Wealthy Gasoline Retailer Violates Campaign Contribution Limits

February 17, 2000

Madison - Campaign finance reports filed with the State Elections Board show that a Mequon resident who owns more than 100 gasoline stations exceeded the state’s $10,000 a year limit on political contributions, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign said today.

Darshan Dhaliwal, president of Bulk Petroleum Inc., contributed at least $11,800 to eight candidate committees and a legislative campaign committee last year, including Gov. Tommy Thompson, Lt. Gov. Scott McCallum, Attorney General James Doyle and five Senate candidates (table).

“Contributors who dole out large amounts of money should know the law,” said Gail Shea, WDC executive director.

Dhaliwal was among 17 individuals primarily associated with the petroleum and convenience store industry who each contributed $5,000 to Thompson’s campaign on last July 13. A group representing these industries listed a host of environmental, small business and other types of bills as targets to lobby and influence during the 1999 legislative session when the legislature was considering policy and spending in the 1999-2001 state budget.

It was reported last April that Dhaliwal and other Asian Indian business executives and owners have also approached the Thompson administration about establishing a University of Wisconsin satellite campus in Punjab, India. Thompson included a $2.5 million plan in his proposed budget for the UW to study creating overseas programs and campuses. That amount was ultimately reduced to $400,000.

Contributions from Darshan Dhaliwal in 1999

CANDIDATE (PARTY) OFFICE DATE AMOUNT
Tommy Thompson (R) Governor July 13 $5,000
Tommy Thompson (R) Governor Nov. 24 500
James Doyle (D) Attorney General Dec. 17 1,000
Alberta Darling (R) S-08 Sept. 26 1,000
Scott McCallum (R) Lieutenant Governor Dec. 16 1,000
Gary George (D) S-06 March 8 1,000
Alice Clausing (D) S-10 April 26 800
Charles Chvala (D) S-16 April 24 600
Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee NA Nov. 30 500
Roger Breske (D) S-12 May 21 400
TOTAL $11,800