Foxconn Investment Fund Partners Are Big Walker Contributors

September 6, 2018

Three Wisconsin companies that partnered with Foxconn to create a $100 million fund to help new tech companies are also generous contributors to GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.

Aurora Health Care, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, Johnson Controls, and Foxconn will each contribute $25 million to the fund.

Employees and a political action committee (PAC) from the three Wisconsin companies contributed more than $734,000 to Walker between January 2010 and December 2017, including:

About $395,400 from employees of Aurora Health Care and its subsidiaries;

About $305,200 from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance’s PAC and employees;

About $33,500 from Johnson Controls’ employees.

The top individual contributor to Walker from each of these companies was:

John Schlifske, of Elm Grove, chairman and chief executive officer of Northwestern Mutual, and his wife, Kim, about $56,350;

Masood Wasiullah, of River Hills, an Aurora Health Care physician, and his wife, Karin, $35,000;

Stephen Roell, of Brookfield, former Johnson Controls chief executive officer, and his wife, Shelagh, $10,000.

The investment fund is the latest in a string of projects announced throughout the summer by Foxconn, including tech and research centers in Green Bay and Eau Claire and a $100 million research gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. All of these ventures coincide with Walker’s reelection in November.

Critics say Foxconn’s additional projects around the state may be meant to help Walker because of the unpopularity over the size of the state giveaway and the uncertainty about the economic benefits of the Foxconn deal, which has become an election issue. Foxconn is building a massive flat-screen manufacturing plant in Racine County with more than $4 billion in state and local giveaways spearheaded last year by Walker.