Winning Bidders for State Office Project Gave Walker $58K

February 3 , 2015

Executives from three of the four construction companies that won a bid for a $197 million state office building project have contributed more than $58,000 to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s campaign.

The team chosen for the project is comprised of C.D. Smith Construction in Fond du Lac, Gilbane Inc. in Milwaukee, HGA in Minneapolis and SmithGroup JJR in Detroit.

Campaign finance records show executives of C.D. Smith contributed $57,000 to Walker between 2009 and 2014, led by the two Fond du Lac families that own the company. Thomas, Robert and Cindy Baker contributed a total of $26,000, and Gary, Justin and Patrick Smith gave $24,500 to Walker.

Walker received two $1,000 contributions from Justin Smith and company employee Michael Krolczyk last September, about a month before the state requested proposals from construction companies for the project, which is part of Walker’s proposed 2015-17 state budget he will submit to the legislature on Tuesday.

In 1999, C.D. Smith was awarded a $29.5 million no-bid state prison construction contract by the State Building Commission. The commission was chaired by then-Republican Governor Tommy Thompson, whose campaign committee later posted campaign contributions from company executives totaling $37,000 dated two weeks after the contract award.

Walker also received contributions totaling $1,250 in 2009 and 2010 from three Gilbane executives and $150 from an HGA executive in 2012.

State officials announced the winning bidders Monday for the 600,000-square-foot building project on Madison’s West Side that will replace the current home of the state Department of Transportation, but they continue to refuse to disclose the names of people on a committee that reviewed the project proposals and selected the winning bidders until after contract negotiations.