Unions Contributed More Than $83K to Help Reelect Walker

February 27, 2015

Unions representing engineers, police, firefighters, plumbers, carpenters and other trades contributed more than $83,000 in 2013-14 to help reelect Republican Gov. Scott Walker, despite his successful 2011 effort to slash public employee collective bargaining rights and his support for a state right-to-work law.

Leading the pack of eight unions that contributed to Walker (see Table below) was Operating Engineers Local 139 at $43,128, which is the maximum contribution a political action committee can make to a statewide candidate in an election cycle. The union, which represents construction equipment operators, strongly opposes the proposed right-to-work measure. Right-to-work laws are an economic hit for unions because they prohibit requiring workers to make payments to unions as a condition of employment.

The state Senate passed the right-to-work measure, Senate Bill 44, this week. It now goes to the Assembly for final legislative approval next week, and then to Walker. In recent years, the governor has handle the right-to-work issue various ways, including calling it a distraction from his agenda, or not a priority, or refusing to say whether he would sign such a measure into law. But shortly after GOP legislative leaders decided late last week to take up a right-to-work bill in extraordinary session, Walker announced he would sign it if it reached his desk.

Union PAC Contributions To Republican Governor Scott Walker

Name Amount
Operating Engineers Local 139 $43,128
Wisconsin Pipe Trades $19,000
Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters $12,500
Milwaukee Police Association $4,000
Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Local 215 $2,000
Sprinkler Fitters Local 183 $1,500
Boilermakers Local 107 $1,000
Northeast Wisconsin Building & Construction Trades Council $100
TOTAL $83,228