Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

The State’s Top 20 Fat Cat Donors

All gave $100,00 and more to state politicians, mostly to Republicans.

By - Feb 11th, 2019 12:29 pm
Sign-up for the Urban Milwaukee daily email
Cash. (CC0 Creative Commons).

Cash. (CC0 Creative Commons).

Here is a look at donors who gave $100,000 checks or more to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin or the Republican Party of Wisconsin last year.

There were 22 individual contributions of $100,000 to $1 million to the state Republican Party by 15 individuals, mostly from outside Wisconsin in 2018. The state Democratic Party received eight contributions of $100,000 to $250,000 from five individuals, mostly from Wisconsin last year.

The following lists do not represent total contributions to the parties by these individuals because they could have given multiple, smaller contributions during the year. The GOP list of top contributions shows three contributions from billionaire Diane Hendricks totaling $2 million and three contributions from Elizabeth Uihlein totaling $1 million.

Here are the top contributions to the state Republican Party and a snapshot of the donors:

Marlene Ricketts, of Omaha, Neb., $1 million. Marlene’s husband, Joe, founded the online stock trading and investing service T.D. Ameritrade and also he is a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs.

Diane Hendricks, of Beloit, Wis., $1 million, owner of ABC Supply, the nation’s largest wholesale roofing supply company. Hendricks also made two additional contributions of $500,000 each.

Elizabeth Uihlein, of Lake Forest, Ill., $500,000. Elizabeth and her husband, Richard, founded and own U-Line Corp., a packaging supply company. Uihlein also made two additional contributions of $250,000 each.

Timothy Dunn, of Midland, Tex., $300,000, co-founder of CrownQuest Operating, an oil and gas business. Dunn also made an additional contribution of $200,000.

David Humphreys, of Joplin, Mo., $250,000, president and chief executive officer of TAMKO Building Products.

Richard Roberts, of Lakewood, N.J., $200,000, chairman of URL Pharma.

Robert Rasmus, of Houston, Tex., $100,000, founder of Red Oak Capital Management LLC and Hi-Crush Proppants LLC.

Ralph Stayer, of Naples, Fla., $100,000, founder of Johnsonville Sausage in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

Jennifer Pritzker, of Chicago, Ill., $100,000, founder of Tawani Enterprises and the Pritzker Military Library.

Bruce Hendry, of Drummond, Wis., two contributions of $100,000 each, retired owner of numerous Twin Cities businesses.

David Herro, of Chicago, Ill., two contributions of $100,000 each, an investment executive with Harris Associates.

Leonard Blavatnik, New York, N.Y., $100,000, owner of Access Industries, a holding company.

Jere Fabick, of Oconomowoc, Wis., $100,000, owner of FABCO Equipment.

Ted Kellner, of Milwaukee, Wis., $100,000, owner of Fiduciary Management.

Thomas W. Smith, of Boca Raton, Fla., $100,000, founder of Prescott Investors and a managing member of Prescott General Partners.

Here are the top contributions to the state Democratic Party in 2018 and a snapshot of the donors:

Herb Kohl, of Milwaukee, $250,000, retired U.S. senator and former owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. Kohl also made an additional $100,000 contribution.

Dale C. Leibowitz, of Madison, Wis., $125,000, founder of the Purple Moon Foundation.

Lynde Uihlein, of Milwaukee, Wis., two contributions of $100,000 each, a philanthropist and founder of the Brico Fund.

John W. Miller, of Cedarburg, Wis., $100,000, retired president of Miller St. Nazianz.

Robert Price, of La Jolla, Calif., two contributions of $100,000 each, chairman of PriceSmart.

Until the GOP-controlled legislature and former Republican Gov. Scott Walker changed Wisconsin’s campaign finance law in 2015, the most anyone could give the political parties was $10,000. Now the sky is the limit.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us