Budget Becomes Campaign Cash Cow as Lawmakers Milk Special Interests for $1.6 Million

Nearly Double Their Haul from Previous Budget Process

August 2, 2001

Madison - It’s no wonder this year’s budget was rife with millions of dollars in benefits and breaks for powerful special interests as legislators and their leadership-run committees raked in $1.6 million in campaign contributions during the first six months of 2001, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

That’s an alarming 83 percent increase over the $875,715 raised by legislators in the first half of 1999 when they crafted the previous state budget.

The bulk of these contributions went to majority party lawmakers - Senate Democrats and Assembly Republicans - who control the votes to shape the budget. Their fund-raising prowess at a time of intense budget deal making by special interests leaves legislative incumbents with war chests already totaling $3.65 million - a daunting head start over possible challengers in the 2002 elections 15 months from now.

Put in perspective, 40 percent of last year’s legislative races were uncontested, in part because big money interests and chronic fund raising by incumbents gave them cash balances totaling $3.2 million as of June 30, 2000 - just four months from the election - a staggering $14-to-$1 advantage over challengers.

Senate Democrats Republicans
Amount Raised (1/1/01 - 6/30/01) $722,068 $262,488
Cash On Hand (6/30/01) $1,048,077 $529,544
Assembly Democrats Republicans
Amount Raised (1/1/01 - 6/30/01) $157,040 $458,647
Cash On Hand (6/30/01) $750,976 $1,317,470

In addition to contributions flowing to the legislative caucuses that control each house, an analysis of the top individual recipients shows a distinct, targeted pattern of contributions to key legislative decision makers (see additional tables below).

In the Senate, four of the top five fund raisers are majority Democrats. Three of them chair or sit on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, and a fourth is a candidate for governor. The leading fund raiser was Democratic Sen. Brian Burke of Milwaukee, chair of the Joint Finance Committee and a candidate for attorney general, who raised $222,513.

The lone Republican, Sen. Ted Kanavas of Brookfield, won a special election last month to fill the 33rd District Senate seat vacated by Margaret Farrow when she became lieutenant governor. Candidates in special elections and open seats often get much more special interest money than those who run against incumbents because they are seen as a better chance to change the margin - and sometimes the majority - in a house.

Most of the top Assembly fund raisers are majority Republicans. Four of the top five are legislative leaders or present and former Joint Finance members. Leading the pack was Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who raised $131,350. Jensen, an often-mentioned Republican candidate for governor, frequently raises the most money of any Assembly candidate.

Burke and Jensen also had the largest campaign cash balances as of June 30 in their respective houses. Burke had more than $358,000 and Jensen had more than $344,000. Rounding out the top five in the Senate were two Democrats and two Republicans, three of whom are Joint Finance members and one who is a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Jensen’s war chest dwarfed the remaining top five in the Assembly, which included Democratic Minority Leader Spencer Black at $120,203.

A campaign finance report for one lawmaker - Republican Sen. Dave Zien of Eau Claire - was not available at the Elections Board as of 8 a.m. Thursday, August 2. The reports had to be postmarked by July 20.  Zien’s campaign never filed a finance report last year for January through June 2000.

In addition to legislators, two of the state’s five constitutional officers, and a Democratic candidate for governor raised substantial money and had healthy campaign balances as of June 30. Republican Gov. Scott McCallum, who will likely seek his first four-year term in 2002, raised nearly $1.9 million in the first six months of the year and had a campaign balance of about $2 million.

Attorney General James Doyle, a democratic gubernatorial candidate, raised more than $537,000 and had a cash balance of $1 million as of June 30. Another Democratic gubernatorial contender, Tom Barrett, raised more than $233,384. Barrett’s cash balance stands at $942,000 after the Elections Board decided to let him use much of his congressional campaign fund to run for governor.

Additional Tables

Total Raised - Constitutional Officers and Top Legislative Fundraisers
Leadership Committee Funraising
Top Warchests All Partisan State Officeholders
Fundraising and Warchests All Partisan State Officeholders

Total Raised By Constitutional Officers and Top Senate And Assembly
Fund Raisers Jan. 1, 2001 - June 30, 2001

Constitutional Officers State Senators State
Representatives
Governor
Scott McCallum (R)
$1,890,631 Brian Burke
D - Milwaukee
$222,513 Scott Jensen
R - Waukesha
$131,350
Lt. Governor
Margaret Farrow (R)
$3,204 Ted Kanavas
R - Brookfield
$108,151 Antonio Riley
D - Milwaukee
$33,515
Attorney General
James Doyle (D)
$537,322 Kimberly Plache
D - Racine
$82,493 John Gard
R - Peshtigo
$32,678
Secretary of State
Doug La Follette (D)
$0 Gary George
D - Milwaukee
$68,655 Mark Gundrum
R - New Berlin
$25,127
State Treasurer
Jack Voight (D)
$2,375 Kevin Shibilski
D - Stevens Point
$67,006 Steven Foti
R - Oconomowoc
$23,095

Money Raised by Leadership Committees
Jan. 1, 2001 - June 30, 2001

Legislative Campaign Committee From Individuals From PACs Other Income Total
Assembly Democratic
Campaign Committee
$37,954 $20,187 $2,114 $60,255
State Senate
Democratic Committee
$8,408 $75,140 $255 $83,803
Republican Assembly
Campaign Committee
$6,465 $48,400 $225 $55,090
Committee to Elect
a Republican Senate
$3,400 $24,425 $17 $27,842

Top War Chests as of June 30, 2001

Constitutional Officers State Senators State Representatives
Governor
Scott McCallum (R)
$2,046,175 Brian Burke
D - Milwaukee
$358,637 Scott Jensen
R - Waukesha
$344,210
Lt. Governor
Margaret Farrow (R)
$32,504 Mike Ellis
R - Neenah
$182,722 Spencer Black
D - Madison
$120,203
Attorney General
James Doyle (D)
$1,003,050 Kevin Shibilski
D - Stevens Point
$131,689 Sheldon Wasserman
D - Milwaukee
$99,781
Secretary of State
Doug La Follette (D)
$10,679 Kimberly Plache
D - Racine
$99,254 Shirley Krug
D - Milwaukee
$78,220
State Treasurer
Jack Voight (D)
$31,530 Alberta Darling
R - River Hills
$79,060 Scott Walker
R - Wauwatosa
$65,208

Fund-Raising by State Office Holders in 2001
Listed in Descending Order by Amount Raised

Office Holders Party Office Total Raised
1/1/01-6/30/01
Cash on hand
6/30/01
McCallum, Scott Republican Governor $1,890,631 $2,046,175
Doyle, Jim Democratic Attorney General $537,322 $1,003,050
Burke, Brian Democratic S03 $222,513 $358,637
Jensen, Scott R. Republican A32 $131,350 $344,210
Kanavas, Ted Republican S33 $108,151 $472
Plache, Kimberly Democratic S21 $82,493 $99,254
George, Gary Democratic S06 $68,655 $52,703
Shibilski, Kevin Democratic S24 $67,006 $131,689
Robson, Judith Democratic S15 $60,319 $72,025
Darling, Alberta Republican S08 $38,956 $79,060
Erpenbach, Jon Democratic S27 $33,929 $41,595
Riley, Antonio Democratic A18 $33,515 $56,234
Gard, John Republican A89 $32,678 $34,517
Welch, Robert Republican S14 $28,528 $78,543
Gundrum, Mark Republican A84 $25,127 $63,319
Decker, Russ Democratic S29 $23,984 $44,890
Foti, Steven Republican A38 $23,095 $2,404
Ellis, Michael Republican S19 $22,630 $182,722
Panzer, Mary Republican S20 $16,862 $10,112
Meyer, Dan Republican A34 $14,710 $13,556
Baumgart, James Democratic S09 $13,867 $15,341
McCormick, Terri Republican A56 $13,661 $3,006
Breske, Roger Democratic S12 $13,411 $42,606
Krawczyk, Judy Republican A88 $13,110 $10,333
Lippert, MaryAnn Republican A70 $12,530 $13,646
Moen, Rodney Democratic S31 $11,930 $18,889
Walker, Scott Republican A14 $11,835 $65,208
Bies, Garey D. Republican A01 $11,518 $12,374
Chvala, Chuck Democratic S16 $10,694 $5,535
Wirch, Robert Democratic S22 $10,589 $3,977
Wieckert, Steve Republican A57 $9,413 $26,080
Friske, Donald R. Republican A35 $9,180 $8,477
Skindrud, Rick Republican A79 $8,311 $8,151
Moore, Gwendolynne Democratic S04 $8,305 $35,706
Kreuser, James Democratic A64 $8,246 $44,904
Pettis, Mark Republican A28 $7,954 $9,208
Ladwig, Bonnie Republican A63 $7,349 $55,082
Hansen, Dave Democratic S30 $7,045 $13,495
Sherman, Gary Democratic A74 $6,970 $17,991
Hoven, Timothy Republican A60 $6,706 $46,942
Huber, Greg Democratic A85 $6,200 $19,246
Lassa, Julie Democratic A71 $6,074 $19,731
Leibham, Joseph Republican A26 $6,056 $15,816
Harsdorf, Sheila Republican S10 $5,915 $5,530
Freese, Stephen Republican A51 $5,875 $674
Montgomery, Phil Republican A04 $5,768 $8,419
Rhoades, Kitty Republican A30 $5,550 $32,919
Lasee, Frank Republican A02 $5,306 $11,971
Richards, Jon Democratic A19 $5,240 $10,039
Plale, Jeffrey Democratic A21 $5,115 $900
Loeffelholz, Gabe Republican A49 $5,075 $3,762
Hahn, Eugene Republican A47 $4,892 $5,147
Spillner, Joan Wade Republican A42 $4,709 $12,229
Rosenzweig, Peggy Republican S05 $4,625 $8,532
La Fave, John Democratic A23 $3,459 $28,885
Schultz, Dale Republican S17 $3,424 $73,141
Black, Spencer Democratic A77 $3,401 $120,203
Wasserman, Sheldon Democratic A22 $3,283 $99,781
Farrow, Margaret Republican Lt. Governor $3,204 $32,504
Meyer, Mark Democratic S32 $2,965 $1,816
Fitzgerald, Scott Republican S13 $2,925 $3,302
Petrowski, Jerry Republican A86 $2,826 $3,389
Fitzgerald, Jeff Republican A39 $2,745 $4,142
Townsend, John Republican A52 $2,437 $1,982
Shilling, Jennifer Democratic A95 $2,401 $1,775
Plouff, Joe Democratic A29 $2,397 $9,868
Voight, Jack Republican State Treasurer $2,375 $31,530
Lazich, Mary Republican S28 $2,310 $31,598
Coggs, Spencer Democratic A17 $2,050 $6,548
Bock, Peter Democratic A07 $1,910 $14,489
Schneider, Marlin Democratic A72 $1,786 $18,247
Nass, Stephen L. Republican A31 $1,775 $49,500
Krug, Shirley Democratic A12 $1,434 $78,220
Pocan, Mark Democratic A78 $1,255 $1,351
Travis, David Democratic A81 $1,210 $966
Starzyk, Samantha Republican A66 $1,200 $3,559
Carpenter, Tim Democratic A09 $1,118 $4,265
Huebsch, Michael Republican A94 $1,063 $4,115
Johnsrud, DuWayne Republican A96 $977 $5,676
Suder, Scott Republican A69 $975 $1,045
Grothman, Glenn Republican A59 $897 $32,768
Kaufert, Dean Republican A55 $801 $41,665
Kreibich, Robin Republican A93 $718 $54,708
Kedzie, Neal Republican A43 $692 $21,896
Jauch, Robert Democratic S25 $675 $29,284
Ward, David Republican A37 $670 $20,704
Albers, Sheryl Republican A50 $650 $30,861
Lehman, Michael Republican A58 $520 $4,972
Ott, Alvin Republican A03 $500 $13,588
Hubler, Mary Democratic A75 $493 $13,348
Lehman, John Democratic A62 $420 $13,781
Owens, Carol Republican A53 $407 $8,857
Powers, Mike Republican A80 $406 $1,732
Vrakas, Daniel Republican A33 $371 $22,156
Schooff, Dan Democratic A45 $370 $9,171
Roessler, Carol Republican S18 $295 $14,560
Sykora, Tom Republican A67 $275 $2,707
Duff, Marc Republican A98 $250 $11,728
Hundertmark, Jean Republican A40 $250 $13,842
Ryba, John Democratic A90 $250 $235
Ainsworth, John Republican A06 $200 $8,891
Stone, Jeff Republican A82 $200 $16,945
Olsen, Luther Republican A41 $120 $14,683
Grobschmidt, Richard Democratic S07 $100 $6,909
Steinbrink, John Democratic A65 $100 $13,902
Underheim, Gregg Republican A54 $100 $16,989
Miller, Mark Democratic A48 $50 $3,044
Williams, Annette Polly Democratic A10 $50 $1,601
Young, Leon Democratic A16 $50 $5,002
Risser, Fred Democratic S26 $41 $2,774
Krusick, Peggy Democratic A97 $30 $24,241
Cowles, Robert Republican S02 $25 $7,027
Boyle, Frank Democratic A73 $22 $5,536
Balow, Larry Democratic A68 $0 $2,192
Berceau, Terese Democratic A76 $0 $10,143
Colon, Pedro Democratic A08 $0 $3,713
Cullen, David Democratic A13 $0 $16,940
Gronemus, Barbara Democratic A91 $0 $5,534
Gunderson, Scott Republican A83 $0 $6,785
Hebl, Tom Democratic A46 $0 $6,393
Huelsman, Joanne Republican S11 $0 $1,137
Jeskewitz, Suzanne Republican A24 $0 $18,203
Kestell, Steve Republican A27 $0 $13,346
La Follette, Doug Democratic Secretary of State $0 $10,679
Lasee, Alan Republican S01 $0 $19,897
Meyerhofer, Lee  Democratic A05 $0 $4,749
Morris-Tatum, Johnnie Democratic A11 $0 $668
Musser, Terry Republican A92 $0 $12,046
Reynolds, Martin Democratic A87 $0 $2,270
Seratti, Lorraine Republican A36 $0 $419
Sinicki, Christine Democratic A20 $0 $2,239
Staskunas, Tony Democratic A15 $0 $6,290
Turner, Robert Democratic A61 $0 $4,102
Urban, Frank Republican A99 $0 $6,932
Wood, Wayne Democratic A44 $0 $22
Ziegelbauer, Bob Democratic A25 $0 $347
Zien, David*  Republican S23 $0 $3,452