Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Big Donors Get Big Tax Breaks

Corporate welfare recipients contributed more than $800,000 to Gov. Walker.

By - Jun 13th, 2018 12:44 pm
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Kwik Trip Store. Photo is in the Public Domain.

Kwik Trip Store. Photo is in the Public Domain.

Owners and employees from about two dozen companies that received corporate welfare from the state in 2017 have contributed more than $800,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.

These companies were among the 59 businesses that were awarded nearly $3 billion in economic development tax credits and loans last year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The giveaways were made so the companies would either locate or expand their operations in the state. Most of the recipients, 50 of 59 (or 85 percent), were businesses already located in Wisconsin.

Owners and employees of 25 companies, which contributed about $809,000 to Walker’s campaign between January 2009 and December 2017, received about $66 million in tax credits or cheap loans. The top contributors and the giveaway the companies received were:

Generac Power Systems, of Waukesha, about $231,000 in contributions. Most of these contributions, $220,000, were made by the company’s founders, Robert and Patricia Kern. The company received a $10 million tax break.

Masters Gallery Foods, of Oostburg. Together with its parent, Sargento, the companies contributed $146,850. Masters Gallery received a $2.5 million tax break.

Johnsonville Sausage, of Sheboygan Falls, about $128,700 in contributions. The company received a $10 million tax break.

Fisher Barton Blades, of Watertown. The company’s parent, Fisher Barton Group, contributed $97,350. Fisher Barton Blades received a $180,000 tax break.

Kwik Trip, of La Crosse, about $91,200 in contributions. Most of these contributions, about $60,400, were made by Kwik Trip owners Don and LaVonne Zietlow. The company received a $21 million tax break.

The top recipient of economic development tax credits and loans in 2017 was Foxconn, which received nearly $2.9 billion to build a $10 billion liquid crystal display manufacturing plant in Racine County. State fiscal estimates say the Foxconn project will likely end up costing taxpayers about $4.5 billion in state tax breaks, grants, worker training, highway improvements, and other giveaways. Walker’s campaign did not receive a contribution from Foxconn executives as of the end of 2017.

11 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Big Donors Get Big Tax Breaks”

  1. Mike McCabe has been criticizing Walker on this issue for years. It is legal bribery and only in the interests of Walker and his cronies. That is the main reason I support Mike’s candidacy for governor. http://www.governorbluejeans.com #CrowdFunded, Mike will #StopWalkerBribes.

  2. Dmitri Martin says:

    This is why we need Mike McCabe for governor

  3. Dan Weidert says:

    At some point, we’ll all need to realize that the influence of big and special interest money in “our” government is the (very) first problem we must fix. Politicians who accept those monies will always be beholding to it, and can (truly) only work for it. “Our” government will never work for us until we stand up to the big and special interest money and elect those who will not accept their donations. Mike McCabe and “Run On Mike” candidates are the only ones who’ve pledged to limit donations to their campaigns. We need to support and vote for them if we’re ever going to begin to fix this! Let’s not wait another 4 or 8 or ?-years to realize this is what we need to do… “Wisconsin” and this country won’t survive much longer! #DareToDream https://www.governorbluejeans.com/principle_over_party_mike_mccabe_for_governor

  4. Mike McCabe articulates that this is exactly what’s wrong with our government. It works for people who contribute big donations to pad their bottom lines at the expense of the environment and regular people. We need to get government on the side of regular people again. Vote Mike McCabe for governor. https://www.governorbluejeans.com #CrowdFunded #Peoplepowered

  5. Christine Welcher says:

    Legal campaign bribes come with strings attached. Here’s the proof.
    “We have to deal with the reality that there is a cancer growing in the body of our democracy that must be cut out. We have allowed cronyism and corruption and what amounts to legal bribery to take root in our state, and it must be uprooted.
    Because we will never get living wages from a dying democracy.
    We will never get good healthcare from a sick political system.
    We will never get clean air and clean water from dirty politics.
    And we will never get anything more than thoughts and prayers after each new mass shooting as long as elected officials are paid to take no other action. ” ~ Mike McCabe

  6. Mark L. Taylor says:

    This kind of unfair treatment is the reason why we need immediate campaign finance reform and public financing of elections. The corrupt influence of big money is rotting our government from the inside out. The only candidate I have heard who makes this issue central to his campaign in Mike McCabe. His years of work for political reform makes him uniquely qualified to address this kind of institutional corruption. Until we get reform every Wisconsin resident (who is not a millionaire) will be paying an unfair burden and the futures of their children and communities will be limited.

  7. Beth Hartung says:

    We need to replace money power with people power! the time is now!

    This is why I support Mike McCabe for governor.

    As Mike says::

    “We have to deal with the reality that there is a cancer growing in the body of our democracy that must be cut out. We have allowed cronyism and corruption and what amounts to legal bribery to take root in our state, and it must be uprooted.
    Because we will never get living wages from a dying democracy.
    We will never get good healthcare from a sick political system.
    We will never get clean air and clean water from dirty politics.
    And we will never get anything more than thoughts and prayers after each new mass shooting as long as elected officials are paid to take no other action. ” ~ Mike McCabe

  8. Charlene Taymor says:

    Mike McCabe is the only candidate who does not, and will not take large contributions or PAC donations. He knows these come with strings attached and amount to legal bribes. governorbluejeans.com #DareToDream #PeoplePowered #CrowdFunded

  9. Troll says:

    Mike McCabe stands for minorities and women. He is the only authentic white man running.

  10. David says:

    In its very first act in a newly newly gerrymandered state. Republicans passed AB-6 in 2011. This law had only one purpose. Make an exemption from Wisconsin’s tough wetland laws for a car dealer that wanted to build a car lot and dealership in brown County not far from Lambeau Field.

  11. MarkP1950 says:

    Tax breaks for Kwik Trip to install high speed EV chargers?

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