Wealthy Walker Donors Give Big to GOP Electioneering Group

February 15, 2018

A handful of Wisconsin donors contributed $1.7 million last year to a group headed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that raises and spends unlimited amounts of cash from special interests to elect GOP candidates for governor nationwide.

The Wisconsin contributions were made to the Republican Governors Association, based in Washington, D.C. All told, the RGA raised about $56.4 million from individuals, corporations, tribes, unions, and trade groups in 2017, according to reports filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The association has been among the top special interest electioneering groups in Wisconsin. It doled out an estimated $18.4 million to help Walker win his 2010 general, 2012 recall, and 2014 reelection.

Last December, the association contributed $86,000 to Walker’s campaign and $12,000 to the state Republican Party. Walker faces reelection to a third four-year term this November.

The top Wisconsin contributors to the group and the amounts they gave in 2017 were:

  • Forest County Potawatomi Community, of Crandon, $200,000
  • American Transmission Co., of Waukesha, $150,450
  • Ho-Chunk Nation, Black River Falls, $101,800
  • U.S. Venture, of Appleton, an energy, automotive, and lubricant products distributor, $50,450
  • Johnson Controls, of Milwaukee, $26,350
  • Michael Best Strategies, of Madison, the lobbying and consulting arm of the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm, $25,900
  • Ted Kellner, of Milwaukee, founder of Fiduciary Management, $25,000
  • Robert Hillis, of Milwaukee, president of Direct Supply, $25,000
  • Fabair LLC, of Milwaukee, a private plane service operated by Milwaukee businessman Jere Fabick, $11,606
  • MillerCoors, of Milwaukee, $10,000
  • Milwaukee Police Association, $1,000