Regents Gave 100 Times More to GOP
UW Regents and spouses gave $214,000 to Republican politicians, $2,050 to Democrats.
As another school year gets underway on University of Wisconsin campuses, students may be surprised to learn that the UW System is governed by a Board of Regents who overwhelmingly support Republican legislative and statewide candidates despite the liberal reputation of its flagship Madison campus.
Regents are appointed to six-year staggered terms by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who was first elected in 2010, has appointed all but one of the 18 regents – State School Superintendent Tony Evers is the exception. (Evers, who won his third, four-year term last spring, recently announced he will run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018.)
All told, the regents and their spouses contributed about $214,000 to legislative and statewide candidates between January 2010 and December 2016. All but $2,050 of their total contributions went to Republican candidates – that’s 100 times more to the GOP. Walker’s campaign received about $111,700 from his appointees and their spouses.
Topping the list (see table below) of contributors was Regent Tracey Klein, a lawyer with Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren in Milwaukee, and her husband, Richard, who contributed about $44,200 to all legislative and statewide candidates, including about $41,100 to Walker.
|Regent||Employer||Walker Contributions||Total Contributions|
|Tracey Klein||Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren attorney||$41,090||$44,240|
|Robert Atwell||Nicolet Bank Chief executive officer||$10,750||$38,750|
|Mike Jones||Michael Best & Friedrich attorney||$11,800||$25,400|
|Michael M. Grebe||Quarles & Brady attorney||$16,500||$24,700|
|Jose Delgado||Former American Transmission Co. executive||$13,500||$20,850|
|Margaret Farrow||Former GOP Lt. Governor and state senator||$1,775||$19,061|
|Gerald Whitburn||Former Church Mutual Insurance chief executive officer||$9,000||$15,350|
|Tim Higgins||Owner of ChiRho Health Services||$2,386||$7,536|
|S. Mark Tyler||President of OEM Fabricators||$700||$6,775|
|John Behling||Weld Riley attorney||$2,000||$5,550|
|Regina Millner||Owner of RMM Enterprises||$2,100||$2,300|
|Lisa Erickson||Food columnist||$0||$1,520|
|Bryan Steil||Attorney for Regal Beloit Corp.||$100||$1,505|
|Tony Evers||State School Superintendent||$0||$450|
|Janice Mueller||Former Legislative Audit Bureau chief||$0||$0|
|Eve Hall||Milwaukee Urban League chief executive officer||$0||$0|
|Drew Petersen||TDS Telecom vice president||$0||$0|
|Ryan Ring||Student regent from UW-Eau Claire||$0||$0|