Burke campaign sees hundreds of thousands in union donation dollars
12 union PAC's have contributed $335,512 to her campaign
MADISON, Wis. — A News 3 analysis of union money involved in the gubernatorial race shows democratic candidate Mary Burke profiting hundreds of thousands in donation dollars.
It’s been one month since Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices upheld Act 10, the 2011 law stripping union members, like the thousands attending Madison’s LaborFest, of their collective bargaining rights.
Teachers at the event like MTI member Margaret Stumpf say the hit has been hard, and the feelings toward Gov. Scott Walker, R-WI, remain raw.
“I think Gov. Walker has done more in a short time to decimate the labor movement, that was started here in Wisconsin, than anyone could’ve imagined,” Stumpf says.
Angry, lingering feelings, in part, appear to be materializing into dollars. The 12 union’s political action committees making Burke donations so far total $335,512, coming from three national, three state and six local unions.
“I think it sends a message that all workers are together on these issues in our state,” IBEW Local 2304 Pres. David Poklinkoski says.
While Walker is far outpacing Burke in total fundraising, especially with wealthy business owners, the governor says the union money worries him.
“We’ve already seen tons of money come in just in the last few weeks. Nationally the big governed union bosses have voted to transfer more than $300 million to federal races in five states. Wisconsin’s at the top of the list,” Walker said. “And so we’re going to have to counter, a lot of it is going to come from grass roots support from covering the state.”
Wisconsin Republican Party press secretary Jesse Dougherty echoed the governor, saying he is one of the union’s top targets.
“They’re spending big money to distort Walker’s positive record of reform. It’s no surprise that they’ve thrown their support behind a candidate like Burke, who has a dismal record that would only take us backward,” Dougherty says.
While Burke has said if elected governor she would restore some collective bargaining, she has not said she will repeal Act 10.
Based on campaign finance reports News 3 Political Reporter Jessica Arp looked at, here is a breakdown of the 12 union PAC contributions directly to the Burke campaign:
$43,128 (max donation) from UAW (United Auto Workers) WI State PAC (state union)
$43,128 (max donation) from IBEW-PAC (national union)
$43,128 (max donation) from WEAC (Wisconsin Education Association Council) PAC (state teachers union)
$43,128 (max donation) from IAFF FIREPAC (national union)
$43,000 NEA fund for children and public education (national union)
$40,000 CWUC (Central Wisconsin UniServ Council) PAC (local teachers union)
$20,000 Professional Firefighters of WI PAC (state union)
$15,000 MTI (Madison Teachers, Inc) (local teachers union)
$15,000 WI Laborers District Council (local union)
$10,000 WI Pipe Trades Assn PAC (local union)
$10,000 Northwest United Educators PAC (local teachers union)