Press Releases

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's press releases and special reports cover issues central to our mission, including campaign fundraising, political corruption and more.

2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1997-1999


Wisconsin Contributors Gave Record $3.6M in First Half of 2018 to Unregulated Groups

Wisconsin Money

July 30, 2018

Nearly four dozen special interest groups that raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to hijack state and federal elections received a record $3.6 million from Wisconsin contributors during the first half of 2018, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Latest Foxconn Bid Winners Contributed $68K to Walker Campaign

Bid Button with $100 Bills

July 25, 2018

Owners and employees from a third of the three dozen companies that were awarded contracts by Foxconn on Tuesday have contributed about $68,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaigns.

Betsy DeVos Visits Wisconsin Schools after Siphoning $$$ from Them

Betsy DeVos

by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director

July 24, 2018

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education, has some gall! She’s in Wisconsin today to visit public schools in Adams-Friendship after the organization she founded has spent millions of dollars devastating our public schools.

WMC Gives $1M+ to Outside Electioneering Group to Back Walker

WMC Headquarters

July 24, 2018

An outside electioneering group that helps elect Republican governors in Wisconsin and throughout the country received nearly $1.9 million from Wisconsin contributors during the first six months of 2018.

2018 Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Topped $5.5M

Justice Behind a Pile of Cash

July 20, 2018

Candidates in last spring’s Wisconsin Supreme Court race and the outside electioneering groups that praised or smeared them spent more than $5.5 million, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found.

Russian Woman Highlights Walker’s NRA Ties

Pistol with cash

July 17, 2018

Republican Gov. Scott Walker met twice in 2015 with a Russian agent posing as a gun rights activist. The woman, Maria Butina, was arrested Sunday as being part of a plot by Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

AG Candidates Raise Nearly $1.3M in First Half of 2018

Cash Raining Down on Lady Justice

July 19, 2018

Incumbent GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel and his Democratic challenger, Joshua Kaul, raised a total of nearly $1.3 million in the first half of 2018.

Walker Raises Twice as Much as All of the Democratic Candidates

Scale Comparing Walker and Democratic Fundraising

July 17, 2018

Republican Gov. Scott Walker raised more than double of all of the eight remaining Democratic candidates for governor combined during the first six months of 2018.

Walker Received “Pay-to-Play” Contribution from Exec of Investment Company

Greased Palms

July 16, 2018

Republican Gov. Scott Walker accepted a $2,700 federal campaign contribution from the founder of a Texas investment firm that recently agreed to pay $500,000 to settle pay-to-play claims by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Convicted Fraudster and WEDC Borrower Was Generous Republican Donor

Silhouette of man with briefcase

July 12, 2018

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s job creation agency has written off a $1.1 million state loan to a De Pere businessman accused of defrauding the agency. The individual, Ron Van Den Heuvel, was once a generous contributor to GOP legislative and statewide candidates.

Conservative Justices Accepted $37K From Groups in Malpractice Case

Gavel with Drugs

July 3, 2018

The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority accepted more than $37,000 in campaign contributions from health care, insurance and business groups they sided with in a recent medical malpractice case.

Influence Peddler of the Month for July 2018 - National Democratic Redistricting Committee

National Democratic Redistricting Committee Logo

July 2, 2018

This is a new group that advocates redistricting reform and supports Democratic candidates for state and federal offices throughout the country. In its first six months of outside spending on Wisconsin legislative and statewide elections, three of the four candidates backed by the committee won their races.

Trump Fundraiser Hosted by Walker Big Donor

Trump on $100 Bill

June 27, 2018

GOP President Donald Trump was scheduled to headline a Republican Party fundraiser on Thursday before joining Gov. Scott Walker to break ground for Foxconn’s proposed manufacturing plant in Racine County.

Foxconn Bid Winners Are Generous Contributors to Walker

Walker signing Foxconn deal

June 27, 2018

Owners and employees from six of eight companies chosen by Foxconn to construct a $14 million building at its future Racine County manufacturing plant contributed nearly $180,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaigns.

Here’s Who Receives Harley-Davidson, Sartori Campaign Contributions in Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker on a motorcycle

June 26, 2018

Here’s a look at the campaign contributions by Harley-Davidson and Sartori Foods employees to legislative and statewide candidates in Wisconsin.

State Watchdog Says Campaign Contributions Can Be Used for Child Care

Toy Wooden Blocks Spelling Child

June 22, 2018

Wisconsin candidates may use campaign contributions to pay for child care when they are campaigning, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission says.

10 Questions for Wisconsin State Candidates

Boy asking questions of a candidate

June 22, 2018

1. Are you for banning gerrymandering in Wisconsin? In other words, do you back the Iowa model of independent, nonpartisan, and transparent map drawing by career civil servants – not the party in power?

2. Are you in favor of rewriting our campaign finance law to ban corporations, unions, and other groups from giving directly to political parties and legislative campaign committees?

Road Project Companies Contributed $220K+ to Walker’s Campaign

Traffic Cones

June 20, 2018

Owners and employees of nine of the 15 companies picked by the state to rebuild a portion of Interstate 94 have contributed about $221,200 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaigns.

Outside Groups Spent $4M+ So Far on Legislative, Statewide Elections

$100 Bills

June 18, 2018

Twenty special interests groups spent an estimated $4.1 million so far this year on a statewide spring election and three legislative special elections.

Corporate Welfare Recipients Contributed $800K+ to Walker

Hands Shaking Before Falling Dollars

June 13, 2018

Owners and employees from about two dozen companies that received corporate welfare from the state in 2017 have contributed more than $800,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.

Redistricting Leaves Nearly 2.5 Million Residents With No Choice in Legislative Elections

Locked Ballot Box

Posted: June 6, 2018
Updated: June 12, 2018

(This article has been revised to reflect changes to the fall legislative ballot made by the Wisconsin Elections Commission on June 11.)

Nearly 2.5 million Wisconsin residents will have little or no choice in the fall elections about who represents them in the state legislature, according to a review by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Special Election Candidates Get Most Contributions from Outside Their Districts

Polling Place Sign with Luggage

June 11, 2018

The major party candidates on the ballot in Tuesday’s legislative special elections accepted about $3 of every $4 in large individual contributions from outside of the districts they want to represent, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Group, Candidate Spending Tops $1.2M in Two Legislative Special Elections

Dollars Floating on Black Background

June 8, 2018

Candidates and outside special interest groups have spent more than $1.2 million in two legislative special elections the voters will decide June 12.

High Court Approves New Factory Farm Sought by Large GOP Contributors

Factory Dairy

June 5, 2018

Owners of a proposed factory farm who are generous contributors to GOP legislative and statewide candidates can go ahead with their controversial project in Wood County, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Outside Spending Mounts in Senate Special Election

Stacks of Hundred Dollar Bills

June 1, 2018

Outside group spending is escalating in a special election in northeastern Wisconsin’s 1st Senate District, where Democratic organizations were outspending a Republican group nearly 2-to-1.