Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

WMC Loves Republican Governors Group

State’s big business group gives most of the $1.9 million from state donors to GOP campaign group.

By - Jul 25th, 2018 10:35 am
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Photo by Riley Vetterkind / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Photo by Riley Vetterkind / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

An outside electioneering group that helps elect Republican governors in Wisconsin and throughout the country received nearly $1.9 million from Wisconsin contributors during the first six months of 2018.

Reports filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service show 11 Wisconsin contributors doled out $1,861,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) in the first half of 2018. The group spent $18.4 million to support GOP Gov. Scott Walker in his 2010 general, 2012 recall 2014 reelection.

Topping the list of Wisconsin contributors to the RGA as of June 30 was Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest business group, which gave $1.25 million. In addition to its contribution to the association, WMC has secretly raised and spent an estimated $9.5 million on its own on outside electioneering activities to support Walker in his last three races for governor.

Rounding out the top three state contributors to the association were the Robert and Patricia Kern 1992 Revocable Trust, of Waukesha, at $250,000, and American Transmission Co., of Waukesha, $100,000.

Robert and Patricia Kern, of Waukesha, founded Generac Power Systems. The couple are longtime givers to Republican and conservative candidates and causes in Wisconsin and throughout the country. Between January 2010 and December 2017, the couple contributed $220,000 to Walker’s campaign.

American Transmission Co. owns and operates high-voltage electric transmission lines throughout the Upper Midwest. Between January 2010 and December 2017, company executives contributed $38,375 to Walker’s campaign.

The RGA raises much of its money from wealthy individuals, corporations, and trade organizations tied to manufacturing, health care, energy, insurance, and other powerful special interests using a 527 organization. 527 groups must disclose fundraising and spending in periodic reports to the IRS, but are unregulated because they raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from any source.

Meanwhile, the Republican group’s counterpart, the Democratic Governors Association, received $69,720 from 32 Wisconsin contributors during the first six months of 2018.

Topping the list of Wisconsin contributors to the Democratic group through June 30 was Johnson Controls, of Milwaukee, at $25,350, followed by American Transmission Co. at $25,000. Rounding out the top three was Laura Peracchio, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor, at $10,000. Twenty-nine remaining donors, all individuals, gave between $50 and $700 each to the group.

One thought on “Campaign Cash: WMC Loves Republican Governors Group”

  1. Terry says:

    Of course. Cut education, give massive Corporare Welfare to Chinese companies, let the roads and infrastructure collapse as poverty rates hit 30 year highs in Wisconsin while attacking iconic US companies and WI farmers. Keep em dumb, broke and desperate, thus much easier to control. That’s the Trump, Walker, Republican way! Of course when that fails…just blame Obama! Blame Hillary! Blame Doyle! Take no personal responsibilty! It’s all Fightin’ Bob LaFollette’s fault!!

    Crumbling Scott-hole filled roads, poverty rates are at 30 year highs collapsing infrastructure, massive DOT debt, defunded crumbling schools, high taxes, crazy far right-wing extremist republican laws on all social issues, slave wages, no benefits, no functioning healthcare system, alcoholics and drunkards everywhere, dirty water and polluted air, most corrupt state government in the USA lorded over by a crooked Career Politician with a high school diploma who has never worked a single day in the private sector but instead has been mooching off taxpayers and Big Government for 28 straight years and just handed 4.5 Billion of our taxes to a low wage CHINESE company all while dissing iconic American companies like Harley Davidson while staying silent as Trump attacks our farmers with trade wars and tariffs thus appeasing and enabling Trumpty Dumpty’s fascism and UNAMERICAN authoritarianism. Of course nobody wants to live, invest or raise a family in this regressive Third World slave wage toilet bowl that Career Politician Scott Walker and republicans turned the once proud state of Wisconsin into!

    Dump Walker
    Dump Trump
    Dump ALL republicans!

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