Lawmaker Ignore Disclosure Law on Hundreds of Large Contributions

Jensen, Darling, Clausing Have Most Improperly Reported Donations

March 6, 2000

Madison - Thirty state legislators failed to comply with the state elections law requiring them to disclose the occupation and employer of all contributors who give more than $100, a review of campaign finance reports by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign revealed.

During the most recent reporting period covering the last six months of 1999, lawmakers accepted 132 contributions of over $100 without disclosing the donor’s occupation and the name and address of the donor’s employer as the law requires (see table below). In 404 other instances, only an occupation was listed for the contributor. The contributions in question represent nearly a third of the 1,845 contributions of more than $100 that were made to legislators in the six-month period.

Many of the contributors whose occupations and employers are not disclosed are well-known political operatives or people who have a long history of making political contributions, WDC Executive Director Gail Shea said.

"Legislators know who these people are. They just are not taking the disclosure law seriously. And in some cases, it’s apparent they are deliberately trying to conceal important information about who is donating to their campaigns," Shea said.

Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen’s report shows he received 50 contributions totaling $9,400 -- or 22 percent of his individual contributions over $100 -- from 49 people for whom he listed no occupation or employer. Senator Alberta Darling received 14 contributions totaling $7,950 but failed to disclose complete information about the donors. Senator Alice Clausing, who chairs the Senate committee dealing with campaign finance reform legislation, accepted seven contributions worth $4,600 without listing the donors’ occupation or employer. Five of Clausing’s improperly reported contributions came from out of state, including three donors from New York and one from Chicago who each gave $1,000 and one from Houston who gave $200.

Among the contributors for whom Jensen listed no occupation or employer were Charles and Juanita Vogel of Onalaska and Ronald and Joyce Wanek of Arcadia, each of whom gave Jensen $500, as well as Todd and Karen Wanek of Arcadia, who each gave $250. They are owners and top executives of Ashley Furniture, which last year received a special exemption in the state budget bill for a plant expansion on wetlands. Jensen also listed no occupation or employer for $125 contributor William Koslo, an Arcadia attorney who represents Ashley Furniture in litigation over the exemption.

Some of the 404 contributions with only an occupation listed for the donor appear to legitimately omit employer information because the contributor is listed, for example, as "retired" or as a "homemaker." In other cases, however, the reporting is misleading.

Senator Clausing listed one $1,000 donor, Carl Neuman of New York, as a "physician." State Ethics Board lobbying reports show that a Carl Neuman at the same New York address is president of the Peoples Lottery Foundation, Inc. Ethics Board documents indicate the firm’s lobbying interests are the "ability to make lottery loans and assignments."

Representative John Townsend received three $500 contributions from members of the Sadoff family, who run Badger Liquor, but did not disclose any business association. The occupation for one of them, Thomas Sadoff, was reported as "housewife." The Sadoffs are among liquor industry interests who gave generously to candidates from both parties and waged a successful campaign to get a proposal inserted in the state budget bill making it more difficult for liquor distillers to change distributors.

Representative Joan Spillner did not list the occupation or business owned by Badger Liquor President Ronald Sadoff, who gave her $500. Another liquor interest, Metropolitan Liquor Co. President James Alevizos, gave Representative Timothy Hoven $150 but was listed on Hoven’s report only as "self-employed" with no company name.

The WDC review also revealed:

  • Speaker Jensen received contributions of $125 each from four Northern States Power Company employees but did not identify the donors’ employer, even though he had the information because the contributions were made through NSP’s conduit, which sent him a letter identifying the contributors.
  • Representative John Gard, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, didn’t report the occupation and employer of Doctor Crants, who gave him $250. Crants is president of Corrections Corporation of America in Nashville, Tennessee, which owns prisons leased by Wisconsin to house prisoners out of state.
  • Senator Darling did not disclose the occupation or business association of Darshan Dhaliwal, a wealthy Mequon petroleum dealer who gave Darling $1,000 and has donated thousands to candidates in both parties since the early 1990s. Darling also did not disclose the required information about $900 contributor Carol Taylor of Waukesha, a longtime GOP supporter and donor together with her husband Don, or $250 donor Lynne Broydrick, a public affairs consultant for a lobbying firm owned by her parents, William and Cynthia Broydrick.

Shea said these problems could easily be solved by a change in the disclosure law requiring contributions over $100 to be returned to the donor if the required information is not provided. There is no excuse for failing to meet the current law’s disclosure requirements, she added, noting that 70 members of the legislature received at least one contribution over $100 and properly reported all of them.

Shea pointed to Representative Jerry Petrowski, Senator Roger Breske and Representative Jean Hundertmark, who raised large amounts in over-$100 donations and disclosed the required information in every single case. Petrowski reported $24,938 in contributions of more than $100, while Breske had $16,692 and Hundertmark had $14,080.

"Petrowski, Breske and Hundertmark took in a lot of money in large chunks, but they all fully complied with the disclosure law. If they can do it, so can the others," Shea said. "If some legislators fail to fully disclose to the public who these big donors are, they shouldn’t be able to keep the contributions."

Unreported Occupation/Business Information Required by Law

Candidate Date Contributor City State Amount WDC-Supplied Information
Albers 8/19/99 Bratz, Stephanie Watertown WI $215.00 Century 21 Crossroad Realty
Albers 8/9/99 Kaul, Mary Lone Rock WI $150.00 Spouse - Owner, Kaul Tronics
Albers 8/14/99 Kuczynski, Pedro Rock Springs WI $150.00 Investor
Albers 8/17/99 Pace, Janey Reedsburg WI $250.00 Spouse - Owner, Pace Industries
Albers 8/1/99 Talbot, Jane Montello WI $175.00 Spouse - Owner, Glen Oak Lumber & Milling Co
Albers 7/24/99 Zinga, Bill Reedsburg WI $500.00 Owner, Zinga Industries
Chvala 11/30/99 Arnette, Leslie Dallas TX $250.00 Unknown
Chvala 7/16/99 Hall, Andrew Dousman WI $200.00 Unknown
Chvala 11/30/99 Talley, Ernest Plano TX $250.00 CEO, Rent-A-Center
Clausing 12/14/99 Candy, Barbara Shorewood WI $200.00 Professional political fund-raiser
Clausing 7/22/99 Connelly, Jeffrey Houston TX $200.00 Executive, ANR Pipeline
Clausing 7/2/99 Conrad-Halperin, Judith New York NY $1,000.00 Spouse - Halperin Law Firm
Clausing 7/2/99 Ostrow, Lawrence New York NY $1,000.00 People’s Lottery Foundation
Clausing 7/2/99 Ruggieri, Michele New York NY $1,000.00 Unknown
Clausing 12/27/99 Sills, Lyn Chicago IL $1,000.00 Unknown
Clausing 7/23/99 Trost, Marcella New Richmond WI $200.00 Unknown
Darling 10/12/99 Alevizos, Chris Milwaukee WI $250.00 Capitol-Husting Wholesale Liquor
Darling 8/5/99 Baumgartner, Donna Milwaukee WI $1,000.00 Homemaker, Spouse - Executive, Paper Converting Machine Co
Darling 10/10/99 Broydrick, Lynne Cedarburg WI $250.00 Public Affairs Consultant, Broydrick & Associates
Darling 12/22/99 Cookson, David Madison WI $200.00 Retired, Physician
Darling 7/1/99 Darling, Jane Sussex WI $1,000.00 Spouse - Physician
Darling 9/26/99 Dhaliwal, Darshan Mequon WI $1,000.00 President, Bulk Petroleum
Darling 9/14/99 Koenigs, Ted Menomonee Falls WI $200.00 Precision Metals Inc
Darling 8/5/99 Madrigrano, Aldo Brookfield WI $750.00 President, WOW Distributing
Darling 9/29/99 Miller, Bruce Fox Point WI $200.00 Unknown
Darling 8/8/99 Stein, Joan River Hills WI $500.00 Spouse - Owner, Stein Garden & Gifts
Darling 9/28/99 Stein, Joan River Hills WI $200.00 Spouse - Owner, Stein Garden & Gifts
Darling 7/20/99 Taylor, Carol Waukesha WI $900.00 Spouse - President, Waukesha State Bank
Darling 9/21/99 Uihlein, Julie Jr River Hills WI $500.00 Spouse - Uihlein Architects
Darling 8/10/99 Wenninger, Richard River Hills WI $1,000.00 President, Wenninger Co
Ellis 11/1/99 Borsuk, Dave Oshkosh WI $200.00 Sadoff & Rudoy
Erpenbach 10/19/99 Landes, Samuel Waunakee WI $111.00 Salesman, Peterbilt of WI
Erpenbach 10/28/99 Lawrence, Jackie Madison WI $200.00 Unknown
Foti 8/31/99 Eppler, Earl Oconomowoc WI $200.00 Owner, Suburban Vending Co Inc
Foti 10/23/99 Higgins, David Louisville KY $250.00 Unknown
Foti 10/23/99 Kanavas, George Hartland WI $150.00 Lawn Service & Kanavas Landscape
Foti 11/29/99 Lucas, Patsy Pewaukee WI $250.00 Spouse - Executive, Miller Brewing
Foti 10/23/99 Maki, Kimberly Cypress TX $250.00 Cable televison (conduit)
Foti 10/23/99 Street, William Louisville KY $250.00 Unknown
Freese 12/16/99 Stoneking, William Madison WI $200.00 Unknown
Gard 12/6/99 Crants, Doctor R Nashville TN $250.00 CEO, Corrections Corp of America
Gronemus 9/2/99 Albers, Mrs John Arkansan WI $200.00 Unknown
Hahn 11/7/99 Nelson, Dr James Rio WI $150.00 Unknown
Jensen 7/13/99 Alexander, Terri Madison WI $250.00 Spouse - Developer, Alexander Co
Jensen 8/23/99 Bowen, Michael Fox Point WI $125.00 Attorney, Foley & Lardner
Jensen 8/23/99 Bowen, Sara Fox Point WI $125.00 Housewife, Spouse - Attorney, Foley & Lardner
Jensen 8/25/99 Crenshaw, Marjorie Milwaukee WI $125.00 Spouse - Sales Manager, Johnson Controls
Jensen 7/13/99 Engbring, Jane Cedarburg WI $125.00 Unknown
Jensen 8/23/99 Fitzgerald, Kevin Hartland WI $125.00 Unknown
Jensen 10/6/99 Fredricksen, Roy Delafield WI $125.00 Unknown
Jensen 8/23/99 Frenn, Marilyn Brookfield WI $125.00 Marquette School of Nursing
Jensen 8/23/99 Gallagher, Richard Fox Point WI $125.00 Attorney, Foley & Lardner
Jensen 8/23/99 Garmer, Elizabeth Milwaukee WI $125.00 Attorney, Foley & Lardner
Jensen 7/13/99 Gerard, Margaret Bayside WI $250.00 Spouse - President, Gerard Asset Management
Jensen 11/30/99 Gregerson, Michael Plymouth MN $125.00 Northern States Power Co (conduit)
Jensen 8/25/99 Hanrahan, Mary June Milwaukee WI $125.00 Spouse - Attorney, Foley & Lardner
Jensen 12/29/99 Hansen, John J Onalaska WI $125.00 Owner, Kwik Trip Stores
Jensen 12/22/99 Harenda, Linda Brookfield WI $250.00 Spouse - President, KPH Construction Corp
Jensen 9/7/99 Hefty, Suzanne Elm Grove WI $125.00 Spouse - CEO, Blue Cross & Blue Shield
Jensen 11/30/99 Howard, James J Minneapolis MN $125.00 CEO, Northern States Power Co
Jensen 8/23/99 Ireland, Barbara Milwaukee WI $125.00 Spouse - Attorney, Foley & Lardner
Jensen 8/25/99 Jones, Danny Dublin OH $125.00 President, Capitol Consulting Group Inc
Jensen 12/29/99 Keene, Jerry Tomah WI $125.00 Owner, Band Box Laundry
Jensen 12/29/99 Koslo, William Arcadia WI $125.00 Attorney, Kostner, Ward & Koslo
Jensen 8/9/99 LaPierre, Susan Great Falls VA $125.00 Unknown
Jensen 11/30/99 Larsen, Jerome Eau Claire WI $125.00 Northern States Power Co (conduit)
Jensen 12/29/99 Lotz, Arthur La Crosse WI $125.00 Unknown
Jensen 12/29/99 Madden, Terrence Arcadia WI $125.00 Attorney, Kostner, Ward & Koslo
Jensen 11/16/99 Maki, Kimblerly Cypress TX $200.00 Cable televison (conduit)
Jensen 8/9/99 Mebane, Marilyn Madison WI $300.00 Housewife, Spouse - CEO, Madison Gas & Electric
Jensen 9/16/99 Muth, Mary Fox Point WI $125.00 Spouse - Attorney, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance
Jensen 8/25/99 Petak, Nancy Racine WI $125.00 Spouse - Zigman, Joseph, Stephenson
Jensen 8/9/99 Rao, Becky Whitefish Bay WI $125.00 Spouse - President, Indus Inc
Jensen 9/22/99 Reiland, Nicholas III Madison WI $125.00 Unknown
Jensen 11/30/99 Sandeen, Roger Minneapolis MN $125.00 Unknown
Jensen 11/30/99 Schmidt, Robert Chippewa Falls WI $125.00 Northern States Power Co (conduit)
Jensen 11/16/99 Schulte, Wayne Ellsworth WI $300.00 Owner, Victory Fireworks
Jensen 11/16/99 Schulte, Wayne Ellsworth WI $200.00 Owner, Victory Fireworks
Jensen 12/29/99 Skrypczak, Roger Appleton WI $150.00 President, ProCom Management Corp
Jensen 11/16/99 Spindell, Robert Jr Milwaukee WI $125.00 President, Prospect Realty & Business Brokers
Jensen 12/29/99 Stansfield, Jim La Crosse WI $125.00 Stansfield Vending
Jensen 8/17/99 Stein, Gwen Evanston IL $250.00 Spouse - Owner, Mark-Vend
Jensen 8/23/99 Taylor, Carol Waukesha WI $125.00 Spouse - President, Waukesha State Bank
Jensen 11/15/99 Taylor, Elizabeth Fox Point WI $250.00 Unknown
Jensen 12/29/99 Vogel, Charles Onalaska WI $500.00 Vice President, Ashley Furniture Industries
Jensen 12/29/99 Vogel, Juanita Onalaska WI $500.00 Housewife, Spouse - VP, Ashley Furniture
Jensen 12/29/99 Wanek, Joyce Arcadia WI $500.00 Owner, Ashley Furniture Industries
Jensen 12/29/99 Wanek, Karen Arcadia WI $250.00 Housewife, Spouse - President, Ashley Furniture
Jensen 12/29/99 Wanek, Ronald Arcadia WI $500.00 Owner, Ashley Furniture Industries
Jensen 12/29/99 Wanek, Todd Arcadia WI $250.00 President, Ashley Furniture Industries
Jensen 11/30/99 Wilson, John Middleton WI $125.00 Northern States Power Co (conduit)
Jensen 12/29/99 Zoldan, Bruce Youngstown OH $250.00 Owner, BJ Alan Fireworks Co
Jensen 12/29/99 Zoldan, Rori Youngstown OH $250.00 Spouse - Owner, BJ Alan Fireworks Co
Kestell 9/30/99 Gentine, Louis P Elkhart Lake WI $250.00 CEO, Sargento Inc
Lassa 9/17/99 Lassa, Julie Plover WI $101.00 Legislator
Lassa 8/30/99 Lassa, Julie Plover WI $145.00 Legislator
Lassa 8/6/99 Lassa, Julie Plover WI $476.00 Legislator
Moen 12/9/99 MacKenzie, William L II Oshkosh WI $150.00 Director, Ripon Nursing Home
Montgomery 12/28/99 Montgomery, Phil & Lisa Green Bay WI $2,000.00 Legislator
Owens 8/5/99 Scharpf, Mike Oshkosh WI $200.00 Scharpf’s Embroidery
Panzer 11/18/99 Katzman, Karen E Franklin WI $250.00 Katzman Consulting
Rhoades 12/31/99 Jenkins, Cindy Chattanooga TN $200.00 Payday Lender, Venture Services Inc
Rhoades 12/7/99 Rhoades, Kitty Hudson WI $198.00 Legislator
Riley 11/15/99 Rajani, Karl Glendale WI $250.00 President, Genesis Healthcare Inc
Risser 12/22/99 Sugden, Donata Madison WI $200.00 Faculty, University of Wisconsin
Risser 12/14/99 Wolens, Sandra Madison WI $200.00 Unknown
Roessler 11/12/99 Duncan, Virginia Fond du Lac WI $150.00 Unknown
Roessler 11/17/99 Heinemann, Jack Oshkosh WI $150.00 Unknown
Roessler 12/22/99 Lopina, Tom Oshkosh WI $150.00 Director, First Northern Savings Bank
Roessler 11/10/99 Lowry, Paul Oshkosh WI $150.00 Unknown
Roessler 10/28/99 Schwab, Dennis Oshkosh WI $200.00 Coldwell Banker Schwab Realty
Shibilski 9/7/99 Burgess, Kathy Marshfield WI $180.00 Unknown
Shibilski 9/7/99 Frankland, Terry Marshfield WI $180.00 CEO, V&H Inc
Shibilski 9/7/99 OConnell, Daniel Mosinee WI $250.00 Owner, Bonded Collections
Shibilski 10/14/99 OConnell, Daniel Mosinee WI $250.00 Owner, Bonded Collections
Skindrud 7/29/99 Gavinski, Daniel Wisconsin Dells WI $200.00 Owner, Wisconsin Ducks Inc
Skindrud 10/28/99 Hagen, Stuart Mondovi WI $150.00 Realtor
Skindrud 8/3/99 Waterman, Jack Wisconsin Dells WI $200.00 Owner, Black Wolf Lodge
Spillner 12/17/99 Sadoff, Ronald Fond du Lac WI $500.00 Owner, Badger Liquor
Steinbrink 8/18/99 Farmer, Denise Pleasant Prairie WI $200.00 Unknown
Steinbrink 8/19/99 Mills, Stephen Salem WI $200.00 Realtor, Bear Realty
Underheim 11/12/99 Harvath, Steve Oshkosh WI $300.00 Tavern Owner, Pinky’s
Wasserman 11/17/99 Fox, Margaret Shorewood WI $150.00 Unknown
Welch 10/15/99 Brennan, David Akron OH $500.00 Brennan Industrial Group
Welch 10/15/99 Covelli, Frank West Allis WI $150.00 Auto Dealer, Metropolitan Cadillac Inc
Welch 10/15/99 Kraut, Elaine Oconomowoc WI $500.00 President, Genesee Aggregate Co
Welch 10/15/99 Lorenz, Tom Hartland WI $500.00 Unknown
Welch 10/15/99 Mansour, James Austin TX $250.00 Unknown
Welch 10/15/99 Nelson, Harry Waukesha WI $200.00 Unknown
Wirch 8/6/99 Mock, Mary M Pleasant Prairie WI $200.00 Unknown
Wirch 8/6/99 Slater, Jeff M Racine WI $200.00 Unknown
Wirch 8/6/99 Weisneth, Janet M Racine WI $200.00 Unknown