July 28, 2016
The nearly $1.9 million in total PAC contributions for January through June 2016 was about 16 percent higher than the $1.6 million that PACs doled out in the last comparable period between January and June of the 2014 election year.
The top recipients of PAC contributions during the first six months of 2016 were four legislative fundraising committees used by Republican and Democratic leaders to raise money from special interests to spend on elections.
Republicans currently control the Senate 19-14 and the Assembly 63-36.
Topping the list of PAC contribution recipients between January and June was the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, which accepted about $351,000 from special interest PACs and political committees. The top contributors to the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate included $50,000 from the campaign committee of outgoing GOP Sen. Richard Gudex, of Fond du Lac, $20,000 from Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, and $15,000 from the Forest County Potawatomi Community.
The other top PAC contribution recipients were the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, $304,720, the State Senate Democratic Committee, $168,217 and the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee $166,117. Walker’s campaign committee rounded out the top five recipients of PAC contributions, taking in $36,250.
The top contributing PACs in the first six months of 2016 to all legislative and statewide candidates and campaign committees were the Wisconsin Realtors Association PAC, which doled out $89,750. The state realtors group is one of the most influential lobbying organizations at the State Capitol. The top recipients of realtor PAC contributions were Walker, $18,000, followed by the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, $12,000, and the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, $11,000.
The top Democratic recipients of contributions from the realtors PAC were the State Senate Democratic Committee, $8,000, the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee, $5,500, and Sen. Dave Hansen, of Green Bay, $2,000.
After the realtors PAC, other top contributing PACs and political committees in the first six months of 2016 were the Forest County Potawatomi Community at $68,000, the Rick Gudex for State Senate Committee at $57,000, the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association at $50,000, and Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin at $48,950.
To check out how much other PACs gave to elected officials as well as how much your legislator received in special interest PAC money, go to the Democracy Campaign’s PAC contribution search feature. The feature allows you to search PAC contributions by candidate, PAC name or special interest group for any period of time between 1993 and June 2016.