MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on documents showing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker asked corporate leaders to donate to a conservative group supporting his 2012 recall campaign (all times local):
Wisconsin Democrats want to know how many Republican bills were spurred by corporate donations after documents surfaced showing Gov. Scott Walker asked business leaders to donate to a conservative group supporting his 2012 recall campaign.
The Guardian reported Wednesday that it obtained leaked documents showing Walker and his fundraisers approached corporate leaders and asked them to donate to Wisconsin Club for Growth. Walker sought money from the head of a company that produced lead used in paint, and after the owner gave $750,000 to Wisconsin Club for Growth, Republicans passed legislation granting lead manufacturers immunity from paint-poisoning lawsuits.
Assembly Democrats said during a news conference that the documents raise more questions about what other bills the GOP has passed in exchange for donations and that clean, open government in Wisconsin is dead.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling allows unlimited political spending by corporations.
Documents from a secret investigation into whether Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign illegally coordinated with outside groups show Walker and his fundraisers approached a host of corporate leaders about donating money to the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth.
The Guardian obtained leaked documents (http://bit.ly/2cqWE6r ) and reported Wednesday that Walker and his fundraisers approached hedge-fund billionaire Stephen Cohen, Home Depot co-founder Ken Lagone and Harold Simmons, the now-deceased owner of NL Industries, which produced lead used in paint.
Their donations went to Club for Growth, which supported Walker during his 2012 recall campaign. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling allows unlimited political spending by corporations.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court halted the secret investigation in 2015, saying coordination between candidates and groups on issue advocacy is legal.