Walker, Donors Accused Of 24 Violations Of Campaign Finance Law

Reports show Walker accepted and donors gave more than the $10,000 allowed by law

July 6, 2011

Madison – The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign filed complaints Wednesday accusing Republican Governor Scott Walker and 10 wealthy contributors of 24 violations of state campaign finance law.

A review of Walker’s campaign reports covering his last gubernatorial election period from July 1, 2008 through December 31, 2010 shows 10 contributors, including a donor Walker later chose as his state insurance commissioner, exceeded the $10,000 maximum that each was allowed to contribute to the campaign during the period.

In addition to the complaint against Walker’s campaign, the Democracy Campaign also filed complaints against each of the 10 contributors for exceeding the $10,000 limit on contributions they were allowed to give the governor during an election period. Finally, four of these contributors also were accused in complaints of violating the $10,000 annual limit in 2010 on campaign contributions an individual is allowed to make to all state and local candidates and political committees.

The complaints were filed with the state Government Accountability Board which enforces the state’s campaign finance, ethics and lobbying laws.

Topping the list (Table) of those who exceeded the election cycle contribution limit to Walker was Michael H. White of River Hills who gave contributions totaling $15,000, followed by Richard Pieper of Mequon whose contributions totaled $12,800 and Stephen Ziegler of Oconomowoc who gave $11,000.

The four contributors each accused of two violations – one for violating the election cycle contribution limit to Walker and another for violating the annual individual giving limit to all candidates in 2010 – were White for his $15,000 worth of contributions in 2010 to Walker and Pieper who contributed $13,550 to all candidates in 2010, including $8,800 to Walker, $4,000 to Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett and $750 to three legislative candidates and a candidate for lieutenant governor. Thomas Schneider of Fish Creek contributed $10,300 in 2010 – all of it to Walker – and Ted Nickel, who Walker later chose to become his state insurance commissioner, who gave Walker $10,255 during the election cycle and $10,105 in 2010 to all candidates, including $9,755 to Walker, $250 to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and $100 to Republican state Senate candidate Pam Galloway.

Walker’s campaign reports also showed one additional contributor, John Schmidt of Combined Locks, violated the election cycle limit by giving the governor $10,500. However, further digging by the Democracy Campaign found two contributions totaling $2,500 erroneously applied to Schmidt. One $2,000 contribution was actually made by his wife and another $500 contribution was a joint donation by the Schmidts, effectively putting his total contributions to Walker at $8,250 for the election cycle.

Table
Contributors Who Exceeded The $10,000 Election Cycle
Contribution Limit To Governor Scott Walker

Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Michael H. White
River Hills, WI
Rite Hite Corporation

 

Pre-election 2010 10/11/10 $5,000*
July 2010 5/24/10 $5,000
July 2010 6/30/10 $5,000
TOTAL $15,000
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Richard Pieper
Mequon, WI
Pieper Electric

 

January 2009 9/3/08 $3,000
January 2010 10/13/09 $500
January 2010 10/16/09 $500
July 2010 2/10/10 $3,000
January 2011 10/24/10 $5,800
TOTAL $12,800
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Stephen Ziegler
Oconomowoc, WI
Inpro Corporation

 

July 2009 3/18/09 $3,000
July 2010 6/9/10 $8,000
TOTAL $11,000
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Paul W. Jones
Chenequa, WI
A.O. Smith

 

January 2009 10/30/08 $3,000
July 2009 6/18/09 $500
January 2010 8/31/09 $1,500
July 2010 1/10/10 $5,000
July 2010 5/15/10 $1,000
TOTAL $11,000
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Thomas Schneider
Fish Creek, WI
Schneider National

 

January 2010 9/12/10 $250
July 2010 3/24/10 $300
Pre-election 2010 10/10/10 $5,000
Pre-election 2010 10/01/10 $5,000
TOTAL $10,550
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Frederick M. Young
Racine, WI
Retired

 

January 2009 8/22/08 $2,500
July 2009 6/10/09 $5,000
January 2010 11/16/09 $1,000
July 2010 5/21/10 $1,000
Pre-election 2010 9/3/10 $1,000
TOTAL $10,500
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Roy Reiman
Milwaukee, WI
Hexagon Investments

 

January 2009 8/22/08 $3,000
July 2009 6/24/09 $250
January 2010 10/15/09 $1,000
July 2010 3/26/10 $5,750
Pre-primary 2010 8/23/10 $500
TOTAL $10,500
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Ted Nickel
Merrill, WI
Church Mutual

 

January 2009 10/13/08 $500
Pre-primary 2010 8/30/10 $9,000
Pre-primary 2010 8/30/10 $755
TOTAL $10,255
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Nancy A. Toll
Franklin, WI
Retired

 

July 2009 5/18/09 $1,000
January 2010 9/28/09 $1,000
July 2010 2/23/10 $500
July 2010 3/26/10 $1,000
July 2010 6/29/10 $1,000
Pre-election 2010 9/20/10 $2,000
January 2011 10/19/10 $500
January 2011 10/20/10 $3,000
January 2011 12/29/10 $250
TOTAL $10,250
 
Contributor, Location,
Employer
Filing Period/Report Date Amount
Peter O. Johnson
Madison, WI
Retired

 

January 2010 7/29/09 $100
July 2010 5/10/10 $100
Pre-election 2010 10/8/10 $9,900
TOTAL $10,100

*This entry represents Michael H. White’s share of a $10,000 joint contribution made with his wife, Cathy.