State Goverment and Political News: Governor transfers $100,000 of campaign money to legal defense fundWisconsin News
-- Governor Scott Walker transferred another $100,000 in campaign donations to his legal defense fund this month. That was after he transferred $60,000 in campaign gifts in April.
Governor Scott Walker transferred another $100,000 in campaign donations to his legal defense fund this month. That was after he transferred $60,000 in campaign gifts in April.
Walker says the money is helping to pay for attorneys he hired to keep tabs on the John Doe investigation into Walker’s former aides in the Milwaukee County executive’s office. Five former aides and associates have been criminally charged with crimes ranging from embezzlement to illegal campaigning on taxpayers’ time. One struck a plea deal in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors. State law allows defense funds for officials under investigation for ethics and election law violations. Walker has repeatedly said he’s not a direct target of the John Doe probe. But his election opponent next week, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, points to a recent Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report that Walker exchanged e-mails with a campaign aide over a 2010 real estate deal that’s being investigated. Barrett’s camp says the governor could have saved himself a lot of legal bills by releasing the e-mails and other details of the John Doe. But Walker says the law requires him to stay silent on the probe. The law requires the approval of campaign donors before they money goes to a legal defense fund. The Walker camp had no comment on the latest transfers, which were mentioned in his latest state campaign finance report.
Governor Scott Walker’s campaign raised almost six-million-dollars in a four-week period ending May 21st. And his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett raised almost three-and-a-half million. With Walker’s recall election just six days away, finance reports filed yesterday show that both campaigns had about the same amounts on hand, around one-and-a-half million dollars. But daily reports of large contributions showed that the Republican Walker had raised an additional 860-thousand between last Wednesday and Sunday. And Barrett received an additional 261-thousand. As a recall target, Walker can raise unlimited amounts to cover debts incurred before the election was officially scheduled. And his new report shows that Walker continues to bring individual donations of up to $100,000 – well above the normal $10,000 limit that Barrett must follow under normal election laws. Barrett spokesman Phil Walzak says their campaign is getting tremendous grass-roots support. Walker has now raised a record-shattering 31-million dollars since January of 2011. Ciara Matthews of the Walker camp says it reflects people’s enthusiasm for the governor’s budget changes that included the near-elimination of collective bargaining for most public unions. That’s the issue which spurred the recall effort in the first place.
Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch has raised about $208,000 dollars over the last month to try-and-keep her post in next week’s recall election. A report filed yesterday covered the period from April 24th to May 21st. All told, the Republican Kleefisch has raised about $782,000 dollars this year. Kleefisch is being challenged by Democrat Mahlon Mitchell of Madison, head of the state firefighters’ union. He had until midnight last night to file his latest campaign report, and his numbers were not immediately available. Kleefisch and Governor Scott Walker were elected as a team in 2010. But the state’s recall laws require that they run separately in next week’s elections. Kleefisch is the nation’s first lieutenant governor ever to face a possible recall. The Republican Walker is the third in the country ever to face a recall vote during his term.
State Assembly Republican Jerry Petrowski has more campaign money than his challenger, as they compete for an open Senate seat in central Wisconsin next Tuesday. New campaign reports showed that Petrowski, of Marathon, raised 78-thousand-dollars over the past month – and he had 64-thousand in his campaign fund as of last Monday. Assembly Democrat Donna Seidel of Wausau raised around $67,000, and had $22,000 on hand. Both are running for the Senate seat vacated by Wausau Republican Pam Galloway, who resigned in March after being targeted for recall. Three Senate incumbents are facing recall votes next Tuesday, and they were expected to file their campaign reports by midnight last night. Of the three challengers, Lori Compas of Fort Atkinson has the most on hand – $86,000 – as she faces Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald.