Matt Rothschild
Campaign Cash

AG Brad Schimel Seeks Reelection

Attorney General got $1.7 million in special interest funding in 2014 and delivered for them.

By - Dec 18th, 2016 09:38 am
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Brad Schimel. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Brad Schimel. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel, who won office in 2014 with the help of $1.7 million in backing from big business and other special interests, plans on seeking reelection in 2018.

Schimel’s major support came from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest business group, which doled out the bulk of secretive, outside special interest spending to help him, an estimated $1.5 million.

WMC boasts 3,500 members spanning more than a dozen special interest groups like business, manufacturing, construction, transportation and insurance. The group uses a combination of lobbying muscle and millions of dollars in spending on outside electioneering activities to elect officials to handle state policy and spending issues, like taxes, labor, education, and environmental regulation, to WMC’s liking.

In addition to outside election spending on his behalf, WMC-represented special interests and others contributed $1.4 million to Schimel’s campaign between January 2013 and August 2016, including $174,800 from manufacturers, $124,300 from the construction industry, $124,100 from Republican political and ideological interests, $102,700 from business interests, $95,100 from the real estate industry, and $92,700 from banking and financial interests.

In the meantime, Schimel has spent a lot of state time and money during the past two years accommodating the wish lists of those special interests by:

  • Challenging the Obama Administration’s efforts to protect the environment, like here and here;
  • Challenging the nation’s federal health care program, dubbed Obamacare, like here;
  • Suing the Obama Administration for issuing guidelines for public schools for letting transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities, see here;
  • Weakening the state’s ability to enforce state laws to protect Wisconsin water, see here;
  • Defending a state law that makes it more difficult for some citizens to vote, see here and here;
  • Defending a controversial GOP legislative redistricting plan, like here;
  • Opposing efforts to appeal the shutdown of a John Doe investigation into illegal coordination between special interest electioneering groups and Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign, see here and here;
  • Convening a grand jury to investigate who leaked John Doe evidence to a British newspaper earlier this year. Schimel said, however, that he would not investigate an earlier leak of other materials about the John Doe probe by Wisconsin Club for Growth director Eric O’Keefe to the Wall Street Journal.

Matthew Rothschild is executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

3 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: AG Brad Schimel Seeks Reelection”

  1. John says:

    Well, I guess he sees the $1,700,000 he already got and knows there’s more where that came from. Buying elections is incredibly easy in Wisconsin

  2. daniel golden says:

    When I first started as an Assistant District Attorney in Portage County, the outgoing District Attorney, William Bablich, had left for me on my desk a book called “A Prosecutors Handbook” written by an Assistant Attorney General named Betty Brown. The theme of that book was simple : Despite the fact that the office was political partisan, a prosecutors job was to pursue justice, not convictions or political interests. The toxic effect of unlimited money from radical right wing billionaires like John Menard, the Kochs and their ilk, dispensed by their amoral bag men at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, has essentially made the Justice System in this state an extension of the hyper-partisan Wisconsin GOP. The citizens have lost the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s office to a group of unprincipled hacks like Brad Schimel. To ignore the admitted violation of the gag order on the John Doe by Eric O Keefe, while pursuing a similar breach of the same gag order which embarrassed Scott Walker and disclosed possible criminal activity by Walker, is the height of partisan politics. The leaders of a South American banana republic would be ashamed of trying to pull off the corrupt garbage this crew of unprincipled whores does on a regular basis.

  3. Stu says:

    He should support the strong majority of Wisconsinites and help and end the failure of cannabis Prohibition in Wisconsin. In the least the AG should expand decriminalization ordinances like Madison and Milwaukee have on the books state wide. I don’t expect Schimel, Walker, Vos, Vukmir to ever support individual liberty, personal freedom/responsibly or embrace free markets over black markets and big government but they could at least decriminalize state wide so as to stop ruining good hard working tax payers lives and at least keep Wisconsin vaguely relevant to the rest of the country.

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