Campaign Arms Race Instensifies

Fundraising, War Chests Up 60% For 2000 Elections

February 7, 2000

Madison - Voters turned off by negative advertising and runaway campaign spending in the 1998 election are in for a much larger dose in 2000, due to a staggering increase in legislative fundraising, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported today.

Wisconsin legislators collectively raised $1.4 million in the last six months of 1999, about 61 percent more than the $860,766 that they raised in the last half of 1997. They ended 1999 with campaign fund balances that totaled $3 million, about 60 percent more than the $1.9 million that they had going into the 1998 election year.

"The sheer amount raised by legislators is obscene, but what’s even worse is that they raised much of this money while they were putting together the state budget, creating the widespread impression that the budget was for sale," said WDC executive director Gail Shea.

And with the election nine months away, much more will be raised. Legislative candidates and legislative campaign committees have held or scheduled at least 21 fundraisers so far this year.

In addition to individual candidate committees, legislative leaders raised another $349,318 for their legislative campaign committees. These LCCs receive money directly from special interests and provide hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of contributions, loans and services to the candidates of their choosing with little accountability to the state or the political parties.

"Comprehensive campaign reform would address these abuses of big money politics," Shea said. "One look at the fundraising figures and you know why legislative leaders are blocking reform. Money flows to power. Those in charge of the legislature aren’t interested in turning off the spigot because they benefit big time."

Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, R-Waukesha, raised more money in the second six months of 1999 than any other state representative - nearly $97,000. He also had the largest year-end cash balance of any legislator in the Assembly or Senate - more than $210,000. Jensen is a magnet for special interest contributions because he controls the fate of legislative proposals in the Assembly and he is a possible Republican candidate for governor in 2002.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Chvala, D-Madison, who determines which proposals will be passed by the Senate, raised the largest amount of money among senators in the second half of 1999 - more than $64,000.

Republican Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills raised the most of any Republican senator - $61,622. Former Senate Minority Leader Michael Ellis, R-Neenah, had more than $167,000 in his campaign fund at the end of 1999, the most of any state senator. Sen. Brian Burke of Milwaukee, who is co-chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee, had the largest year-end cash balance of any Democratic senator - more than $134,000.

For Assembly Democrats, Rep. Spencer Black of Madison, had the largest year-end cash balance - $119,863, There was no Democrat among the top five fundraisers in the Assembly. Rep. Sheldon Wasserman of Milwaukee raised the most money among the Assembly Democrats - more than $24,000.

"These huge war chests are amassed to scare off potential challengers," said Shea. "Challengers see the cash that incumbents have on hand and realize it will be next to impossible to dig themselves out of the hole. So voters are left with fewer choices on the ballot."

A comparison of Republican and Democratic fundraising and war chests shows that the two parties were almost equally matched in the Senate. However, Republicans in the Assembly raised more than three times as much as Democrats, and their total cash on hand was more than double that of Democrats.

Senate Democrats Republicans
Amount Raised (7/1-12/31/99) $291,722 $262,622
Cash on Hand (12/31/99) $646,510 $640,605
Assembly Democrats Republicans
Amount Raised (7/1-12/31/99) $175,664 $658,616
Cash on Hand (12/31/99) $551,636 $1,168,706

Two legislators failed to meet the Jan. 31 deadline to file year-end campaign finance reports, Sen. Kimberly Plache* and Republican Rep. Lorraine Seratti of Spread Eagle.

In addition to the legislators, three of the five constitutional officers also raised and saved healthy amounts by the end of 1999, even though they will not be up for reelection until 2002. They raised a total of $598,463 in the last six months of 1999 and had $1,008,694 in cash on hand. Gov. Tommy Thompson raised the most in the last six months of 1999 - more than $295,000, and he had the largest war chest - $418,717.

*As of the date of this release, the State Elections Board did not show Sen. Plache as having filed her report. However, they subsequentially found her misfiled report, which had been filed on time.

Tables

Top Fundraisers
Leadership Committees
Biggest War Chests
Legislators: Cash on hand 12/31/99
Legislators: Total Income

Top Fundraisers - July 1, 1999 - December 31, 1999

Constitutional Officers State Senators State Representatives
Governor Tommy Thompson (R) $295,145 Chuck Chvala
(D) Madison
$64,032 Scott Jensen
(R) Waukesha
$96,751
Lt. Governor Scott McCallum (R) $76,821 Alberta Darling
(R) River Hills
$61,622 Steven Foti
(R) Oconomowoc
$49,279
Attorney General James Doyle (D) $226,403 Alice Clausing
(D) Menomonie
$59,326 Jerry Petrowski
(R) Marathon
$37,836
Secretary of State Doug La Follette (D) $94 Kevin Shibilski
(D) Stevens Point
$34,699 Stephen Freese
(R) Dodgeville
$29,588
State Treasurer Jack Voight (R) $0 Gary Drzewiecki
(R) Pulaski
$34,688 Jean Hundertmark
(R) Clintonville
$29,345

Money Raised by Leadership Committees -- July 1, 1999 - December 31, 1999

Legislative
Campaign Committee
From
Individuals
From
PACs
Other
Income
Total
Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee $82,333 $77,522 $2,744 $162,599
State Senate Democratic Committee $2,025 $72,200 $546 $74,771
Republican Assembly Campaign Committee $13,662 $44,935 $1,953 $60,549
Committee to Elect a Republican Senate $12,310 $39,050 $39 $51,399

Biggest War Chests as of December 31, 1999

Constitutional Officers State Senators State Representatives
Governor Tommy Thompson (R) $418,717 Michael Ellis
(R) Neenah
$167,257 Scott Jensen
(R) Waukesha
$210,689
Lt. Governor Scott McCallum (R) $322,867 Brian Burke
(D) Milwaukee
$134,742 Spencer Black
(D) Madison
$119,863
Attorney General James Doyle (D) $255,982 Alberta Darling
(R) River Hills
$116,733 Sheldon Wasserman
(D) Milwaukee
$61,485
Secretary of State Doug La Follette (D) $10,691 Alice Clausing
(D) Menomonie
$110,037 Bonnie Ladwig
(R) Racine
$49,783
State Treasurer Jack Voight (R) $437 Kevin Shibilski
(D) Stevens Point
$72,736 Stephen Nass
(R) Whitewater
$44,675

Legislators
Cash on Hand 12/31/99

Candidate Office Party Cash On Hand
Jensen, Scott R A32 R $210,689.04
Ellis, Michael S19 R $167,257.05
Burke, Brian S03 D $134,741.76
Black, Spencer A77 D $119,863.14
Darling, Alberta S08 R $116,732.92
Clausing, Alice S10 D $110,037.15
Shibilski, Kevin S24 D $72,736.08
Chvala, Chuck S16 D $66,420.63
Wasserman, Sheldon A22 D $61,485.00
Schultz, Dale S17 R $55,455.39
Wirch, Robert S22 D $54,264.64
Roessler, Carol S18 R $53,227.74
Ladwig, Bonnie A63 R $49,782.99
Drzewiecki, Gary S30 R $48,650.13
Farrow, Margaret S33 R $48,103.16
Breske, Roger S12 D $46,929.41
Nass, Stephen A31 R $44,675.00
Walker, Scott A14 R $44,259.57
Krug, Shirley A12 D $43,611.09
Gard, John A89 R $39,576.90
Kreibich, Robin A93 R $36,802.95
Welch, Robert S14 R $36,585.61
Kreuser, James A64 D $35,668.57
Albers, Sheryl A50 R $35,354.46
Foti, Steven A38 R $32,641.59
Kaufert, Dean A55 R $32,372.54
Skindrud, Rick A79 R $32,170.37
Rude, Brian S32 R $31,807.20
Petrowski, Jerry A86 R $30,953.69
Hoven, Timothy A60 R $29,591.04
Jauch, Robert S25 D $29,582.13
Lazich, Mary S28 R $29,579.96
Risser, Fred S26 D $28,698.40
Freese, Stephen A51 R $28,135.93
Grothman, Glenn A59 R $27,705.32
Hundertmark, Jean A40 R $26,334.67
Gundrum, Mark A84 R $24,614.92
Lasee, Alan S01 R $21,948.23
Vrakas, Daniel A33 R $21,443.68
Riley, Antonio A18 D $20,824.41
Moen, Rodney S31 D $20,545.95
Kelso, Carol A88 R $20,358.73
Montgomery, Phil A04 R $20,286.69
Moore, Gwendolynne S04 D $20,145.87
Krusick, Peggy A97 D $18,823.96
LaFave, John A23 D $18,819.41
Powers, Mike A80 R $18,814.76
Pettis, Mark A28 R $18,346.91
Meyer, Mark A95 D $18,247.12
Rhoades, Kitty A30 R $17,908.79
Hahn, Eugene A47 R $17,858.47
Decker, Russ S29 D $17,776.55
Ward, David A37 R $17,357.70
Underheim, Gregg A54 R $16,633.92
Schneider, Marlin A72 D $16,625.85
Panzer, Mary S20 R $15,282.58
Leibham, Joseph A26 R $15,108.11
George, Gary S06 D $15,056.40
Plache, Kimberly S21 D $14,952.54
Townsend, John A52 R $14,769.33
Hubler, Mary A75 D $14,758.71
Cullen, David A13 D $13,475.42
Gunderson, Scott A83 R $13,352.21
Meyerhofer, Lee A05 D $12,607.55
Stone, Jeff A82 R $12,458.99
Porter, Cloyd A66 R $12,449.41
Musser, Terry A92 R $12,213.55
Owens, Carol A53 R $12,204.03
Jeskewitz, Suzanne A24 R $12,106.12
Johnsrud, DuWayne A96 R $11,893.11
Erpenbach, Jon S27 D $11,723.15
Kedzie, Neal A43 R $11,653.73
Olsen, Luther A41 R $11,586.17
Spillner, Joan Wade A42 R $11,338.26
Steinbrink, John A65 D $11,283.53
Ott, Alvin A03 R $11,213.38
Huber, Greg A85 D $11,211.78
Sykora, Tom A67 R $11,101.31
Goetsch, Robert A39 R $10,924.59
Kestell, Steve A27 R $10,469.21
Boyle, Frank A73 D $10,351.98
Suder, Scott A69 R $10,122.10
Lasee, Frank A02 R $10,073.24
Huebsch, Michael A94 R $9,496.80
Ainsworth, John A06 R $9,175.60
Grobschmidt, Richard S07 D $9,001.97
Ryba, John A90 D $8,717.72
Lehman, John A62 D $8,542.03
Hasenohrl, Don A70 D $8,353.43
Schooff, Dan A45 D $8,177.03
Lehman, Michael A58 R $8,142.38
Hebl, Tom A46 D $7,700.57
Duff, Marc A98 R $7,598.03
Bock, Peter A07 D $7,435.76
Sherman, Gary A74 D $7,080.89
Robson, Judith S15 D $6,748.39
Brandemuehl, David A49 R $6,647.57
Lassa, Julie A71 D $6,469.47
Plouff, Joe A29 D $6,416.35
Urban, Frank A99 R $6,389.12
Fitzgerald, Scott S13 R $6,249.20
Balow, Larry A68 D $6,083.89
Hutchison, David A01 R $6,029.47
Cowles, Robert S02 R $5,575.18
Plale, Jeffrey A21 D $5,283.07
Turner, Robert A61 D $4,727.55
Staskunas, Tony A15 D $3,724.04
Waukau, Sarah A35 D $3,533.37
Richards, Jon A19 D $3,442.89
Wieckert, Steve A57 R $3,317.37
Young, Leon A16 D $3,247.68
Morris-Tatum, Johnnie A11 D $3,227.42
Williams, Annette Polly A10 D $3,154.64
Reynolds, Martin A87 D $2,956.52
Carpenter, Tim A09 D $2,808.81
Rosenzweig, Peggy S05 R $2,239.75
Gronemus, Barbara A91 D $2,233.23
Coggs, Spencer A17 D $2,104.26
Baumgart, James S09 D $2,101.87
Colon, Pedro A08 D $2,099.64
Miller, Mark A48 D $2,096.81
Travis, David A81 D $1,905.32
Handrick, Joe A34 R $1,622.27
Zien, David S23 R $1,367.21
Pocan, Mark A78 D $1,013.54
Wood, Wayne A44 D $1,005.54
Klusman, Judith A56 R $580.31
Huelsman, Joanne S11 R $543.61
Ziegelbauer, Bob A25 D $445.20
Sinicki, Christine A20 D $149.38
Berceau, Therese A76 D ($157.37)

Legislators
Total Income July 1 through December 31, 1999

Candidate Office Party Amount Raised
Jensen, Scott R A32 R $96,751.07
Chvala, Chuck S16 D $64,032.48
Darling, Alberta S08 R $61,622.27
Clausing, Alice S10 D $59,325.99
Foti, Steven A38 R $49,278.75
Petrowski, Jerry A86 R $37,836.40
Shibilski, Kevin S24 D $34,698.88
Drzewiecki, Gary S30 R $34,688.00
Breske, Roger S12 D $31,389.56
Welch, Robert S14 R $30,898.25
Freese, Stephen A51 R $29,588.25
Hundertmark, Jean A40 R $29,345.00
Ellis, Michael S19 R $28,675.68
Lazich, Mary S28 R $28,301.50
Roessler, Carol S18 R $27,177.56
Skindrud, Rick A79 R $26,843.45
Wirch, Robert S22 D $25,200.00
Vrakas, Daniel A33 R $25,130.00
Wasserman, Sheldon A22 D $24,302.32
Risser, Fred S26 D $20,062.32
Pettis, Mark A28 R $18,774.83
Kreuser, James A64 D $18,755.32
Panzer, Mary S20 R $17,750.35
Montgomery, Phil A04 R $16,258.00
Gard, John A89 R $15,690.00
Gundrum, Mark A84 R $15,468.59
Spillner, Joan Wade A42 R $14,721.00
Underheim, Gregg A54 R $14,580.00
Black, Spencer A77 D $14,202.24
Powers, Mike A80 R $14,094.00
Walker, Scott A14 R $13,588.45
George, Gary S06 D $13,545.00
Rhoades, Kitty A30 R $13,493.00
Leibham, Joseph A26 R $13,197.00
Sykora, Tom A67 R $13,115.00
Rude, Brian S32 R $13,079.00
Albers, Sheryl A50 R $12,887.93
Townsend, John A52 R $12,489.99
Hoven, Timothy A60 R $11,994.15
Hahn, Eugene A47 R $11,680.00
Burke, Brian S03 D $11,307.98
Suder, Scott A69 R $10,980.00
Decker, Russ S29 D $10,864.81
Kestell, Steve A27 R $10,364.00
Stone, Jeff A82 R $10,217.37
Musser, Terry A92 R $10,127.47
Kreibich, Robin A93 R $9,558.59
Krug, Shirley A12 D $9,206.89
Ladwig, Bonnie A63 R $8,942.39
Lasee, Frank A02 R $8,890.00
Grothman, Glenn A59 R $8,757.34
Schultz, Dale S17 R $8,610.20
Moore, Gwendolynne S04 D $8,565.00
Meyerhofer, Lee A05 D $8,447.00
Meyer, Mark A95 D $7,610.00
Plouff, Joe A29 D $7,238.34
Riley, Antonio A18 D $6,935.00
Lassa, Julie A71 D $6,915.24
Lehman, Michael A58 R $6,899.00
Fitzgerald, Scott S13 R $6,770.00
Johnsrud, DuWayne A96 R $6,572.28
Gunderson, Scott A83 R $6,474.55
Nass, Stephen A31 R $6,314.38
Balow, Larry A68 D $6,310.00
Kelso, Carol A88 R $6,310.00
Steinbrink, John A65 D $6,089.00
Sherman, Gary A74 D $5,782.00
Erpenbach, Jon S27 D $5,754.23
Hutchison, David A01 R $5,640.00
Hasenohrl, Don A70 D $5,600.00
Richards, Jon A19 D $5,405.00
Olsen, Luther A41 R $5,400.55
Schooff, Dan A45 D $5,388.50
Plache, Kimberly S21 D $5,201.00
Moen, Rodney S31 D $5,065.00
Huebsch, Michael A94 R $4,844.00
Duff, Marc A98 R $4,775.00
Owens, Carol A53 R $4,260.74
LaFave, John A23 D $4,077.18
Boyle, Frank A73 D $3,783.32
Huber, Greg A85 D $3,771.11
Pocan, Mark A78 D $3,566.30
Lehman, John A62 D $3,434.39
Waukau, Sarah A35 D $3,172.00
Ainsworth, John A06 R $3,107.99
Ryba, John A90 D $2,999.00
Jeskewitz, Suzanne A24 R $2,900.00
Wieckert, Steve A57 R $2,442.00
Rosenzweig, Peggy S05 R $2,435.00
Kaufert, Dean A55 R $2,357.08
Miller, Mark A48 D $1,940.00
Plale, Jeffrey A21 D $1,830.00
Turner, Robert A61 D $1,703.00
Hubler, Mary A75 D $1,607.41
Travis, David A81 D $1,572.00
Jauch, Robert S25 D $1,525.00
Goetsch, Robert A39 R $1,432.97
Ward, David A37 R $1,391.93
Hebl, Tom A46 D $1,356.00
Handrick, Joe A34 R $1,250.00
Cullen, David A13 D $1,026.47
Cowles, Robert S02 R $785.00
Zien, David S23 R $779.55
Klusman, Judith A56 R $625.00
Farrow, Margaret S33 R $550.00
Schneider, Marlin A72 D $520.48
Lasee, Alan S01 R $500.02
Kedzie, Neal A43 R $500.00
Robson, Judith S15 D $375.00
Porter, Cloyd A66 R $348.89
Sinicki, Christine A20 D $340.00
Berceau, Therese A76 D $200.00
Gronemus, Barbara A91 D $200.00
Coggs, Spencer A17 D $200.00
Wood, Wayne A44 D $100.00
Ott, Alvin A03 R $70.00
Brandemuehl, David A49 R $57.44
Bock, Peter A07 D $50.00
Carpenter, Tim A09 D $25.00
Baumgart, James S09 D $11.15
Krusick, Peggy A97 D $3.77
Staskunas, Tony A15 D $0.00
Young, Leon A16 D $0.00
Grobschmidt, Richard S07 D $0.00
Morris-Tatum, Johnnie A11 D $0.00
Williams, Annette Polly A10 D $0.00
Urban, Frank A99 R $0.00
Ziegelbauer, Bob A25 D $0.00
Huelsman, Joanne S11 R $0.00
Reynolds, Martin A87 D $0.00
Colon, Pedro A08 D $0.00