The question of the 2018 election season is: how much Foxconn money is pouring into the outside groups who will be supporting Scott Walker and attacking his opponent?
Having raised over $100 million for his own gubernatorial campaigns since 2009, Scott Walker is a prodigious fundraiser. He has also raised campaign cash to fuel a presidential campaign that spent $8.5 million over his 71 day run. Meanwhile, he supported the operations of an affiliated 527 group, Our American Revival, which raised $7.5 million and a super-PAC, Unintimidated, which took in and dished out $24 million. Walker also exercised his fundraising muscle as chair of the Republican Governors Association. [IRS.gov; WI CFIS; Open Secrets]
While the total sums involved remain unclear, what is known is that Scott Walker is intimately involved in fundraising for outside groups that spend millions more to boost his electoral prospects. For example, it was reported an individual cut a $10,000 check to a group controlled by a close aide to Walker, writing in the memo line, “Because Scott Walker asked.” [The Guardian, 9/14/16]
As part of the investigations into improper conduct by Walker’s campaigns, documents showed that an organization run by a long-time top Walker campaign operative was given a $700,000 contribution by a mining company for whom Walker had bent over backward to change the law, giving them the opportunity to develop the world’s largest open pit mine next to the largest body of freshwater on the planet.
The fact is Scott Walker is a transactional politician, leveraging public policy for political campaign donations throughout his quarter century career.
Walker took his first contribution from the National Rifle Association Political Action Committee during his first successful run for office in 1993, beginning a 25-year relationship where Walker reliably supported the NRA extremist agenda and benefitted from more than $3.5 million in NRA spending. [WI Elections Board Historical Society Records; WI CFIS]
In 1999, when it was revealed Walker, the pro-prison privatization Chair of the Assembly Corrections Committee, had taken money from the prison privatization outfit Corrections Corporation of America, he expressed surprise it had taken so long for the discovery to be made. He said, “Quite frankly, I was surprised that if he was going to give, he hadn’t given earlier. I’ve been a private-prison advocate for some time.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/18/99]
As one of his first acts as governor in 2011, he privatized the state’s Department of Commerce, leading critics to contend Walker would use the agency to reward donors with state funds. Analysis of Walker’s first term showed his privatized Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation from its inception through early 2015 sent more than sixty percent of economic development funds to businesses associated with donors who had given Walker over $2.1 million in campaign contributions. [WEDC: Four Years of Failure, 7/30/15]
It is inconceivable that Scott Walker, with his proven record of transactional fundraising, would not seek to use his deal sending up to $4.5 billion in tax dollars to subsidize the operations Foxconn, a huge multinational corporation with a bevy of well heeled executives, to solicit large donations to benefit his own political future.