One Wisconsin Now Press Release

January 9, 2012
Contact: Mike Browne
Phone: (608) 444-3483

Walker Sues to Stick Taxpayers With Campaign Tab Despite Being Able to Raise Unlimited Money

Reason Unlimited Money Allowed Is to Pay for What Walker Making Taxpayer Shoulder

Madison -- Gov. Scott Walker's effort to require taxpayers to finance the recall signature review campaign process should be disallowed, given Walker has been crisscrossing the country raising unlimited and unprecedented amounts of campaign cash, according to One Wisconsin Now.

"Gov. Walker can't have it both ways," said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. "When Gov. Walker started raising unlimited money, he obligated his campaign to pay for campaign costs associated with his recall - not the taxpayers."

According to the Government Accountability Board, the law states:

Once a recall committee files a registration statement (GAB-1), the exemption from the ยง11.26, Wis. Stats., contribution limits applies. The exemption from contribution limits only apply up to the amount of legal fees and all other expenses incurred in connection with the circulation of a recall petition and challenge or defense of an order for a recall election. [GAB Memo, 3/15/11] 

Walker's successful lawsuit before a former Republican State Senator, who now serves as a judge in the county where Walker's campaign jurisdiction shopped, completely ignores that the unlimited contributions Walker can raise under the law.

"Walker has no problem sticking taxpayers with more bills because of his desperate effort to save his job," said Ross. "He should either return all contributions above the $10,000 threshold, or he should pay for the review of recall signatures."

Walker's report shows he amassed $4.87 million in individual contributions, 49 percent of which, or $2.39 million, came from out of state contributions. One Wisconsin Now's analysis of his report shows:

  • Massive concentration of high dollar donations: Walker has raised $2,247,688 from those giving mega-donations of $1,000 and above. The top 1.3 percent of individual givers donated 46 percent of Walker's total itemized individual money. In fact, Walker has used the unlimited campaign finance restrictions on individual donations to amass $1,210,000 from a mere 41 contributors. This means 25 percent of Walker's individual money came from 0.00087 percent of his donors.
  • Massive amounts of out of state money: Walker not only took nearly 50 percent of his individual money from out of state, his top four donors totaling $550,000, came from outside of Wisconsin. Of Walker's largest 655 contributions of $1,000 and above, 53 percent of the money from these contributions, or $1,196,600 is from outside of Wisconsin.
  • Violations of reporting requirements: Walker failed to report employment information for $41,644 in 187 contributions above $100 in violation of campaign finance reporting laws. This does not include the unprecedented $154,781 in "unitemized contributions," which include no information. Walker was previously the subject of a Government Accountability Board complaint for failing to disclose the employment information for over $500,000 in 1,100 contributions in violation of the law. http://www.onewisconsinnow.org/press/walker-goes-over-500000-in-improperly-reported-contributions.html

"Gov. Walker has yet to tell us how much taxpayers have financed his security and travel costs for his constant campaign travel across America," said Ross. "Now Gov. Walker wants to stick taxpayers with the tab that should be picked up by his fat cat campaign contributors - like Swift Boat sugar daddy Bob Perry, who gave the governor a cool $250,000."

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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.