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U.S. Chamber of Commerce and state and local affiliates spent heavily through front groups in 2010 Wisconsin elections

Washington, D.C. – In response to the state budget fight unfolding in Wisconsin, Public Campaign Action Fund, a national nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog, harshly criticized Governor Scott Walker for pursuing political payback against his opponents that benefit the corporate special interests. The same interests pumped millions into his election last year. 

“Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other corporate special interests spent heavily to elect Governor Walker and a Republican state legislature, and now these politicians are quickly paying them back,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “It’s exactly the type of politics that makes everyday citizens think that government works for the few at the expense of the many.”

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the U.S. Chamber gave $1.5 million to the Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that spent at least $1 million to elect Republicans in Wisconsin last year. The paper also reported that Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce reported that they spent nearly $2 million to elect Walker and other Republicans.

The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), according to a press release by the group, spent $5 million to elect Walker. Public Campaign Action Fund’s research identified that the RGA raised $395,000 from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and $1,715,000 from the U.S. Chamber in 2010.

Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonpartisan campaign finance group that works to hold elected officials accountable and to further comprehensive reforms that place elections into the hands of everyday Americans.