wisconsin capitol
Press Release
January 31, 2013

The Case of the Missing Contributions: Roggensack Fails to Report Big Money From Out-of-State Private School Voucher Backers in Latest Campaign Finance Report

Top Court Candidate's Recent Finance Report Fails to Disclose Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Contributions From Out-of-State Backers of Private School Voucher Program

MADISON, Wis. — A review of campaign finance reports by One Wisconsin Now has uncovered that State Supreme Court candidate Patience Roggensack failed to disclose $20,550 in campaign contributions bundled by backers of the private school voucher program on her latest campaign finance report. While Roggensack’s campaign failed to report the contribution, a separate report filed by the group Fund for Parent Choice shows they made a contribution of $20,550 to Roggensack on December 27, 2012, several days before the close of the reporting period.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “While the right-wing boasts that Patience Roggensack will, as a member of the court, vote to protect the program that gives parents a government voucher to send their child to private schools, her campaign fails to disclose tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that she’s received in return from the out-of-state billionaire ideologues that back the voucher program experiment.”

This week, all candidates for public office with active campaign accounts, and other groups like conduits that bundle campaign contributions to candidates, were required to file campaign finance reports with the state Government Accountability Board detailing their activity through the end of 2012. The report filed by the “Fund for Parent Choice” reports $20,550 in campaign cash bundled as a conduit contribution from wealthy ideologues in California, Michigan, Arkansas, Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin on December 27, 2012.

Private school voucher advocates from out-of-state have consistently larded the campaigns of politicians voting to support and expand the program with big contributions, and their front groups have spent huge sums on television advertising in recent years. A top leader of the pro-voucher group active in state legislative campaigns was employed by a candidate in a previous State Supreme Court race in which the largest fine in state history was levied against his candidate for illegally coordinating with an “independent” expenditure group.

“It is disturbing that Patience Roggensack is being sold as the candidate that will vote to protect their pet program and the out-of-state ideologues that support private school vouchers are buying,” said Ross. “But it is out outrageous that Roggensack failed to disclose the contributions from the voucher special interests.”

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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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