Ten Wisconsin donors contributed more than $1 million to a group headed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker that raises unlimited amounts of cash from special interests to elect GOP candidates for governor nationwide.
The Wisconsin contributions were made to the Republican Governors Association, based in Washington, D.C., during the first six months of 2017. All told, the group raised more than $30.7 million from individuals, corporations and trade groups during the first half of 2017, according to a 527 fundraising and spending report filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
The association has been among the top special interest electioneering groups in Wisconsin, doling out an estimated $18.4 million to help Walker win his 2010 general, 2012 recall, and 2014 reelection. Walker was chosen last year as the group’s 2017 chairman.
The Wisconsin contributors to the group and the amounts they gave in the first half of 2017 were:
- Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce http://www.wisdc.org/InfluencePeddler2017June
- , $362,500
- Shannon 2006 Revocable Trust, of Milwaukee, $250,000
- American Transmission Co., of Waukesha, $150,000
- Forest County Potawatomi Community, of Crandon, $150,000
- U.S. Venture, of Appleton, $50,000
- Robert Hillis, of Milwaukee, president of Direct Supply, $25,000
- Michael Best Strategies, of Madison, the lobbying and consulting arm of the Michael Best & Friedrich law firm, $25,000
- Fabair LLC, of Milwaukee, a private plane service operated by Milwaukee businessman Jere Fabick, $11,606
- MillerCoors, of Milwaukee, $10,000
- Milwaukee Police Association, $1,000
In addition to the recent contributions to the association, several donors have been longtime direct contributors through individual and political action committee (PAC) contributions to Republican and conservative legislative and statewide candidates.
The Milwaukee chamber of commerce’s PAC, corporation, and individual employees contributed about $106,800 between January 2010 and December 2016 to Republican candidates and legislative campaign committees, including $29,850 to Walker.
The Shannon 2006 Revocable Trust is controlled by Mike and Mary Sue Shannon, of Brookfield. Mike Shannon is a managing partner with KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in travel and leisure businesses, and Mary Sue is a homemaker. Between January 2010 and December 2016, the couple contributed $120,000 to Walker’s campaign.
Matt Rothschild is executive director of The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.