2006 Campaign Finance Profile - J.B. Van Hollen

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen (R)Picture: Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen

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2006 Election Notes and Background


Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen was elected to a four-year term in the November 2006 elections. By winning a Republican primary against Waukesha District Attorney Paul Bucher and narrowly defeating Democrat Kathleen Falk, who had unseated the Democratic incumbent in the primary, he became the first Republican elected attorney general since 1986.

Van Hollen served as U.S. Attorney for Wisconsin’s Western District from 2002 until 2005 when he resigned to enter the attorney general’s race. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Van Hollen had been Bayfield County district attorney since 1999, and Ashland County district attorney from 1993 until 1999. He was initially appointed to both jobs by former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson who served with Van Hollen’s father in the Legislature. Van Hollen held jobs between 1990 and 1993 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Madison and a state public defender in Spooner.

Van Hollen was graduated in 1990 from the University of Wisconsin Law School and from St. Olaf College in Minnesota in 1988 with a degree in political science and economics. He was born February 19, 1966 and grew up in Chetek and the town of Delta in northern Wisconsin.

Campaign Fundraising Summary

Van Hollen entered the attorney general race in 2005 and raised a total of $1.72 million in the 2006 election cycle. The figure includes $700,000 in personal loans Van Hollen lent his campaign. This figure accounted for 41% of all fundraising by Van Hollen during the campaign. Van Hollen spent $1.68 million and had $41,051 in his campaign account at the close of the 2006 election cycle.

Committee Contributions

Van Hollen raised $169,305 in political party and PAC contributions. Political and ideological interests accounted for $38,715 of his committee contributions, including $21,000 from the state Republican Party. The real estate and construction industries, which strongly opposed Falk because of her environmental views, gave Van Hollen $36,500 and $23,310, respectively. Van Hollen accepted $21,500 in business PAC contributions, most of it from Wal-Mart’s PAC which gave him $21,000.

Candidate, Issue Ad and Independent Spending

Like the governor’s race, the 2006 attorney general’s race set new spending records by the candidates and outside special interest groups. The candidates and issue ad and independent expenditure groups spent a combined $8.3 million, shattering the previous record $1.65 million spent in the 2002 attorney general’s race.

The four candidates spent $4.72 million led by Democratic candidate Kathleen Falk who spent $1.72 million and .followed by Van Hollen, who spent $1.68 million.

Issue ad and independent expenditure groups spent a record $3.6 million on the attorney general’s race. Phony issue ad groups doled out $3.4 million led by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business group. WMC spent an estimated $2.5 million, mostly on negative television advertising against Falk. In addition to WMC, the conservative Coalition for America’s Families ran television ads against Falk and the left-leaning Greater Wisconsin Committee aired television ads against Van Hollen.

Independent expenditure groups spent $202,690 on the race. Over half of this had nothing to do with Van Hollen as the Democratic Attorneys General Association spent $103,695 on television ads to support Lautenschlager in her primary against Falk. The next leading spender, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spent $51,380 through its PAC, Volunteers for Agriculture, to support Van Hollen.

2006 Campaign Finance Summary
Van Hollen
Raised: $1,721,203 - Spent: $1,677,449
Vote: 50.2% - Cost/Vote: $1.57
Independent Backing: $91,589
Raised: $1,497,597 - Spent: $1,719,146
Vote: 49.7% - Cost/Vote: $1.63
Independent Backing: $7,299
Where did the money come from?*
Where did the money come from?*
Pie Chart: Money Sources
Cash on hand 1/1/03 $0
Self $705,000
Under $100 $83,703
$100 or more $762,297
PACs & Parties $169,305
Other Income $897
WECF** $0
**voluntary spending limit system.

*All figures represent candidate income before any returns.

Interest Group Contributions from
Individuals and Committees*
Interest Amount
Real Estate $123,497.07
Retired/Homemakers/Non-income earners $98,101.50
Construction $83,501.00
Lawyers/Law Firms/Lobbyists $78,070.29
Manufacturing & Distributing $70,050.00
Business $67,521.58
Banking & Finance $66,717.49
Tourism/Leisure/Entertainment $44,763.28
Political/Ideological $43,255.43
Health Services/Institutions $35,250.00
Unknown $33,980.00
Agriculture $28,543.00
Civil servant/public employee $27,300.00
Transportation $26,225.00
Health Professionals $25,325.00
Insurance $19,791.58
Road Construction $19,502.18
Natural Resources $18,498.12
Energy $7,550.00
Telecommunications & Computers $5,790.00
Education $4,020.00
Non-Profit/Social Services $1,800.00
Labor Unions $1,500.00
Defense $550.00
*Excludes any returned and self contributions.

Top Contributors
Contributor(s) City Business Amount
Van Hollen, JB & Lynne Waunakee, WI Candidate/DeWitt, Ross & Stevens $710,000
Kman, James P & Peggy Iron River, WI US Postal Service/Van Hollen Realty $19,000
Carlson, Barbara A Iron River, WI Retired $10,000
Mohr, Lawrence G Jr Woodside, CA Investor $10,000
Van Hollen, John C Iron River, WI Van Hollen Realty $10,000
Pantton, Mildred A Green Bay, WI Retired $8,100
MacDonough, John & Kathleen Chenequa, WI Retired $6,572
Quam, David & Terry Willmar, MN Quam Construction $6,200
Bechthold Family Delafield, WI Payne & Dolan/Zenith Tech $6,000
Hendricks, Ken & Diane Janesville, WI ABC Supply Co $6,000
Oldfield, Russell A Nashville, TN Retired $6,000

Independent Expenditures

Favoring Van Hollen

PAC Amount
Archie H. Henkelmann $29
Milwaukee Police Assn $99
NRA Political Victory Fund $39,681
Volunteers for Agriculture $51,380
WI Right to Life $401
Total $91,589

Favoring Falk

PAC Amount
Human Rights League $21
NARAL Pro-Choice WI $57
Planned Parenthood Action Fund $5,102
Planned Parenthood Advocates of WI $137
SEIU PEA State Fund $1,982
Total $7,299


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