Its executive director, Luke Fuller, previously was chief of staff to state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa.
The group's website says it's "mobilizing Wisconsinites that share our vision for smaller government, lower taxes and expanded personal freedoms."
Martin told the State Journal that the alliance will engage in issue advocacy, or communications that highlight political issues -- including a candidate's record -- but don't expressly advocate for or against the candidate.
"We look forward to advocating state and federal policies that put taxpayers first," Martin said in a statement.
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Thus far, the alliance's social media posts have critiqued the record of Democrat Russ Feingold, who's running for U.S. Senate race against GOP Sen. Ron Johnson. The alliance's blog also has addressed state issues, touting school vouchers or calling for an overhaul of the Government Accountability Board.
A television or radio presence hasn't come yet from the group. But in the future, Martin said it will use "all available platforms to educate and engage Wisconsinites."
Martin declined to disclose the alliance's financial contributors. As a 501(c)4 group, the alliance is not required to make that information public.
Martha Laning, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, criticized the alliance in a statement for not revealing the source of its funding.
"This organization is another front group started for the sole purpose of attacking Democrats with untold amounts of anonymous money," Laning said.