wisconsin capitol
Press Release
February 21, 2013

The Billion Dollar Question: How Big is Budget Windfall for Gov. Walker’s Biggest Campaign Contributor?

Walker's $500,000 Donor Paid Zero in State Income Tax in 2010, Will Walker's Latest Budget Scheme Help Her Do It Again?

MADISON, Wis. — An initial analysis of Gov. Walker’s proposed income tax break in his 2013-15 budget shows, to no surprise, that the majority of the breaks go to the state’s wealthiest taxpayers. But, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Scot Ross, the billion-dollar question is: what’s the windfall for Gov. Scott Walker’s largest campaign contributor, and richest woman in Wisconsin, Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks, who paid no state income taxes in 2010.

Ross commented, “We’re all waiting to find out just how much less than zero Gov. Walker believes his billionaire campaign benefactor Diane Hendricks should pay in state income taxes.”

According to an analysis of the income tax proposal released by Gov. Walker, well over half of the income tax break in the budget proposed by Walker earlier this week would go to the top 20% of state taxpayers, with the maximum cut going to the top 1%.

Among those at the very top of the list is Billionaire Hendricks, who gave Gov. Walker the single largest gubernatorial campaign contribution in state history, $500,000, in the Spring of 2012 and has donated a total of $520,500 since 2009 to Walker. Hendricks has appeared on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans with a net worth estimated at nearly $3 billion in 2012. In addition, Hendricks traveled with Walker to his audition speech for the 2016 Republican Presidential primary at the Reagan Library in California in November 2012.

He concluded, “Gov. Walker drops a mere $2 per year tax cut on the bottom 20% of the economic ladder and $2 a week on a middle class family, while showering the upper 20% with nearly $185 million. With this latest scam, Gov. Walker’s shown he’s all too willing to dump Tea Party extremism on Wisconsin’s middle class and working families to court billionaires like Diane Hendricks who will underwrite his national political ambitions.”

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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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