By John Forester | February 14, 2017
From WisPolitics.com …
— Topping the list of State Superintendent Tony Evers’ biggest donors during the pre-primary period were the Wisconsin Education Association Council and AFT-Wisconsin’s Committee on Political Education, which contributed $18,000 each.
Evers also received $10,000 from the American Federation of Teachers, #212, in Milwaukee, as he easily outpaced his two challengers’ fundraising efforts, as reported in the last campaign finance report before next Tuesday’s primary.
But the bulk of Evers’ donations came from individual contributors, particularly educators and retirees. That accounted for $94,045, nearly two-thirds of the total contributions he raised between Jan. 1 and Feb. 6.
Evers outraised his opponents, Lowell Holtz and John Humphries, by over $100,000 each in that period. Holtz, the former Whitnall superintendent who previously ran for the post, raised $30,259. Meanwhile, Humphries, a former DPI and Dodgeville School District official, lagged behind at $26,625 raised.
Over that period, Evers raised $142,444, and he spent $22,077, leaving him with $237,696 in cash on hand.
See Evers’ report
— Humphries’ biggest donation was $10,000 from MMAC’s PAC, which cut the check the same day the group received a $20,000 contribution from Agustin Ramirez, an executive with Husco International in Waukesha.
Prior to the donation, the MMAC PAC only had $1,531 cash on hand, and it reported no other contributions during the pre-primary period.
According to MMAC’s pre-primary filing, Ramirez made the $20,000 donation Jan. 31, the same day the PAC made the $10,000 donation to Humphries.
The Ramirez family is planning a summer opening of the private St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a private Christian school in Milwaukee.
Steve Baas, MMAC’s senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy, said the group doesn’t discuss its PAC deliberations publicly but closely follows workforce development and education issues.
He also said PAC contributions aren’t “made at the direction of nor require the approval of individual donors like Mr. Ramirez,” unlike conduit contributions, which donors have to sign off on. The group reaches out to members to contributions at the start of each year, he said.
He also said Ramirez has been a generous supporter of MMAC’s efforts in the past and “we are pleased that his support has continued this year.”
— Lowell Holtz outraised fellow challenger John Humphries ahead of next week’s primary for the state superintendent post.
Holtz, the former Whitnall superintendent who previously ran for the post, raised $30,259 in that time period, including the $6,000 he loaned himself.
Holtz’s fundraising totals surpassed the $26,625 raised by Humphries, a former DPI and Dodgeville School District official. Humphries’ total includes a $10,000 donation from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
Holtz, meanwhile, got: $5,000 from Dan Hartung of Madison, president of Hartung Brothers; $5,000 from Dennis Kuester of Milwaukee, the retired exec of M&I Bank; $4,000 from Patrick English of Wauwatosa, president of Fiduciary Management Inc.; $2,000 from Eric Hovde, a Madison businessman who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2012; and $2,000 from the 1st District GOP.
The two challengers ended the period with similar amounts in the bank, with Holtz reporting $15,321 in cash on hand and Humphries reporting $15,456.
— Holtz has also seen an influx of significant late contributions after the Feb. 6 deadline, according to a report he filed with the state Ethics Commission.
Holtz filed a report yesterday showing he’s gotten $19,000 in contributions of at least $1,000 since the pre-primary fundraising period ended Feb. 6. Humphries, meanwhile, reported only one contribution of $1,000 from La Vonne Zietlow, the Kwik Trip co-owner, when he filed his report Friday.
Holtz got $5,000 from Uline CEO Richard Uihlein, who lives in Illinois but is a frequent donor to conservative causes and candidates in Wisconsin elections.
Other donations Holtz got that were at least $1,000 included:
*$2,500 from Terrence Wall, a Madison area developer who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, but dropped out before the GOP primary;
*$2,500 from Paul Schierl, the former CEO of Fort Howard Corp.;
*$1,000 from the Ozaukee County GOP;
*And $1,000 from Bernard Dahlin, the president of Nichols Paper Products Co.
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