Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Companies Accused of Polluting Donated $72,000

23 chemical companies sued for PFAS contamination support state political candidates.

By - Mar 9th, 2021 03:47 pm
Foam present in Starkweather Creek in 2019 shows elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA (PFAS chemicals). File photo courtesy of the DNR.

Foam present in Starkweather Creek in 2019 shows elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA (PFAS chemicals). File photo courtesy of the DNR.

Employees from a handful of 23 chemical companies sued by the City of La Crosse for PFAS contamination have contributed nearly $72,000 since 2015 to Wisconsin legislative and statewide candidates.

The lawsuit, like many others filed by local governments, citizens, and firefighters in recent years, claimed PFAS have contaminated public and private wells and that chemical makers have known of the dangers of PFAS for decades but kept them secret from users.

Employees and political action committees from four of the companies or their corporate parents contributed $71,958 to legislative and statewide candidates between January 2015 and Oct. 19, 2020.

The company employee and PAC contributions came from:

3M, $70,558

DuPont, $700

BASF Corp., $600

Corteva Inc., $100

The top recipients of those contributions were:

Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, $14,375

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, $11,925

Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, $11,875

State Senate Democratic Committee, $6,000

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, $3,250

PFAS, which are commonly used in fire-fighting foam, nonstick cookware, and water- and stain-resistant clothing and carpet, have been linked to cancer, thyroid, and reproductive illnesses. The manmade chemicals have become a growing concern in recent years because they have been found in drinking water supplies throughout Wisconsin and they do not break down in the human body or the environment.

Last month, Evers recommended spending $26 million in the next two years to test municipal water systems, remediate contaminated sites, dispose of PFAS, and create standards for the chemicals in water. The proposal was part of Evers’ proposed 2021-23 state budget, which will be considered and amended by the GOP-controlled legislature in the coming months.

In a related development, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest business group, sued the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources last month claiming that the agency does not have the authority to enforce clean-up standards for PFAS.

Late last year, Republican lawmakers weakened an emergency rule and the DNR’s ability to monitor and regulate water treatment for the foam after WMC objected to the proposal.

WMC is a leading spender on outside electioneering activities in Wisconsin. The group has doled out more than $26 million since January 2010 to support Republican and conservative legislative and statewide candidates in Wisconsin state elections.

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More about the PFAS Problem

Read more about PFAS Problem here

One thought on “Campaign Cash: Companies Accused of Polluting Donated $72,000”

  1. ringo muldano says:

    What a surprise! WMC is a clear and present danger to our health and ultimately their own families too. If it’s in the water, it’s in your food or soon will be.

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