Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Menards Accused of Price Gouging

Stores in Wisconsin and Michigan at issue, Michigan AG sends cease-and-disest letter.

By - Mar 28th, 2020 05:06 pm

Menards. Photo by Gabriel Vanslette [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Menards. Photo by Gabriel Vanslette (CC BY 3.0)

Some stores owned by John Menard, Jr., the state’s richest man and a major GOP campaign contributor, have been cited by Wisconsin and Michigan authorities for price gouging on products in high demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Menards was one of 16 companies that were sent cease-and-desist letters after an investigation for illegally raising prices on products during the pandemic, Wisconsin consumer protection officials said Wednesday. The investigation involved hand cleaner products at a West Milwaukee store, Lysol wipes at a Burlington store and Menards online prices for N95 masks.

Last week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel accused Menards of price gouging in a cease-and-desist letter to the company following an investigation. Her office received 18 complaints about Menards selling face masks, bleach, and other products at excessively high prices. The company has 10 days to respond or face possible legal action.

Menard, who founded and owns the multi-state hardware chain, has been hailed as Wisconsin’s richest resident with an estimated worth of $13.7 billion, according to Forbes Magazine, and has lived a bizarre life, as Urban Milwaukee has reported.

Menard is also a major campaign contributor, doling out $83,750 to Wisconsin legislative and statewide candidates – all Republicans and conservatives – between January 2010 and December 2019.

The top recipients were:

Former Gov. Scott Walker, $32,000

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, $18,000

Former Attorney General Brad Schimel, $15,000

Supreme Court Justice Brian Hagedorn, $2,500

Sen. Kathy Bernier, of Chippewa Falls, $2,200

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2 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Menards Accused of Price Gouging”

  1. Jeffjay60 says:

    Excuse me; I have to catch my breath. It was a long trip from the end of the article to the comment box.
    Menards has been on my will not shop there list. It’s in good company with Walmart, Dollar Store, and an unnamed mechanic on Farwell. If you talk to employees, you’ll find that his abuse and lack of concern for them is legendary.
    Can you find employees with complaints about their boss in any organization, yes but when it comes to crowds, size matters.
    Can you save money shopping there? Maybe, however, I ask you to remember something. When you buy something, you have three criteria, the best price, capable service, and the highest quality. You can only have two.

  2. rubiomon@gmail.com says:

    Why isn’t John Menard in jail? This scumbag has a long record of bizarre and criminal behavior. Now, price gouging during a pandemic. Disgusting! I’ll never shop there again!

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