Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle accepted $1.8 million of his $9.26 million in large individual campaign contributions his first four years in office from donors outside the state, including nearly half of it in 2006 alone from donors who had never given to anyone in Wisconsin before, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.
To put Doyle’s haul in perspective, former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, who was elected to four terms and was the state’s most prolific political fundraiser, raised $1.18 million from out-of-state contributors in eight years from 1993-2000.
Doyle’s Republican challenger in 2006, Mark Green, raised $336,962 in out-of-state-contributions in the 2006 election cycle, including individual contributions he accepted from 2002 through 2004 as a congressman and later transferred from his congressional campaign account to his state account to run for governor. Former Republican Gov. Scott McCallum, who was governor in 2001 and 2002, raised $299,415 during his two years in office.
Doyle’s out-of-state individual contributions represented 19 percent of his total large individual contributions, compared with 5 percent for Green and 11 percent for both McCallum and Thompson.
In 2006, Doyle’s out-of-state individual contributions cracked the $1 million mark for the first time by any Wisconsin political candidate. He accepted $1.09 million in out-of-state individual contributions, including an astounding $823,174 in contributions from 355 people who had not made a large individual contribution to a Wisconsin candidate for statewide office or the legislature before 2006.
During his first four years in office, out-of-state lawyers contributed the most to Doyle, nearly $274,000, followed by the banking and finance industry which doled out about $253,000, retirees and homemakers who gave him about $169,000, business interests which gave him about $157,000 and the real estate industry which contributed about $145,000.
Unlike Green, McCallum and Thompson, who received the most out-of-state contributions from Illinois, Doyle received the most out-of-state contributions from California from 2002 through 2006 – $393,346 – followed closely by Illinois at $385,326 and then New York at nearly $247,000.
Seven couples – five from California and one each from New York and Texas – gave Doyle $20,000 each, or the maximum $10,000 person. Fourteen other couples or families from outside Wisconsin gave Doyle between $10,187 and $19,750 and 40 individuals each gave him $10,000. These top contributors and other notable donors include:
- John Chambers, president of computer-giant Cisco Systems, and his wife Constance, of Los Altos Hills, California gave Doyle $20,000, as did John Morgridge, retired Cisco chief executive officer, and his wife Tashia, of Portola Valley, California;
- Leonard Schaeffer, chairman of health insurer Wellpoint Health Networks, and his wife Pamela, of Westlake Village, California, $20,000;
- Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman of pharmaceutical company Abraxis BioScience, and his wife Michele, of Los Angeles, $20,000;
- Harley Lippman, chief executive officer of Genesis10, a business and technology consulting firm, and his wife Maria, of New York City, $20,000;
- John Doerr, a partner in the venture capital firm Keiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and his wife Ann, of Woodside, California, $20,000;
- Fred Baron, retired founder of Baron & Budd, a Dallas law firm, and his wife Lisa Blue, $20,000;
- Democratic political figures from around the country, including 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator John Kerry and his wife Theresa Heinz, $5,000; New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, $10,000 each;
- Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo, Michigan and software developer Tim Gill of Denver, $10,000 each. These two billionaires poured millions of dollars into dozens of state-level races and efforts to defeat anti-gay marriage referendums around the country in 2006;
- Dawn Arnall, of Los Angeles, billionaire co-owner of Ameriquest Capital Corp. and wife of U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands Roland Arnall, $10,000. Dawn Arnall and the couple’s company have contributed about $5 million since 2002 to President Bush, Republican congressional candidates and committees and unregulated electioneering groups – known as 527 organizations – that ran attack ads against Kerry. Ameriquest is one of the nation’s largest sub-prime mortgage lenders to people with poor credit. In early 2006, the company settled a class action lawsuit for $325 million with regulators in 49 states alleging predatory lending practices;
- Peter B. Lewis, an Ohio billionaire and owner of one of the nation’s largest auto insurers, $10,000. Lewis has given several million dollars to art museums and universities and more than $24 million since 2004 to 527 groups that oppose Bush;
- Donny Deutsch, of New York City, CNBC talk show host and owner of one of the nation’s top advertising agencies, $10,000;
Arthur Nielsen Jr, of Deerfield, Illinois, owner of the AC Nielsen marketing research firm, $10,000.
Doyle’s largest source of individual out-of-state contributions grouped by employer was Cisco Systems, whose executives gave him $57,500, all in 2006. The only other contributions to Wisconsin candidates from Cisco executives were $150 to Democratic legislative candidate Cory Mason in July 2006 and $250 to McCallum in June 2000.
Next was Levin Leichtman Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that invests in leading mid-sized companies whose executives gave Doyle $42,832 – all in 2005 and none before or since to any Wisconsin candidate.
Third in line were executives of Newmark Knight Frank, a New York-based commercial real estate and property management firm, who contributed $33,500 to Doyle – all in April 2006 and none before or since to any Wisconsin candidate.
Mike McCabe is executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks the money in state politics, fights government corruption and works for campaign finance reform and other pro-democracy reforms. The group’s web site is www.wisdc.org.