Walker Campaign Finance Report Questions
Posted: July 14, 2015
Updated: July 23, 2015
Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign filed a campaign finance report last month that appeared to be riddled with erroneous information about hundreds of contributions he received in the homestretch of his 2014 reelection contest, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found. (Click here to download a copy of the report as a zip file.)
The Democracy Campaign filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board (GAB) that cited erroneous employer and occupational information involving contributions by a sampling of 25 contributors listed on the GAB website's representation of Walker’s newly amended 2014 preelection report, which covers fundraising and spending by the governor’s campaign between July 29, 2014, and Oct. 20, 2014.
Employer and occupational information is a critical element of campaign finance disclosure because it allows citizens to see the special interests behind the contributions seeking to influence their elected officials. State campaign finance laws require a candidate to identify the occupation and employer’s name for contributors who give a candidate more than $100 in a calendar year.
In addition to the complaint, the Democracy Campaign asked the GAB to investigate the contributor information in all of Walker’s newly amended 3,400-page preelection report because in more than 700 instances, the report, as it appears on the GAB website, has contributors living in different states than where they work. In the 20 years that the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has been combing campaign finance reports, it has never come across a report with such extensive inaccuracies.
Here are some of the 25 contributors with erroneous employer information cited in the Democracy Campaign complaint:
- A $4,100 contribution on Aug. 25, 2014, by B. Wayne Hughes, of Malibu, Calif., identifies him as owner of the Piggly Wiggly Store in Burlington, Wis. Online records show: There is no Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Burlington, and the business address listed for the store in Walker’s campaign finance report is for Gooseberries Fresh Food Market; Hughes is a California billionaire, and the Malibu personal address listed for him in Walker’s campaign finance report is for a property management business called American Commercial Equities, which Hughes owns;
- A $3,000 contribution on Sept. 2, 2014, by James Liautaud, of Key Largo, Fla., identifies him as a physics professor at Purdue University located in West Lafayette, Ind. Online records show Liautaud, formerly of Illinois, has founded numerous companies, including the Jimmy Johns sandwich chain, but is not a physics professor;
- A $2,500 contribution on Oct. 3, 2014, by Karen McKeown, of Tyler, Tex., identifies her as president of Waxie Sanitary Supply in San Diego, Calif. Online records show Jeff Roberts is the president of Waxie Sanitary Supply and McKeown is a nurse who currently lives in Madison, Wis., and has served as administrator of Wisconsin’s Division of Public Health since 2012;
- Three contributions on Aug. 25, 2014, Oct. 6, 2014, and Oct. 13, 2014, that totaled $1,700 by Maejel A. Graf, of Atherton, Calif., identify her as a manager at three different companies in two states – Premier Properties of Minnesota in Excelsior, Minn.; Regal-Beloit Corp. in Beloit, Wis.; and ABC Supply in Madison, Wis. Online records found she is a retiree who is not employed by any of these companies;
- Two contributions of $2,000 on Aug. 27, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2014, by John M. Mattingly, of Darnestown, Md., identify him as president of Genesee Aggregate Co. in West Allis, Wis., and as president of Lovejoy Controls Corp. in Waukesha, Wis., respectively. Online records show Elaine Kraut is president of Genesee Aggregate; Kim Lovejoy is president of Lovejoy Controls; and Mattingly is the chief financial officer for DDD Co. in Landover, Md.;
- A $1,500 contribution on Oct. 17, 2014, by Richard H. Kimberly, of McLean, Va., identifies him as the owner of Werner Electric Supply in Neenah, Wis. Online records show Werner Electric is owned by Lynn T. MacDonald, and that the personal address listed for Kimberly in Walker’s campaign finance report is also for a data processing business called Richard H. Kimberly;
- Two $1,000 contributions on Oct. 20, 2014, by Allen Hartman, of Houston, Tex., identify him as a doctor who works for McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogen, Utah, and for the Permanente Medical Group in Union City, Calif. Online records found no doctor named Hartman at either medical facility, and that the Hartman at the Houston address listed on Walker’s campaign finance report is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hartman Income REIT, a real estate firm;
- Contributions of $500 on Aug. 4, 2014, by J.B. McWethy, of Downers Grove, Ill., and $150 on Sept. 3, 2014, by James Meade of Oklahoma City, Okla., identify them both as president and chief executive officer of Hartman REIT in Houston, Tex. Online records show: Allen Hartman of Houston, Tex. is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hartman REIT; McWethy as the owner of Mistwood Golf Club, which is located at the personal address listed for McWethy in Walker’s campaign finance report; and James Meade is the chairman of Meade Energy Corp., which is located at the personal address listed for Meade in Walker’s campaign finance report.
Walker’s original 2014 preelection report lacked required employer information for more than 1,800 individual contributions that totaled more than $900,000.
Walker’s amended preelection report made more than 1,500 changes to the original document, but now more than 700 contributions, like the ones cited above and in the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign complaint, contain employer and occupational information that appears to be erroneous in the representation of the Walker report on GAB's website.
Finally, the amended preelection report also appears to be incorrect in cases where contributors listed as “retired” or “homemaker” bear occupational addresses that are different from their personal addresses. For instance:
- Murray Rudin, of Irvine, Calif., who made a $4,000 contribution on Oct. 8, 2014, is identified as retired. However, online records show that a Murray Rudin with the same home address as the one listed on Walker’s campaign finance report is a 52-year-old managing director at Riordan, Lewis and Haden Equity Partners in Irvine;
- Fred Franzia, of Modesto, Calif., who made a $250 contribution on Oct. 7, 2014, is identified as a homemaker, but the report lists an employer address in Spartanburg, S.C.;
- Karen J. Fultz, of Gallatin, Tenn., who made a $200 contribution on Oct. 17, 2014, is identified as a homemaker, but the report lists an employer address in Clemente, Calif.;
- Lamar Fox, of Saint George, Utah, who made a $150 contribution on Sept. 4, 2014, is identified as a homemaker, but the report lists an employer address in Boynton Beach, Fla.