Walker Hypocrite on Outside Money

by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director

November 13 , 2017

On Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker hypocritically bemoaned the prospect of outside money hurting him in his upcoming reelection race.

“The biggest fear that I, and a lot of our supporters have, is not the [Democratic] candidate; it’s the outside money,” Walker said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha.”

Leaving aside the fact that Walker, the conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the GOP-dominated legislature have made it much easier for outside groups to throw their money around in Wisconsin, it’s especially hypocritical that Walker is worried about outside money, since he relied on it so heavily to defeat the recall effort against him in 2012.

Walker raised $36.1 million January 2011 to June 2012. Nearly $22 million, or 64 percent of the individual contributions, came from people outside of Wisconsin who were in the banking, manufacturing, construction, real estate and other powerful sectors and hailed from Florida, Texas, New York, Missouri, Nevada, Wyoming and New Jersey, among other states. Walker drew massive contributions above the usual $10,000 calendar year limit on individual donations because state law allows recall targets to collect unlimited cash to pay bills that come in before a recall election is approved.

A review of Walker’s contributors from January 2011 to June 2012 found that of his top ten biggest contributors, only two came from Wisconsin.

Top Walker Contributors
January 2011 – June 2012

Diane Hendricks Beloit, WI ABC Supply $510,000
Bob Perry Houston, TX Perry Homes $500,000
David Humphreys Joplin, MO TAMKO Building Products $260,000
Sheldon Adelson Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas Sands $250,000
Sarah Atkins Joplin, MO TAMKO Building Products $250,000
Richard DeVos Lantana, FL Alticor $250,000
Stanley Herzog St. Joseph, MO Herzog Contracting $250,000
Richard Uihlein Lake Forest, IL Uline Shipping Supplies $132,500
Ted Kellner Mequon, WI Fiduciary Management $121,182
Elizabeth Uihlein Lake Forest, IL Uline Shipping Supplies $102,500

In addition to Walker’s reliance on direct contributions from super wealthy people outside of Wisconsin was his reliance on spending from outside groups.

Outside group spending was led by the Republican Governors Association, which doled out $9.4 million to support Walker through its Right Direction Wisconsin Political Action Committee. The Republican Governors Association raises much of its cash from large corporations to support GOP candidates for governor around the country through a 527 group named for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service regulations that govern them. During the first six months of 2012 coinciding with the recall efforts against Walker, the association’s 527 outfit raised $29 million, including $792,725 from 19 Wisconsin trade groups, corporations and individuals led by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce which gave the group $437,725.