The State’s Top 20 Fat Cat Donors
All gave $100,00 and more to state politicians, mostly to Republicans.
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:
Dale C. Leibowitz, of Madison, Wis., $125,000, founder of the Purple Moon Foundation.
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.