Six Well-Heeled Contributors Violate Campaign Finance Laws
September 26, 2001
Madison - Six of Wisconsin’s most generous contributors to Republican and Democratic campaigns violated state campaign finance laws during the first six months of 2001 by exceeding the annual $10,000 limit on contributions, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
A WDC analysis of records filed with the State Elections Board shows that the six each contributed between $10,200 and $12,950 (See table). The recipients included 11 Republicans, eight Democrats and the two non-partisan candidates for state school superintendent.
Topping the list was Stephen Marcus of Milwaukee, chairman and president of Marcus Corp. which owns a chain of movie theaters and several hotels. Campaign records show Marcus contributed $12,950 to mostly Republican candidates, including $9,250 to Gov. Scott McCallum.
Sandra Mills, a Menasha wholesale trade company executive, contributed $10,625, including $10,500 to McCallum and school superintendent candidate Linda Cross. She and her husband made $250 in joint contributions to two other candidates. For joint contributions, it has been the Elections Board’s practice to evenly split contributions between spouses to determine whether contribution limits have been violated.
Kenneth Hendricks, a Janesville construction company owner, and Julilly Kohler, a Milwaukee real estate developer, contributed $10,500 to candidates between January and June. Hendricks contributed most of his money - $10,000 - to McCallum. Kohler’s contributions included $6,000 to school superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster and another $4,500 to Democratic legislators and gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett.
Rounding out the list of violators were Madison auto dealer Ron Thorstad, who contributed $10,250, and David Mann, an Elkhorn road builder, who contributed $10,200. Thorstad contributed $10,000 to Democratic Attorney General James Doyle who is a candidate for governor in 2002, and $250 to two Senate Democrats. Mann contributed $10,000 to McCallum and $200 to an Assembly Republican and a GOP Senate candidate.