January 9, 2019
One Wisconsinite made it into the top 100 donors in federal races in the last election cycle, and that’s Diane Hendricks of ABC Supply in Beloit.
All told, she doled out $4,545,200 to Republican candidates, parties, committees, and PACs.
Here’s how it breaks down:
-- $3,200,000 to Leah Vukmir’s SuperPAC, which was called Wisconsin Next PAC. Note that she maxed out to Vukmir’s campaign directly when she gave a $2,700 donation to her for the primary and $2,700 to her for the general election against Tammy Baldwin. So she gave to the SuperPAC 592 times what she was allowed to give to Vukmir, even though the SuperPAC was doing almost exactly what Vukmir’s campaign was doing: urging people to vote for her, and against Baldwin. (Note: Hendricks was within her legal rights to do so because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision.)
-- $1,017,000 to the Republican National Committee.
-- $250,000 to the Congressional Leadership Fund, which tries to get Republicans elected to Congress.
-- $33,900 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee
-- $10,000 to the Republican Party of Wisconsin
-- donations to assorted Republican candidates, including Wisconsin Representatives Sean Duffy, Glenn Grothman, James Sensenbrenner, and Bryan Steil.
Hendricks has also been a huge player in races for statewide office in Wisconsin, as we noted back in 2016. Between January 1995 and December 2015, Hendricks contributed more than $644,000 to Wisconsin candidates for statewide office and the legislature – substantially more than any other individual.
Incidentally, Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein of Lake Forest, IL, who are also big players in Wisconsin politics, came in at #4 in the OpenSecrets rankings, with a whopping $39 million to Republican candidates, parties, committees, and PACs on federal races last season.
By the way, topping the OpenSecrets list is Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who spent $123 million on federal races. The Adelsons contributed $270,000 to former Republican Governor Scott Walker's 2012 recall and 2014 reelection campaigns.