Green Blizzard Strikes McCallum Campaign Fund in December

Gov. Scott McCallum’s campaign fund accepted special interest campaign contributions faster than the record-setting snow fell in December, according to a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis released today. Green Blizzard Strikes McCallum Campaign Fund in December

February 6, 2001

Madison -

The new governor’s most recent six-month campaign finance report through Dec. 31, 2000 showed he received a total of $215,744 in individual contributions. The bulk of those were a record $201,506 in large individual contributions. McCallum also received a record $28,448 in political action committee contributions. Most of these contributions came in mid- to late December when it became evident that former Gov. Tommy Thompson would leave Wisconsin for a job in the Bush Administration.

"The new governor made a lot of friends in December," WDC executive director Mike McCabe said, noting that many of the contributors had never given to McCallum before. "It goes to show that money flows to power. Big donors don’t give out of a sense of civic duty, and they don’t just give out of personal loyalty or political kinship. They give to those who are in a position to do them some good. They are making an investment."

The WDC’s analysis of McCallum’s campaign contributions found that:

  • McCallum’s total large individual and PAC contributions in December - $143,363 - were five times higher than any of the previous five months during the reporting period (see chart below).
  • The McCallum campaign collected three times more in large individual contributions from July through December 2000 than any previous year-end six-month period. During comparable periods from 1991-99, his large individual contributions ranged from $11,617 to $65,114.Most of his large individual contributions came in December - $120,963. This was nearly four times that of any previous December, and most of it came in after the results of the presidential election had been determined. Previously, his campaign fundraising in Decembers between 1991 and 1999 ranged from $0 to $31,774.
  • McCallum received 56 individual contributions of $1,000 or more in December, compared to 120 contributions of $1,000 or more during the entire 1995-98 election period. Much of this money - more than $28,000 - came from contributors who had not previously made large individual contributions to the former lieutenant governor’s campaign. (Table 1).
  • McCallum accepted $28,448 in PAC contributions during the six-month period, including $22,400 in December. This exceeds the $19,050 in PAC contributions he received during the entire 1995-98 election period. In several cases, PACs that had given McCallum little or nothing made substantial contributions to him in mid- to late December (Table 2).


Chart: Monthly Large and Individual Contributons to McCallum

The sudden blizzard of cash to McCallum’s campaign strongly indicates that powerful special interests are playing catch-up to capture the attention of the new governor, whose previous fund raising paled in comparison to Thompson.

For special interests, the short-term benefits include influence on the taxing and spending decisions that McCallum will make in the 2001-2003 state budget. In the long term, courting the state’s chief executive with cash now is a wise investment if he runs for his own four-year term as governor in 2002.

McCabe added the sudden infusion of cash into McCallum’s campaign coffers sheds new light on the decision of other likely Republican candidates to withdraw from the 2002 gubernatorial race.

"This is a classic example of the wealth primary. Big money has cast its vote, and for all intents and purposes the Republican nomination is sewn up before a single Wisconsin voter has been given a chance to state a preference," McCabe said. "Enormous damage is done to the quality of our democracy when money is allowed to play such a dominant role in deciding who will govern us. The voters are denied real choices and competitive races."


Contributor City State Employer Amount 12/2000 Amount
Zietlow, Donald P Onalaska WI Kwik Trip Inc $5,011 $0
Sadoff, Victoria Fond du Lac WI Badger Liquor Co $5,000 $0
Mathy, Steven/LeeAnn La Crosse WI Mathy Construction Co $5,000 $200
Senty, James A La Crosse WI Midwest Natural Gas Co $5,000 $0
Troupis, James R Madison WI Michael Best & Friedrich $2,500 $1,340
McKeitham Daniel F Milwaukee WI Tamarack Petroleum Co $2,000 $0
Gelatt, Philip/Melissa La Crosse WI Northern Engraving Corp $2,000 $2,200
Reinhart, Marjorie A La Crosse WI Reinhart Co. $2,000 $0
Ahern, John E Fond du Lac WI JF Ahern Co $2,000 $9,470
Wanek, Ronald/Joyce Arcadia WI Ashley Furniture Industries $2,000 $0
Humleker, Margaret B Fond du Lac WI Retired $1,250 $3,939
TKach, Stephen J Annapolis MD US Dept of Justice $1,250 $0
French, George/Beverly Green Bay WI Orde Advertising $1,100 $9,376
Blamey, Richard/Ann Fond du Lac WI Vinyl Plastics Inc. $1,000 $4,500
Hsu, Paul C Wausau WI Hsu’s Ginseng Enterprises $1,000 $1,500
Hengel, Edward J Onalaska WI Reinhart Companies $1,000 $0
Hegwood, Robert D Eagle WI Commercial Communications Inc $1,000 $5,100
Heath, Charles V Verona WI Horizon Development Co $1,000 $0
Haack, William R Elm Grove WI Frank F Haack & Associates $1,000 $2,500
Grover, Reginald B Kohler WI Vinyl Plastics Inc. $1,000 $1,000
Grossman, Ronald E Mequon WI Sinai Samaritan Medical Center $1,000 $4,350
Bechthold, Kurt D Brookfield WI Payne & Dolan $1,000 $1,000
Derse, James/Doris Elm Grove WI Derse Outdoor Activities $1,000 $4,825
Gentine, Louis P Elkhart Lake WI Sargento Food Corp $1,000 $3,150
Bohl, David B Hartland WI Perma Pressure LLC $1,000 $0
Lasky, Sheldon J Oshkosh WI Sadoff Iron & Metal Co $1,000 $1,300
Dahlin, Bernard E Green Bay WI Nichols Paper Products Co $1,000 $1,250
Boucher, Gordon/Bernice Oconomowoc WI Boucher Group $1,000 $1,250
Cummings, Brian G Oconomowoc WI Redmond Commercial Development $1,000 $875
Chudnow, Joseph Fox Point WI Chudnow Construction Corp $1,000 $4,050
Bub, Richard M Mequon WI Graef Anhalt Schloemer & Assoc $1,000 $1,350
Braun, Dennis J Brookfield WI Total Comfort of Wisconsin $1,000 $0
Berg, Kenneth R Dodgeville WI Quality Liquid Feeds Inc $1,000 $4,650
Prescott, George E West Bend WI Prescott’s Supermarkets Inc $1,000 $4,500
Youso, Gary A Neenah WI Old Fashioned Foods Inc $1,000 $2,600
Wurman, Leonard/Arleen Wausau WI Retired $1,000 $500
Wulf, Thomas O Sturgeon Bay WI Wulf Brothers $1,000 $1,000
Wirth, Gustav W Cedarburg WI Delta Satellite Corp $1,000 $550
Stayer, Launa R Sheboygan WI Johnsonville Foods $1,000 $1,543
Solberg, Trygve A Woodruff WI TA Solberg Co $1,000 $1,000
Smith, Gary M Fond du Lac WI CD Smith Construction $1,000 $3,100
Skogen, David R Onalaska WI Skogen Food Stores $1,000 $0
Koenig, Phillip G Madison WI RCM Technologies Inc $1,000 $3,850
Redmond, Mark D Delafield WI Redmond Commercial Development $1,000 $4,186
Kierlin, Robert A Winona MN Fastenal Co $1,000 $0
Petri, Mark G Mequon WI Rite-Hite Holding Corp $1,000 $4,350
Ogden, Peter Pewaukee WI Ogden & Co $1,000 $2,000
Massick, Stephen A Fond du Lac WI Fond du Lac Regional Clinic $1,000 $5,100
Lubar, David J Milwaukee WI Lubar & Co $1,000 $3,100
Loos, Henry J River Hills WI Quarles & Brady $1,000 $2,200
Lemmenes, Larry H Waupun WI Alto Dairy Cooperative $1,000 $1,000
Kress, William F Green Bay WI Green Bay Packaging Inc $1,000 $1,000
Ahern, Anthony J Fond du Lac WI JF Ahern Co $1,000 $1,500
Klancnik, Fred A Madison WI Smith Group JJR Inc $1,000 $1,000
Kittelsen, Rodney O Monroe WI Kittelsen Law Office $1,000 $250
Scherzer, David F Grafton WI Sigma Environmental Services Inc $1,000 $2,000


PAC Amount
December 2000
1993 - 11/30/00
WI Realtors $7,000 $3,800
Milwaukee Police Association $5,000 $250
Building a Better WI $2,500 $1,500
Wisbank $2,000 $0
Healthy WI $1,000 $0
WI Union League $1,000 $0
Northern States Power $500 $0
Associated Builders and Contractors $500 $0
Concerned Business & Industry (WMC) $500 $650
Concerned Realtors $500 $0
WI Insurance Alliance $300 $0
NW Mutual Life $300 $600
Association of State Prosecutors $250 $0
Banc One WI $250 $1,250
Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce $250 $0
Milwaukee Deputy Sheriff Association $150 $0
Daimler Chrysler $100 $0
Cars of WI $100 $0
WI Assisted Living $100 $0
General Electric $100 $500
TOTAL $22,400 $8,550