Lawmakers Rely On Alien Contributors

Legislators accepted $2 of every $3 from donors who couldn’t vote for them

June 17, 2014

Madison – Legislators who approved a state budget and dozens of other policy and spending proposals in 2013 that benefited special interests accepted $2 of every $3 in campaign contributions from well-heeled donors who could not vote for them, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Republicans who control the Assembly and Senate raised nearly three times more large individual contributions than Democrats in 2013, but the percentage of out-of-district versus in-district contributions was the same both parties – 64 percent to 36 percent.

Legislators who served all or part of 2013 raised $1.63 million from individuals who gave them $100 or more. Republicans received about $1.22 million, including $784,659 from contributors outside their districts and $432,913 from their constituents. Democrats collectively accepted $412,921 in large individual contributions, including $263,100 from out-of-district contributors and $149,820 from their constituents (see Bar Chart below).

Bar Chart In-District and Out-of-District Contributions to Legislators in 2013

The ratio of in-district and out-of-district large contributions to legislators in 2013 remained about the same as most previous, odd numbered years since 2003 when out-of-district contributions ranged from 64 to 71 percent and in-district large individual contributions ranged from 29 to 36 percent.

The Democracy Campaign review of large, in-district and out-of-district individual contributions in 2013 also found:

  • Thirty-three legislators who make up a quarter of the legislature raised more than 75 percent of their large individual campaign donations from contributors who could not vote them, including 18 Democrats and 15 Republicans. Eight of those officeholders raised 100 percent of their large contributions from outside their districts led by Republican Representative Mike Kuglitsch of New Berlin at $9,200 and Democratic Representative Evan Goyke of Milwaukee at $2,200. The remaining six legislators raised between $100 and $600.
  • Those who collected the largest amount of out-of-district contributions in 2013 were legislative leaders, officeholders vying for higher office in the 2014 general elections and the winner of an Assembly special election last fall. Topping the list (Table 1) were Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau, GOP Representative Howard Marklein of Spring Green who is running for the open 17 th Senate seat now held by retiring Republican Senator Dale Schultz, Republican Representative John Nygren of Marinette who is co-chair of the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, GOP Representative Jessie Rodriguez of Franklin who won special election to the Assembly in November and Democratic Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee who is running for attorney general this fall. (See table 3 for a list of all members of the 2013 Legislature.)

Table 1
Top Out-of-District Fundraisers In 2013

Legislator Party District In-District
Raised
In-District
Percentage
Out-of-District
Raised
Out-of-District
Percentage
Total
Raised
Scott Fitzgerald R S13 $13,155 9% $137,192 91% $150,347
Howard Marklein R A51 $42,901 39% $66,391 61% $109,292
John Nygren R A89 $8,332 14% $50,027 86% $58,359
Jessie Rodriguez R A21 $2,065 4% $48,841 96% $50,906
Jon Richards D A19 $19,203 31% $42,755 69% $61,958
  • By legislative caucus (Table 2), Assembly Republicans and Senate Republicans who control both houses accepted the highest amounts of out-of-district contributions, but Assembly and Senate Democrats had the same proportion of out-of-district contributions – about two-thirds – as GOP legislators.

Table 2
In-District And Out-of-District Fundraising By Legislative Caucus

Caucus In-District
Raised
In-District
Percentage
Out-of-District
Raised
Out-of-District
Percentage
Total
Raised
Assembly Republicans $265,436 36% $462,887 64% $728,323
Assembly Democrats $114,472 36% $200,496 64% $314,968
Senate Republicans $167,477 34% $321,772 66% $489,249
Senate Democrats $35,349 36% $62,605 64% $97,943

The hefty contributions to majority Republican legislators in 2013 by powerful business, manufacturing, real estate, construction, transportation and health care interests among others coincided with legislation and a state budget that affected policy and spending involving education, transportation, health care, public safety and health, environmental regulation, consumer protection and liability, local government control, new or expanded business income and property tax breaks and credits and mining deregulation to accommodate a massive open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin.

Table 3
In-District and Out-of District Contributions to All Members of the 2013 Legislature

Listed from most out-of-district contributions to the least*

Key: D=Democrat, R=Republican, A=Assembly, S=Senate

Legislator Party District In-District In-District
Percentage
Out-District Out-District
Percentage
Total
Fitzgerald, Scott R S13 $13,155.00 8.75% $137,191.50 91.25% $150,346.50
Marklein, Howard R A51 $42,900.61 39.25% $66,391.00 60.75% $109,291.61
Nygren, John R A89 $8,332.00 14.28% $50,027.00 85.72% $58,359.00
Rodriguez, Jessie R A21 $2,065.00 4.06% $48,840.52 95.94% $50,905.52
Richards, Jon D A19 $19,203.00 30.99% $42,755.00 69.01% $61,958.00
Lasee, Frank R S01 $10,330.00 19.99% $41,347.00 80.01% $51,677.00
Kulp, Bob R A69 $22,525.00 35.37% $41,150.00 64.63% $63,675.00
Bernard Schaber, Penny D A57 $21,277.00 37.71% $35,146.23 62.29% $56,423.23
Vos, Robin R A63 $21,115.00 44.53% $26,300.00 55.47% $47,415.00
Petrowski, Jerry R S29 $30,339.55 54.48% $25,350.00 45.52% $55,689.55
Vukmir, Leah R S05 $14,359.00 38.00% $23,430.00 62.00% $37,789.00
Kooyenga, Dale R A14 $7,500.00 24.51% $23,097.79 75.49% $30,597.79
Vinehout, Kathleen D S31 $10,655.00 32.71% $21,921.57 67.29% $32,576.57
Farrow, Paul R S33 $13,165.00 40.80% $19,100.00 59.20% $32,265.00
Petryk, Warren R A93 $11,850.00 38.35% $19,050.00 61.65% $30,900.00
Kramer, Bill R A97 $6,700.00 27.57% $17,600.00 72.43% $24,300.00
Ellis, Michael R S19 $25,175.00 59.00% $17,495.00 41.00% $42,670.00
Weininger, Chad R A04 $7,855.00 32.05% $16,650.00 67.95% $24,505.00
Darling, Alberta R S08 $22,000.00 58.09% $15,870.00 41.91% $37,870.00
Wright, Mandy D A85 $15,612.82 50.88% $15,072.00 49.12% $30,684.82
Taylor, Chris D A76 $6,000.00 31.34% $13,145.00 68.66% $19,145.00
Tiffany, Tom R S12 $3,460.00 21.02% $12,998.00 78.98% $16,458.00
Tranel, Travis R A49 $12,550.00 50.58% $12,260.00 49.42% $24,810.00
Moulton, Terry R S23 $4,925.00 29.32% $11,875.00 70.68% $16,800.00
Krug, Scott S R A72 $1,800.00 13.92% $11,129.13 86.08% $12,929.13
Pridemore, Don R A22 $9,250.00 46.33% $10,714.36 53.67% $19,964.36
Bernier, Kathy R A68 $3,862.00 26.92% $10,482.00 73.08% $14,344.00
Brooks, Ed R A50 $15,350.00 60.28% $10,115.00 39.72% $25,465.00
Kuglitsch, Mike R A84 $0.00 0.00% $9,200.00 100.00% $9,200.00
Neylon, Adam R A98 $2,111.36 18.75% $9,150.00 81.25% $11,261.36
Wachs, Dana D A91 $3,815.00 31.62% $8,250.00 68.38% $12,065.00
Sargent, Melissa Agard D A48 $6,105.00 43.98% $7,775.82 56.02% $13,880.82
Gudex, Rick R S18 $4,108.50 35.55% $7,450.00 64.45% $11,558.50
Skowronski, Ken R A82 $11,080.93 60.04% $7,375.00 39.96% $18,455.93
Cullen, Tim D S15 $1,950.00 20.97% $7,350.00 79.03% $9,300.00
Sanfelippo, Joe R A15 $1,275.00 15.64% $6,876.39 84.36% $8,151.39
Ringhand, Janis D A45 $6,538.00 48.80% $6,860.00 51.20% $13,398.00
Pasch, Sandy D A10 $1,754.00 21.22% $6,510.00 78.78% $8,264.00
Kahl, Robb D A47 $3,000.00 31.58% $6,500.00 68.42% $9,500.00
Spiros, John R A86 $3,900.00 37.50% $6,500.00 62.50% $10,400.00
Doyle, Steve D A94 $3,985.00 38.97% $6,240.00 61.03% $10,225.00
Lassa, Julie D S24 $2,939.13 32.74% $6,038.09 67.26% $8,977.22
Swearingen, Rob R A34 $8,862.40 60.24% $5,850.00 39.76% $14,712.40
Harris, Nikiya D S06 $1,251.51 18.19% $5,630.00 81.81% $6,881.51
Erpenbach, Jon D S27 $3,775.00 42.54% $5,100.00 57.46% $8,875.00
Loudenbeck, Amy R A31 $1,850.00 27.82% $4,800.00 72.18% $6,650.00
Shilling, Jennifer D S32 $2,320.00 34.83% $4,340.00 65.17% $6,660.00
Czaja, Mary R A35 $5,055.00 54.27% $4,260.00 45.73% $9,315.00
Leibham, Joe R S09 $17,085.00 81.22% $3,950.00 18.78% $21,035.00
Kedzie, Neal R S11 $6,725.00 63.29% $3,900.00 36.71% $10,625.00
Kessler, Frederick P D A12 $100.00 2.56% $3,800.00 97.44% $3,900.00
Vruwink, Amy Sue D A70 $1,188.00 24.00% $3,763.00 76.00% $4,951.00
Riemer, Daniel D A07 $250.00 6.25% $3,750.00 93.75% $4,000.00
Jagler, John R A37 $2,000.00 34.93% $3,725.00 65.07% $5,725.00
Barnes, Mandela D A11 $200.00 5.70% $3,311.00 94.30% $3,511.00
Hesselbein, Dianne D A79 $1,500.00 31.25% $3,300.00 68.75% $4,800.00
Carpenter, Tim D S03 $1,640.00 33.47% $3,260.00 66.53% $4,900.00
Smith, Stephen D A75 $6,125.00 65.54% $3,220.00 34.46% $9,345.00
Knudson, Dean R A30 $14,742.07 83.09% $3,000.00 16.91% $17,742.07
Thiesfeldt, Jeremy R A52 $6,070.00 66.92% $3,000.00 33.08% $9,070.00
Zepnick, Josh D A09 $450.00 13.64% $2,849.00 86.36% $3,299.00
August, Tyler R A32 $2,775.00 49.55% $2,825.00 50.45% $5,600.00
Ohnstad, Tod D A65 $1,100.00 28.03% $2,825.00 71.97% $3,925.00
Barca, Peter D A64 $1,275.00 31.48% $2,775.00 68.52% $4,050.00
Nerison, Lee A R A96 $1,200.00 30.74% $2,703.84 69.26% $3,903.84
Murphy, Dave R A56 $1,250.00 31.65% $2,700.00 68.35% $3,950.00
Hansen, Dave D S30 $2,068.00 44.73% $2,555.00 55.27% $4,623.00
Kleefisch, Joel R A38 $1,000.00 28.37% $2,525.00 71.63% $3,525.00
Bewley, Janet D A74 $2,575.00 50.74% $2,500.00 49.26% $5,075.00
Genrich, Eric D A90 $350.00 12.28% $2,500.00 87.72% $2,850.00
Ballweg, Joan R A41 $3,000.00 54.79% $2,475.00 45.21% $5,475.00
Steineke, Jim R A05 $2,250.00 47.62% $2,475.00 52.38% $4,725.00
Weatherston, Tom R A62 $4,050.00 62.79% $2,400.00 37.21% $6,450.00
Kolste, Debra D A44 $2,200.00 48.35% $2,350.00 51.65% $4,550.00
Schraa, Michael R A53 $1,700.00 41.98% $2,350.00 58.02% $4,050.00
Mason, Cory D A66 $500.00 17.79% $2,310.00 82.21% $2,810.00
Jorgensen, Andy D A43 $125.00 5.26% $2,250.00 94.74% $2,375.00
Craig, Dave R A83 $1,430.00 39.02% $2,235.00 60.98% $3,665.00
Larson, Chris D S07 $1,600.00 41.78% $2,230.00 58.22% $3,830.00
Goyke, Evan D A18 $0.00 0.00% $2,200.00 100.00% $2,200.00
Endsley, Michael R A26 $100.00 4.76% $2,000.00 95.24% $2,100.00
Knodl, Dan R A24 $1,000.00 35.03% $1,855.00 64.97% $2,855.00
Lehman, John D S21 $1,050.00 36.84% $1,800.00 63.16% $2,850.00
Nass, Steve R A33 $1,300.00 42.62% $1,750.00 57.38% $3,050.00
Shankland, Katrina D A71 $3,204.00 65.43% $1,692.50 34.57% $4,896.50
Hintz, Gordon D A54 $2,500.00 60.24% $1,650.00 39.76% $4,150.00
Jauch, Bob D S25 $5,050.00 75.37% $1,650.00 24.63% $6,700.00
Ott, Jim R A23 $4,300.00 74.78% $1,450.00 25.22% $5,750.00
Harsdorf, Sheila R S10 $1,700.00 54.35% $1,427.72 45.65% $3,127.72
Pope-Roberts, Sondy D A80 $800.00 36.36% $1,400.00 63.64% $2,200.00
Born, Mark L R A39 $2,830.00 69.36% $1,250.00 30.64% $4,080.00
Johnson, La Tonya D A17 $190.00 13.19% $1,250.00 86.81% $1,440.00
Hutton, Rob R A13 $200.00 15.38% $1,100.00 84.62% $1,300.00
Zamarippa, JoCasta D A08 $100.00 9.09% $1,000.00 90.91% $1,100.00
Hebl, Gary D A46 $2,450.00 73.13% $900.00 26.87% $3,350.00
Jacque, Andre R A02 $1,700.00 66.67% $850.00 33.33% $2,550.00
Kapenga, Chris R A99 $0.00 0.00% $600.00 100.00% $600.00
Stroebel, Duey R A60 $1,700.00 73.91% $600.00 26.09% $2,300.00
Wirch, Robert D S22 $850.00 62.96% $500.01 37.04% $1,350.01
Larson, Tom R A67 $0.00 0.00% $500.00 100.00% $500.00
Murtha, John R A29 $100.00 16.67% $500.00 83.33% $600.00
Clark, Fred D A81 $0.00 0.00% $346.16 100.00% $346.16
Tittl, Paul R A25 $1,900.00 90.48% $200.00 9.52% $2,100.00
Grothman, Glenn R S20 $200.00 57.14% $150.00 42.86% $350.00
Schultz, Dale R S17 $200.00 59.17% $138.00 40.83% $338.00
Taylor, Lena C D S04 $100.00 43.48% $130.00 56.52% $230.00
Billings, Jill E D A95 $0.00 0.00% $100.00 100.00% $100.00
Danou, Chris D A92 $0.00 0.00% $100.00 100.00% $100.00
Lazich, Mary R S28 $550.00 84.62% $100.00 15.38% $650.00
Risser, Fred D S26 $100.00 50.00% $100.00 50.00% $200.00
Sinicki, Christine D A20 $0.00 0.00% $100.00 100.00% $100.00
Berceau, Terese D A77 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Bies, Garey R A01 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Cowles, Robert R S02 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Honadel, Mark R A21 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Hulsey, Brett D A78 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Kaufert, Dean R R A55 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Kerkman, Samantha R A61 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Kestell, Steve R A27 $250.00 100.00% $0.00 0.00% $250.00
Klenke, John R A88 $250.00 100.00% $0.00 0.00% $250.00
LeMahieu, Daniel R R A59 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Miller, Mark D S16 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Milroy, Nick D A73 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Mursau, Jeffrey L R A36 $100.00 100.00% $0.00 0.00% $100.00
Olsen, Luther R S14 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Ott, Al R A03 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Petersen, Kevin R A40 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Ripp, Keith R A42 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Severson, Erik R A28 $250.00 100.00% $0.00 0.00% $250.00
Stone, Jeff R A82 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Strachota, Pat R A58 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Suder, Scott R A69 $100.00 100.00% $0.00 0.00% $100.00
Tauchen, Gary R A06 $100.00 100.00% $0.00 0.00% $100.00
Williams, Mary R A87 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00
Young, Leon D A16 $0.00 0.00% $0.00 0.00% $0.00

*Contributions from contributors of $100 or more per legislator in in 2013.