GOP Crushes Democrats in Campaign Dollars
So far in 2017 Republican legislative candidates have 3-1 edge over Democrats.
Legislative candidates and fundraising committees raised more than $1.8 million during the first six months of 2017 with nearly $3 of every $4 flowing to Republicans, who control the legislature, according to a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign preliminary review.
The fundraising coincided with legislative consideration of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget. The budget remains unfinished and is nearly two months late because Assembly and Senate Republican legislative leaders can’t agree on how to handle transportation funding, education and tax issues.
Most of the contributions went to the four legislative campaign committees controlled by Republican and Democratic Senate and Assembly leaders to raise special interest campaign cash to spend on elections. The committees, which raised a combined $1.1 million in individual, political action committee, and corporate contributions, accounted for 60 percent of legislative fundraising between January and June (see Table below).
|Republican Assembly Campaign Committee||$470,856|
|Committee to Elect a Republican Senate||$332,266|
|State Senate Democratic Committee||$146,354|
|Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee||$153,701|
Campaign finance reports filed by legislative and statewide candidates and officeholders show the legislature’s 84 GOP lawmakers and their two legislative campaign committees accepted more than $1.3 million, compared to about $502,000 taken in by the legislature’s 48 Democratic lawmakers and their two legislative campaign committees.
Four dozen legislators – 33 Republicans and 15 Democrats – raised $100 or less, and 32 of those raised nothing during the first six months of 2017.
GOP legislative campaigns also had substantially more money in the bank than Democrats, as of June 30. Republican legislative committees had balances totaling more than $2.4 million, compared to about $916,000 for Democratic committees. Per capita, GOP legislative campaign committees had an average of about $28,300 in the bank, or 54 percent more than the average $18,300 held by Democratic legislative committees.