Diane Hendricks, Right to Work Supporter, Gave Republican Party of Wisconsin $1 Million

January 6, 2015

Diane Hendricks, who urged Scott Walker to push for "Right to Work" legislation four years ago, gave the Republican Party of Wisconsin $1 million between January 1, 2014, and October 20, 2014, which was the last available reporting period.

Hendricks, the billionaire owner of the Beloit-based roofing company ABC Supply, was shown in Brad Lichtenstein’s documentary, “As Goes Janesville,” getting a hug from Governor Scott Walker and then buttonholing him. In the video shot on January 18, 2011, Hendricks urged Walker to make Wisconsin “a completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work state.” Walker responded that his first step was going to be to “divide and conquer” through his budget bill, which curtailed collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Walker has downplayed any interest in "Right to Work" legislation this session, calling it a “distraction.” But Republicans in the legislature have been promoting the idea.

Hendricks’s donation amount to the Republican Party of Wisconsin was five times larger than any other individual’s. Robert Rasmus was next, with $200,000. Rasmus is co-founder and co-CEO of Hi-Crush Partners, a producer of frac sand in Wisconsin.

Hendricks’s donation amounted to 35 percent of all individual contributions to the Republican Party of Wisconsin in this reporting period.

The biggest individual donor to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in this period was Lynde Uihlein, head of the Brico Fund, who gave $1 million. The next biggest donor to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin was Chris Abele, the Milwaukee County executive, who gave $160,000. Uihlein’s $1 million amounted to 66 percent of the Democratic Party’s total in this period.