March 15, 2011
CONTACT:Jay Heck – 608/256-2686
Koch Industries Have Contributed $160,500 to Wisconsin
Candidates & Political Parties Since 2003
Have Contributed Hundreds of Thousands More to Outside Special
Interest Groups Trying to Influence Wisconsin Voters
The now infamous Koch Brothers of Wichita, Kansas have been big political players in Wisconsin for years. Since 2003, they have made $160,500 in direct contributions to candidates and state political party committees - more than in any other state in the Great Lakes region and second only to Kansas in the entire midwest. Almost all of the money they spend in Wisconsin is not from Wisconsin.
Their contributions have gone overwhelmingly to Republican and conservative candidates and committees (83.8 percent) since 2003 while contributing 16.2 percent of their total to Democrats.
Their largest contribution was $43,000 from the Koch Political Action Committee to Scott Walker for his campaign for Governor last year. This became a big issue last month when Walker took a phone call from a prankster he thought was David Koch. In 2007, the Kochs sent $10,000 to Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen and another $2,500 in 2009. Also in 2007, the Koch Brothers sent $8,325 to the campaign of conservative state Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler and in 2008, $6,000 to conservative Justice Michael Gableman. The largest Democratic recipient of Koch campaign cash was former Governor Jim Doyle, who received $3,500 since 2003.
To view all of the Koch contributions to Wisconsin candidates and political party committees, go here. Thanks to the National Institute on Money in State Politics for setting up this useful tool.
The Koch Family spends far more money in Wisconsin through making corporate contributions to outside spending groups such as the Republican Governor's Association. In 2010, the Koch Brothers contributed $1 million to the RGA, which in turn spent well over $3 million in Wisconsin supporting Walker and attacking the Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
The Koch Brothers are also the primary funder of "Americans for Prosperity" of Arlington, Virginia -- the group that has spent more money in Wisconsin promoting Walker's agenda here, than any other organization. Americans for Prosperity president Tim Phillips of Virginia was a close associate of convicted felon and Washington superlobbyist Jack Abramoff and worked closely with Christian Coalition and Religious Right operative Ralph Reed of Georgia.
Jay Heck, Executive Director
Common Cause in Wisconsin
152 W. Johnson St., Suite 212
Madison, WI 53703
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