wisconsin capitol
Press Release
August 18, 2014
Media Contact
Mike Browne, Deputy Director
(608) 444-3483
One Wisconsin Now

They’re Back: Wealthy Private School Voucher Boosters Fill GOP Politicians’ Campaign Coffers

Scary to Think What Gov. Walker and Gang Are Promising They Will Do Next to Keep Campaign Cash Flowing

MADISON, Wis. — An analysis of recently filed campaign finance reports by One Wisconsin Now has found supporters of private school vouchers from across the country are dropping big donations on Wisconsin politicians in recent months, including over $113,000 to Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. In total, voucher supporters pumped over $175,000 plus into Republican politician’s campaign coffers in just the first six months of 2014.

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “They’re back. It’s campaign season and that means once again an elite cabal of wealthy, pro-privatization ideologues, many of whom don’t even live in Wisconsin, are fattening up the campaign coffers of Gov. Walker and his pro-privatization minions in the legislature and on the state’s high court.”

In total, identified supporters of private voucher schools donated $175,215 to GOP politicians. The largest share, $74,500, went to Gov. Walker’s campaign with another $38,750 filling the campaign coffers of his running mate Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Other notables grabbing big voucher money were Attorney General candidate Brad Schimel who raked in $26,850 while Eleva Republican Assembly Rep. Warren Petryk snagged $1,750 and Rep. Howard Marklein, running for state Senate, got $2,000.

In addition to direct giving to political campaigns, pro-education privatization forces have a deep-pocketed ally in Gov. Walker’s campaign chair Michael Grebe, head of the Bradley Foundation. A 2013 report from One Wisconsin Now exposed the $31 million plus in funds spent by the Bradley Foundation on a web of right-wing groups pushing the radical privatization of Wisconsin’s public schools.

Under Gov. Walker and the voucher money fueled legislature, the unaccountable privatization of Wisconsin schools has spread statewide, with nearly $385 million of taxpayer funds going to send kids to private schools in the 2013 state budget. And, while enacting the biggest cuts to public schools per student in the nation, Walker and the GOP also enacted a new tax break of up to $10,000 for parents already sending their kids to private schools.

“The pro-voucher cabal has spent big money on Wisconsin elections, and in return Gov. Walker and his minions have made the biggest cuts to our public schools in state history while showering the unaccountable private school voucher program with records amount of tax dollars. It’s scary to think what Gov. Walker and his gang are promising to do next to keep the cash flowing,” concluded Ross.

# # #

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

shannon zimmerman on language of women video still
Press Release

Shannon Zimmerman Video Raises Red Flags About Attitude Toward Women

The statement from Shannon Zimmerman – an announced candidate for a vacant State Senate seat – that women shouldn't be believed is a huge red flag.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/21/2017
silhouette shouting into megaphone
In the News

Chet Agni: Board of Regents chills free speech for students of color

Like students across the state, I was shocked by the Board of Regents’ new policy attacking free speech on University of Wisconsin System campuses.
Capital Times
11/16/2017
wisconsin supreme court
Press Release

One Wisconsin Now Calls for Probe of Michael Screnock

Recent newspaper reports detail the arrests of Michael Screnock and his failure to fully disclose the incidents on his application for a judicial appointment.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/16/2017
voters voting
Press Release

Institute Praises Milwaukee Action to Expand Early Voting Opportunities

Voting rights advocates are celebrating passage of a budget provision adding early voting sites in the City of Milwaukee.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Institute
11/15/2017
us capitol building
Press Release

Gov. Scott Walker Joins ‘If It’s True’ Crowd

Meanwhile in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker, joined those offering aid and comfort to Moore by falling back on the “if it’s true” refrain.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/13/2017
scott walker in a hole
Press Release

Statements on Gov. Scott Walker Signing Foxconn Contract

Scott Walker literally signed away our future, agreeing to a contract to send billions of our tax dollars to boost the bottom line of a foreign corporation.
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017
hand holding phone displaying twitter
In the News

Scot Ross: RT if you support the First Amendment

Free speech is not just for the people or organizations whom our state elected officials like or with whom they agree.
Capital Times
11/10/2017
ron johnson
Press Release

Ron Johnson’s Failure to Confront Sexual Abuse Continues

Ron Johnson Offers Only Qualified Condemnation of Sourced Reporting of Abuse of Teens, Minor Women by GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Roy Moore
One Wisconsin Logo
One Wisconsin Now
11/10/2017