MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross called on state and federal authorities to immediately open an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Capital Midwest being granted management of $1 million of taxpayer funds through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). Capital Midwest is run by Stephen Einhorn who, along with his wife Nancy, donated $25,000 to Gov. Walker’s campaign a mere month before being awarded management rights over the public funds by the WHEDA board, a majority of whose members are appointed by Walker.
“To say this has the appearance of impropriety could be the understatement of the year. This deal stinks, and state and federal authorities need to open an investigation of just how it happened that big campaign donors got their hands on $1 million of taxpayer funds just one month after making a $25,000 donation.”
The intersection of campaign donations and state business is not the first controversy surrounding the political activity of the Einhorn family in 2012. Earlier this fall, a joint investigation by One Wisconsin Now and theGrio news service uncovered it was the Einhorn Family Foundation, established by Stephen and Nancy Einhorn, that, in concert with the Wisconsin ”Money Badger’ and the Bradley Foundation, sponsored anonymous, racist voter suppression billboards in Milwaukee in 2010. In 2012 the Einhorn Family Foundation again sponsored billboards in Milwaukee and Ohio.
In addition to the unseemly granting of management of taxpayer funds to major campaign contributors, Gov. Walker’s economic development agency was revealed to have “lost” track of $56 million in state loans to businesses and was reprimanded by the federal government for improperly disbursing federal funds.
Ross concluded, “A big campaign contributor landing a state contract just one month after larding the Governor’s campaign with a $25,000 donation raises serious questions that warrant investigation and to which we deserve answers. If this is a case of the Walker administration exerting improper influence to steer state funds to a major donor, we’ve moved beyond the realm of simple incompetence and into corruption.”