Fred Clark

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Fred Clark
Clark fred.jpg
Wisconsin State Assembly District 81
In office
2009 - Present
Term ends
January 5, 2015
Years in position 6
Base salary$49,943/year
Per diem$88/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2008
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sMichigan State University, 1985
Master'sUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison, 1992
Date of birth05/14/1959
Place of birthAnn Arbor, MI
Office website
Fred Clark (b. May 14, 1959) is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing District 81. He was first elected to the chamber in 2008. He has served as Minority Caucus Vice Chair.


Clark earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in 1985 and his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992.

Clark is the Owner/Forester/Contractor of Clark Forestry, Incorporated. He previously worked as a service forester/consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and as a forest ecologist for The Nature Conservancy.[1]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Clark served on the following committees:

Wisconsin Committee Assignments, 2013
Environment and Forestry
Jobs, Economy and Mining
Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage


During the 2011-2012 legislative session, Clark served on these committees:


During the 2009-2010 legislative session, Clark served on these committees:


Legislation sponsored in 2009 includes:

  • AB-180 Environmental Results Program revisions and name changed to Green Tier Program, Environmental Cooperation Pilot Program provisions; Environmental Improvement Program revisions and name changed to Environmental Compliance Audit Program; DNR duties.
  • AB-245 Lobbying by former legislators prohibited for 12 months following their last day in office; penalty provisions
  • AB-295 Lodging establishment may permit smoking in certain guest rooms

For a full listing of sponsored legislation and details see the House site.

Campaign themes


website highlighted the following campaign themes:[2]

  • Campaign finance reform - "We continue to believe in the democratic principle of one person-one vote. Yet Wisconsin’s regulation of campaign financing is not up the task of protecting that promise."
  • Affordable health care - "Since the federal government is failing to lead in one of the most pressing issues facing our country, Wisconsin must step up to ensure that every Wisconsin citizen has access to affordable, comprehensive health care."
  • Public education - "Wisconsin needs a complete reform of our primary school financing system. We need to fund schools using methods that will allow EVERY school district to meet our state’s own standards for adequacy in education."
  • Tax equity - "We need to reform business taxation in Wisconsin to ensure that everyone pays their fair share and that the burden of taxation is no longer falling unfairly on the backs of our property owners and middle class citizens."



See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2012

Clark won re-election in the 2012 election for Wisconsin State Assembly District 81. Clark ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on August 14 and defeated Scott Frostman (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[3]

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 81, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Scott Frostman 38.1% 10,995
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngFred Clark Incumbent 61.8% 17,829
     - Scattering 0% 11
Total Votes 28,835

2011 recall

See also: Recall of Wisconsin State Senators (2011) and Luther Olsen recall, Wisconsin State Senate (2011)

Clark announced on April 21 that he would run against Republican state Sen. Luther Olsen in a recall election.[4]

About 24,000 signatures were filed against Olsen on April 18, seeking his recall. On May 23 the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board rejected Olsen's challenges to the petition and certified 22,207 signatures, clearing the way for a recall election to be held July 12.[5]

Clark said he opposed Olsen because of his support for Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill. Clark stated, "I had worked with Luther and respected him. I spoke to him and told him I hoped he'd try to find a compromise (but) at the end of the day he voted along with the rest of his colleagues. They voted without any debate and walked out. That was the night he stopped representing the people."[6]

In late May, Clark publicly challenged Olsen to at least three debates before the election. The Democratic Party released a statement on May 31 saying that Olsen ignored the calls. Olsen's campaign manager, Jeff Weigand, called the accusation "ridiculous," adding that they had not received any calls or emails from Clark asking for debates.[7] On June 5, Olsen said he would be happy to debate his opponent, but as Clark had not yet filed nomination papers, it was premature to set up debates.[8] Clark released a statement on July 11 calling out Olsen for his failure to respond to requests for debates.[9]

Clark and Olsen agreed to a series of debates taking place on three consecutive days from July 26-28, with a fourth being proposed. The first being sponsored by the Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative had no audience participation, but the public could suggest questions beforehand. The second was put on by the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, with the third sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area.[10]

GOP officials placed Rol Church on the ballot as a Democratic candidate, forcing a primary between Church and Clark, delaying the actual recall election by four weeks.[11]

Robert Forseth had filed to run as a "placeholder" Democrat. Following the news that all six "fake" Democrats had turned in their final paperwork to get on the ballot to the GAB, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced that it would not be running their placeholder candidates in the recalls as they are no longer necessary. Party Chair Mike Tate explained, "The goal of the placeholder candidacies was to create an insurance policy against further Republican attempts to exploit the recall election schedule through dirty tricks and cynical plots."[12]

All three had filed nomination papers with a sufficient number of verified signatures.

July 12 Democratic Primary

Clark easily defeated Church in the primary.

July 12 Democratic primary[13]
Candidates Votes Percent
Fred Clark Approveda 15,052 66.7%
Rol Church 7,346 32.55%
Scattering 169 0.75%
  • Robert Forseth Note: Forseth filed nomination papers with sufficient signatures but did not file final papers to be on the ballot.

August 9 recall

Clark lost to Olsen in the recall election.

August 9 Recall - District 14[14]
Candidates Votes Percent
Luther Olsen (R) Green check mark transparent.png 26,553 52.1%
Fred Clark (D) 24,355 47.79%
Scattering 56 .11%


Conducted July 21-24

August 9, 2011 Recall - District 14 - Daily Kos/PPP Poll
Candidate Party Percent
Fred Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 49%
Luther Olsen Ends.png Republican 47%
Undecided 4%

Conducted August 5-7

August 9, 2011 Recall - District 14 - Daily Kos/PPP Poll[15]
Candidate Party Percent
Fred Clark Electiondot.png Democratic 47%
Luther Olsen Ends.png Republican 50%
Undecided 3%

Ads relating to the campaign

Ad controversy

On July 15, the state Democratic Party sent a formal letter to six television stations asking them to pull an ad paid for by Wisconsin Family Action which they said was "shameful" and "grossly mischaracterizes and purposely deceives the voters about Fred Clark and his strong commitment to his family."[16] The ad alleges that Clark stated his child support payments "weren't a huge priority."

Campaign contributions

Fred Clark Campaign Finance Reports (GAB ID No. 0104644)
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Total Contributions (Expenditures) Cash on Hand
Special Pre-Election[17] August 1, 2011 $163,106.59 $67,750.23 $(163,401.40) $67,455.42
July Continuing[18] July 5, 2011 $12,642.26 $226,501.27 $(76,006.94) $163,196.59
Official reports


See also: Wisconsin State Assembly elections, 2010

Clark was re-elected to Wisconsin State Assembly District 42. He defeated Republican Jack Cummings in the general election on November 2, 2010. Clark was unopposed in the September 14, 2010, primary election.[19]

Wisconsin State Assembly, District 42 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Fred Clark (D) 10,208
Jack Cummings (R) 9,921
Wisconsin State Assembly, District 42

Democratic primary (2010)

Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Fred Clark (D) 1,656 99.76%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Clark is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Clark raised a total of $531,037 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 7, 2013.[20]

Fred Clark's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Wisconsin State Assembly, District 81 Won $26,389
2011 Wisconsin State Senate, District 14 Defeated $308,056
2010 Wisconsin State Assembly, District 42 Won $94,411
2008 Wisconsin State Assembly, District 42 Won $102,181
Grand Total Raised $531,037


Clark won re-election to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2012. During that election cycle, Clark raised a total of $26,389.


Clark lost the election for the Wisconsin State Senate in 2011. During that election cycle, Clark raised a total of $308,056.


Clark won re-election to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2010. During that election cycle, Clark raised a total of $94,411.


Clark won election to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2008. During that election cycle, Clark raised a total of $102,181.


Clark is a member of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, Forest Guild, National Wild Turkey Federation, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, and Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.[21]

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External links

Suggest a link


  1. Project Vote Smart - Assemblyman Clark
  2. Clark for Wisconsin Issues
  3. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidates on Ballot by Election - 2012 Partisan Primary 8/14/2012," retrieved June 12, 2012
  4. FOX 11, "Clark to challenge Olsen in recall," April 22, 2011
  5. FOX 11, "GAB clears way for 3 GOP recall elections," May 23, 2011
  6. The Northwestern, "Democrat Fred Clark says he is challenging Sen. Luther Olsen in recall election because Olsen "stopped representing the people"," April 29, 2011
  7. Baraboo News Republic, "Clark, Olsen debate debate," June 1, 2011
  8. Post Crescent, "No date set in recall debate between Republican State Senator Luther Olsen and Democratic opponent Fred Clark," June 6, 2011
  9. WisPolitics, "Clark Campaign: Time to plan debates," July 11, 2011
  10. Portage Daily Register, "Clark, Olsen plan debates," July 15, 2011
  11. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin GOP leaders encouraging colleagues to place fake Democrats on recall ballots," June 5, 2011
  12. WisPolitics, "WisDems: Dems to end placeholder candidacies in recall elections," June 17, 2011
  13. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "July 12 Primary Election Results District 14," accessed July 11, 2011
  14. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "District 14 Recall Election Results," August 19, 2011
  15. Daily Kos, "Wisconsin recall elections: Too close to call," August 8, 2011
  16. WisPolitics, "WisDems: Shady conservative hit group smears Fred Clark with blatantly misleading attack ad," July 18, 2011
  17. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN: GAB-2: Clark for Wisconsin," August 1, 2011
  18. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: STATE OF WISCONSIN: GAB-2: Clark for Wisconsin," July 5, 2011
  19. Official GAB primary results
  20., "Clark, Fred," accessed June 7, 2013
  21. Project Vote Smart - Assemblyman Clark
Political offices
Preceded by
Kelda Roys (D)
Wisconsin State Assembly District 81
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wisconsin State Assembly District 42
Succeeded by
Keith Ripp (R)