Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Walker Loves Ashley Furniture

Company gets a state grant, and he gets big campaign donations.

By - Jun 22nd, 2017 01:17 pm
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Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker spent part of Monday at a groundbreaking ceremony in Arcadia for Ashley Furniture Industries, whose owners have contributed nearly $32,000 to the governor since 2010.

Back in 2014, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. awarded a $6 million tax credit to Ashley Furniture with a condition allowing the company to eliminate half of its state workforce.

The WEDC award helped the Arcadia-based furniture maker with a $35 million expansion of its headquarters, but did not require the company create any new jobs and granted the company “license to lay off half of its current 3,848 Wisconsin-based workers in exchange for an enterprise zone tax credit, one of the most valuable and coveted state subsidies,” as the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

In addition to their direct contributions to Walker, one of Ashley Furniture’s owners, Todd Wanek, of Arcadia, doled out $25,000 in late 2011 to an outside electioneering group called the Republican Governors Association. Shortly after his contribution, the national group went on to spend $9.4 million during the first six months of 2012 to help Walker win his controversial recall election that summer.

The bulk of Walker’s $31,800 in direct contributions from Ashley owners and employees between January 2010 and December 2016 came from the Wanek family.

Todd Wanek, and his wife, Karen, contributed $17,500, and Ron and Joyce Wanek, of St. Petersburg, Fla., contributed $13,000 to the governor.

2 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Walker Loves Ashley Furniture”

  1. Ben says:

    Oh my gosh – could you imagine the disarray if Tom Barrett would be governor…haha.

    Thankfully we have smart supporters like Todd Wanek to help with donations.

  2. Jason troll says:

    Everything in this article could be said about the Coulture project in downtown Milwaukee yet, it is not news worthy for the city of Milwaukee to bank roll a project that in most cases could go with out assistance based on its desirable location.

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