On Monday we drew attention to All Children Matter, the pro-private school vouchers group founded by a Michigan Republican billionaire. Specifically we pointed to a recent unanimous ruling by the Ohio Elections Commission that the right wing group illegally funneled $870,000 into the state. The body also fined All Children Matter $5.2 million for their violations. This was of particular interest in Wisconsin because the same group violated election rules in their opposition to John Lehman’s successful bid for State Senate in 2006. The newly formed Wisconsin Government Accountability Board should take strong action like Ohio to protect the integrity of Wisconsin’s elections.
While we should all be concerned with All Children Matter’s troubling record, we should also be concerned with the massive amounts of money flowing to Wisconsin Legislators by their key donors. One Wisconsin Now found that major donors for All Children Matter have given $10 million to them while also making 539 contributions to current Wisconsin Legislators. The total in contributions to Wisconsin Legislators reaches nearly $130,000. Legislators should think long and hard about whether they want to be associated with the major donors of an organization found to be violating election laws.
The list of All Children Matter’s Top Donors and the money they gave to Wisconsin legislators’ campaign accounts are as follows:
Jim and John Walton, of Bentonville,Arkansas gave $6.4 million to All Children Matter. They also gave 97 Legislative Contributions Totaling $29,100.
Dick and Betsy DeVos, of Grand Rapids, Michigan gave $2.8 million to All Children Matter. They also gave 79 Legislative Contributions Totaling $11,330.
Bill Oberndorf, of San Francisco, California gave $600,000 to All Children Matter. He also gave 76 Legislative Contributions Totaling $17,650.
Virginia Manheimer, of Lambertville, New Jersey gave $400,000 to All Children Matter. She also gave 5 Legislative Contributions Totaling $1,700.
Richard Sharp, Richmond, of Virginia gave $200,000 to All Children Matter. He also gave 75 Legislative Contributions Totaling $18,075.
David Brennan, of Akron, Ohio gave $200,000 to All Children Matter. He also gave 2 Legislative Contributions Totaling $1,000.
John Kirtley, of Tampa, Florida gave $100,000 to All Children Matter. He also gave 6 Legislative Contributions Totaling $2,200.
John Fisher, of San Francisco, California gave $85,000 to All Children Matter. He also gave 54 Legislative Contributions Totaling $13,625.
George and Susan Mitchell, of Milwaukee,Wisconsin gave $64,000 to All Children Matter. They also gave 137 Legislative Contributions Totaling $30,975.
Jerry Hume, of San Francisco, California gave $10,000 to All Children Matter. He also gave 8 Legislative Contributions Totaling $3,800.