Last-minute contributions for Wisconsin recall primaries already surpass $1 million

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July 8, 2011

By Geoff Pallay and Greg Janetka

Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

Senators Facing Recall
Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila HarsdorfDave HansenJim HolperinRandy HopperDan KapankeLuther OlsenRobert Wirch

Other Recall Information
Recalls by YearRecall Law in WisconsinRecall laws in other statesRecalls in Wisconsin2011 Scott Walker Budget Repair BillProtests over Budget Repair BillWisconsin Government Accountability BoardRecall timelineElection Results
GAB-3 Documents Filed after July 5, 2011
Organization Contribution Received
We Are Wisconsin $1,683,641.98
America Votes Action Fund $210,000
League of Conservation Voters $60,000
Greater Wisconsin $50,000
Wisconsin Women Vote $42,750
TOTAL $2,055,391.98

MADISON, Wisconsin: Although July 5 was the deadline for candidates and organizations to file pre-election reports on campaign contributions and spending, that still leaves a full week for continued giving before the first recall primaries on July 12.

When candidates, committees and organizations file their summary reports with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, that document is called a GAB-2. According to Wisconsin law, if a candidate or organization receives a contribution of $500 or more, that must be reported within 24 hours to the GAB. That information is filed with a GAB-3 document.

Already in the days since GAB-2 documents were filed on Tuesday, many GAB-3 reports have been filed with contributions totaling above $1 million. Candidates are restricted to a maximum contribution of $1,000 by an individual, which minimizes the overall contribution level. But PACs and other similar organizations do not have a contribution limit. Below are a select few of the highest contributions reported.

  • The We Are Wisconsin PAC -- which reported more than $4.5 million in its GAB-2 including $3 million from the AFL-CIO -- submitted a GAB-3 for a $778,000 contribution from AFL-CIO on July 6. We Are Wisconsin then submitted a GAB-7 -- which deals with expenditures -- noting a $42,000 ad buy against Kim Simac and a $42,000 ad buy for Jim Holperin.
  • America Votes Action Fund reported contributions of $210,000 on July 6. Fred Eychaner, a CEO with Newsweb Corp in Chicago, donated $200,000, while Sandor Straus, an investment manager from Lafayette, California, gave $10,000. America Votes is based in Washington DC and works to "advance progressive policies" according to its website. Additionally, another GAB-3 was supported for a contribution from Paul Eggerman in the amount of $10,000 to the America Votes Action Fund on June 30, 2011. Eggerman, who lives in Massachusetts, was listed in 2007 as one of the leader contributors to the Democratic Party according to a Boston Globe story.[1]
  • Greater Wisconsin Political Fund reported a $50,000 contribution on July 6
  • The League of Conservation Voters submitted a GAB-3 for $60,000 on July 5
  • Wisconsin WOMEN VOTE! submitted a GAB-3 for $40,000 on July 5

All told more than $1 million has been donated to Democratic efforts in the recalls just in the past few days alone.

Because of the cap of $1,000 to candidates themselves, the money reported by incumbents and challengers pales in comparison to the 5-digit sums rolling into interest groups.

Update: On Friday morning, We Are Wisconsin reported an additional contribution of $800,000 from the AFSCME.

See also

References

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