MADISON (WSAU) You don’t have to be a campaign donor to get face-time with the governor. But it doesn’t hurt, according to a review by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
The Madison-based center found that over 130 companies appeared on Governor Scott Walker’s official calendars during his term. And of those, Walker received campaign money from employees or political action committees in over half those firms. Three-fourths of those firms had given Walker over $20,000, while the rest gave less.
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie says the Republican governor’s schedule reflects his priorities for expanding jobs. And there are conflicting opinions about whether those who get access are buying influence.
U-W La Crosse professor Joe Heim noted that Walker promised nothing in the controversial phone call a year ago from a blogger who pretended to be billionaire businessman David Koch. Heim said journalism center found that two-thirds of executives who spoke to Walker had not given money to his campaign – and quote, “You can have access to the governor without contributing.”
But Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign disagrees. He says business involvement with the governor is often hidden by outside special interests. And McCabe says it’s guaranteed that the center’s numbers underestimate the companies’ involvement.