wisconsin capitol
Press Release
June 10, 2012

Gov. Walker’s Recall Golden Rule: He Who Has the Gold, Rules

Analysis Reveals Gov. Walker Grabs of $7.3 Million From 167 Mega-Donors

An analysis of Gov. Walker’s campaign finances by One Wisconsin Now has revealed he raised $7.3 million from wealthy, mega-donors exceeding the normal $10,000 aggregate contribution limit. The amount raked in by Gov. Walker from just 167 wealthy individuals, is nearly twice as much as the total of all contributions to his recall election opponent.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “Based on our analysis it’s clear Gov. Walker exploited campaign finance laws to mount his cross country cash grab and raked in staggering sums from right-wing billionaires and millionaires. But the unanswered question is, what do they get for their millions in contributions?”

In a regular election cycle, the Governor and their opponent are limited to accepting an aggregate maximum in donations of $10,000 per individual. However, Gov. Walker was not limited to this contribution amount based on state law, as interpreted by the Government Accountability Board.

One Wisconsin Now’s further analysis found that the majority of Gov. Walker’s mega-donors, who gave an average of $43,979.05 or over 400% of the normal aggregate limit, reside outside of Wisconsin.

Among the select group are out-of-state, right-wing ideologues like Texas billionaire Bob Perry, the force behind the infamous “swift boat” ad campaign, Las Vegas casino magnate and Newt Gingrich Presidential campaign super-PAC sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson and Wyoming’s Foster Friess, who famously went on national television to advise women to keep an aspirin between their knees as birth control.

Wall Street was also well represented with mega-donor contributions to Gov. Walker from the likes of billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Bacon and Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack.

Closer to home, Beloit billionaire widow Diane Hendricks of “divide and conquer” video fame, gave the largest single contribution to a political candidate in state history, $500,000, to help reach her goal of fewer rights for workers.

Ross concluded, “Whether it’s the wealthy Wall Street bankers buying access to try to loot the state pension fund or right-wing ideologues bent on stripping away the rights of workers, the fallout of Gov. Walker’s cross country cash grab is bad news for the middle class and working families of Wisconsin.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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