Walker's Run for President Fed His Governor's War Chest

January 20, 2016

The largest source of money for Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s gubernatorial fundraising committee during the last half of 2015 was his short-lived presidential campaign.

Walker’s latest state campaign finance report shows the governor’s federal presidential campaign committee, Scott Walker Inc., paid his state gubernatorial committee about $119,700 for equipment, records, lists and other assets. The purchases were made in seven transactions that occurred in July, August and September. Walker officially kicked off his presidential campaign on July 13 and suspended it on Sept. 21.

The amount paid by Walker’s presidential fundraising committee to his gubernatorial committee accounted for about a fifth of the total $514,148 in individual and committee contributions and unearned income that his gubernatorial committee accepted in the last six months of 2015. Walker’s gubernatorial committee spent $977,653 during the six-month period and ended the year with a cash balance of $20,257. Walker had a large cash surplus before the last six months of 2015.

Walker’s next election, if he chooses to run for a third, four-year term, is in November 2018.

Walker’s gubernatorial campaign committee continued to draw more cash from out-of-state, individual contributors than from Wisconsin donors. The governor raised only $1 in $10 from Wisconsin contributors during the last six months of 2015 – only about $31,700 from total itemized individual contributions of about $323,600 came from Wisconsin. While Walker frequently received more than half of his individual contributions from outside Wisconsin between 2011 and 2014, this was the smallest percentage he got from Wisconsin yet.

Wisconsin’s $31,700 in individual contributions to Walker during the last half of 2015 ranked second to California, where he received nearly $41,100. Other top states in total individual contributions to Walker for the six-month period were: Texas, about $24,000; Florida, about $22,300; Illinois, nearly $16,600; and Georgia, about $13,100.

Walker received 39 individual contributions of $1,000 or more during the last half of 2015, and only six of those contributions came from Wisconsin.

Walker’s top individual contributions during the last six months of 2015 were $5,000 each from David W. Grainger, of Lake Forest, Ill., chairman of W.W. Grainger, an industrial supplies, tools and equipment distributor; Carl Ruedebusch, of Madison, president of RDC National, a commercial real estate company; and Martha L. Smith, a retiree in Fairburn, Ga.

In addition to individual contributions, Walker also received one political action committee (PAC) contribution between July and December 2015 – $5,000 from the Humana PAC in Washington, D.C.