The Badger Project

Five Brewers Executives Gave Maximum Donations to Robin Vos

Donations made just two weeks after $366 million funding for team passed.

By , The Badger Project - Mar 18th, 2024 12:58 pm
American Family Field. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

American Family Field. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Wisconsin State Legislature is sending nearly $366 million of public funds to renovate and update American Family Field, where the Milwaukee Brewers play.

The Brewers sent a little back to Speaker Robin Vos, the most powerful politician in the state Legislature and the top Republican in Wisconsin.

At least five top executives from the ballclub sent Vos the maximum donation allowable by law — $1,000 — in November after sealing the deal.

According to campaign finance records filed with the state, Milwaukee Brewers President Rick Schlesinger and four other top executives each made the top donation to Vos on or around November 28, two weeks after the stadium funding bill passed both Republican-controlled houses of the Legislature.

Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, signed the bill into law a week later in December.

The other four executives who made the top donation are:

The executives did not donate to any other Wisconsin politicians in 2023, nor have they ever given to any candidate or politician in the state, according to campaign finance records.

Neither the ball club nor Vos responded to messages seeking comment.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign was the first to break the story.

The Brewers also reported spending more than $1.5 million in the past nine years, and nearly $900,000 in 2023, to lobby the Legislature on the funding issue.

The stadium’s majority owner is the public, though the Brewers still have a large piece. The Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, a public entity created by the Legislature, owns nearly 64% of the stadium. The Brewers own the remaining 36%.

The Brewers are owned by Mark Attanasio, whose net worth is estimated to be around $700 million.

Vos might need every dollar he can get. He is facing a possible recall election, though that is a longshot, as supporters must collect thousands of signatures in 60 days. But Vos could also face another primary challenge this year. He narrowly defeated a primary challenger in 2022.

Vos is the longest-serving Assembly speaker in state history, holding the position since 2013.

In exchange for the public funding, the Brewers agreed to extend their lease and stay in Milwaukee through the 2050 season.

The Brewers say the 22-year-old stadium needs major renovations. The building’s outfield doors, seats and concourses need replacing, its scoreboard and suites need upgrades and its retractable roof, parking lots, elevators and escalators need updates too, the ball club says.

Milwaukee is the smallest market of the 30 Major League Baseball clubs, but regularly punches well above its weight in attendance, usually finishing in the middle of the league.

With public funding for stadium secured, five Brewers executives sent maximum donations to top Republican legislator was originally published by The Badger Project.

6 thoughts on “Five Brewers Executives Gave Maximum Donations to Robin Vos”

  1. kb9vrg says:

    Something smells at American Family Field, and it’s not the sauerkraut.

  2. TosaGramps1315 says:

    I guess this should come as no surprise. The Brewers wanted the taxpayers to foot most of the bill for staying in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future, and how do you do that? Donate to one of the slimiest Republicans in the state, who just happens to be the state Assembly Speaker of a group of 64, some of whom have there positions courtesy of gerrymandered district maps.
    Remember when Republicans were proponents of smaller government and lower taxes? They prove almost every day what a bunch of hypocrites they really are.

  3. tornado75 says:

    well, isn’t that special????

  4. julia o'connor says:

    I listen to Bob and his colleagues and watch on TV but I will never willingly give anyone at this cabal my money to see a game. They wired my local tax increase before the first committee meeting was held.

  5. gerrybroderick says:

    Vos heard them cry: “Play ball!” and (cha-ching) he certainly did.

  6. spring2it says:

    Taxpayers should not be footing the bill for these massive sports stadiums. Robin Voss needs to go. We are still on the hook for what happened with Fox Conn.

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