Twelve Violate Contribution Limit in 2005

Violators include two repeat offenders, another who gave double the limit

May 11, 2006

Madison - Twelve wealthy contributors violated the annual $10,000 limit on campaign contributions to state political candidates and committees in 2005, including two who exceeded the limit in 2002 and a Texas contributor who gave $20,000 to two candidates, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

All of the offenders made most of their contributions to statewide candidates for governor, attorney general and state school superintendent.

One of the repeat offenders was identified last October by WDC as having already exceeded the limit in the first six months of 2005. James Connelly, a Foley & Lardner lawyer from Milwaukee, was later fined $800 – the amount of his contributions which exceeded the $10,000 limit as of June 30, 2005 – by the State Elections Board. However, a review of reports recently compiled for the final six months of 2005 shows Connelly made an additional $200 contribution on August 30, for a total of $11,000 in contributions in 2005 (see table below) to Republican candidates.

Another repeat violator was Richard Blomquist, a Milwaukee financial consultant, who doled out $15,000 in 2005 to three Republican candidates for governor, attorney general and state school superintendent.

The repeat violations followed 2002 contribution limit violations by Connelly and Blomquist that were dealt with lightly by the Elections Board. Connelly was fined a meager $250 in 2002 when he contributed $7,500 more than the legal limit and Blomquist contributed $4,900 more than the limit and was fined nothing.

State campaign finance laws allow the board to fine contribution violators $500 plus triple the amount that they exceed the $10,000 limit.

The 2005 contributor who exceeded the limit by the most was Kent Caperton of Austin, TX, a former Texas Democratic legislator and now a high powered lobbyist who has worked for numerous law firms, representing powerful special interests like Southwestern Bell. Caperton, who had never contributed to a candidate in Wisconsin before, gave $10,000 in late December to Democratic Governor Jim Doyle and Democratic Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager.

The other nine contributors who violated the individual contribution limit in 2005 were:

  • George Dalton of Nashotah, founder of marketing firm Call Solutions and financial services company Fiserv, contributed $10,100 to Republican candidates.
  • Gregg Steinberg of Northbrook, IL, an executive with International Profit Associates-Integrated Business Analysis. The firm sells consulting services to businesses. Steinberg’s contributions drew attention earlier this year when Doyle and Lautenschlager pledged to return $15,000 in contributions they received from him in 2005 after the company reached an out-of-court settlement with the state involving complaints about its business practices. But Steinberg should still be fined because state law says an illegal contribution must be returned within 15 days in order to avoid a violation.
  • Gordon Faulkner, a Madison physician, contributed $14,000 to two Democratic candidates and a Democratic fundraising committee.
  • Mark Bradley, a Wausau attorney with Ruder, Ware & Michler, contributed $11,700 to five Democratic candidates, including $9,500 to Doyle.
  • Donald Long, a DePere tool manufacturer who owns Imperial Incorporated, contributed $10,400 to two Republican candidates.
  • Beverly Greenberg, of Madison, a Time Warner Cable executive who contributed $10,713 to both Republican and Democratic candidates, including $8,000 to Doyle.
  • Mark Irgens, a Wauwatosa developer who owns Irgens Development Partners, contributed $10,381 to Doyle and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker.
  • George Gialamas of Madison, a developer who owns the Gialamas Company, contributed $10,250, mostly to Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green and Doyle. Each received $5,000 about a month apart late last year.
  • Terrence Wall, of Madison, a developer who owns High Crossing Development, contributed $10,605 to five Republican candidates for statewide office and the legislature, and Democratic attorney general candidate Kathleen Falk.

Table
Contribution Limit Violaters

CONTRIBUTOR
LOCATION
BUSINESS
CONTRIBUTION
DATE
CANDIDATE OR
COMMITTEE
AMOUNT
James Connelly
Milwaukee
Foley & Lardner
8/30/05 Alberta Darling $200.00
6/29/05 Michael Huebsch $300.00
5/10/05 Paul Bucher $5,000.00
4/26/05 Mark Green $5,000.00
1/7/05 John Gard $500.00
  TOTAL $11,000.00
 
Richard Blomquist
Milwaukee
Blomquist Benefits Consulting
12/29/05 Scott Walker $7,000.00
6/30/05 JB Van Hollen $1,000.00
6/13/05 Scott Walker $2,000.00
2/3/05 Gregg Underheim $5,000.00
  TOTAL $15,000.00
 
Kent Caperton
Austin , TX
Ben Barnes Group
12/31/05 Jim Doyle $10,000.00
12/29/05 Peg Lautenschlager $10,000.00
  TOTAL $20,000.00
 
George Dalton
Nashotah
Call Solutions
11/28/05 Theodore Kanavas $100.00
10/19/05 Scott Walker $500.00
6/29/05 Scott Walker $9,500.00
  TOTAL $10,100.00
 
George Gialamas
Madison
Gialamas Co
12/8/05 Mark Green $5,000.00
11/2/05 Jim Doyle $5,000.00
5/21/05 Theodore Kanavas $250.00
  TOTAL $10,250.00
 
Gregg Steinberg
Northbrook , IL
IPA-IBA
12/12/05 Peg Lautenschlager $5,000.00
6/24/05 Peg Lautenschlager $5,000.00
5/10/05 Jim Doyle $5,000.00
  TOTAL $15,000.00
 
Gordon Faulkner
Madison
Physician – No employer disclosed
10/20/05 Jim Doyle $4,000.00
10/6/05 State Senate Democratic Committee $5,000.00
1/27/05 Elizabeth Burmaster $5,000.00
  TOTAL $14,000.00
 
Donald Long
DePere
Imperial Inc
8/24/05 JB Van Hollen $400.00
4/11/05 Mark Green $10,000.00
  TOTAL $10,400.00
 
Mark Bradley
Wausau
Ruder, Ware & Michler
12/19/05 Kathleen Falk $1,000.00
9/2/05 Donna Seidel $100.00
5/20/05 Jim Doyle $7,000.00
5/2/05 Gary Sherman $100.00
2/7/05 Elizabeth Burmaster $1,000.00
1/19/05 Jim Doyle $2,500.00
  TOTAL $11,700 .00
 
Beverly Greenberg
Milwaukee
Time Warner Cable
12/13/05 Theodore Kanavas $200.00
11/7/05 Jim Doyle $573.30
8/16/05 Jim Doyle $4,926.70
7/28/05 Alberta Darling $150.00
6/30/05 Jim Doyle $2,500.00
4/19/05 Alberta Darling $500.00
3/28/05 Barbara Lawton $500.00
3/24/05 Barbara Lawton $1,363.23
  TOTAL $10,713.23
 
Mark Irgens
Milwaukee
Irgens Development Partners
12/31/05 Scott Walker* $500.00
11/22/05 Jim Doyle $2,000.00
10/13/05 Scott Walker* $2,500.00
10/12/05 Scott Walker* $1,381.10
6/8/05 Scott Walker $1,000.00
5/27/05 Jim Doyle $3,000.00
  TOTAL $10,381.10
 
Terrence Wall
Madison
High Cross Development
12/9/05 Kathleen Falk $1,000.00
10/18/05 Brett Davis $250.00
10/10/05 Scott Walker $122.40
9/19/05 Mark Green $250.00
9/8/05 Scott Walker $1,382.52
8/30/05 Brett Davis $100.00
8/26/05 Dale Schultz $250.00
6/30/05 Scott Walker $5,000.00
6/28/05 Mark Green $250.00
5/27/05 Scott Walker $1,000.00
4/20/05 Scott Walker $250.00
3/16/05 Mark Green $500.00
3/3/05 Gregg Underheim $250.00
  TOTAL $10,604.92

*Denotes Irgens’ split share of a joint contribution made by him and his wife.