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One Wisconsin Now

One WI Now files GAB complaint over Walker’s repeated violation of campaign reporting law

Walker Has Refused to Provide Employment Information for Over 650 Contributions Since 2009 for Donations Totaling $235,000

MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has violated the state of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws more than 650 times since 2009 by failing to disclose information about contributors who donated more than $100, according to a formal complaint filed Tuesday with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

One Wisconsin Now’s research, compiled from the Walker for Governor campaign finance reports, shows 659 separate donations in excess of $100 without the required employment information for the donors. The total contributions in violation of Wisconsin statute 11.60(1) total $234,920.

“Scott Walker apparently doesn’t care about the reporting rules of the state of Wisconsin, because he is a repeat offender,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “We are not talking about an isolated incident, but Scott Walker’s reckless disregard for our law.”

The reporting statutes were enacted to give the public a full and timely picture of who is contributing to political candidates and the interests they may be representing. Lawmakers felt this was particularly important in the days preceding a general or primary election.

According to the statutes, each violation of the reporting laws can result in a fine of up to $500, which in Walker’s case could top nearly $330,000. One Wisconsin Now reviewed Walker’s last four campaign finance reports and documented the following violations by Walker.

July 2009 Continuing Report: 206 contributions in excess of $100 without the required information totaling $76,170
Jan 2010 Continuing Report: 35 contributions in excess of $100 without the required information totaling $10,710
July 2010 Continuing Report:
204 contributions in excess of $100 without the required information totaling $68,575.38
Pre-primary 2010 Report: 214 contributions in excess of $100 without the required information totaling $79,464.68

Note: these figures are in addition to $70,813.47 in “unitemized contributions” over the same period of time contained in Walker’s report.

The prominence of a number of Walker donors who do not have their employment information is good indication how little effort Walker put in to comply with the law. Among those whose employment information is not fully disclosed include: Thomas Howatt, Board Chair of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, right wing funder Mary Kohler and conservative activist Yash Wadhwa.

“Scott Walker built his legislative career as a tough on crime back bencher, but apparently he doesn’t believe the ”three-strikes and you’re out law’ applies to him,” said Ross. “Maybe 659-times and you’re out will apply to Walker’s repeated violations.”

A copy of One Wisconsin Now’s complaint is available at: http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/files/OWN%20GAB%20Complaint%20—%20Walker.pdf

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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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