Check Out the Latest Large Contributors to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidates

January 16, 2020

The three candidates on the February spring primary ballot for Wisconsin Supreme Court raised a combined $860,000 in the last half of 2019, and the largest contributors to some of the candidates were longtime partisan donors. The most anyone can give to a candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court is $20,000.

Campaign finance reports filed by the candidates on Wednesday show some traditional Democratic donors backed Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky and Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone. Several longtime Republican donors topped off the contributors to incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly.

Kelly is running for his first full 10-year term on the court. He was appointed in 2016 by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker to fill a vacancy on the high court. Conservatives hold a 5-2 majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Kelly, of North Prairie, raised about $556,200 in the last six months of 2019 and had about $573,000 in his campaign account on Dec. 31.

A preliminary review of Kelly’s latest campaign finance report showed his largest contributors were:

Diane Hendricks, Beloit, owner of ABC Supply, $20,000

Kim Hendricks, Janesville, a retired vice president of ABC Supply, $20,000

Barbara and Timothy Michels, Hartland, homemaker/ vice president of Michels Corp., $20,000

Sandra and Fred Young, Racine, homemaker/retired owner of Young Radiator Co., $20,000

Elizabeth and Richard Uihlein, Lake Forest, Ill., owners of Uline Co., $20,000

Kevin Michels, Brownsville, vice president of Michels Corp., $10,000

Patrick Michels, Brownsville, president of Michels Corp., $10,000

Brent Fox, Janesville, chief executive officer of Hendricks Holding Co., $10,000

David P. Ludington, Onalaska, an oral surgeon at Oral Surgery Clinic of La Crosse, $10,000

Michael White, River Hills, chairman of Rite Hite Corp., $10,000

Karofsky, of Madison, raised about $227,550 between July and December 2019 and had about $181,300 in her campaign account at the end of the year.

A preliminary review of Karofsky’s latest campaign report showed her largest contributors were:

Lynde Uihlein, Milwaukee, president of the Brico Fund, $20,000

Robert Haselow, Edina, Minn., doctor and president of Minneapolis Radiation Oncology, $20,000

John Miller, Kohler, retired president of Miller St. Nazianz, $17,500

Fallone, of Milwaukee, raised about $76,300 during the last six months of 2019 and had about $37,400 in his campaign account on Dec. 31.

A preliminary review of Fallone’s latest campaign finance report showed his largest contributors were:

Fallone, $10,000. The candidate also loaned his campaign an additional $10,000

Professional Fire Fighters of Green Bay Political Action Committee (PAC), $1,500

Jonathan Wertz, Milwaukee, director of risk management at the Medical College of Wisconsin, $1,000

John Langeland, Rhinelander, a retired teacher, $1,000

Brett Timmerman, River Hills, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, $1,000

The occupations and employers of the candidates’ contributors are provided by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign because GOP-led changes to Wisconsin campaign finance laws in 2015 allow the candidates to provide little to no useful employer information.

In addition to the candidates, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, a conservative outside electioneering group, reported spending about $13,400 on printing and canvassing in December to support Kelly.