Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Power Line Companies Give Big to Legislators

ATC and Dairyland Power give $338,000 to state politicians, seek controversial transmission line.

By - Jan 15th, 2019 10:49 am

High Voltage Power Lines. Photo by Corey Coyle [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

High Voltage Power Lines. Photo by Corey Coyle [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Senior executives of the two companies building a controversial powerline in southwestern Wisconsin have been greasing the skids in Madison.

The companies are American Transmission Co. (ATC), of Waukesha, and Dairyland Power, of La Crosse.

Top officials and other employees of ATC and Dairyland Power contributed about $338,300 in individual and corporate contributions to legislative candidates and fundraising committees and statewide candidates between January 2010 and December 2017. Top recipients of those contributions were:

Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, about $71,800

Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, $57,600

Former GOP Gov. Scott Walker, $38,825

State Senate Democratic Committee, about $38,100

Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee, about $24,800

Top individual contributors from American Transmission Co. were:

Mike Rowe, of Pewaukee, president, $18,050;

Randall Satterfield, of Fitchburg, executive vice president, $16,700

Michael Hofbauer, of Waukesha, vice president, $15,050.

Top individual contributors from Dairyland Power Cooperative were:

Brian Rude, of Coon Valley, vice president, $6,825

William Berg, of La Crosse, president, $5,600

John West, of La Crosse, information technology director, about $3,100

There’s no record of employees from ITC Midwest, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa., making contributions to Wisconsin candidates.

The proposed $500-million Cardinal-Hickory Creek powerline would run from Dubuque, Iowa to Middleton. Wisconsin taxpayers would pay as much as $72 million for the project.

Earlier this month, a judge approved request from more than 50 parties to intervene in the project, which is being built by American Transmission Co., Dairyland Power Cooperative, and ITC Midwest.

The owners and other supporters of the project say it will provide low-cost energy, but opponents say the powerline isn’t need and that it will damage the environment.

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