What a Day!
Thompson Campaign Receives More than $90,000 in a Day

February 3, 2000

Madison - As Gov. Thompson continues to keep his political opponents wondering about whether he’ll run for a fifth term, his campaign continued to rake in contributions in 1999, including more than $90,000 in large individual contributions ($100 or more) one day last July (Table 1), an analysis of campaign records by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign showed.

Thompson’s fundraising operation collected $601,323 in individual and committee contributions last year, including $295,145 during the last half of 1999 (Table 2). These figures are significant because his 1999 fundraising approached the total combined amount - $622,877 - raised by the campaign committees of two Republicans and one Democrat who are considering a run for governor in 2002.

In addition, Thompson raised more money in the last half of 1999 than he did in all but one other year that followed his election or reelection. Thompson raised $468,706 in 1987, $671,862 in 1991 and $592,700 in 1995. His 1999 year-end cash balance was a substantial $418,717, which far exceeded any of the cash balances of possible candidates for his job.

"These figures just beg the question, 'Why is the governor raising all of this money if he is not going to run again?'" said WDC executive director Gail Shea. "What’s perfectly clear is that there are a lot of powerful people who still feel its in their interest to give money to the governor."

Here are some key findings from the WDC’s analysis of Thompson’s latest campaign reports:

The governor’s campaign committee recorded receiving $90,305 in individual contributions last July 13, his richest fundraising day last year. The bulk of the money came in 17 contributions of $5,000 (Table 1) mostly from gasoline wholesale and retail interests located in Milwaukee and its suburbs.

Put in perspective, his campaign committee averaged raising $1,647 a day and $50,110 per month in 1999. That single day also accounted for 31 percent of the money he raised in the last six months of 1999, and it was the fifth richest day of recorded contributions by his campaign since 1991.

Top Daily Individual Contributions to
Thompson’s Campaign Since 1991

Date Amount
6-23-98 $153,424
5-23-97 $150,150
10-29-98 $95,020
7-3-98 $93,495
7-13-99 $90,305
5-14-93 $89,850
11-8-91 $89,750

These large contributions came at a time when the legislature was considering dozens of bills and the proposed 1999-2001 state budget, which contained thousands of economic, policy and program provisions that were ultimately reviewed by the governor for approval, changes or rejection with his line-item veto last October.

On Ethics Board documents last year, an organization representing petroleum and convenience store interests listed more than 30 individual bills or areas of interest in the budget involving petroleum storage and cleanup, transportation, tobacco, fuel pricing and theft recovery proposals, among others.

The Thompson campaign committee’s second richest day in the second half of 1999 was Aug. 4 when it recorded $35,700 in large individual contributions. Most of the money - at least $20,400 - came from roadbuilders and other transportation interests, which is one of the most powerful special interests at the State Capitol.

Roadbuilding interests contribute tens of thousands of dollars each year to the governor and legislators, who are in charge of determining how much of the state’s multi-billion dollar transportation budget is spent on major road projects that benefit the transportation industry versus how much is spent on local transportation programs, projects and maintenance in order to hold
down costs to local taxpayers.

Table 1: Contributons on 7/13/99Table 2: Top Contributors 1999

Table 1
Contributions Received by Governor Thompson Committee On July 13, 1999

Contributor Employer Amount
Purewal, Navtej S Anesthesiolgist $5,000.00
Divgi, Ajit B Physician $5,000.00
Ahuja, Inderjit S Indera’s Gas & Food $5,000.00
Dhaliwal, Darshan S Bulk Petroleum $5,000.00
Misra, SK Physician $5,000.00
Nat, Jasjit S Citgo Gas & Food Market $5,000.00
Engroff, Scott Michael, Best & Friedrich $5,000.00
Patel, Nileshkumar Physician $5,000.00
Kuttemperoor, Vincent VK Homes $5,000.00
Rao, Kailas J Indus Inc $5,000.00
Saini, Bhupinder S Trinity Memorial Hospital $5,000.00
Sharma, Heidi L H&S Petroleum $5,000.00
Singh, Pratap K Singh & Associates $5,000.00
Singh, Bachan No Employer Listed $5,000.00
Singh, Shaila No Employer Listed $5,000.00
Wagle, Sudhakar S S Wagle & Associates $5,000.00
Bhardwaj, Yogi National Petroleum Inc $5,000.00
Barry, Jonathan B Tyrol Basin $545.00
Donaldson, Susan A House on the Rock $530.00
Grossman, Leroy W J Schwertfeger Agency $530.00
Williams, Lucious Dikita Engineering $515.00
Braaten, Donald L II Braaten Oil Co Inc $500.00
Coonen, Margaret M oonen Inc $500.00
Hines, Jake A Adams-Marquette Veterinary Service $500.00
Martinsen, Henry C Martinsen Inc $500.00
Mills, Sandra R Mills Supply Co $500.00
Boyle, Gerald P Boyle, Boyle & Smith $180.00
Blaska, David J Wisconsin Dept of Revenue $120.00
Zerbel, Evelyn L Accountant $100.00
Karlen, Rolland E Karlen Insurance $75.00
Nate, Gene Retired $60.00
Wadhwa, Yash P Larsen Engineers $60.00
Litscher, Jon E Wisconsin Dept of Corrections $60.00
Cantwell, Joseph C Patrick Engineering $30.00
Total $90,305.00

Table 2
Top Individual Contributors* to Governor Tommy Thompson in 1999

Contributor City Employer Amount
The Baker Family Fond du Lac CD Smith Construction $25,000.00
Hastings, Frank C & Dawn Madison JH Findorff & Son $10,000.00
Ocepek, Anthony S Palm Beach, FL OmniAmerica $10,000.00
Smith, Gary M Fond du Lac CD Smith Construction $10,000.00
Dhaliwal, Darshan S Mequon Bulk Petroleum $5,500.00
Dhillon, Sukhjitpal S Greenfield Marathon Ashland Petroleum $5,500.00
Nat, Jasjit S Franklin Citgo Gas & Food Market $5,500.00
Rao, Kailas J Whitefish Bay Indus Inc $5,500.00
Saini, Bhupinder S Elm Grove Trinity Memorial Hospital $5,500.00
Singh, Bachan Brookfield No Employer Listed $5,500.00
Burwell, Barbara Madison Homemaker $5,288.00
Burwell, Rodney P Wayzata, MN Xerxes Corp $5,288.00
Ahuja, Inderjit S Mequon Indera’s Gas & Food $5,000.00
Bhardwaj, Yogi Gurnee, IL National Petroleum Inc $5,000.00
Dhir, DKB Brookfield Dhir Group $5,000.00
Divgi, Ajit B Brookfield Physician $5,000.00
Engroff, Scott Mequon Michael, Best & Friedrich $5,000.00
Kuttemperoor, Vincent Brookfield VK Homes $5,000.00
Misra, SK Greendale Physician $5,000.00
Patel, Nileshkumar West Allis Physician $5,000.00
Pubbi, Dinesh New Berlin Physician $5,000.00
Purewal, Navtej S Brookfield Anesthesiolgist $5,000.00
Sharma, Heidi L Burlington H&S Petroleum $5,000.00
Singh, Pratap Brookfield K Singh & Associates $5,000.00
Singh, Shaila Hartland No Employer Listed $5,000.00
Wagle, Sudhakar S Mequon S Wagle & Associates $5,000.00

*Represents individuals and families with total contributions of $5,000 or more.