April 9, 2018
A group that raises tens of millions of dollars each year from wealthy special interests to support GOP gubernatorial candidates nationwide has booked $5.1 million in ads to support Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s reelection.
The Republican Governors Association says it booked the television ads throughout Wisconsin for five weeks leading up to the Nov. 6 election.
Walker, who was the group’s chairman in 2017, is running for his third four-year term as governor.
Last month the GOP group’s counterpart, the Democratic Governors Association, announced it would spend a total of $20 million on broadcast advertising in Wisconsin and three other states this fall involving the controversial gerrymandering, or redistricting, process to draw legislative maps every 10 years.
Wisconsin’s controversial 2010 redistricting maps are now in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that is likely to be decided in June.
The Republican Governors Association spent an estimated $18.4 million to support Walker’s 2010 general, 2012 recall, and 2014 reelection campaigns.
Wisconsin groups, businesses, and individuals have been generous donors over the years to the Republican Governors Association’s 527 group. The top donors include:
Mike and Mary Sue Shannon, of Brookfield, $3 million. Mike Shannon is a managing partner with KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in travel and leisure businesses, and Mary Sue is a homemaker. The contributions include $2.5 million directly from the couple and $500,000 from the Shannon 2006 Revocable Trust.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, $1,980,525.
American Transmission Co., $778,600. The Waukesha company builds and operates high-voltage electric transmission lines throughout the Upper Midwest.
Johnson Controls, $716,741. This Milwaukee company produces automotive parts and heating and cooling products for commercial buildings.
The Robert and Patricia Kern 1992 Revocable Trust, $550,000. Robert and Patricia Kern, of Waukesha, founded Generac Power Systems.