Bruce Murphy
Murphy’s Law

Steven Spielberg Is Backing Tony Evers

And he's not the only notable from out of state who gave the maximum donation to our governor.

By - Jul 19th, 2022 02:38 pm
Steven Spielberg speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Steven Spielberg speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, (CC BY-SA 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

I have my doubts they ever met, but Hollywood movie director Steven Spielberg, known for such movies as Saving Private Ryan and Jurassic Park, has (along with his wife, actress Kate Capshaw), given $20,000 to the reelection campaign of Democratic Governor Tony Evers. That’s the maximum allowed under the law.

The contribution was listed in a recent report by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks campaign donations to candidates from both parties, along with spending by allegedly independent conservative and liberal advocacy groups, who do those “phony issue ads,” as WDC terms them, where they can’t tell you how to vote, but can dramatically declare, right up to election day, that a particular candidate is a despicable or wonderful politician. Since the U.S. Supreme Court‘s Citizens United decision of 2010 opened the floodgates to unlimited donations by corporations and wealth donors to these groups, the WDC has been left to track way more political spending.

The latest report finds that nearly half of the $10.13 million Evers raised during the first six months of 2022 “came from the state Democratic Party and 31 individuals….Evers’s fundraising haul was about 85 percent higher than the $5.46 million that his predecessor, former GOP Gov. Scott Walker, raised at a comparable time during the first half of the 2018 governor’s race.”

Which is a standard statistic for campaigns, as the amount raised each successive election is ever higher. If Evers wasn’t doing better than the incumbent governor of four years ago he would be be in deep trouble. Indeed, he may still be outspent if his Republican opponent is wealthy businessman Tim Michels, who has poured nearly $8 million of his own money into the primary campaign in just two-and-a-half months. Moreover, Evers money is merely for the traditional campaign. The spending by right-wing and left-wing advocacy groups could be massive for the general election, depending on how big a priority Wisconsin’s race is seen in national terms.

Walker, of course, was a champ at getting donations from out-of-state donors, with 34% coming from non-Wisconsin donors at about this point in his unsuccessful 2018 bid for a third term, as the WDC found. That same report found that 31 individuals gave the maximum donation of $20,000. Looks like Evers has exactly matched that total. As for what percent of Evers money is from out of state, the WDC hasn’t crunched those numbers yet. But by my count, 25 of the 31 top donors to Evers are from outside Wisconsin, while for Walker, 16 of the 31 top donors were from outside the state. However, for both candidates the top donors account for a small percentage of the total money raised.

Other notables from outside the Badger state who maxed out on donating to Evers, as reported by the busy folks at WDC, include:

-“Dirk Ziff and Natasha Ziff, of New York City. The billionaire couple inherited part of their fortune. Dirk later founded Ziff Capital Partners. Natasha is a former Forbes Magazine reporter.

-“Gaye Pigott, of Seattle, WA. Pigott and several extended family members own a nearly $7 billion stake in Paccar, one of the largest truck makers in the world that was founded by the family in 1905.

-“Hope Aldrich, of Santa Fe, NM, a retired newspaper publisher who is a member of the famed Rockefeller family.

-“Monica Horan Rosenthal, of Los Angeles, CA, a television and movie actress.” (For those who wonder who the heck she is, before marrying her name was Monica Horan, when she played the role of Amy MacDougall-Barone on the television sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

-“Vincent Ryan, of Boston, MA, founder and chairman of Schooner Capital,” which has some $25 million in assets under management.

And for right-wing conspiracy theorists obsessed with liberal billionaire George Soros, there was a maximum donation to Evers from “Jennifer Soros, of New York City, president of the Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation.” Yes, the two are married and Jonathan Soros is the third child of George Soros and his first wife, Annaliese Witschak.

Do any of these donors actually know Evers? That seems doubtful. It’s all part of a trend of state elections in the U.S. getting nationalized into liberal vs conservative slugfests with the wealthy lined up on both sides.

Of course, if Ever’s opponent is Michels (and if I were a betting man I’d wager that Michels beats Rebecca Kleefisch in the primary election ), you could argue that at least half of Michels money comes from out of state. That’s because Michels has a $17 million mansion in Connecticut where his wife and kids live and where Michels, by his own account, lives much of the time: he confirmed that he has lived about half the time in Manhattan and Connecticut, where his children attended schools, since 2013, That news came out in early May, and there is no sign that Michels or his family intend to relocate back to Wisconsin.

Needless to say, if Michels were a Democrat, you would be hearing about his half-residency in Wisconsin ad nauseam on right-wing talk radio, from now till the November election.

4 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law: Steven Spielberg Is Backing Tony Evers”

  1. ringo muldano says:

    Only a moron would vote for Michels or Becky. Any wisco rCon for that matter.

    Only a moron would vote for RoJo. Least of all put up a frickin sign in their yard for the biggest moron EVER!

  2. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Note to Bruce Murphy regarding Soros and Ben Wikler:

    Soros started contributing money to the Wisconsin Democratic Party when Ben Wikler became Chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party… Wikler began working for George Soros in 2007… Wikler was Campaign Director at the George Soros organization called AVAAZ (a Persian word meaning “voice”).

    As Campaign Director for AVAAZ, Wikler bought full page ads in major newspapers in the US, calling for bombing campaigns against the women and children of Libya and Syria… Soros and WIkler sponsored and supported groups trying to overthrow the governments of Syria and Libya… Wikler, Soros, and their AVAAZ cohorts caused the deaths of over 100,000 civilians in Libya and over 600,000 civilians in Syria… and the slaughter of civilians continues…

    And now bloodthirsty, war mongering, baby killer Wikler is in charge of the Wisconsin Democratic Party…

    A George Soros employee, Ben Wikler, controls the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

  3. frank a schneiger says:

    It would be easy – and maybe the right thing to do – to ignore the posts of NieWiderKrieg as the standard lies of a right-wing extremist. This one merits a response for a very specific reason. On the far right, the boundaries on expressions of racist, homophobic, nativist, and misogynistic views are pretty much gone. But overt anti-Semitism is still a little bit out of bounds, so a more subtle vehicle is needed. That vehicle is typically an attack on George Soros who, on the racist far-right, is the source of all kinds of evil.

    To NieWiderKrieg and those like him, Soros is the personification of the “eternal Jew,” always working behind the scenes with all of his money to undermine white Christian society.

    Cue the outraged denial of anti-Semitism, but as always with his comments, check NieWiderKrieg’s information sources.

  4. NieWiederKrieg says:

    @frank a schneiger –

    I am 25 clicks farther to the left than you… probably 50 clicks… I’ve worked harder and contributed more time and money than you ever have, or ever will, to get Democrats elected to office.

    By definition, the Arabic speaking people of Libya and Syria are Semites… So Wikler and Soros are anti-Semites of the worst sort for working together to start the wars that killed hundreds of thousands of defenseless Semitic women and children.

    P.S. I put a “Eugene McCarthy for President” campaign sticker on my Milwaukee Journal paper route wagon in 1968 because both of us were opposed to the Vietnam war.

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