Mining Project Execs Gave Walker $10,000

Mining industry, law firm contributed nearly $40,000 in two months

December 15, 2010

Madison – Republican Governor-elect Scott Walker accepted $10,000 in campaign contributions from a mining company owner and one of his executives around the time the company reportedly contacted Walker about developing an open-pit iron ore mine, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

In addition, mine developer Christopher Cline of Beckley, West Virginia, several executives with his out-of-state mining companies, a law firm he does business with and owners of the northern Wisconsin land where the mine may be located contributed $29,750 to Democratic State Senator Jeff Plale, Republican Representative Mark Honadel, both of South Milwaukee, and Republican legislative candidate Shirl LaBarre of Hayward (Table).

The Democracy Campaign’s preliminary review of the latest campaign finance reports filed with the state shows the contributions to Walker and the others, totaling $39,750, were made between August 3 and October 7 from 29 individuals. All but one individual were first-time contributors to Wisconsin legislative and statewide candidates.

Walker’s latest campaign report shows he received $8,000 from Cline and $2,000 from John Dickinson II of Jupiter, Florida on September 24. Cline owns Gogebic Taconite which purchased an option in last spring to lease the mineral rights on 22 miles of land in Iron and Ashland counties.

Dickinson II is president of Cline Resources and Development, and met with Democratic State Senator Bob Jauch of Poplar last August about the state’s mining approval process.

Plale accepted $13,000 between August 6 and September 9 from Cline and eight of his executives and some of their spouses; $1,000 August 27 from John Congdon president of La Pointe Iron Company which is one of the group of companies from which Cline purchased the mineral rights for the project; and $6,250 from attorneys with Bailey & Glasser and some of their spouses. The firm has handled numerous mining cases and business transactions for Cline and the industry.

LaBarre got $3,500 from Cline and three of his executives and some of their spouses; $2,000 from Bailey & Glasser attorneys; and $1,500 from Daniel Clark of Friendswood, Texas; and Russell Gordy of Houston, Texas, and his wife. Clark and Gordy control RGGS Land and Minerals which is another in the group of companies from which Cline purchased the mineral rights for the project. LaBarre got all of the contributions October 7.

Honadel accepted contributions totaling $2,500 August 3 and August 5 from Cline and two of his executives and their wives.

Plale lost his seat to a fellow Democrat in the September primaries, LaBarre lost her bid for the 74 th Assembly seat in the November general elections and Honadel was reelected.

A media report in mid-November said Gogebic had yet to file any documents with the state about the project, but the company had contacted or met in recent months with an Indian tribe, a conservation group and state and county officials, including Walker.

The Cline Group controls large coal reserves throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and West Virginia. Like Gogebic Taconite and his mines in other states, Cline usually creates limited liability companies to manage his projects.

Department of Natural Resources and company officials say it could take years before the open pit mine is in operation because of the permitting process and development of the infrastructure – roads, buildings, power and water – needed to run the mine.

Table
Contributions To Governor-elect Scott Walker
And Legislative Candidates From Mining Industry Executives  

Recipient: Scott Walker
 
Contributors City/State Employer Date Amount
Christopher Cline Beckley, WV Cline Resource and Development 9/24/10 $8,000
John Dickinson II Jupiter, FL Cline Resource and Development 9/24/10 $2,000
Total to Walker: $10,000
 
Recipient: Jeff Plale
 
Contributors City/State Employer Date Amount
Christopher Cline Beckley, WV Cline Resource and Development 8/6/10 $1,000
John & Jean Dickinson II Jupiter, FL Cline Resource and Development 8/6/10 $2,000
Robert & Courtney Boyd Wellington, FL Foresight Energy 8/6/10 $2,000
R. Barry & Paula Hale Charleston, WV M Class Mining 9/9/10 $2,000
Dwayne B. Francisco Danville, WV Patton Mining LLC 9/9/10 $1,000
Samuel Hatcher Pittsburgh, IL Foresight Management 9/9/10 $1,000
Anthony Webb Herrin, IL Mach Mining & Processing 9/9/10 $1,000
Roger & Lori Dennison Jr. Carlinville, IL Maryan Energy 9/9/10 $2,000
H. Drexel Short Jr. Charleston, WV Gatling LLC 9/9/10 $1,000
Brian & Lena Glasser Charleston, WV Bailey & Glasser LLP 9/9/10 $2,000
Gregory Porter Washington D.C. Bailey & Glasser LLP 9/9/10 $750
John W. Barrett Charleston, WV Bailey & Glasser LLP 9/9/10 $1,000
Athanasios Basdekis Charleston, WV Bailey & Glasser LLP 9/9/10 $1,000
Jennifer Fahey Charleston, WV Bailey & Glasser LLP 9/9/10 $1,000
Scott Helmholz Springfield, IL Bailey & Glasser LLP 9/13/10 $500
John Congdon Denver, CO LaPointe Iron 8/27/10 $1,000
Total to Plale: $20,250
 
Recipient: Shirl LaBarre
 
Contributors City/State Employer Date Amount
Christopher Cline Beckley, WV Cline Resource and Development 10/7/10 $500
John & Jean Dickinson II Jupiter, FL Cline Resource and Development 10/7/10 $1,000
John & Renee Dickinson III Pittsburgh, PA Foresight Management 10/7/10 $1,000
Donald & Linda Holcomb North Palm Beach, FL Foresight Management 10/7/10 $1,000
Daniel Clark Friendswood, TX RGGS Land & Minerals 10/7/10 $500
Russell & Glenda Gordy Houston, TX RGGS Land & Minerals 10/7/10 $1,000
Brian & Lena Glasser Charleston, WV Bailey & Glasser LLP 10/7/10 $1,000
Jennifer Fahey Charleston, WV Bailey & Glasser LLP 10/7/10 $500
Michael Glasser Charleston, WV Bailey & Glasser LLP 10/7/10 $500
Total to LaBarre: $7,000
 
Recipient: Mark Honadel
 
Contributors City/State Employer Date Amount
Christopher Cline Beckley, WV Cline Resource and Development 8/3/10 $500
John & Jean Dickinson II Jupiter, FL Cline Resource and Development 8/5/10 $1,000
Robert & Courtney Boyd Wellington, FL Foresight Energy 8/3/10 $1,000
Total to Honadel: $2,500